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Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady

Friday Estimates


Basically, Sony is now hoping that The Social Network, which they have pushed about as hard as any drama has ever been pushed, does slightly better than The Town this weekend. $26.85m is the magic number to pass, as it is the number Ben Button opened to… and they want that across-the-board Oscar nominee to be their first point of reference. If things go well, about one of every 20 million Facebook users will have rushed out to see the film.

Back in the Land of Reality, this is an excellent opening for a drama with no box office stars. Aside from chick-flicky films like Dear John and Eat Pray Love, you don’t see $20m opening dramas these days.

That said, as this Social Network and Let Me In were both reminded this weekend, you gotta sell your goods and not get caught up in your own in-house excitement. Social Network sold itself to the media elite, smartly and with style. And as a result, they’re getting box office returns from that limited group. That could, as Sony hopes, still mean $100 million.

It’s really a different conversation than box office, but Sony should embrace and be fully pleased with this number for an Aaron Sorkin script… which means a specific slice of people who want to hear rapid-fired clever dialogue and not walk away with much more than that story being well told. They made the movie they set out to make… and then, I am afraid, got a little too caught up in their own belief that it was the second coming. There is a ton of talent on display in the film, but it is only as much as it is. And perspective gets lost.

The same need to sell what you have and not what you think you have is true for Let Me In, which is a much bigger mystery non-opening this weekend, as they chose to take a gentle, weird, very Euro movie and make it into a horror film with fancy arthouse edges. I don’t see the movies as the same at all, i believe that film can be reimagined (and think Fincher will take Dragon Tattoo miles further than the director of the series now on screen does), so I am fine with what Matt Reeves did. So the question is, why couldn’t Overture sell what Lionsgate or Screen Gems would have opened to 3x as much of a gross. (My first suspect would be TV spending and time for a strong pr rollout, but honestly, I have been so in TIFF mode for weeks that I don’t have a great idea of what the team left at Overture was able to get done, aside from fests and geek community hype.)

This opening neither puts Social Network behind some 8-ball with awards season or profitability, nor does it make it a smash success. It’s just box office. And awards are just awards. And really, what will live on forever is The Film. I am not as over the moon about Social Network as some. I think a lot of critics projected their personal issues with the web onto the movie. But It’s a damned good movie, especially from a major studio.

But I digress…

Nice holds again for The Town and Easy A.

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36 Responses to “Friday Estimates”

  1. Clean Steve says:

    I am honestly stunned at the utter flopping of LET ME IN. I wonder if “from the director of Cloverfield” really, genuinely hurt the move. It was a dumb decision as the 2 films are so different, whether you like Cloverfield or not. What it does do to a lot of mainstream moviegoers is expect Cloverfield with vampires, and that is not something anyone wants. I still prefer the original, but i enjoyed LET ME IN so much, and was absolutely impressed with Reeves work. Stunning.

    That being said, I am totally into that full PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 trailer.


    Finally get the gist of the plot. Katie (or the demon in Katie form) going after her sister and parents? Decent idea. Hoping for the best.


  2. David Poland says:

    The genius of Cloverfield was how the sold Cloverfield. What was it? What monster were you going to see?

    The excitement was palpable, even amongst we jaded critic types.

    And then, there was no monster and not much of a movie and the bottom fell out of that film with record speed. (Literally… the very rare less than 2x opening total gross.)

    Here, we have a wildly oversaturated market for vampire stuff and the source movie being something that is more of an immersive experience than a shock film. You have pre-teen stars, who are not box office, and who you have to be careful about using in the press. So all you can sell is mood and some shock shots (that are MPAA approved for TV and trailers).

    I think the only way this could have been opened would be the marketing taking a very specific tack and sticking with it. I would think, maybe, coming of age movie… with vampire. She yearns to be a normal teen with a boyfriend and can’t get past her own fangs. Sounds a little silly, but good marketers could define that and soften it.

    I think the movie is going to have a long afterlife… no pub intended and will be really well liked by all the girls who didn’t go see it this weekend. In many ways, it fits that taste for those Japanese horror films.

