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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by Klady – 6/21/09

So… what does this mega-opening learn us, Jethro?
Well, Jed, investing personal ego in box office numbers is a fool’s errand.
They sell more hamburger than filet mignon in this world. And big sales – which is what opening weekend tickets are – defines neither. The Dark Knight and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen are the same this weekend. And yet, the differences are obvious… and not so obvious.
It is human nature to want to be on the winning team… that’s always the “right” team. Except when it isn’t. The vanity of being “anti-big box office” or “anti-studio” or “anti-tentpole” is as dangerous a game as being “anti-art,” “anti-adult,” or “anti-intellectual.” We are not on teams. And life and art are more complicated than “scoreboard,” though it is in the nature of our society to work hard to slide into simplifications that make it easier to distinguish winners from losers.
The two people who should most be celebrated in this moment are Don Murphy, for truly believing in this concept being a big screen home run, and Michael Bay, for understanding the images that will draw massive numbers of people based on 2 minutes or less worth of image. Obviously, a ton of people worked hard and well to make the film a reality. And Paramount’s decision to pick-up half the film, which then became the entire film on the occasion of leasing DreamWorks for a few years, is the single best decision made by Brad Grey and Tom Freston in their tenure.
It’s not very clear, still, what the ultimate number of Tr2 will be. Trajectories are changing fast. And while the film is clearly assured of doing more than the original domestically ($319m), the difference between the first and the second at the end of the first weekend is $46 million, which could spread further… or not. If the film does 2.5x opening 3-day weekend, the domestic total lands at $370m. Figuring a similar foreign leap – to about $450m – that would put the film at $820m worldwide, into the rarefied air of the all-time worldwide Top 20 and in the company of the mega-franchises. Odd to say it, but anything under $800m would probably disappoint Par – based on this opening – and $900m would be above expectations.
What is amazing about modern franchise business is that at $800 million, about $440 million come back to the studio in rentals… about $325m of that goes into production and marketing… at least $100m of it goes into the pockets of points players… so with ALL that money, you’re still looking at the profits coming primarily in post-theatrical. Back when the first film was made, that would mean at least $300 million in profits. In the new DVDuh era, that’s likely to be under $200 million, even with the DVD selling as many or more units than TDK did last year.
This reminds us, once again, about what the most profitable film of the last two years has been… Mamma Mia!. Put that in your gap-n-gold toothed robot and smoke it…
Up, the year’s #2 film, will pass $250 million domestic tomorrow… Star Trek will pass 250 before the end of next weekend… The Hangover will hit $200 by the end of next weekend. So that’s four $200m+ films this summer, with Potter a sure bet and Ice Age 3 the best shot at a sixth. The record remains seven, set in summer 2007. Last year was six.
The Hurt Locker had the best per-screen in the nation, albeit on 4 screens. Summit has the #1 non-studio release this summer so far, with $3.1m for The Brothers Bloom. Let’s hope that THL finds a bigger audience because genre fans will love this movie if they get into the theater.

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67 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Klady – 6/21/09”

  1. IOIOIOI says:

    Underselling the Sunday for REVENGE is a bit foolish. It will beat TDK. If they can figure a way to stretch it.

  2. doug r says:

    Looking at Mojo, I’m not sure it’s going to beat Iron Man domestically.

  3. martin says:

    We’re looking at around ~$400 domestic, $900-1 bill worldwide. It could go higher than that.

  4. Joe Leydon says:

    Congratulations to Don. But, no offense, what really impresses me about these numbers is: Look at how nicely The Hangover is holding up. A friend in Nashville tells me she went to see it with her husband last night in a theater, and the place was packed. Wonder if it will get an Independence Day weekend bump?

  5. Monco says:

    Transformers 2 is not the abomination that everyone was making it out to be. It certainly is not a good movie, but in my mind it is better than the first. Anyone who said they enjoyed the first while hating the second, what movies were you watching? They’re the same movie, with one difference – the transformer scenes. While the first’s special effects action sequences sucked, the second’s were great. The first sequence with Prime taking down the big wheel machine was worth the price of admission alone. They need to drastically cut the human scenes out the movies and focus more the machines.

