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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Weekend Estimates by Klady – Oct 28

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84 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Klady – Oct 28”

  1. Noah says:

    Michael Clayton is still holding strong. It’s looking like 40 million will be easy and then if it can hold on until Golden Globe nominations, it could do a respectable 50 million, which is amazing considering the type of movie it is.
    Unfortunately it looks like Darjeeling will top out at 10 million, but I think it’ll find a great life in ancillaries. Into the Wild is the real surprise, though, unable to get more than 1.5 in over 2,000 locations. I wonder if the lack of a “love story” hurts it with the young folks.

  2. marychan says:

    Why “4 Months, 3 Weeks , 2 Days ” is in here?
    I think it won’t be released in US until1/2008
    http://www.ifcfilms.com/viewFilm.htm?filmId=496

  3. marychan says:

    Sorry… Found that “4 Months, 3 Weeks , 2 Days ” has been released in Canada…. It explains all matter….

  4. mutinyco says:

    Things We lost In the Fire?… yeah, like a per-screen average?…

  5. One would have thought that Things We Lost In The Fire would be very popular in California.

  6. movieman says:

    Noah- “Into the Wild” is on 658 screens–it still hasn’t hit my medium-sized northeastern Ohio city–not 2000. Paramount Vantage has platformed it to death. It should have gone at least as wide as “Babel” did at this point in its run last year.
    Speaking of “platforming to death,” Warner Brothers effectively screwed “Jesse James” by not committing to a wide (2,000+ print) break in September. Brad Pitt’s name would have guaranteed them a respectable opening weekend gross.
    Now it’ll be lucky to hit a piddling $5-milion cume. How ironic that New Line grossed more from an even less “commercial” film (“The New World”) with equally love-it-or-hate-it reviews two years ago.
    The real story this weekend is “Bella.” Just goes to show that those Christians really know how to market a movie to the faithful. I bet Fox’s boutique label specializing in “values-themed” films (“The Ultimate Gift,” ad nauseam) wishes that they had obtained U.S. distribution rights at last year’s Toronto Film Festival.
    Looks like “Rails and Ties” and “Reservation Road” are officially dead. Let’s see how many additional screens Warners and Focus opens them on now.
    Surprisingly strong holds for most of last weekend’s films, including (who would have guessed?) “The Comebacks.”
    Too bad about “30 Days.” Maybe Sony should have opened it earlier to distance itself from the “Saw” killing machine.

  7. Noah says:

    Yeah, Movieman, you’re right. I was looking at the per-screen average instead of the theater count. But my original point still stands; it should be making more money than it is and it’s a shame that it is performing so poorly. I think we’re all going to be wondering what exactly happened with Into the Wild and why did it underperform. There will be myriad theories and they’ll all be right.

  8. movieman says:

    P-V also missed out by not utilizing MTV (which is even part of their corporate family, for God’s sake!) as a marketing tool.
    Emile Hirsch was never even a guest on TRL–or whatever the hell they’re calling it now.
    Stupid, stupid, stupid.
    When I saw “ITW” in Toronto last month I pegged it as the odd’s-on favorite to win the Oscar:
    certainly no other movie this year has had as big of an impact on me.
    Now I’m seriously doubting whether it’lll even get nominated.
    Hey, P-V: good luck with “Margot at the Wedding” and “The Kite Runner”!

  9. brack says:

    Did anyone really expect Into the Wild to be a hit? Michael Clayton at least has George Clooney. Most people aren’t familiar with Emile Hirsch, at least not enough to rush out to see him. That may change after Speed Racer.

  10. movieman says:

    Since when does a film–particularly one that has received almost universal critical acclaim and is based on a best-selling novel–need a “star” in the lead role?
    And if you’re going to use that argument, explan why “Jesse James” (starring Brad Pitt) hasn’t even hit $3-million yet. And why “Rendition” (with America’s sweetheart, Reese Witherspoon) tanked so bad. Or why “Superbad” (starring, uh, nobody anyone’s ever heard of) grossed as much as “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry” (toplining Adam Sandler and tube favorite Kevin James).
    That’s just silly, Brack!

  11. martindale says:

    As movieman said, Bella’s performance is the story of the weekend. The fact that its PTA beats Into the Wild’s average when it expanded to a comparable amount of screens is even more remarkable.
    Samuel Goldwyn/Roadside Films has done a terrific job with Christian films like Facing the Giants, Amazing Grace, and now Bella. Fox Faith should take note.

  12. Cadavra says:

    “Surprisingly strong holds for most of last weekend’s films, including (who would have guessed?) ‘The Comebacks.'”
    Not a surprise at all. Only two moron comedies out right now, and it’s the only one rated PG-13.