  3. DJF says:

    What baffled me most about the Let Me In campaign was that they didn’t even bother buying an advertisment in Toronto’s free weekly Now Magazine — after the film premiered at Toronto!!! It’s as if they wanted the film to go under the radar on its first weekend.

  4. NickF says:

    There was no advertising for Let Me In. It went unnoticed because nobody knew what it was. Great point about how Lionsgate would have found a way to prop it up far more than Overture did. To that point, isn’t Overture going under?

  5. As tragic as the failure of Let Me In is, the big loss is the awful opening for Hatchet II. I’m sure the film is garbage (wasn’t much of a fan of part I), but a solid showing for an unrated horror film in a major theater chain (AMC) could have opened the flood gates for unrated versions of documentaries, horror films, and adult dramas to play in semi-wide theatrical release.

    And here’s a disturbing thought/question. Would Overture had been better off (financially) making the kind of Let the Right One In remake that we were all afraid of when the project was first announced?

  6. EthanG says:

    Overture literally had no idea what it was doing remaking the film…if it was going to be remade it should have been (from a financial POV) done so as an arthouse film looking to tap into the Orphanage audience.

    But yeah Relativity, given what they have, should have totally mis-sold the film ala’ “The American” in order to draw people in or gone the arthouse route. Meanwhile they’re busy using a bizarre strategy running the trailer for “Stone” in multiplexes while releasing the film in 6 theatres next week & hoping to expand the weekend “Red” is released.

    The whole “exploitation-prestige release” thing never ends well.

  7. LexG says:

    Big tip of the hat to Jeff Wells for overpimping Social Network SO UNBEARABLY HARD that nothing short of 2001, Blade Runner, Citizen Kane and Godfather II combined wouldn’t seem like such an EPIC FAIL.

    It’s a solid movie, but I don’t even know if I liked it appreciably more than The Town. It’s well done, Hammer, Garfield and Timberlake DESTROY in it…

    But I wanted more of that Reznor score, I wanted more tension, more intensity… Wanted it more amped-up and live-wire like the old Fincher. Every time it would start catching fire, he’d throw in some dumb shit like that ROWING SEQUENCE that looks like bad Tarsem.


    What’s with Timberlake’s big downfall? So he dusts some coke up at an underlit sorority party with a 19-year-old intern? Who gives a shit? Not like he was the fucking Colonel in Boogie Nights or Tony Montana or something.

    And Fincher is in considerable danger of inching into Peter Hyams territory.

  8. LexG says:

    Oh, and TSN, for a work of art from an uncompromising auteur, plays a little like THE AIRPLANE CUT of its own movie. FRIGGING? FRIGGING? Dubbed in repeatedly? Sexless party sequence and just a sanitized PG-13 vibe hovering over the whole thing.

    It feels terrible to harp on it, because it’s a good/very good movie… But it feels restrained at too many turns and isn’t this lightning-quick HOLY SHIT MASTERPIECE that its champions are declaring.

    Maybe I need to see it again… or let it kick around a bit more… How can a movie so good feel like such a letdown?

  9. leahnz says:

    over-hyping is the devil

  10. Rob says:

    Easy A and The Town are holding well because they’re well-written movies with excellent actors that were able to accumulate enough heat for decent openings. It’s amazing how rarely this happens.

  11. NickF says:

    Lex, no one is forcing you to read every article from Jeff on the movie. If you’ve let his raves affect you, that’s your fault.

    The rowing scene shows how all the training and brute strength in the world was only good for 2nd place. Zuckerberg, expanded on their idea or stole it, and left them in the dust.

    Sean had already has trouble with “young” girls and drugs before. Facebook has gone big time and he’s fallen into his old habits and got caught once again. That’s a reason for him to have his role lessened in the company.

  12. The problem for Let Me In is that the current vampire craze is not about vampires. It’s about shirtless teenage boy models falling in love with clumsy wallflower girls.

