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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Klady – 11/17

No at terribly interesting weekend. And one with Friday numbers leaving some doors open.
Will Paramount/Zemeckis

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28 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Klady – 11/17”

  1. movieman says:

    Damn! That’s a shitty Friday cume for “Southland Tales.”
    Guess there’s little chance of it ever making it to NE Ohio now.
    No surprise re: “Cholera.” If they’d actually had any faith in it, New Line would have platformed “Cholera” instead of their quasi-wide, end-of-the-year dump.
    Newell is a fine director, but shouldn’t they have gone with a Spanish director, and actualy shot the damn thing in Spanish instead of pidgin English?

  2. Joe Leydon says:

    Might Lions for Lambs wind up being the highest-grossing of the current crop of Iraq/Afghanistan movies? (I mean, not counting Charlie Wilson’s War.)I know that’s not saying much, but still…

  3. movieman says:

    Considering how poorly the current spate of war-themed films have done, I wonder how much longer they’re going to make us wait to see Kimberly Peirce’s “Boys Don’t Cry” follow-up.
    I can’t imagine the film’s distributer is exactly chomping at the bits to get it into theaters now…not that they were before the quick fades of “In the Valley of Elah,” “Rendition,” “Lions for Lambs,” et al either.

  4. movieman says:

    Oops; yes “actually” has two “l”s.
    My damn computer key stuck; guess I should have “previewed” before signing off on that earlier posting.

  5. David Poland says:

    $13/$14 million is saying very little indeed, Joe.
    But the main thing about the “Iraq movies” is that we have yet to see a good one, not so much that they are “Iraq movies.”
    The Kimberly Pierce movie has bigger problems than the perception of people not going to “Iraq movies.”

  6. movieman says:

    Have you seen Peire’s film, Dave?
    What’s the scuttlebutt?

  7. movieman says:

    Have you seen Peirce’s film, Dave?
    What’s the scuttlebutt?

  8. Joe Leydon says:

    I would disagree with your blanket statement there, David — I actually admired In the Valley of Elah — but, then again, maybe the problem with these movies is, they haven’t been bad enough. I mean, hey, look how much The Green Berets earned during the height of the Vietnam War. LOL. What we need is an Iraq War movie with serious ass kicking, gung-ho heroes, lots of explosions, and a good theme song. Oh, yeah, and a cute orphan kid.

  9. David Poland says:

    Wasn’t that called The Kingdom?
    Selling dramas is not easy, whatever the subject. The date on Elah was disastrous and the marketing history of WIP is not a magical one. Yes, there are other factors. But I don’t hear a lot of people pining for the failure of that flm to catch on, unlike something like Jesse James. (For the record, I far prefer the former to the latter.)

  10. waterbucket says:

    Ew, who would want to go see Southland Tales?

  11. Joe Leydon says:

    You know, I was joking — seriously, just joking — but now I wonder: If someone had released a rah-rah, gung-ho action flick about US troops kicking ass in Iraq within the first year of our invasion, would it have had a chance for scoring a Green Berets-type success?
    BTW: This irony is too delicious not to share. I am typing this while on campus at UH. In the classroom next door, my students are watching another kind of war movie: Platoon.

  12. jeffmcm says:

    Joe, the movie you’re thinking of was released in March ad grossed $211 million.

  13. jeffmcm says:

    Oh, I also wanted to add that I saw Lions for Lambs last night and thought it was pretty good. Not nearly as annoyingly didactic or one-sided as I had been lead to believe.

  14. Blackcloud says:

    There was a movie about Iraq in March?

  15. doug r says:

    I thought Fahrenheit 9/11 came out in June?

  16. doug r says:

    Oh, I think he means 300.

  17. jeffmcm says:

    Yes, a rah-rah gung-ho action flick about soldiers kicking ass in an exotic land. No orphan kid, though.

  18. Blackcloud says:

    I knew he meant 300. The problem is that Thermopylae was exotic to the Spartan soldiers only in the way Paris was to Remy the Rat. Because wherever he came from was in the same land as Paris, just as Thermopylae was in the same land as Sparta. That garbled message, though, isn’t Jeff’s fault. I lay blame for it squarely on the progenitors of that execrable monstrosity.

  19. jeffmcm says:

    It wasn’t exotic to the Greeks, but it is exotic to American moviegoers, which is my point. It made a crapload of money because moviegoers was relieved to see a movie that made it okay to feel good about war again by filtering their anxieties through a filter of remote history and comic-book stylization.