  6. Nick Rogers says:

    Monco: So not the same movie. The original didn’t have: three scripts worth of unnecessarily convoluted story crammed into the final 90 minutes; exposition shouted at an ear-bleeding level; truly, truly shitty dialogue for the usually charismatic Tyrese Giboson; robots that weren’t interesting; crappy pacing; weak editing; and laughably obvious stuntmen for Shia.
    The first was a perfect synthesis of what Bay and Spielberg bring to the table (mass destruction, skyward wonder at what might be out there). Yes, the effects were better in this, but I had less of a reason to be wowed by their integration into an engaging story.
    The first movie put a simple hook on the whole proceedings: Boy and his first car. This turned into “Black Hawk Down” and “Stargate” with widescreen compositions of Turturro’s ass, leg-humping robots, and iron testicles referred to as “enemy scrotum.” The first 60 minutes of this movie are tolerable. The last 90 are basically garbage.

  7. Nick Rogers says:

    Sorry: Gibson.

  8. Don Murphy says:

    Thanks David , Thanks Joe. A LOT of other people deserve credit as well but I’ll take the thanks since it is a lot more than I’ll get from the person whose job this has saved REPEATEDLY. Oh well, count the money and on to the next film.

  9. The Big Perm says:

    I wonder why are Bay’s movies all so fucking long? Do Transformers or Bad Boys 2 scream to be over two hours? If he would ever cut half an hour of horrible unfunny comedy and useless plot, they’d be 1:45 and way better.

  10. Joe Leydon says:

    Don, just curious: On some level, are the Transformers movies your way of reliving the thrill of seeing certain movies during your youth? I mean, do you find yourself thinking, hey, this is what Jason and the Argonauts or Clash of the Titans, or Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger were like — only my movies have way-cooler f/x?

  11. Chucky in Jersey says:

    @Joe: 4th of July falls on a Saturday, so any bump for “The Hangover” will come from Friday or Sunday.
    @DP: “The Hurt Locker” expands on 7/9 and goes national on 7/23 per Mojo. Summit is wisely steering clear of the holiday and Harry Potter.

  12. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Joe. Don is not delusional.
    He knows exactly what TF2 is. It’s his ‘fuck you’ franchise. Meaning he won’t have to walk on eggshells or knock as many heads in the future. Some of those Harryhausen pics were 88m long and offer more sense of wonderment and adventure than a 100 TF2s cos films like TF2 aren’t born from a creative soul, they come from a stone cold commercial calculator where toy sales and burger tie-ins are the reason for their existence.
    As a producer Don has done an incredible job. He not only had to convice a bunch of fucking chimps that this was going to work. He had to work with an ego-maniacal director who kept saying Don was some goombah who had nothing to do with TF at all. To come through all that and dominate, well he should be very content.
    I still think deep down Don knows that the film is kind of shitty and can only imagine what if the film delivered to the naysayers and was a universally respected pic from all quarters.. a boxoffice behemoth and a critically admired film. And when I say critically admired I don’t mean critics. You can pretend to find solace in those exit polls Don but you and I both know those don’t mean shit. They’re akin to those people who eat in flash eateries and are served dog turds but don’t complain because everything looked good.
    If you do do TF3D. For the love of Optimus make is less than 100m. You can make the DVD an extended edition but just don’t bore the fuck out of me in the cinema.

  13. Can I just use this space to complain about Paramount’s Rob Moore stating that he honest believes that more females went to T2 and T1 because of ‘the onscreen romance between Shia LeBeouf and Megan Fox’? Is there a rule that when a stereotypical ‘guy’s movie’ does well with women, you have to find some way to give credit for the 30-seconds of stereotypically female-friendly subject matter, rather than just admitting that some women like watching stuff blowing up as much as guys do? I’ve noticed this a bunch over the years (Phantom Menace, Scream, 300, etc), where the pundits credit success amongst women with some made-up draw for the movie (Scream’s finale empowers women, 300’s subplot involving the queen was appealing to women, etc) rather than just saying ‘hmm, some women like the hack/slash and ka-boom too I guess. Bah, it always struck me as incredibly sexist and I’m wondering if I’m the only one.