  13. CloudsWithoutWater says:

    Gone Baby Gone doing quite well, good to see that.
    I’d be curious to know what Into The Wild is doing in the small western countercultural towns like Flagstaff and Santa Fe, not to mention cities like Portland and Seattle. If it’s not hitting in places like that, it ain’t gonna work anywhere…

  14. movieman says:

    Truly Martindale!
    If–as I suggested earlier–Fox Faith had picked “Bella” up in Toronto last year, they would’ve bungled that, too.
    I knew that something was up when I received an invitation to a screening of “Bella” at a Catholic church in Canton, Ohio a few weeks back.
    Can anyone say, “grassroots marketing campaign”?
    Also glad to see Tammy Blanchard (so great as the young Judy Garland in ABC’s Garland biopic a few years back) in a hit film.
    (She was also terrific as Matt Damon’s deaf Yale girlfriend in last year’s “Good Shepherd.”)

  15. Wrecktum says:

    Do you all work for Roadside or something? The gross for Bella is nice, but nothing to write home about. It’ll be out of theaters in two weeks.

  16. movieman says:

    For “Comebacks” to drop a mere 35% is a major achievement, particularly when you consider (a) the depressed marketplace
    and (b) the brutal second weekend drops for Fox’s previous parody flicks (“Date” and “Epic Movie”), both of which opened considerably stronger to boot.
    As I said in a post earlier this week, “Comebacks” isn’t nearly as putrid as some critics have suggested (like the third-string boob from EW who said that it was worst movie he’s reviewed in the three years he’s been at the mag). While it’s hardly “Scary Movie” or “Airplane!,” it’s a damn sight better than either “Epic” or “Date.”
    I’m sure that it’ll do better on DVD. Of course, what doesn’t these days?

  17. movieman says:

    Maybe Roadside should have released “Rails and Ties:”
    it would have probably done better if it had been marketed to a Christian audience.

  18. CloudsWithoutWater says:

    I always think those folks who say things like “this new release is the worst movie ever!” just haven’t seen enough bad movies.

  19. movielocke says:

    I wonder how many average family moviegoers know that Bee Movie is a family movie much less an animated movie? the last advertisement that had animation I remember seeing for it was in the theatre for Ratatouille. the advertising seems incredibly risky, it may pay off, but it’s made me think that the movie is unbelievably bad, just reeking of awfulness, may not be true, but that’s the impression I’ve been left with by the advertising.
    Fred Claus though looks better and better with every new trailer or spot I see, I imagine a 60 mil opening won’t be a problem, but I wonder if it can get much higher than 70

  20. William Goss says:

    Since when was Bella a Christian film? Sure, it has wholesome values and a message of redemption – plenty to offer that demo – but it’s not a particularly heavy-handed religious film in any respect.

  21. movieman says:

    I wouldn’t worry too much about “Bee Movie.”
    I’m sure that “family” audiences knows that it’s buzzing (sorry) into theaters next weekend. It would have done better, however, if it had opened in “Shark Tale”‘s early October slot. “Fred Claus” will probably do the same number on it in its second weekend that “Saw IV” did to “30 Days of Night” this weekend.
    Disney’s dreadful “Game Plan” got a free ride this fall from every other studio in town: how the hell did that happen???
    “Claus” looks like a hip “Santa Clause.” It’s money in the bank for WB, and should take away some (if not all) of the sting off their “Jesse James” and “Brave One” losses.

  22. movieman says:

    I wouldn’t worry too much about “Bee Movie.”
    I’m sure that “family” audiences know that it’s buzzing (sorry) into theaters next weekend. It would have done better, however, if it had opened in “Shark Tale”‘s early October slot. “Fred Claus” will probably do the same number on it in its second weekend that “Saw IV” did to “30 Days of Night” this weekend.
    Disney’s dreadful “Game Plan” got a free ride this fall from every other studio in town: how the hell did that happen???
    “Claus” looks like a hip “Santa Clause.” It’s money in the bank for WB, and should take away some (if not all) of the sting off their “Jesse James” and “Brave One” losses.

  23. movieman says:

    excuse the double post

  24. movieman says:

    William:
    Irregardless of how “religious” it is (or isn’t), “Bella” would not have done a $7,400 PSA without the TLC marketing push it got from faith-based organizations.
    Particularly when you consider that many of the theaters playing the movie are in the hinterlands where grosses are traditionally lower than they are in major urban markets.
    Until the “Bella” buzz started trickling in from church groups, no one outside of Toronto had even heard of the film.

  25. William Goss says:

    movieman:
    Fair enough. I did see it at SXSW, and hadn’t heard of any church push in my neck of the woods, but I can see your point. I heard that similar tactics were applied to Lars…, although that didn’t seem to work out quite as well.