  13. Monco says:


  14. Joe Leydon says:

    Funnily enough, I have seen lots of TV ads for “Let Me In.” (Including a few on ESPN.) And to be honest, had I not known better, I would have assumed, based on those ads, that this was a routine horror movie.

  15. IOv3 says:

    Wow I am not a fan of the rich getting richer. If Armie Hammer is not up for considerate as Superman, Nolan and his people are out to lunch. That guy was made to play Superman. Seriously, this has to happen and if not him, BRING BACK ROUTH!

    That aside, I can understand why critics love The Social Network: it’s old school. Everything about it could fit right in with films in the mid-70s and we all know what the critics think about the mid-70s. Nevertheless, I will most likely end up watching this film a lot, because it’s the type of thing I like.

    Nevertheless, outside of possibly Hammer, the one and only guaranteed Oscar this film should get, is from Eisenberg’s performance. Sure, you might think I am crazy, but I found that performance rather outstanding.

  16. Joe Straatmann says:

    It’s weird, when i was watching The Social Network, the first thought that came to me is it’s like the movie The Informant (or The Informant!, whichever you prefer) that never tips its hand on whether Matt Damon’s character is actually working both sides or not. Yeah, they’re two completely different creatures in that Soderbergh goes for complete throwback despite the timeline in which The Informant occurs while Fincher keeps it straight period. However, it was kind of the same vibe, except that they don’t make clear whether “Mark Zuckerberg” is consciously acting like a dick and enacting revenge on people who got “further” than him socially, or if it’s merely him being dictated by logic of what’s “best” for his future/company assisted by possible mental illness. Which is fine by me. Humans work that way sometimes.

    The only real problem I had with the movie is it unceremoniously dumps the audience into a flash-forward to a duo of legal entanglements. It’s like that one point in Michael Clayton where it goes to white and suddenly shifts to days earlier. It’s jarring without needing to be. Other than that, fine acting, good writing, solid directing, and I like the choice of composers (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross). But it never shifts into the last gear of being something truly special. The Reznor/Ross score never becomes something that adds and becomes an integral part of the movie like, say, The Dust Brothers in FIght Club. Fincher sticks with subtle and I like a lot of “subtle Fincher” (Even if the story doesn’t quite hit the mark, I liked how in Benjamin Button, Fincher oh-so-quietly changes the way the movie’s filmed as the eras progress to reflect the times, but he doesn’t walk up behind you and say, “LOOK! SEE WHAT I’M DOING HERE?!”), but the only scene that feels like experience rather than a scene in a movie is the LOUD San Francisco nightclub (On the note of San Francisco, Zodiac has a whole bunch of subtle Fincher that feels like an entire experience). I think the writing will be the aspect I warm up to the most, since while I like rapid-fire dialogue, I normally don’t catch as much of it as I should.

    Maybe Lex is right and there’s a director’s cut somewhere that will make everything awesome. But, while I’m not going to get in the way of anyone who thinks this excellent cinema, it didn’t quite get there for me.

  17. IOv3 says:

    Joe, I think Fincher and Sorkin went out of there way to make a movie based around Zuckerberg’s personality or what they perceive to be his personality. The way that film evolves, is based around a guy whose conflicted. He wants what he cannot have in status because he’s a nerd but he some how creates something that gives him that status, and that’s where his own social ineptitude gets the best of him.

    Seriously though, I would love to live in a world where Academy voters see something like Inception and reward it, and reward it big, however, after years raging against the Academy. I can totally see them rewarding The Social Network big because it’s, in a way, a story about them. I mean, how many people in Hollywood have made the wrong choices, turned on the wrong people, and had to deal with the life-altering consequences? It has to be a fair number and Zuckerberg in The Social Network represents the struggles one has, whose not exactly ready for the spotlight, and what that brings about and that alone for me, puts this movie on the top for winning Best Picture next year.

    Now, sure, I could be reaching with the above but The Social Networking came across to me as a film made to fit the Academy and while that scares me a little bit. It sort of makes me hope Eisenberg gets and Oscar, just so I can refer to him as OSCAR WINNAH from then on out.