  14. Sorry, I think that quote was from the AP writer David Germain, not Paramount’s Rob Moore.

  15. Sorry I think the comment above was from AP writer David Germain, not Rob Moore.

  16. movieman says:

    Am I the only one who was profoundly disappointed in “Public Enemies”?
    There were few films this summer that critics–and regular moviegoers–wanted to like more than than “PE,” but I can’t imagine anyone actually “enjoying” this glacially paced, “is-it-an-art-movie-or-a-popcorn-flick” non-event?
    Mann might have had a great Dillinger movie in him 25–even “Heat”-circa 15–years ago, but, apparently not anymore.
    I would’ve loved to seen Brian DePalma–hopefully channeling his “Untouchables” bebop–get a crack at this.
    The film is sorely underlit, rendering many of the images unforgivably murky; too much of the (not great) dialogue is mumbled or simply tossed away; Mann squanders a bevy of terrific actors (Channing Tatum has what? one minute of screen time??; the great Lili Taylor doesn’t get much more than that), Depp included; and while it maintained my interest
    throughout–I kept waiting for it to catch fire, which it never really did–I don’t think I was engaged for a single minute by anything on screen.
    Best “performance” (for lack of a better word for what everyone is allowed to do here) honors go to Billy Crudup’s interestingly strange take on J. Edgar Hoover and Giovanni Ribisi.
    Final thoughts:
    Who got “Days of Heaven” vibes during the early farmhouse scene (the impossibly blue sky, the Gothic-ish architecture of the farmhouse itself)? Hmmm. Hell, Terrence Malick could have made a more kinetic Dillinger biopic than Mann did.
    Did anyone else think that Marion Cottilard sounded just like Nastassja Kinski?
    And who else thought that Bale was “doing” Robert Duvall in his first scene….after that, of course, he reverted to his usual Charlie Sheen imitation. This time–gee, golly–with a modified Southern twang.
    “Bonnie and Clyde,” as dated as it is in so many ways, has nothing to worry about in the annals of “romanticized Depression-era bankrobber movies.” Even John Milius’ drive-in cheapie “Dillinger” from 1973 had way more juice.
    Saw 10 movies last week, and the two I liked best were “Every Little Step” (I’m almost embarrassed to admit how many tears I shed while watching it: it was almost like an elegy for my youth, and nothing is more poignant than that, lol) and Jennifer Lynch’s deliciously perverse, kept-me-guessing-’til-the-end “Surveillance.”
    “My Sisters’ Keeper”? Hallmark porn.
    “Transformers 2”? The single most unpleasant experience I’ve had at a movie since the second “Pirates of the Caribbean” (sorry, Don).
    Moving on.

  17. gradystiles says:

    movieman: learn to properly space your paragraphs. It drives me crazy trying to read your posts, especially long-winded ones like this one.
    And, yes, I’d wager that you’re the only one who thought that Bale was channeling Duvall, that Channing Tatum is a “terrific” actor (????), and that Crudup gives the best performance in the movie.
    I loved it, but understand why some people don’t like it.

  18. movieman says:

    Did you see Tatum in “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints,” Grady?
    ’nuff said.
    And the reason I space my paragraphs the way I do is because I don’t like the way they look when I preview them (all jumbled together; bleuch). Believe it or not, they’re actually more readable in my (preferred) mode.
    “Long-winded,” huh? Really? Compared to some of the regulars on here, my intermittent postings are Post-It sized, lol.

  19. movieman says:

    Btw, who do you think gives the “best” “performance” in “PE,” Mr. Stiles?????
    It sure as **** ain’t Depp who (clearly) made the decision to coast strictly on charisma here. I never once believed that he ever felt the character.
    P.S.= I didn’t even realize there was a Mrs. Dillinger until reading Todd McCarthy’s review. The murkiness apparently goes well beyond the muddy visuals.