  26. brack says:

    “Since when does a film–particularly one that has received almost universal critical acclaim and is based on a best-selling novel–need a “star” in the lead role?”
    I didn’t say ANY star. It has to be the right star. That goes without saying.
    But when it’s about something like a guy alone in the woods (good reviews or not), it might be a good idea to have someone sell it if you want more than a few people to see it. Some moviegoers think that the idea is boring, unfortunately, and need more of a reason to see it. Just because a book is a bestseller doesn’t mean the movie version is going to make any money, since this type of book probably wasn’t read by a ton of moviegoers. And there are varying degrees of success when it comes to best-selling books.
    It seems adults are checking out George Clooney before any of the other movies. And what do you know, he’s a star, in both big and smaller movies. He’s getting the best reviews of his career. TV ads and trailer were top notch. I’d like to see Into the Wild, but I chose to see Michael Clayton and Gone Baby Gone before ITW. I’m apparently not alone. Bottom line: there have been too many movies going after the same crowd this month.
    “Jesse James” is just now playing in 294 theaters. That’s considerably less than a lot of other movies. It hasn’t been promoted very well. It’s also a long movie. And Brad Pitt isn’t guaranteed to draw the select theater crowd. All that can equal a nonhit.
    There’s not much interest in a movie about the government torturing people (Rendition), and it was panned heavily by critics, which determines the fate (somewhat) of these sorts of films. Reese Witherspoon wasn’t playing her typical America’s Sweetheart role. You may remember Vanity Fair also not doing well.
    Superbad had amazing buzz months before the release, had great reviews, and its trailer and ads made me want to see it. Again, I guess I wasn’t alone there.

  27. Wrecktum says:

    “Disney’s dreadful “Game Plan” got a free ride this fall from every other studio in town: how the hell did that happen???”
    Because family audience really, really enjoyed it. Sorry that the movie’s performance doesn’t dovetail with your personal taste.

  28. jeffmcm says:

    Wrecktum, his question had to do with the lack of any family-friendly competition for the last couple of months, not with audience reaction. Am I to take it that you loved the movie?

  29. movieman says:

    Wrecktum: If “family” audiences had been presented with more than one choice this fall, I doubt whether “Game Plan” would have done as well as it did.
    For example, I bet if “Bee Movie” had opened in the same early October slot as “Shark Tale” four years ago, it would have definitely chipped away at Disney’s $77-million-and-counting b.o. cume.
    And yes, I find it infinitely depressing when a movie as assembly-line mediocre (at best) as “GP” is the best-grossing fall release in a season that gave us “Into the Wild,” “Jesse James,” “Gone Baby Gone,” “Across the Universe,” “Lars and the Real Girl,” “Lust, Caution” and “Things We Lost in the Fire” (among others).
    Brack- I love and respect George Clooney as much as anyone; he’s the Warren Beatty of his generation (and I mean that in the best possible way). But he’s not a guaranteed box-office draw (unless it’s a franchise picture like the “Ocean’s” series).
    If “movie star”s really matter, “Michael Clayton” would be doing “Departed,” not “Syriana” numbers. The whole “star system” concept–which you apparently subscribe to, bless your L.B. Mayer loving heart–is completely degraded and outmoded. I’m surprised that anyone who visits this site regularly wouldn’t know that. Concept, preferably high-concept, rules today, and actors are just lucky enough to tag along for the (amusement park) ride.
    And “Into the Wild” (whatever your personal likes or dislikes about Sean Penn, Emile Hirsch or best-selling novels) was simply mishandled by Paramount-Vantage: they platformed it to death, end of story.
    “ITW” would have never reached “Spider-Man” (like most big studio films today, that’s a franchise that isn’t dependent upon “stars”) levels, but it certainly had a crack at “Babel” or “Little Miss Sunshine” numbers.

  30. brack says:

    George Clooney is a star of limited release movies. In the right role, he brings a decent amount of business. Michael Clayton wouldn’t be doing the business it is without George Clooney. End of story. That’s what I mean by starpower, not necessarily blockbuster numbers. He’s not Tom Cruise or Will Smith, but then again, who is? and so what? What’s wrong with Syriana numbers? Nothing. Those are pretty good numbers for the subject matter, and none of the movies mentioned above are going to do Syriana business. Matt Damon was also a factor. So don’t tell me movie stars don’t matter. Most of the smaller George Clooney movies have done well, and probably do even better on video. After a while, certain people start to notice a trend, and that has helped Michael Clayton’s decent run. Just because movies he’s in don’t pull The Departed numbers doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a fanbase. He most certainly does. And that’s a star in my book. By the way, The Departed had four movie stars to Michael Clayton’s one, was a completely different story, and directed by Martin Scorsese. You’re comparing apples to oranges.

  31. brack says:

    I was referring to the other “adult” movies that are out now.

