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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Friday Estimates by Klady, 120608

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46 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Klady, 120608”

  1. mutinyco says:

    Unrelated, but…
    Congrats to Nordberg for stepping in one bear trap too many!

  2. The Pope says:

    Looks like Quantum of Solace is going to take about $6m plus, this weekend, taking its total to just over $150m domestic. Casino Royale maxed out at $167. I know it is not exactly THE hot topic, but does anyone think there is enough steam in this one to beat the previous record?
    P.S. TypeKey seems to be working fine.

  3. The Punisher: War Zone is pretty lousy (click on my name for a comparison of all three Punisher films). But, I’m desperately concerned that its tanking at the box office ($1.6 million on Friday) is somehow going to be seen as a judgment on women directing hard action films (especially in light of the alleged behind the scenes turmoil). For what it’s worth, the ways in which it is bad have nothing to do with the gender of the director.
    Also, what are we to make of three films (Madagascar 2, Quantum Of Solace, Twilight) opening well north of $60 million (2 near $70 million), none of which will likely reach $175 million, let alone $200 million? Are we getting to the point where legs are so bad that a film has to open to $80 million to make it to $200 million without some divine intervention?

  4. Rothchild says:

    Quantum was hated by most. That leads to no legs. Twilight also has no crossover outside the base. It’s the opposite of a four quadrant.
    Shame about Punisher. Super fun movie.

  5. Rothchild says:

    TypeKey doesn’t work but Mendelson is copying and pasting the same stupid comment all over the place.

  6. Hey, when you’re racing the clock on a sleeping infant, it’s the most time effective way to participate in several conservations about the same topic. It may not be classy, but it works.
    Oh, and I didn’t have any problems with TypeKey, so maybe it’s been fixed finally.

  7. Noah says:

    The Black Balloon was actually a surprisingly decent little Australian film that eschews a lot of the conventions of the “disabled kid” genre. It doesn’t overlook a lot of the realities of raising someone with a disability and how that necessitate the neglect of another child. I thought it was going to be saccharine, but it’s really not too sentimental and the acting is top-notch especially from Toni Colette and Rhys Wakefield as the “normal” sibling. You guys should check it out when it hits video, a solid rental choice.

  8. Direwolf says:

    Hey Pope:
    Mad 2 still tracking ahead of original which did $193 though I think it will fall off this weekend. Has a shot at $200 though if it can hold screens through Christmas school holidays. Held screens this weekend but more family fare is coming.
    Twilight was never a $200 film more and you wrote about the last Bond.

  9. Wrecktum says:

    “Quantum was hated by most.”
    That’s an overexaggeration if I’ve ever heard one.

  10. jeffmcm says:

    I agree with Wrecktum.

  11. brack says:

    Having legs is an outdated concept. Isn’t better to make a ton of money quick than make the same amount of money stretched out over weeks or months? That way you can release more movies, and potentially make more money. Though of course that hurts the non-event movie, obviously.

  12. jeffmcm says:

    “Short legs” rewards bad movies with huge advertising budgets and hurts movies that need to build word-of-mouth to find the right audience = Bad for the art form.

  13. IOIOIOI says:

    War Zone is a tremendous fucking flick, that should not hurt female action directors at all. Lexi Alexander takes shit to another level with this film. It’s not her fault that countless people would rather fucking see Vince Vaughn’s surgerically altered face, then the brilliance of Dominic West’s performance of JIGSAW.
    It’s a great fucking film, that people will find. Not a lot of people, but the people who do find it. Well, they will always know, that they have seen a REAL PUNISHER FILM, and IT KICKS MORE ASS THAN A UNICORN ON A METH BENDER! Or something along those lines.

  14. Am I the only one who misses the 90s? It was a time when all you worried about were televised highway chases and parents concerned about rap lyrics.

  15. Bennett says:

    I have seen all Bond flicks in the theaters since Spy Who Loved Me. I was looking forward to Quantum until I heard all these god-awful reviews…..My local news critic only gave it a star and a half…So I had unusualy low expectations….but I really did enjoy the flick..Granted it doesn’t reach the greatness of Casino Royale, but compared to some Bond Crap like The World is Not Enough and View to a Kill…it was a solid “B+” action flick…loved the Opera scene

  16. IOIOIOI says:

    QoS is a quality Bond flick. It’s also the middle of a trilogy. I would imagine that it will all make sense. Once this Bond meets the new Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Oh that will be a good day indeed.

