MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland

Box Office Hell – June 29


35 Responses to “Box Office Hell – June 29”

  1. Joe Leydon says:

    First! Have to ask: Is this just for the Friday-Sunday weekend, or….?

  2. Direwolf says:

    Based on the Die Hard numbers, it must be for the 3 day weekend.
    Interesting variance between Niki’s Pals, EW and every one else on Ratatouille.
    Those numbers should be enough to give us the first up weekend following four consecutive declines.
    Any early buzz on Rat so far today?

  3. jeffmcm says:

    I asked this last week – Who are Nikki’s pals?

  4. jeffmcm says:

    Oh, and Direwolf: a little earlier today, as per an insider, Ratatouille was up to $2.8 million vs. Die Hard’s $800k.

  5. Wrecktum says:

    Rat is tracking around $50m for the weekend. Very good, in my opinion. No other studio would be able to get a Rat-in-the-kitchen movie anywhere close to a $50m opening besides Disney-Pixar.

  6. Aladdin Sane says:

    Ratatouille was very good. It totally wins you over. I want to see it again. Not many movies I’ve seen this year that I can say that about.

  7. James Leer says:

    Nikki’s pals = Nikki Finke, with tracking info supplied by Sony (allegedly)

  8. Sandy says:

    This part of Nikki’s blog entry is just ridiculous and it insults audiences to boot:
    “I still think that what appeals to sophisticated film critics may not be accessible to parents or children who can’t pronounce the title and don’t care about French gourmet food (unless The Food Network has changed that). Here’s hoping the rat doesn’t get gout.”

  9. Direwolf says:

    Do you all think Ratatouille could have decent legs or will competition hurt it? The word of mouth would seem like it should be very good. Looking back at the last 5 Pixar films, Incredibles had the lowest opening weekend multiplier at 3.7 times. Monsters and Cars were at 4.1 times. Toy Story 2 was at 4.3 times. Nemo was 4.8 times. The first three films mentioned had pretty similar stats in general while Incredibles was a step above in domestic and intl gross and Nemo is off the charts.
    I also wonder what people think about the international potential for Ratatouille. Will it get around 60% of its WW Gross abroad like Nemo and Incredibles or around 50% like the other three films?
    As you may know I manage money for a living specializing in media stocks and I am long Disney.

  10. waterbucket says:

    Wow, I cannot wait for Ratatouille! That movie will be awesome.

  11. I live like, 2 blocks from the local art house theater where they have SiCKO on 2 screens. There’s a genuine HULLABALLOO happening outside the tehater right now…people in SiCKO t-shirts with petitions for health care for all, people waiting in line for the next screening…traffic slowing to see what the deal is. Kinda cool…definitely interesting. Lets see if Moore heeds Pierson’s words and stays the hell out of the spotlight and lets the movie speak for itself…

  12. a1amoeba says:

    Hmmm, can anybody account for the Weinstein Bros’ whereabouts around the times of the past few critics deaths????

  13. Blackcloud says:

    Saw Live Free or Die Hard and Ratatouille tonight. Both were packed, audiences cheered throughout and at the end. I don’t know how much stock I put into Friday night audiences. Enjoyed both films. Ratatouille is brilliant. The Incredibles is great, but the rat is so much more sophisticated in terms of its structure and story-telling. There’s no third-act sag here. It’s pure movement from beginning to end, and every beat works. A superlative achievement. Pixar strikes again.

  14. I really want feel like flying to America and go see some movies in American cinemas just so I can see whether people actually cheer throughout the movies and at the end. Because everytime I read someone saying that I just don’t believe it. The only movie experience I’ve ever had where people clapped throughout the film was Moulin Rouge. People clapped at the ends of some of the various Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings movies.
    I’d love to see Ratatouille blow everyone out of the water. And seriously who can’t pronounce that title?! They explain how to say it in the freakin’ ads!
    Also, it’s so weird seeing documentaries on these sorts of charts. Michael Moore fan or not, you gotta hand it to the man – he’s bringing more people to documentaries than anyone ever before.