  32. brack says:

    I wish I could be paid millions for not really mattering lol.

  33. Wrecktum says:

    “Am I to take it that you loved the movie?”
    “Loved” is a strong word, but I did really enjoy it. It was a fun family movie and it was a breakout performance by the Rock.
    One woman I know said told me it was the best movie she’s seen all year. I think people here are underestimating its appeal.
    Regarding Bella…according to industry figures the movie played strongest in the west and worst in the south. How does that evidence support the idea that religious heartland viewers were the primary audience for this film?

  34. movieman says:

    Clooney can’t open a movie, and isn’t that what a “star” is supposed to do? Except for–your example–Will Smith, is there an actor (or actress) working today who can?
    “Three Days of the Condor;” Robert Redford; fall smash 1975
    “Michael Clayton;” George Clooney; middling hit fall 2007.
    It’s a new era, Brack–well, maybe not that “new.”
    The star system is officially dead. Get over it and move on.
    And I’m sure that Warner Brothers would have loved to seen “Departed” numbers with “M. Clayton.” But you’re right about one thing, the two movies are completely different beasts.

  35. movieman says:

    Wrecktum-
    “The best movie” she’s seen all year?
    Methinks this lady doesn’t get out much.
    And if you thought it was a “fun family movie,” I’m guessing that you don’t get out much either.
    All I can tell you about “Bella” is what I’ve read–re: marketing to “faith-friendly” viewers–and seen in my own backyard (preview screenings at churches, etc.).

  36. Wrecktum says:

    Of course you’re wrong, movieman. I’ve seen tons of movies this year, thank you very much.
    The shocking elitism on the internets never ceases to amaze me. Sorry to burst your ivory-tower bubbles, dudes, but audiences flocked to Wild Hogs because they thought it was outrageousely funny. People shell out money for Saw 4 because they think the franchise is scary. And folks line up for the Game Plan because they think it’s a fun family movie. Get over yourselves.

  37. Aris P says:

    Movielocke – 60 million opening for Fred Claus? Are you serious? I really don’t see that.
    As far as this dead conversation about star power, I’ll put it this way: If Will Smith starred in Things we lost in the Fire, it would still bomb. Now, will smith starring in I am Legend – huge. Its not just about the stars, folks, it’s about WHAT they star in. It’s been like this for at least since 2000 in my estimation.
    Why does this topic keep coming up? If it hasn’t been proven in the past, it’s definitely being proven this fall season.

  38. jeffmcm says:

    Wrecktum, man of the people, I don’t understand your attitude. Obviously those movies made money because people felt they got what they paid for. Does that make any of them good movies? Absolutely not. Wild Hogs is garbage. Saw IV, if it’s anything like Saw II and III, is garbage. Just because it’s profitable and popular doesn’t make either of them any less garbage.

  39. Noah says:

    Regarding the star power thing and how Clooney is somehow “not profitable”, let’s look at it this way: let’s say you put Benicio Del Toro or Tommy Lee Jones or someone else in that role, does it still gross 30 million so far? Does it even get made? Michael Clayton is a talky, legal thriller that has an absence of typical thrills and no courtroom scenes and yet it has already made back its (low) budget. I think this proves that Clooney is a star because there aren’t many people who could have gotten Michael Clayton this much money.

  40. Wrecktum says:

    “Wrecktum, man of the people, I don’t understand your attitude. Obviously those movies made money because people felt they got what they paid for.”
    In other words, they enjoyed the movie. Isn’t that what I’ve been saying? People go to movies because they think they’re going to enjoy them. If they do, they consider the movie good and worth their investment. If they don’t enjoy the movie they will deem it bad and regret the money they’ve spent.
    You would consider Wild Hogs to be demonstrably bad (“garbage” as you put it). The movie made over $170m domestically. Do you think that everyone who saw the movie agrees that it’s a bad movie? Or do you think that most people enjoyed the movie and, therefore, consider it good?

  41. Noah says:

    I think the point is, Wrecktum, that just because the masses think that a movie is good that doesn’t make it so. I agree with your principle that many of us here lose sight of the fact that we are in the minority of filmgoers and that the majority of folks just want to see a film that entertains them after a long week or a long day at work, etc. However, as more discerning filmgoers, we could probably agree that those movies are not up to par. Most of us are here because we love movies and would probably not put Wild Hogs on the same level as the 400 Blows. The people who went to see that movie repeatedly probably don’t know Truffaut from Adam, so you can’t really take their opinion into account when it comes to actually discussing the quality of a film. That is not to slight the majority of people who go to the movies, but we on this board spend more time thinking about film than they do. The majority of people in this country don’t believe that global warming is happening, but I would rather trust the opinion of scientists than the popular opinion.