  17. Crow T Robot says:

    Quantum of Solace is really a hybrid of the Timothy Dalton Bonds and the Jason Bournes. Sexless. Humorless. All business. Even the settings (cargo plane/desert/harbor loading docks) recall Dalton’s duo. I just wish the film was a little dorkier. All the best Bonds have a lovely cheesiness about them. This one, like The Dark Knight, takes itself way too seriously. It wants to be more than what it basically is. Why? (I mean, has Bond ever not banged his leading lady?)
    But I will admit… Quantum’s got the rockinest theme song since A View To A Kill… maybe even Live and Let Die. It took me a few listens to get used to its staccato rhythms, but man I can’t stop playing it. And the credit sequence visualizes it perfectly. (better than the phone-it-in number from Soundgarden and that Madonna abomination)

  18. jeffmcm says:

    Seems unlikely to me, I think if they were going to introduce a mastermind they would have done it by now, just as Blofeld was in From Russia with Love before Bond ever met him.

  19. brack says:

    “‘Short legs’ rewards bad movies with huge advertising budgets and hurts movies that need to build word-of-mouth to find the right audience = Bad for the art form.”
    It’s much bigger than big movie vs. small movie. People used to go see small movies, lots of people. Now those people don’t go to the movies as much, if ever. That’s not really the big movie’s fault, and you know it.

  20. jeffmcm says:

    I’m not sure what exactly it is that you’re saying I do know or don’t know (beyond the implication that I’m lying or something). The words ‘big movie’ and ‘small movie’ don’t appear in anything I wrote here.
    My point is, and this I think is a pretty obvious fact at the moment, that it’s more possible than ever today for a studio to make a terrible movie and release it with enough hype and marketing to guarantee a huge opening weekend, and that this is a self-perpetuating trend. Every multiplex that has five screens showing Four Christmases means they don’t have one screen for something else. And I know this isn’t a trend that’s going to change anytime soon, but it’s something that not enough people seem to notice.

  21. brack says:

    I don’t think you’re lying, I just think you’re being a bit of an idealist in this discussion.
    So you’re mad because studios have learned that if you market a movie right, regardless of quality, that it will make some money? No one is forcing people to see these movies. Also, look at the per screen/theater averages for the movies that aren’t on as many screens, and they are still losing there more often than not. People see what they want to see, and they’ll expand theater counts if they have to. It’s as simple as that. If you don’t know how to sell your movie right, that is your problem, no one else’s.
    I bet you blame McDonald’s and all the other restaurant chains for making Americans fat too.

  22. The Big Perm says:

    Maybe it’s less about knowing how to sell the movie, and not having 100 million in ad money in order to compete with The Dark Knight.

  23. IOIOIOI says:

    Jeff: you really lack the imagination for SPECULATION discussion. Again… Quantum seems to be a lot like SPECTRE. It seems obvious that there has to be someone bigger behind the scenes.
    Crow: bzzzzzzzzz… sorry, but you get the home game. The Brits love 24. They love 24 so much, that they turned Bond into Jack Bauer. No one wants chessiness anymore.
    I love Moore as much as the next guy, but we live in a lot more serious age. So it’s apt to have a Bond that’s all business — spying and fucking — and less punny chuckles. It’s also about damn time that Bond was called out by M for fucking someone, and having that woman end up being a victim of his charm.

  24. (click on my name for a comparison of all three Punisher films)”
    Wait, I thought War Zone was the second? Yikes.
    While I wouldn’t say Quantum of Solace has been “hated”, I haven’t found anyone who has loved it liked Casino Royale was.
    Noah, kind words for The Black Balloon are appreciated. You may care to know that just this weekend won the AFI for Best Film, Director, Supporting Actor (Luke Ford), Supporting Actress (Toni Collette) and Editing. The film’s director, Elissa Down, is a complete and utter whackjob though. I mean CRAAAAZY. Mental asylum crazy.

  25. jeffmcm says:

    Brack:
    (A) I take “I just think you’re being a bit of an idealist in this discussion” as a total compliment, so thank you;
    (B) I think movies should be rewarded by the quality of the movie, not the quality of the marketing, because otherwise the only word for it is ‘unfair’, and because it becomes a self-propagating cycle. If the quality of a movie no longer matters, why should _anybody_ bother to make or greenlight a good project? The downside becomes smaller and smaller and the upside larger and larger.
    I know you’re just describing the rational economics of the situation and I don’t disagree, but I guess I think there’s an obligation to rage against the dying of the light, you know?
    And (C) I agree that Americans own their own responsibiity for making themselves fat, but…just because somebody wants to buy something, doesn’t mean that you have to sell it to them, or that I have to like it.