  20. jeffmcm says:

    Sorry, ‘were relieved’.

  21. movieman says:

    Have you seen Peirce’s Iraq film, Dave?
    If you’ve heard any industry scuttletbutt, please share. I had naively thought that it was another one of those “extra-special” movies like “Jesse James” that was being endlessly tinkered with by its perfectionist director.

  22. Terrible numbers for Southland Tales and Redacted, both averaging about $550 on their first day. Ouch, indeed.
    Shame about Gregg Araki’s Smiley Face. It coulda been a contender and it coulda done wonders for Anna Faris, who is apparently blisteringly hilarious.
    Have we heard anything about the IMAX/3D/Regular breakdown for Beowulf?

  23. movieman says:

    “Who wants to see ‘Southland Tales'”??
    I can’t believe that anyone would even dare ask a question like that on a website as fanboy-friendly as this one.
    “Donnie Darko” is my pick for the best American movie of the decade (so far): anything that Richard Kelly directs is eminently worthwhile. I’ve been salivating at the prospect of this film since Manohla Dargis and Jim Hoberman first raved about it at Cannes 2006.
    Sight unseen, I’d trade one “ST” for “Beowulf,” “The Mist,” “The Golden Compass,” “I Am Legend” and “Alien vs. Predator 2” combined.

  24. movieman says:

    “Who wants to see ‘Southland Tales'”??!!
    I can’t believe that anyone would dare ask that question on a website as fanboy-friendly as this one.
    “Donnie Darko” is my pick for the best American movie of the decade so far; therefore anything Richard Kelly chooses to direct is eminently worth seeing in my book.
    I’ve been salivating at the prospect of this film since Manohla Dargis and Jim Hoberman first raved about it at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.
    Sight unseen, I’d trade one “ST” for “Beowulf,” “The Mist,” “The Golden Compass,” “I am Legend” and “Alien vs. Predator 2” combined.

  25. movieman says:

    ***sorry for the double post; we are apparently experiencing computer problems at this end***

  26. “anything that Richard Kelly directs is eminently worthwhile.”
    That’s a very odd thing to say considering Donnie Darko was his only movie before Southland.

  27. movieman says:

    Yep, that’s what I said, Kamikaze.
    “DD” is my favorite American movie of the decade (so far); therefore anything Kelly puts his name on automatically engenders “must see” interest for me.
    It was the same thing when the Coens made “Blood Simple” and Tarantino directed “Reservoir Dogs.”

  28. Aah, but that’s not what you said. Interest to you and worthiness are completely different things.
    Sorry for being pedantic.

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“But okay, I promise you now that if I ever retire again, I’m going to ensure that I can’t walk it back. I’ll post a series of the most disgusting, offensive, outrageous statements you can ever imagine. That way it will be impossible for me to ever be employed again. No one is going to take my calls. No one is going to want to be seen with me. Oh, it will be scorched earth. I will have torched everything. I’m going to flame out in the most legendary fashion.”
~ Steven Soderbergh

I feel strongly connected to young cinephile culture. The thing about filmmaking—and cinephilia—is that you can’t keep hanging out with your own age group as you get older. They drop off, move somewhere. You can’t put together a crew of sixty-somethings. It’s the same for cinephilia: my original set of cinephile friends are watching DVDs at home or delving into 1958 episodes of ‘Gunsmoke,’ something like that. The people who are out there tend to be young, and I happen to be doing the same thing still, so it’s natural that I move in their circles.

In terms of the filmmaking, there was a gear shift: my first movies focused on people around my age, and I followed them for three films. Until The Unspeakable Act, I was using the same actors, not because of an affinity for people at a specific age, but because of my affinity for the actors. I like to work with actors a second time, especially if I don’t feel confident casting a new film. But The Unspeakable Act was a different script, and I had to cast all new people. Even for the older roles, I couldn’t get the people I’d worked with before. But when it was over, the same thing happened: I wanted to work with Tallie again in the worst way, and I started the process all over again.

I think Rohmer did something similar around the time of Perceval and Catherine de HeilbronnHe developed new groups of people that he liked to work with. These gear shifts are natural. Even if you want to follow certain actors to the end of their life (which I kind of do) the variety of ideas that you generate makes it necessary to change. And once you’ve made the change, you’ve got all these new people around.”
~ Dan Sallitt