  20. mutinyco says:

    Stephen Lang.

  21. movieman says:

    Nope….if just because Mann allowed Lang–an alumnus of Overactors Anonymous–smoke a Marlboro Light (in, uh, 1933) completely took me out of the picture, and the character.

  22. movieman says:

    …to smoke…

  23. movieman says:

    I’m highly suspect of anyone who says they “loved” “Public Enemies.”
    A pronouncement like that makes me think the commentator made up their mind before entering the theater since nothing on screen engenders emotion of any kind. Except possibly boredom, but that’s not really an emotion as much as it is a state of being.
    Blind auteurism is so naive. I should know: I was guilty of similar undergrad follies myself once upon a time (“The Serpent’s Egg” anyone?)

  24. mutinyco says:

    It can hardly be the actor’s fault that the prop department popped an anachronism. I say Lang because I didn’t even realize it was him until the final scene where his hat was off.
    And the visuals aren’t murky. Mann just likes to play up a digital aesthetic instead of using it to imitate film as most do. The movie looks like it was shot at 30 fps (or 29.97) instead of 24p. He also quite often used the EX-1 for handheld shots instead of the F23 — the former is a $6000 consumer camera, the latter is a professional rig, same as they used for Speed Racer — and there’s a noticeable steadiness difference. And just like DP’s always did on film in low light levels, he pushed the image — only here, instead of grain, because it’s HD, you get noise.

  25. bulldog68 says:

    The more you think you know, is the more you realize that you dont know shit. I fully expected THE HANGOVER to have a worst drop than UP this weekend, due to TRAN2, and it doesn’t. I don’t live in the states, but WTF is going on with this movie? Is it now the event movie of the summer there? Is it the male SEX& THE CITY and then some?
    Somebody explain this shit to me. Seriously.

  26. movieman says:

    Sorry, Mutiny, but all that fancy lens filter blather-blather translated to mere murk and mudiness at my (non digitally-projected) screening last week.
    Somebody at least give me that ****ing “Days of Heaven” ref: it couldn’t have been an accident (and it was also one of the few striking–and clearly visible–images in the entire movie).
    Funny how nobody has said a word about Mrs. Dillinger. (Is she even IN the movie? That “DOH” farmhouse scene perhaps?)
    I blame Michael Mann for the M-Light gaffe.
    Somebody as anal-retentive as Mann reputedly is should have noticed and yanked the damn stink-stick out of Lang’s hand (or mouth) and replaced it with a cigarette that was actually bought, sold and, yeah, smoked in ’33. As an unapologetic, used-to-taking-shit-from-everyone smoker, stuff like that drives me nuts.
    And can there possibly be a more consistently grating/annoying actor working in films today than Master Bale? (Close your eyes during his first scene and you will hear the voice of Robert Duvall emanating from the screen. I guarantee you.)
    Damn you, Steven Spielberg.
    You’ll see; you’ll all see….after finally getting the chance to buy a ticket to the summer’s most disappointing (to me anyway) movie (so far anyway).

  27. The Big Perm says:

    Honestly, the blurry smeary look of Public Enemies is enough to keep me from seeing it. I probably would have otherwise.

  28. TMJ says:

    Bulldog: Put these numbers in your brownie-eating-momma and smoke them.
    HANGOVER is now the third-highest-earning R-rated domestic comedy. At $183M, it’s poised to pass Wedding Crashers ($209M), though I don’t know if it can get to Beverly Hills Cop ($234M). Those aren;t adjusted for inflation. But even still, third-highest comedy and No. 10 overall for R-rated films.
    Imagine how much more $$ it might have made if it were funny.

  29. Joe Leydon says:

    Bulldog: It’s all because of my Variety review. That’s also what made 21 a hit, too.

