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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Box Office Hell

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9 Responses to “Box Office Hell”

  1. waterbucket says:

    I don’t understand how anyone would ever predict a number like 22.8 or 5.9. Why don’t they just round up or down? It’s not like their margin of error is very small. Each week, they’re all off by at least a couple mil.

  2. IOIOIOI says:

    Water; I reckon it has to do with averages based off of other films as well as the time of year among other factours. It may be a duck shoot, but it’s not like they are not aided by some quanitative data. Also… it’s cooler to go with 12.9 then 13 million. Do not ask me why. It just is.

  3. EDouglas says:

    I’m not sure why it matters to you so much, waterbucket. There are a lot of factors that go into my predictions and one of them is that… seriously, when has a movie ever made exactly $22,000,000 or $12,000,000? Almost never. And I’ll tell you the same thing that someone told me before I started doing the weekend predictions every week (which I might add, continue to be the first predictions posted by anyone every single week)… if you think you can do better, you’re welcome to try. Predicting weekend box office is often a thankless gig where no one ever says anything when you’re dead-on yet everyone is always jumping on you whenever they disagree.

  4. waterbucket says:

    I’m not belittling your job of box office predicting at all. Because I wouldn’t know what the hell the formula should be to do it and frankly, I don’t really worry that much about how rich the studios will be this year.
    My complaint is regarding the mathematical presentation of the predictions. Of course no film will gross exactly 22 mil just like no candidate will win exactly with 52% of the vote and the number of candy in a jar at the fair is never exactly 180. But when you make predictions with such large margins of error, you can’t present it like Present Bush has an approval rating 44.34 plus or minus 4%. It doesn’t make any sense. And since everybody is likely to be off by at least a couple of mil for the top movies at the box office, they should all round up their predictions since a 0.1 mil in the prediction doesn’t matter if the margin of error is as large as 3 or 4 mil.

  5. Cadavra says:

    You might as well ask why gas is $2.89 and 9/10th instead of simply $2.90.

  6. waterbucket says:

    That doesn’t make any sense. If you want to argue statistics then at least show some effort.

  7. Cadavra says:

    Ummm…I was agreeing with you.

  8. waterbucket says:

    Ok….thanks? =)

  9. You could say that more films have grossed $12.4 mil than $12mil exactly so why not?

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Box Office

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“Let me try and be as direct as I possibly can with you on this. There was no relationship to repair. I didn’t intend for Harvey to buy and release The Immigrant – I thought it was a terrible idea. And I didn’t think he would want the film, and I didn’t think he would like the film. He bought the film without me knowing! He bought it from the equity people who raised the money for me in the States. And I told them it was a terrible idea, but I had no say over the matter. So they sold it to him without my say-so, and with me thinking it was a terrible idea. I was completely correct, but I couldn’t do anything about it. It was not my preference, it was not my choice, I did not want that to happen, I have no relationship with Harvey. So, it’s not like I repaired some relationship, then he screwed me again, and I’m an idiot for trusting him twice! Like I say, you try to distance yourself as much as possible from the immediate response to a movie. With The Immigrant I had final cut. So he knew he couldn’t make me change it. But he applied all the pressure he could, including shelving the film.”
James Gray

“I’m an unusual producer because I control the destiny of a lot of the films I’ve done. Most of them are in perfect states of restoration and preservation and distribution, and I aim to keep them in distribution. HanWay Films, which is my sales company, has a 500-film catalogue, which is looked after and tended like a garden. I’m still looking after my films in the catalogue and trying to get other people to look after their films, which we represent intellectually, to try to keep them alive. A film has to be run through a projector to be alive, unfortunately, and those electric shadows are few and far between now. It’s very hard to go and see films in a movie house. I was always involved with the sales and marketing of my films, right up from The Shout onwards. I’ve had good periods, but I also had a best period because the film business was in its best period then. You couldn’t make The Last Emperor today. You couldn’t make The Sheltering Sky today. You couldn’t make those films anymore as independent films. There are neither the resources nor the vision within the studios to go to them and say, “I want to make a film about China with no stars in it.”Then, twenty years ago, I thought, “OK, I’m going to sell my own films but I don’t want to make it my own sales company.” I wanted it to be for me but I wanted to make it open for every other producer, so they don’t feel that they make a film but I get the focus. So, it’s a company that is my business and I’m involved with running it in a certain way, but I’m not seen as a competitor with other people that use it. It’s used by lots of different producers apart from me. When I want to use it, however, it’s there for me and I suppose I’m planning to continue making all my films to be sold by HanWay. I don’t have to, but I do because it’s in my building and the marketing’s here, and I can do it like that. Often, it sounds like I’m being easy about things, but it’s much more difficult than it sounds. It’s just that I’ve been at it for a long time and there’s lots of fat and security around my business. I know how to make films, but it’s not easy—it’s become a very exacting life.”
~ Producer Jeremy Thomas