  15. People clapped when I saw ONCE. It’s a neat feeling when a crowd in a public theater erupts in applause. At a festival, it’s expected. But in “real life,” it’s pretty neat.

  16. Joe Leydon says:

    Just got a look at the early b.o. numbers. And I am happy to see: The Knocked Up phenom continues.

  17. jesse says:

    Camel, this is just more anecdotal evidence but with the right opening-night crowds I have indeed experienced applause and cheering besides just at the end. Not often, but it happens. I remember when I saw the first X-Men movie on opening night, the applause, laughter, and cheering after Wolverine’s “you’re a dick” line downed out the next 30-60 seconds of the film.
    My midnight screenings of the Star Wars movies have always been enthusiastic, especially (oddly enough, given its rep) Attack of the Clones — when Mace Windu got that “I’m totally going to kill Jango Fett” look in his eyes, the crowd started cheering and didn’t stop until Windu was triumphant.
    Moulin Rouge is another one where I heard some mid-movie applause for certain parts. When I saw Dreamgirls, even, people clapped at the end of J-Hud’s song — and that was in Rochester, not opening-night NYC.
    I saw Ratatouille last night at the Ziegfeld in NYC, and while it was only about half full (it’s a huge single-screen theater so they can fit a lot of people, but even so, I’m not sure why more people don’t go there; I went to Pirates 3 opening night there and it was only about 80% full… meanwhile Times Square showings sell out around the clock on weekends)… there was definite enthusiasm. No massive breaks into applause but sometimes small bits of cheering and clapping would break out, especially in the second half of the movie. You could tell people were just loving it, which was a nice feeling for an already great-feeling movie.
    So, it does happen a few times a year in my experience.

  18. jeffmcm says:

    The most enthusiastic audience I can remember lately was a midnight ‘opening day’ screening of Snakes on a Plane.

  19. Blackcloud says:

    When I say they audiences cheered throughout, I don’t mean they were cheering the whole time, but that they applauded at other times than the end. For example, when various things exploded and villains were dispatched.

  20. Chucky in Jersey says:

    “Sicko” is projected to hit the weekend top 10. This means “Evening” and “A Mighty Heart” cancel each other out.

  21. Cadavra says:

    You guys need to spend more time with us in Geezerville. Classic films playing in repertory venues invariably get applause at the end, and there’s also recognition applause for favorite actors when they first appear, as well as for directors, writers, composers, et al during the opening credits: last night at the American Cinematheque, they clapped for Mitchum, Elmer Bernstein and Phil Karlson.

  22. Jimmy the Gent says:

    Mitchum was there?

  23. Why clap at an explosion in Die Hard 4? That’s what I don’t get. I can totally understand opening night LOTR or Star Wars or Harry Potter
    As I’ve said before, it may just be a cultural difference, but it just seems really pointless and quite silly to clap (especially during a movie) when it’s not at a festival or a special screening of some kind.

  24. Cadavra says:

    “Mitchum was there?”
    He was barely there in the movie (RAMPAGE, a real snoozer).

  25. ployp says:

    No one claps or cheers in cinemas in Thailand. People don’t even laugh (I attribute this to the language barrier as I watch films in their original language). I guess Thais would laugh watching Thai films or the dubbed version of foreign films.

  26. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Estimates are up: “Ratatouille” a soft #1, “Live Free or Die Hard” spot-on at #2, “Sicko” and “Evening” both in the top 10. The rat and Mr. Moore have estimated per-theater averages above $10K.