  18. cheaplog says:

    Here’s Anil Dash, quoted in a Huffington Post article that leahnz mentioned in an earlier post here:

    “The movie is written in the abstract, based on what they feel Facebook, and the social Web, represent. It’s exoticism. It’s the 1940s, when you had a white actor in yellow-face play a Chinese character, you know? Those foreigners talk like this, and it’s why they’re inscrutable and evil.”

    And that’s why Academy voters will probably reward it 😉

  19. IOv3 says:

    I would agree with him except… no. I posted that the other day before I saw the film and after seeing the film, I did not get that impression at all. If anything, Facebook is just the backdrop for Zuckerberg and what made Zuckerberg do what he did.

    Could be wrong and what not, and the writer of that article did reveal another side of Zuckerberg, but Zuckerberg is a sympathetic character in this film. It’s not that I have to root for him, but who does not understand that basic need to connect? It remains the ironies of ironies that a seemingly socially inept kid, created something that makes the world more sociable, and there’s the rub.

  20. Joe Straatmann says:

    I don’t know……. It seems like one of those movies where everyone says it’s an Oscar frontrunner now, but then the hype kind of dissolves even if the critical acclaim of it does not. But if nothing else jumps up and takes its place, or if the Academy already considers their celebration of the Coens for No Country for Old Men enough, maybe…… Get back to me January.

    But, eh, I figure them rewarding Spirited Away is about is enough of the Academy rewarding the “right” film for me, and the rest of my Oscar attention is more like playing a game than anything else. I don’t exactly share your great approval of Inception. I think it’s a fine film, but it indulges a little too much of those people who made crackpot theories about Memento. After two or three viewings, Memento was rather simple in its tragedy and Nolan does his best to underline the important aspects about Leonard and Sammy to make the tragedy of it all more apparent, striking, and brilliant. Going off on flights of fancy takes away from the tragedy, I think, and Inception does a lot of going off on these “is it real or not?” or creating ambiguities to make all of these different interpretations. Which is fine. It’s a different and much more ambitious project and the subject matter all but insists some of this be involved, but I think if he cut back a little and had much more of a heavier hitting punch on the Cobb/Mal relationship, it would’ve gone a long way. But I only saw it once, and we’ll see if it’s like The Prestige and I get more impressed with it on multiple viewings.

    But I do love me some Dark Knight. I know most of the critical backlash of it does have some merit, but I love great movies that are imperfect more than I love great movies that come off as “perfect.” Gives them a feeling that they’re more “alive,” I guess, and Dark Knight is a movie that definitely feels alive to me, even with Nolan’s coldness, the unnecessary trip to Asia, maybe the addition of all of two Face’s arc is a little much, blah blah blah blah blah…..

  21. cheaplog says:

    I’ve been part of the industry and the culture since the 80s, when the internet was a network between academic institutions. So I understand what Dash says, and that kind of reaction is all over the net by now, for example it reached the BBC a couple of days earlier, and I expect it to only grow.

    Sorkin has repeatedly mentioned that he would tell the same story “about the invention of a really good toaster.” Well, the tech industry (or just the web, or just social networks, or just Facebook) isn’t a toaster factory which you can use as a background. And Zuckerberg isn’t a Chinese worker in that factory, that you can face-paint some white guy to play.

    And most of the people in the industry, including Dash and me, don’t even like Zuckerberg. So whether the film is sympathetic to him or not, is irrelevant.

  22. IOv3 says:

    Who cares about the tech industry when it comes to this movie? If anything, it’s about Zuckerberg. It’s about a kid failing to do what’s right amidst the backdrop of Facebook. That’s the story. The story is Zuckerberg’s human failings and that would also work with a toaster manufacturer in the US or Malaysia. We do not let the Chinese build our toasters!

    Again, The Social Network could have been a different movie. It could have been Pirates of Silicon Valley but instead, it’s a movie about a billionaire, who helped to bring about a new level of social action, while being socially inept. That’s the story and I do not get, after seeing the movie, disputing that at all.