  30. mutinyco says:

    Movieman, I didn’t mention a single thing about “fancy lens filter blather-blather.” I was describing the cameras it was shot on and certain aesthetic choices Mann/Spinotti made. If you have so little respect for the craft of filmmaking — which is a technical craft — then, well, stop offering your opinions on movies please.
    I watched it projected digitally. There was nothing murky about it. In fact, a lot of the time, with the exception of the noise I already mentioned, it was very digitally crisp.
    (Notice I haven’t even offered an opinion of the movie…)

  31. Joe Leydon says:

    Hey. Mutiny — what did you think of the movie? Is Depp better than Warren Oates?

  32. The Big Perm says:

    I’ll take that one Joe, without having seen the movie…hell no!

  33. mutinyco says:

    He’s better than Quaker Oats!
    The movie? I think the movie has one really great sequence — the nighttime chase/shootout.

  34. ManWithNoName says:

    Joe: You’re gonna make Ice Age 3 a hit too. I saw your name plastered all over a TV spot today, telling me the action is better than Star Trek and Wolverine!

  35. Rothchild says:

    RUSH HOUR 2 (if BHC counts — so does this), MEN IN BLACK, MEN IN BLACK 2, GHOSTBUSTERS etc.

  36. TMJ says:

    What about them, Roth? I was listing R-rated comedies. Those aren’t.

  37. gradystiles says:

    movieman, why do you keep blabbing about a “Mrs. Dillinger?” No, she wasn’t in the movie, because Dillinger was divorced during the time period in which the movie takes place. So why would they show her, or even mention her?
    Also, yes, I saw Tatum in “Saints”–and hated his performance. He’s about as interesting as staring at a cement block for two hours.
    Feel free to continue being suspect of me. I loved the movie, and make no apologies for it. I thought Depp’s performance was fantastic. He showed charm, charisma, and emotion–you disagree, and that’s fine. It’s not going to change my opinion.
    If you really let things like a cigarette mar your enjoyment of a movie, I feel sorry for you.

  38. LexG says:

    Is that shot of Cottilard in the tub with her leg out the first time Mann’s even TRIED to give the world a boner since Alberta Watson in The Keep 26 years ago?
    One of my absolute favorite directors, but the guy’s usually from the Cameron/Spielberg school of asexual female leads.
    Semi-Related: Who was that AWESOME chick who played Madeleine Stowe’s sister in Mohicans, and why was she never in a movie ever again?
    On topic:
    Also, I thought Tatum was excellent in both “Saints” and “Fighting.”

  39. Rothchild says:

    Let me be the first guy in the history of the internet to admit he’s an idiot and clearly misread your comment.

  40. Joe Leydon says:

    ManWithNoName: Really?

  41. Blackcloud says:

    Joe, yes. I thought it was your name, but I only caught a glimpse. I distinctly heard the Star Trek reference, but missed the Wolverine one.

  42. Joe Leydon says:

    LOL. If you didn’t know better, you might almost think I matter.

  43. yancyskancy says:

    Lex: That was Jodhi May, who still works, but mostly in England.

  44. LYT says:

    Lex — you didn’t get a boner from the Miami Vice shower scene? I didn’t like the movie much, but that port ruled.

  45. Joe Leydon says:

    Actually, Miami Vice has one or two of the very few sex scenes I’ve seen in a mainstream movie in recent years that had me convinced: Yeah, OK, they just fucked.

  46. The Big Perm says:

    Jodhi May has also been naked in several movies.
    Prime whack-off material!!!

  47. LexG says:

    ^^ That was actually pretty funny. I laughed.
    Yeah, I guess Gong Li and Naomie Harris are both pretty hot, and the romantic angle there works quite well (especially the Gong/Farrell stuff)… I think I just zoned out on Vice and was thinking more of the alluring Kim Griest and her bad Virginia Madsen hair in “Manhunter,” or Amy Brenneman and Diane Venora not exactly bringing the Megan Fox-level lechery in “Heat.”

  48. ManWithNoName says:

    Hey, Joe, yes. And my response when it came on? “Hey, I know that guy!” Which, of course, I don’t, but at the same time kinda do.

  49. Wrecktum says:

    “Underselling the Sunday for REVENGE is a bit foolish. It will beat TDK. If they can figure a way to stretch it.”

  50. cooper says:

    Gong Li pretty hot??? She’s Gorgeous!!! Great sex scenes.
    Harris is mediocre at best.

  51. Bennett says:

    I wonder if The Hangover will end up being more profitable than Mamma Mia. I have no idea what Hangover World Wide Numbers will be, but Mamma Mia had to pay for the Broadway/ABBA rights, it had Streep and Bronson, and had an overseas shoot. I cannot believe that the Hangover had any point players…I am happy that the quality of Hangover, Star Trek, and Up are showing at the box office….

  52. jeffmcm says:

    Hangover and Up, yes.

  53. Hopscotch says:

    Weekend actuals came in: Tr2 came in with 108.9. So slightly less than the predicted (which is normal), but only slightly and with a well rounded $200M five-day opening, still pretty huge.
    Bennet, I know some people at Universal who worked on Mamma Mia!, and they pointed out that yes the rights stuff was expensive as was the back end for Streep, but still the film’s cost was still relatively grounded. I don’t see The Hangover doing huge business overseas (as most comedies do not) as Mamma Mia! (as most movies probably wouldn’t).
    Can’t wait to see Public Enemies, and Cotillard has never been hotter than that Oscar night in that white dress. SMOOOKKKKINNNG HOT!!!!!

  54. Chucky in Jersey says:

    “Public Enemies” has been a Must To Avoid since March. Why? “Academy Award Winner” in the poster and trailer. Not a few theaters are dropping or downgrading “Away We Go” just to foist this P.O.S. on the public.
    BTW, Hopscotch and LexG have the same view of women as Wimbledon.

  55. jeffmcm says:

    So it was a good movie until March happened, and now it’s garbage. Eminently logical.

  56. The Big Perm says:

    I think it was CHUD that had an article like that…how Pearl Harbor (I think was the example) was a good movie because it was released in the summer, when stupid movies are released. But had it been released in the fall or winter when the prestigious movies were released, they wouldn’t have considered it very good. Which I understand to a point, but what if I missed it in the summer and rented it on DVD in Janurary? Is it a good movie or not?

  57. martin says:

    I’d like to see LexG pull a Morgan Spurlock and watch only Michael Bay movies for a month.

  58. movieman says:

    ….if I had been even slightly engaged by anything on the screen, I probably would have never noticed the cancer stick faux pas in “PE.”
    Point of fact, I used to loathe the monthly Premiere Magazine feature that pointed out continuity errors. It always seemed like a bunch of smartasses–the type of unctuous cretins who went on to work at EW–went to the movies expressly to seek out the most miniscule screw-ups that nobody else in their right mind would possibly notice, or even care about. If I was guilty of a similar kind of nitpicking, mea culp for being bored by Mann’s flat-liner of a film.
    As far as camera lengths, sizes, apertures, whatever, I’m not a techno-geek. Never was, never will be. I only know that the film I saw–again, minus digital projection which is still considered fairly esoteric in this part of the country–seemed underlit and was aggravatingly murky much of the time.
    I stand by all of my previous comments, including: another shitty Christian Bale accent; Channing Tatum’s underappreciated thesping abilities; Johnny Depp’s coasting; Marion Cotillard’s eerie vocal resemblance to Nastassja Kinski; Crudup and Ribisi being the pick of the litter performance-wise; the “Days of Heaven” frisson (at least in that one throwaway image early in the film); and my belief that Milius’ AIP “Dillinger” throwaway was a better, and certainly more entertaining movie.