  26. jeffmcm says:

    Oh, and IOI:
    “So it’s apt to have a Bond that’s all business — spying and fucking”
    One of the complaints of Quantum of Solace is the near-total lack of “fucking”.
    Also, I think you are the one who lacks imagination in your constant demand for rehashes, but nothing personal.

  27. brack says:

    Jeff,
    Blame the ticket buyers, not the studios. The studios will make what they think the people will want to see. If no one sees these big movies anymore, they’ll stop making them. Why is this a concept that you can’t grasp?
    “just because somebody wants to buy something, doesn’t mean that you have to sell it to them, or that I have to like it.”
    If you’re in the business of not wanting to make money, or simply wanting people to make art, but have no means of doing it, I guess you’re onto something.

  28. christian says:

    I think the concept of M as life coach is awful and seems to be all they do with her. “Now Bond, have you learned your lesson this time out?”
    “Yes, mum.”

  29. IOIOIOI says:

    Jeff: IT’S FUCKING BOND, YOU DITZ! Seriously; it’s not a rehash. It’s common villian of the series. You have got to be kidding me with that fucking response. My god. It’s like there are moments where you are a totally okay poster, then you have moments like the above which reek of ridiculousness.
    Christian: They explain this in QofS. She thinks of him like a son. It’s an interesting dynamic to bring to a series, that seemingly acts as if BOND sprung forth fully formed. When really he’s a dude that went through the ranks, and M has a soft spot for him.
    Oh yeah Captain Ridiculous up there: Strawberry Fields. Now take it outside because that’s where you and your shenanigans belong!

  30. jeffmcm says:

    Brack, I don’t really understand why we’re arguing. You’re not stating anything I’m not grasping, but this is also not a market that exists in a vacuum and just because people are served garbage doesn’t mean they have to eat it. And I apparently am indeed in that business of which you speak, so that gives me some freedom.
    IOI, earlier on this thread you said “we live in a lot more serious age. So it’s apt to have a Bond that’s all business — spying and fucking — and less punny chuckles”
    So extending that concept, I don’t know why it doesn’t also make sense for Bond to have to deal with a different type of villain instead of the smirking Blofeld types that he’s had before and moving towards something a little more realistic instead of reverting to the same-old (which is what you want).
    Oh, and just because something is explained doesn’t make it a good idea.

  31. brack says:

    Jeff, if you get it, then why are you arguing with me, to prove a point, or to say that your ideals are better than everyone else’s? You were the one who initially felt the need to comment on my comment, but whatever, you win. *rolls eyes*
    “this is also not a market that exists in a vacuum and just because people are served garbage doesn’t mean they have to eat it.”
    But if people do eat it, that’s their decision. If you don’t want to eat it, don’t. That’s your decision, but who are you to say what someone can and does eat? We all make choices in life, and you don’t have to eat what you’re served, period. There are other options, and if you can’t figure out how to serve people other food, shame on you, and no one else.

  32. jeffmcm says:

    Jeez, Brack, I don’t really know what else to tell you, I thought I was being pretty clear, and I was answering your question (“Isn’t better to make a ton of money quick than make the same amount of money stretched out over weeks or months?”) with a big fat no as it relates to what really matters to me. And I don’t agree that the consumer rests in this un-criticizable void and the supplier bears zero responsibility.
    I don’t really give a crap about other people consuming garbage, _except_ for the fact that it affects me – every time a bad movie makes a lot of money, it means that the studios are going to make more bad movies and fewer good ones, and that directly affects my life. And I think that’s worthy of calling attention to.

  33. brack says:

    ^^^ Yeah, only to your existence, which I’m sorry to say, no one gives a shit about except yourself.

  34. jeffmcm says:

    That may or may not be true, but what point are you trying to make by introducing such a tangent?

  35. brack says:

    I was clearly talking about the business side of things, and then you come at the topic with your own personal feelings. It’s not exactly a tangent when you come at this stuff in such a nonsensical fashion. Of all the things to care about in this world, I would think big budget movies would be the least of someone’s problems. But no, “bad entertainment” is a real problem for Jeff, so let’s talk about he can’t watch a movie that’s deemed acceptable to him. Movies are for people, not individuals. Make your own fucking movie if you want that.