  42. jeffmcm says:

    I don’t think most people who saw it have a strong opinion about it. I would wager that if you asked, most people would call it ‘okay’, just like most people who eat nothing but McDonald’s hamburgers would call those ‘okay’ as well, because they get the job done. The number of people who are rabidly enthusiastic about Wild Hogs the same way people have been for, say, Zodiac or Lars and the Real girl, is going to be tiny in comparison.

  43. ManWithNoName says:

    “I think the point is, Wrecktum, that just because the masses think that a movie is good that doesn’t make it so.”
    According to who, Noah? You? If it wasn’t a good movie according to you, then yes, I agree you didn’t think it was good.
    ———-
    “And yes, I find it infinitely depressing when a movie as assembly-line mediocre (at best) as “GP” is the best-grossing fall release in a season that gave us “Into the Wild,” “Jesse James,” “Gone Baby Gone,” “Across the Universe,” “Lars and the Real Girl,” “Lust, Caution” and “Things We Lost in the Fire” (among others).”
    And if you thought any of those films had the potential to outgross a family-friendly film like GP, you are delusional.
    ————
    “The number of people who are rabidly enthusiastic about Wild Hogs the same way people have been for, say, Zodiac or Lars and the Real girl, is going to be tiny in comparison.”
    You vastly overestimate the fanbases for each of your three examples. And if we go by DVD sales, I bet Wild Hogs will lead all three of those films combined. If something was just “okay,” would anyone buy it for future viewing?

  44. brack says:

    “Clooney can’t open a movie, and isn’t that what a “star” is supposed to do?”
    You’re talking about star-vehicle movies. Yeah, George doesn’t want to do those. It’s a choice, not his limitation. Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you want to. George makes millions a year doing what he’s doing. Does he really need to be in countless star-driven formula movies? The answer: hell no. He knows he’ll make more money on the back end.
    I think being a star is more than just being able to “open” a movie. I consider him a “quality” movie star, not just someone who brings in the fast money. He’s a star because he doesn’t want to be a star. As far as Redford goes, he never “opened” a movie because back then you didn’t have to. I could make the same argument for any star of the past. I think if People magazine names you Sexiest Man Alive twice, star in successful movies, you’ve won an Oscar for acting, make interesting and risky movies, can date anyone woman you want, make millions of dollars a year, and everyone on the planet knows who you are–you’re a star, call me crazy.

  45. Noah says:

    ManWithNoName, you are missing the point and you completely quoted me out of context, but that’s okay. You should read the rest of what I wrote. By your logic, Titanic is the best movie ever made because it made the most money and had the most repeat viewings. Just because something is widely seen or even widely liked, that doesn’t make it good. And whether or not I think it’s good certainly doesn’t make a difference except to ME. Do you think Wild Hogs is a great movie? Because if you do, then your argument might be completely sound, although I might wonder how you found a blog like this. But if you didn’t like Wild Hogs, then what exactly is your argument? That I’m “wrong” for not liking Wild Hogs? Maybe that’s so, but I’ve spent my entire life watching films and just because thousands of people who haven’t spent their lives watching movies enjoyed Wild Hogs, that doesn’t make their opinion more right than mine.

  46. ManWithNoName says:

    I read your entire post and did not take you out of context. I’m sure you love film just as much as I. And I’m sure you are completely justified in YOUR opinion of what a good film is. But I will never prescribe to the notion that a film is “bad” or “garbage” just because I personally did not like it.
    BTW — all these years later and yes, Titanic still is a great movie.
    Also, as point of reference, some of my personal favorites: Eraserhead, Exotica, After Hours, Dazed and Confused, The Secret of Roan Inish, Blazing Saddles, The Verdict, Weekend at Bernies II.
    (Okay, maybe some movies are garbage. I’ll let you figure out what one I’m not serious about.)

  47. ManWithNoName says:

    For instance, it took me 3 days to finish Zodiac. It bored me. I wouldn’t call it garbage, but I would say “Why Did I Get Married?” was a better movie.

  48. ManWithNoName says:

    I think brack’s point is that Michael Clayton, starring Chris Cooper, or Ed Harris, or Thomas Jane, would probably top out at $5-7 million, even if any of those guys played the part just as well. If that isn’t a star, I guess I need to know everyone else’s definition.

  49. Noah says:

    The fact that you liked Why Did I Get Married more than Zodiac says a lot about the differences between us as film lovers, but even you have to concede that a high gross does not make it a good movie. Of course this is all about personal preference, but you should really have higher standards than Wild Hogs if you’ve seen more than fifty movies in your life.
    The point is that films like Wild Hogs serve a purpose and entertain people and that’s swell, but I doubt it moved anyone who has seen the best of what cinema has to offer. You could argue til you’re blue in the face about why you think Wild Hogs could possibly be construed as a “good” film, but the basis of your argument is that a big box office and lots of attendees equals a good movie and that is simply not true. Dazed and Confused is one of my favorite films too and so is After Hours, but both of those films did significantly less at the box office than Wild Hogs, does that make Wild Hogs the better film?