  59. LexG says:

    “I’d like to see LexG pull a Morgan Spurlock and watch only Michael Bay movies for a month.”
    You know, the original BAD BOYS was on HBO yesterday afternoon, and even though I’ve seen it 576 times (more because it’s ALWAYS on HBO or Encore than because it’s a particular fave, even within the Bay canon.)
    I remember when that and The Rock came out, both were considered pretty much the ultimate in loud, style-over-substance carnage for that period. Especially admidst the Clinton-era Gen X slacker/irony period, they seemed like some amped-up throwback to the more-is-more ’80s.
    Sure, they were just updates of the Simpson/Bruckheimer templates (Beverly Hills Cop, Top Gun) of EXACTLY 10 years earlier, but as with those movies too, they seemed as flashy and slick and propulsive as could be in their day.
    Long story short, I remember amazing over how “fast” Bay cut the action in BB1 back then in theaters. Same with The Rock. If you watch BB now, after 10 years of upping the action ante both from him and his peers, it seems downright… quaint. Like pleasant, TV-esque background noise, this one-time crazed action spectacular looks if not like a Rafelson pic, at least like a pleasant old-man Paramount procedural or a former Bond Spectacular that’s now a relaxing way to kill 3 hours over the holidays on Spike.
    Is it possible in 13 years “TF2” will have been usurped 100 times over in terms of overkill? Could there ever be a day where its filmmaking seems “old school”? There are still tons of trademark Bay shots in the first “Bad Boys” and PLENTY of bad comedy (not the Smith/Martin banter, which is funny, but plenty of leaden sledgehammer Bay gags), but now it mostly just plays like a vaguely slicker version of its contemporaries like “Fair Game” or “The Specialist.”
    On the other hand, his MASTERPIECE, “Armageddon,” is now 11 years old and still plays as Baytastic as ever. So maybe he just hadn’t reached the contemporary level of mania in those first two.

  60. martin says:

    Bay made real movies with Bad Boys, The Rock, and The Island. But like you said, while they’re probably his better movies, they’re kind of like a lot of other people’s movies. And Armageddon, I don’t know if you’re kidding or not, but I agree that it’s his master work, with BB2 and TF2 competing for the silver prize. For better (or worse) no one is dumb enough or has the balls enough to make movies like these. These are not films crafted in an intelligent, artistic manner. They appear to be the Id from conception to completion. The funniest thing I read recently was that Bay has been saying he’s happy with TF2, but if he had 2 more weeks it would be even better because he would have fixed a few things. Short of a total re-edit, what could he have possible done in two weeks to make this a much better film?! It is what it is, and I think it’s great that even more so than Armageddon, this film represents everything that is good and awful about his filmmaking style. Back in the Armageddon days he was melding real (cliched but real) storytelling with the Bayhem. Then somewhere along the way after Pearl Harbor getting critically reamed then The Island not making the cash, he just said fuck it, I’m bringing on the Bayhem and fuck the critics and anyone that cares about watching a story unfold.

  61. Joe Leydon says:

    I know I will get flamed for this, but I have always thought Pearl Harbor was/is a much better film than most folks give it credit for being.

  62. martin says:

    Off topic, but can someone please buy Tony Scott a new hat?

  63. martin says:

    oops, this is the link, although it’s still not as comprehensive as it could be:

  64. LYT says:

    “Short of a total re-edit, what could he have possible done in two weeks to make this a much better film?!”
    I’ve read that he actually wanted to trim it, make it shorter — even he thinks it’s too long.
    As much as I like and defend it, I cannot disagree that trimming might have made it a bit tighter.

  65. The Big Perm says:

    Yeah, Bay pretty much needs to do his crash bang style, because without that, he has nothing. Zero. He can’t craft a simple dialogue scene. He never lets any scene build with any kind of ebb and flow…it’s just swirling cameras and bad comedy (or drama). So he needs to stick with robot movies or Bad Boys because with those, it doesn’t really matter. Although I guess it actually does, since if he was able to craft a real story that maybe people would be invested in the characters as well as the explosions.

  66. Not to defend Michael Bay or anythin’, but I’d rather watch him do the only thing he’s capable of doing that yet another digitally-filmed excursion into suburban woe and miserabalism.

  67. Hopscotch says:

    Is Pearl Harbour as good as Last Action Hero?

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