  27. Nikki Finke says:

    How amusing that MCN now includes my weekly tracking as part of its own. Unfortunately, MCN is not reporting my numbers accurately. The 3-day projected total I gave for “Die Hard 4″ should be $25M to $30M. It’s simple math: I said pic was supposed to make 5-day total of $40M-$45M, and it had already taken in $15M its first two days. MCN refuses to correct the error. Why?
    (FYI: The tracking numbers and analysis I post weekly come from my own reporting. I confer with: top film financing guys, Wall Street analysts, marketing and/or distribution experts, agents, and studios.)

  28. jesse says:

    KCamel, there’s no real logical reason to clap during or after a movie, since no one from the movie is likely to be there with you. But I think that’s what I like about it — it’s more spontaneous and therefore maybe more heartfelt than the kind of applause given at a live performance. I mean, when does an audience not clap (at least at the end of a song or an act) at a live performance, even if it’s subpar? It seems impolite not to, I think. Whereas with a movie, it’s not necessary and therefore kind of exciting when it happens (even if sometimes it’s for stupid reasons, like a bad guy getting dispatched in Die Hard 4). If people are involved enough to respond that way, and not checking their voicemail or texting their friends or something, I’m happy.

  29. EDouglas says:

    “MCN refuses to correct the error. Why?”
    David’s barely been online since Friday. (Hence, no Friday or weekend estimates.) I think he’s travelling.

  30. Joe Leydon says:

    EDouglas: Yeah, but isn’t he back by now? I’m begining to fear his unrequited lust for Nikki has clouded his judgment. The little minx tends to have that effect on men.

  31. T.Holly says:

    Has anyone organized a search party yet? If he goes, I elect Craig Kennedy to replace him, I’ve coined him the “Tony Soprano” of movie reviewers. I don’t elect LYT, his website says, and I quote,
    “Luke Y. Thompson was recently inducted into the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. He is also the ONLY film critic nominated for a Los Angeles Press Club Award.
    Humorless New York bloggers are hereby invited to kiss his ass.”

  32. Can I just say I hate it in reviews/articles/comments people the writer types “Pic has good acting” etc. I don’t really know why, it just bugs me.

  33. T.Holly says:

    It’s not like Dave to leave Joel hanging like that, so I’m not posting anywhere until we hear from or about him (that’ll cause most of you to say “good” or “so what.”) Plus, letting the Nikki comment go, so not Dave.

  34. Soo Stoebner says:

    I usually enjoy your posts but perhaps this time you may have been too sick when writing because the post it seems rushed.

Box Office

Quote Unquotesee all »

“Well, actually, of that whole group that I call the post-60s anti-authority auteurs, a lot of them came from television. Peckinpah’s the only one whose television work represents his feature work. I mean, like the only one. Mark Rydell can direct a really good episode of ‘Gunsmoke’ and Michael Ritchie can direct a really good episode of ‘The Big Valley,’ but they don’t necessarily look like The Candidate. But Peckinpah’s stuff, even the scripts he wrote that he didn’t even direct, have a Peckinpah feel – the way I think there’s a Corbucci West – suggest a Peckinpah West. That even in his random episodes that he wrote for ‘Gunsmoke’ – it’s right there.”
~ Quentin Tarantino

“The thought is interrupted by an odd interlude. We are speaking in the side room of Casita, a swish and fairly busy Italian bistro in Aoyama – a district of Tokyo usually so replete with celebrities that they spark minimal fuss. Kojima’s fame, however, exceeds normal limits and adoring staff have worked out who their guest is. He stops mid-sentence and points up towards the speakers, delighted. The soft jazz that had been playing discreetly across the restaurant’s dark, hardwood interior has suddenly been replaced with the theme music from some of Kojima’s hit games. Harry Gregson-Williams’ music is sublime in its context but ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots’ is not, Kojima acknowledges, terribly restauranty. He pauses, adjusting a pair of large, blue-framed glasses of his own design, and returns to the way in which games have not only influenced films, but have also changed the way in which people watch them. “There are stories being told [in cinema] that my generation may find surprising but which the gamer generation doesn’t find weird at all,” he says.
~ Hideo Kojima