  50. ManWithNoName says:

    I’ve never seen Wild Hogs! But if 25 million people tell me it is good, and you tell me it is bad, I’m not necessarily going to label it “bad” just because you like After Hours and the 400 Blows.
    Also, I never said a low gross makes a film “bad.” I never said gross determines the overall worthiness of any film.
    We’re probably not that different as filmgoers. I just found Zodiac empty, pointless, and Ruffalo asking for animal crackers for the umpteenth time annoyed the hell out of me.
    Anyway, looks like it’s time to start celebrating a Sox sweep! Might check in on the conversation tomorrow.

  51. Noah says:

    So you’re going to go with the opinion of 25 million people you don’t know rather than the opinion of someone you have similar taste to? That seems peculiar.
    I hate the Red Sox. Maybe we’re very different people after all. :)

  52. brack says:

    Zodiac was one of the best movies this year. I was actually scared for the character in that basement scene.

  53. doug r says:

    Couple of points.
    Wild Hogs-not terrible, not great. Entertaining in spots, but tone problems, like a lot of Disney stuff. Tough bikers that everyone is afraid of would have guns. The showdown would have to be more carefully written, but it could be done with just the right touch.
    Haven’t seen Michael Clayton yet, but the fact that Clooney is in it means I will probably check it out sooner than if he wasn’t in it. The fact that he directed Secrets of a Dangerous Mind meant I rented it on DVD. I made sure I checked out Good Night, and Good Luck because he directed it. I made sure I watched Syriama as well.
    Zodiac I liked-best picture? I dunno.
    Bee Movie has been running promo stuff for AGES. They even pulled in Speilberg for a big promo push when they “reveal” it’s going to be a cartoon.

  54. Blackcloud says:

    De gustibus non est disputandum.

  55. Tofu says:

    Just because a movie is successful, doesn’t mean that audiences enjoyed it as a majority. It just means enough people were suckered in to paying to get in.

  56. brack says:

    That’s true for opening weekend, but I think anything after that is word-of-mouth.

  57. In regards to Bella I really liked it and I am in no way a religious person. The ending – which is what I assume is attracting the religious audience – appealed to me because it wasn’t the sort of ending I expected.
    Was Knocked Up championed by religious people? On one hand no abortion, on the other pre-marital sex. Same goes for Juno.
    SPOILERS FOR BELLA
    Because Tammy Blanchard’s character wasn’t married when she got preggers.
    END SPOILERS
    That theatre count for Dan in Real Life continues to perplex me.

  58. alero says:

    Will Smith has yet to test his star power. He does audience friendly movies. Would Micheal Clayton be a major success if Will were the star? I don’t think so.

  59. Joe Leydon says:

    Might I humbly suggest that David start one of his Spoiler-Intense threads so that we can freely talk about something other than box-office? I for one would like to talk about some of the issues raised by Gone Baby Gone (which I finally saw last night) and Michael Clayton.

  60. tfresca says:

    Umm Will Smith made a depressing movie about a year ago called The Pursuit of Happiness. What other movie star could have not only opened that movie but get it to over $100 million domestic?

  61. brack says:

    “Umm Will Smith made a depressing movie about a year ago called The Pursuit of Happiness. What other movie star could have not only opened that movie but get it to over $100 million domestic?”
    It did have a happy ending, did it not (I haven’t seen it)? The real guy was on Oprah last year, and apparently became successful. But I think everyone going into that movie knew that.

  62. PastePotPete says:

    “Umm Will Smith made a depressing movie about a year ago called The Pursuit of Happiness. What other movie star could have not only opened that movie but get it to over $100 million domestic?”
    Exactly. $163mil for that movie is more indicative of Smith’s star power than any of his action movie successes imo.
    Actually I just looked up Smith on Box Office Mojo, did anybody else not realize Hitch made $179mil domestic? My god. Why isn’t he making more romantic comedies? That thing outgrossed nearly everything he’s made that doesn’t have aliens in it.

  63. brack says:

    Because he already did a romantic comedy?

  64. jeffmcm says:

    It made that much money because it was ‘uplifting’, not because it was ‘depressing’. SPOILERS – it did indeed have a happy ending in the classic triumph-over-adversity manner.
    Re: the discussion over Wild Hogs and all that, I certainly believe in describing a movie accurately and without hyperbole, and if millions of peoples’ lives were lightened by watching it then it served the bare minimum of its purpose and it works on a rudimentary level.
    But it’s not a good movie and I don’t understand this laissez-faire attitude of ‘well if so many people liked it it couldn’t be horrible’. There are horrible things that are wildly popular, year in and year out, and its our job as opinionated people to not just idly stand by and allow that to happen without comment.
    (end pompous self-righteousness here)

  65. Joe Leydon says:

    (end pompous self-righteousness here)
    I doubt it.