    ETA: That article is interesting, in so much, as all of those quoted do not get the point of the film and that point is: Zuckerberg is only human, he made mistakes, and those mistakes cost him dearly. It’s not like anyone can deny what happened to Eduardo or the Winklevosses because they got paid for a reason.

    Again, if you watched any of Sorkin’s shows or movies or even read/seen his plays. You would easily come to the understanding that he’s fascinated with human beings that have some flaw. This most likely comes from his own flaws, which is understandable, but all of his biggest characters have a flaw. Jed had problems with being too smart. Caffey had a problem with living up to his father’s legacy. The entire crew of Sports Night had problems. While he did that Farnsworth play and many should know that sad story. Nevertheless, Zuckerberg to Sorkin is a broken guy in a way and that’s how he wrote him. Wanting something about FACEBOOK’s IMPORTANCE, sort of misses the entire point of this movie and the irony of Zuckerberg’s life.

  23. cheaplog says:

    Well, what you don’t realize is that your summary of the story is exactly the exoticism that Dash describes. Zuckerberg isn’t Karl Benz. He’s not even Henry Ford, He’s not even Eiji Toyoda. And even if he was Eiji Toyoda, it would still be Jesse Eisenberg portraying him on screen, and in a Hollywood movie pretending to be the most important one about modern Japanese culture.

  24. cheaplog says:

    BTW, this is The Hot Blog, it’s not Mashable. You shoudn’t assume that I’m not familiar with Sorkin’s work 😉

  25. IOv3 says:

    Dash is simply wrong. You are also downplaying where Facebook is at the moment. So what if he’s not Karl Benz. If Karl Benz had a movie about himself, more people would realize he had a hand in the creation of the car, and not wrongly believe that Henry Ford did. Seriously, that’s a ridiculous reason to dismiss the movie and throwing out exoticism dismisses what the film is really about… and that’s human weakness and weakness seems to be something that Zuckerberg does have via the guy who was his best friend.

    ETA: People like you just need to understand that people like me enjoy EXPANDING UPON AN ARGUMENT XD!

  26. cheaplog says:

    Here’s something you may want to consider while expanding your argument. If the story transcends Zuckerberg as a person, and if Facebook is just a fancy background to a timeless film about human weaknesses, then why did the production insist on name-checking Zuckerberg and Facebook both in the film and in every shred of its promotion? Could it be because otherwise people would have dismissed the film as a fictional story about nothing much (as they apparently and mostly did)?

  27. cheaplog says:

    Regarding the importance of Facebook, here’s my attempt to answer “what do people see in facebook” on the IMDb boards:

    “It’s hard to summarize Facebook’s evolution into the largest social network on the planet. The simple answer, now, is that half the people you know are already on it, and it’s idiot proof. And in my opinion, that’s about it. Technically it’s very very far from a miracle or even serious coding and technology. And it has no “killer” feature or use for anyone (the time-wasting social apps and games build on it are irresistible simply because half the people you know are potential users, too).

    This wasn’t always the case though. Initially it was supposed to be a network for Harvard’s “cool people” as the film features. Then a network for college people. Then a network for college and business people. Then a network for just people. Then a network for MySpace people too. Then a network for dumb people. Then a network for dumb people and their cats and dogs. Then a network for dumb people and their cats and dogs and kids and grandmothers. And so on. And so on.

    Now it’s just 500 million accounts, fairly open to anyone to exploit. “

  28. PaulMD says:

    I have avoided all discussion of The Town because I wanted to avoid spoilers, so I apologize if this has already been covered (and a spoiler warning for those who haven’t seen it).