  36. jeffmcm says:

    Well, there are a number of facets in this subject. If you _only_ want to talk about the business side of things then in the short-term then yes, it makes sense to cash in as has been discussed, but ultimately that’ll be killing the goose that lays the golden eggs – the long-term effect might just be to cripple the industry or render it irrelevant.
    And I don’t think there’s much point in castigating a person for having a personal opinion, and one which can be extrapolated to fit just about everybody on this blog. I think if you sat down you’d have to honestly admit that the argument I’m making is correct, and I don’t understand this irrational anger you’re aiming in my direction.

  37. brack says:

    “Well, there are a number of facets in this subject. If you _only_ want to talk about the business side of things then in the short-term then yes, it makes sense to cash in as has been discussed, but ultimately that’ll be killing the goose that lays the golden eggs – the long-term effect might just be to cripple the industry or render it irrelevant.”
    Well, movies have been becoming less and less relevant every year since television, and everything else has come along since, and as admission prices continue to go up, these studios realize the dollars that can be made with these big spectacle movies. The overseas market is just booming. You mean to tell me the people who went to see a big budget Adam Sandler movie would’ve gone to see some high art film if it had been released on more screens and had a bigger advertising budget? Somehow I doubt it.
    “And I don’t think there’s much point in castigating a person for having a personal opinion, and one which can be extrapolated to fit just about everybody on this blog. I think if you sat down you’d have to honestly admit that the argument I’m making is correct, and I don’t understand this irrational anger you’re aiming in my direction.”
    Ha, it’s not anger Jeff, I’m just astounded in your point of view. I would’ve thought most adults understood how the movie game is played by now, and I don’t see the point of griping about how people spend their money out of their own freewill.
    People simply aren’t smart enough to make the studios make films you would like. There, are you happy now? Does that make up for my “anger?”

  38. jeffmcm says:

    No, I still don’t think you get it, but I’m sure that’s partially my own fault for not expressing myself clearly enough – but not entirely.

  39. brack says:

    Like I care at this point. Seriously dude, you’re pointless.

  40. storymark says:

    I got, and totally agree with what you’re saying, Jeff.
    Brack is either trying to be a douche, or has no perspective.

  41. brack says:

    Why, because I don’t want to turn this into an artsy fartsy, “this is the way it should be” discussion? I’d rather talk about reality, thanks. I completely understand what Jeff is saying, and yet at the same time he comes off like the whiny poster that he is, in which I couldn’t care less about whether or not he thinks great movies are being made, or if the big budget movies are killing it because they happen to be successful. It’s just a boring, played out conversation that no one here who’s been paying attention wants to talk about.

  42. jeffmcm says:

    Good, then please stop arguing.

  43. martin says:

    Brack, you seriously don’t think the blockbuster mentality has hurt filmmaking as an artform, and even as a business? Just because this quick fix works financially in both the short term and something in the long term for studio survival, I think it ultimately eats away at the artform… which is bad for audiences and the money men. It’s a slow trend, but blockbusters are killing Hollywood. Yes, technology, internet and VOD, are also part of it, but the lack of depth at your local theater is a symptom of a large problem that’s bringing down cinema as a whole. Cameron can crow about 3D all he wants, but it sure as hell better bring more than that if it expects to survive, movies need to get their class back and I don’t think most execs even know what that means.

  44. LexG says:

    Brack,
    My deepest sympathies for having to endure two concurrent, agonizingly prolonged nonsensical McDouche non-arguments.

  45. jeffmcm says:

    They were indeed concurrent and agonizingly prolonged, but they were most definitely not nonsensical or non-arguments.
    Sorry to hurt your feelings, Lex.

  46. brack says:

    Lex,
    Your reply makes it all worthwhile, lol. Btw, I’m a big fan of your work on here, keep it up!
    martin,
    I actually don’t believe the movie industry is in that bad of shape. I go to the movies, I see good stuff, or at least stuff I like, all of the time. I’ve been busy lately, so I go maybe once a month now, but I almost always have a good time. As long as people are going and having a good time, that’s all they really care about. I’d be great if everyone in the country had a New York taste in film and we all could easily check out the latest foreign films, but we know that’s not going to happen. General audiences just don’t care that much. If they did, they wouldn’t touch horribly rated films. So is it safe to assume that the blockbuster is equivalent to crystal meth, and that movie audiences are hooked? Because that’s the only explanation as to why this is even a discussion.

Quote Unquotesee all »

“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