  66. PastePotPete says:

    Zing, Joe.
    “Because he already did a romantic comedy?”
    I’m not sure what your point is, that comment doesn’t even make sense as a joke. He already did about ten action movies or so, most of which grossed less than the romantic comedy. And it’s not like he’s making I Am Legend for the sake of art.

  67. brack says:

    Matthew McConaughey sent Will Smith a death threat.
    Hitch just came out a couple of years ago. I’m sure he’s made other commitments. He probably hasn’t seen a decent romantic comedy script.
    Maybe he is doing I Am Legend for arts sake. It’s not exactly a traditional action movie. The story is more scifi/horror than anything else.

  68. David Poland says:

    Ironically, Will wanted his Pursuit of Happyness director to do I Am Legend and he passed because it was such a machine film.
    Yes… Pursuit starring Benicio does $8 million… Will Smith in Michael Clayton opens to another $10 million.
    But what keeps smashing me in the face is the “he can’t open” bullshit when a drama in a very busy weekend opens to more than $10 million, less than a million behind the #3 and #2 movies. That IS opening, boys!
    As for good and bad and commercial and art, there is no clear answer. Yes, if the public loves a film – legs, not just a massive marketing driven opening – there is something more than a critical eye to consider. And box office failure defines nothing.
    What irks me is when a film – like Zodiac – allegedly defines the person as this or that by their opinion. It doesn’t. Zodiac is one of a number of beautifully made failures this year that gets self-described cineastes hard as a rock, but don’t deliver anything an audience might want. They are indulgences.
    That said, there is a such a difference between one of them and the other… someone who loves film should be free to have an opinion, so long as they can offer a reasonable argument, even if you disagree.
    I know why people love Zodiac and though I might have been too condescending to them at times, I do get it, even if I disagree. Same with Jesse James. It’s not like I took a nap and didn’t see what they see… we just disagree… and that’s ok.

  69. jeffmcm says:

    Joe, you’re a jerk. I mean that in all honesty that your words are painful and I’ve been nice to you lately.

  70. jeffmcm says:

    Okay, that said: DP, would you or would you not also consider movies like The Constant Gardener or Titus or Adaptation to be ‘indulgences’ as well since none of them made significantly more than Zodiac did and therefore also didn’t ‘deliver anything an audience might want’? This is, of course, a rhetorical question because I know you loved those three movies – the point is, one viewer’s ‘indulgences’ are another’s essentials.

  71. ManWithNoName says:

    Jeff, just my opinion (obviously!), but I personally think Constant Gardener and Adaptation had more to say and offer an audience than Zodiac.
    DP and Noah, I don’t discredit Zodiac completely. I think it was Jeff who said any picture with good cinematography, editing, and acting cannot be completely bad. It just didn’t engage me on any level (I thought it would, too, after that opening sequence in the parked car).
    I think DP made my point a bit more eloquently than I. Having never seen Wild Hogs because I can tell it won’t appeal to me, I just don’t automatically assume it’s garbage because it’s numbers suggest more than opening weekend/marketing. It obviously had repeat viewings and, therefore, fans.

  72. brack says:

    “Ironically, Will wanted his Pursuit of Happyness director to do I Am Legend and he passed because it was such a machine film.”
    Now that’s funny.

  73. David Poland says:

    J-Mc… I have not made the argument that Zodiac was a movie about fabric samples because it, relative to cost, failed at the box office.
    You are too busy fighting me to read that I already made your point. Money doesn’t define artistic failure. But it does define something audiences like… and some respect must be paid, again, with legs, not just a massive opening.
    I said this about the second Star Wars series. The geek base will always rip I-III, but audiences seemed to like them and I suspect will see that trilogy as the one they “grew up on” as we elders see the IV-VI. We overly embrace our childhood classics and undervalue everyone else’s favorites.
    The great example, when people start seeing them, will be Jesse James and There Will Be Blood. Both have some similar choices, but you can see PTA’s thought process on a whole different level than Dominik’s. Reading criticism will be fascinating, since I have a feeling TWBB will be given less of a pass, in part because of PTA’s ability to work at a higher level.

  74. Lota says:

    relax Jeff. If you yourself type “(end pompous self-righteousness here)” are you not handing a weighty branch for other readers to beat you with? I would like most movies to be good quality stories, acting etc. But occasionally I see a movie that is decent entertainment and if I leave a movie not feeling resentment or scorn then I feel I have spent my money or my free viewing time wisely.
    I think RocK and Ice Cube have been in movies that were entertaining. Doesn;t mean I was expecting Citizen Kane or Lawrence of Arabia.
    Sometimes after work you’d like a $50 bottle of wine, but most days you want the bottled beer on special.
    Most of Hollywood’s output is cheap beer. Some cheap beers are better than others, some are undrinkable and if you find one that isn;t absolutely swill, word of mouth keeps the sales going. The first Madea movie, Are We There Yet and The Game Plan were endearing to folks and they did well. Nothing wrong with that.
    I liked the Game Plan– Rock is cute.
    Nothing wrong with having different levels of entertainment for different moods–it’s ALL entertainment.

  75. Joe Leydon says:

    You know, I have waited over 24 hours to respond, in the hope of coming up with a resposne that would not seem so non-PC. But even now, all I can think of saying is:
    Jeff, you are a pussy. I mean, if that’s all it takes to get your panties in a bunch, you really need to stay outside the blogosphere. If snarky irony gets you weeping, I’m sorry, you have no business here.

  76. jeffmcm says:

    Joe, you were born in 1952. Come on. (Or put a 😉 in your post if you were really meaning to be ‘snarky’in a friendly way, which I don’t believe.)

  77. Joe Leydon says:

    I didn’t say it was friendly, Kitty Kat. I said it was snarky. If you can’t take the heat…

  78. jeffmcm says:

    Joe, all I ask is that next time you argue my point instead of calling me names. It should be (but clearly isn’t) beneath you.

  79. Joe Leydon says:

    You want some cheese with that whine, Kitty Kat? Or do you want a ride in the waaaaaaaaaaaaaah-bulance? I mean, like Lota said, you left yourself wide open for a dig. You got one. Now you’re crying about it. Jesus Christ, man, grow some balls, or get the hell out of here. You are worse than pathetic, you are boring.

  80. jeffmcm says:

    Good, then stop reading. I wrote what I wrote out of self-awareness, not out of clumsiness. I’m happy to talk to you, Joe, but if all you want to do is call people names, include me out.

  81. Wrecktum says:

    Leydon can be such a curmudgeon.

  82. Joe Leydon says:

    Wrecktum: You say that with a tone of… disapproval.

  83. Joe Leydon says:

    Excuse me, Kitty Kat, but before you get all so high and mighty about calling people names, go back and look at your own postings: You called me a jerk before I called you a pussy. Once again, I say: You can dish it out, but you can’t take it. You are a wimpy little dweeb. You tell people to shut up, but you want to keep on blabbing. That is, you are a pussy. Please let this be our last exchange here or anywwhere else. Now, since you are so pathetically eager to have the last word — so pathetic, in fact, that you’ve obviously gone on line to IMDB.com or wikipdedia.com, or you’ve checked in Who’s Who in America to find my birth year — go ahead and take the last word. I know you can’t resist. You see, I’ve been in the public eye for a long time. I’m used to stalkers.

  84. jeffmcm says:

    Joe, you’re spending too much time with the Mistress.

Box Office

Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
Title Gross Thtr % Chgn Cume
Venom 33 4250 NEW 33
A Star is Born 15.7 3686 NEW 15.7
Smallfoot 3.5 4131 -46% 31.3
Night School 3.5 3019 -63% 37.9
The House Wirh a Clock in its Walls 1.8 3463 -43% 49.5
A Simple Favor 1 2408 -50% 46.6
The Nun 0.75 2264 -52% 111.5
Hell Fest 0.6 2297 -70% 7.4
Crazy Rich Asians 0.6 1466 -51% 167.6
The Predator 0.25 1643 -77% 49.3
Also Debuting
The Hate U Give 0.17 36
Shine 85,600 609
Exes Baggage 75,900 62
NOTA 71,300 138
96 61,600 62
Andhadhun 55,000 54
Afsar 45,400 33
Project Gutenberg 36,000 17
Love Yatri 22,300 41
Hello, Mrs. Money 22,200 37
Studio 54 5,300 1
Loving Pablo 4,200 15
3-Day Estimates Weekend % Chg Cume
No Good Dead 24.4 (11,230) NEW 24.4
Dolphin Tale 2 16.6 (4,540) NEW 16.6
Guardians of the Galaxy 7.9 (2,550) -23% 305.8
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4.8 (1,630) -26% 181.1
The Drop 4.4 (5,480) NEW 4.4
Let's Be Cops 4.3 (1,570) -22% 73
If I Stay 4.0 (1,320) -28% 44.9
The November Man 2.8 (1,030) -36% 22.5
The Giver 2.5 (1,120) -26% 41.2
The Hundred-Foot Journey 2.5 (1,270) -21% 49.4