    Am I the only one here who was not all that impressed? I really like Gone Baby Gone, I love The Town’s cast, and after the glowing reviews I was pumped to see it. I found it to be Heat-lite overall. I had a hard time buying Affleck as an armed robber since the movie works so hard to make you like him and buy the love story. The other three I totally bought as bank robbers, but not Affleck. The love story is pretty damn weak too. We really learn absolutely nothing about her and it feels very forced and rushed. Outside of Affleck/Doug all the characterizations are lacking. Renner is fantastic and completely convincing but that has far more to do with his acting than the writing. As written he’s a fairly typical hothead sidekick. Renner really does superb work though and elevates the character above the material. Hamm is wasted in a role that is more afterthought than adversary. Nothing to the guy he plays. Cooper and especially Postlewaite make lasting impressions in small roles, and there are great individual scenes. The last 20 minutes or so are suspenseful and Affleck does good work behind the camera. Very assured. But considering the hype I expected a whole lot more than I got. It played very generic for me overall and left me unsatisfied. And in the end I’m supposed to pull for this guy, after all he’s done, and want him to get away? After he watches his loyal friend go down? Didn’t work for me. Gone Baby Gone is a much better film. Did like the use of Jolene during the end credits.

  29. IOv3 says:

    Cheap, again, you ask that question about Zuckerberg and Facebook and ignore that while it’s a movie about the human condition, it is still centered around a guy who created facebook, and all that came with it.

    Again, if you have ever read anything else I have posted on this blog, you may have read that I could not find one person who wanted to see this film. Why? Because it’s the facebook film and they were not interested in a facebook film, so, if anything, associating it with facebook probably hurt the film more than it helped.

    Paul, his friend may have been loyal but his friend had him trapped in a life he did not want. The whole film is about Affleck’s character feeling trapped by that life because once you are sober, apparently you want to get out of the town. Nevertheless, I totally disagree with you but that’s life XD!

  30. It´s sad that todays spread movies missing the glamour movies had in days. Though it´s fun to have ultra postgraduate school , I missy the sort that movies were prefab sustain then

  31. David Poland says:

    1. Facebook is not the biggest social network… the internet is. And from that you can count e-mail, websites, etc. Facebook is a very specific kind of social network. And very impressive it is.

    2. You might be interested to consider Sorkin’s Broadway effort, The Farnsworth Invention, which pitted the actual creator of radio against the guy who drove the idea into being a successful business model. Similar themes, not as well executed.

  32. Rszanto says:

    I completely agree with you on that point. Films like “The Social Network” completely lack the sort of prefab sustain then of the classics. Who among us doesn’t miss the postgraduate school slendor of “Rebel Without a Cause”? I salute you, good sir.

  33. PaulMD says:

    It’s all anecdotal IO. I work in NYC with 350 people between the ages of 22 and 40 and they’ve been talking about TSN for weeks now.

  34. cheaplog says:

    OK, this post is old news by now, so I’ll just address a couple of important things.

    In my opinion, the studio used Facebook and Zuckerberg to successfully sell social importance and relevance to critics. Yes, people that should know weren’t convinced that this could be the “most important story of our times”, and nothing could convince them of course. But a lot of the reviewers bought Sony’s marketing verbatim.

    I’ll state again that Zuckerberg isn’t Karl Benz and probably not even Eiji Toyoda (who is largely responsible for the Japanese automobile industry boom, back in the 50s). People tend to forget that in 2005, when Facebook hadn’t even expanded to high schools, Murdoch spent more than half a billion dollars to purchase MySpace. And even Tom “everyone’s first friend” Anderson can’t really be credited for popularizing (let alone inventing) social websites.

    The internet is largely disconnected, you could say it’s a social network as much as the telephone one, but it’s more of an infrastructure. Social websites became popular because people wanted something specific, immediate and easy to use. For example, you can e-mail everyone you know photos of your newly born kittens, or you can blog about them, or you can upload them to Facebook, and I believe everyone can understand the differences by now.

    As I said above, technically Facebook is far from impressive, although its reach probably is. Zuckerberg used MySpace as a guide of things not to do, and Harvard as a core of cool people to start with, but you don’t get to 500 million friends without including at least 400 million idiots, perverts and spam bots 😛

  35. scooterzz says:

    i believe ‘the farnsworth invention’ was about the actual inventor of television, not radio……

  36. cadavra says:

    Indeed. Saw it in its pre-Broadway run in San Diego and enjoyed it immensely, particularly the insanely talented Jimmi Simpson. Sadly, New York didn’t share the love.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon