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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

This HBO Weekend

This is one of the great HBO weekends of all time.

On Saturday, the premiere of the terrific “Game Change.”

On Sunday, “Luck” finally blossoms into a full, clear storyline that audiences will love… if they haven’t given up on the show.

Seriously… whatever Luck’s been for you until now, the “what the hell is this thing” is over and the focus becomes sharp and heart-stopping at times… this is the weekend.

That is all.

16 Responses to “This HBO Weekend”

  1. scooterzz says:

    “This is one of the great HBO weekends of all time.”

    perhaps the most hyperbolic statement of the week (or EVER IN THE HISTORY OF TIME!)…after watching ‘game change’ twice, i think it’s hugely inferior to most hbo films and sunday’s episode of ‘luck’ is just more ‘same old/same old’ milch…
    the ‘game change’ performances are okay and will probably get awards attention but the movie pretty much shits on the source material….

  2. JS Partisan says:

    Luck is probably finished by this point. You cannot wait this long to make your show interesting. You used to be able to do so, back in the 90s and that case in point is the X-Files, but waiting this long to get to a point is ridiculous. Sure, HBO doesn’t make episodic TV according to them, but they do. They do and waiting this long to get to a point, silly. Really really silly.

  3. David Poland says:

    Luck is now shooting its second season.

  4. JS Partisan says:

    Doesn’t mean anyone is going to watch it, David. They basically Broadwalk Empired it, which is fine, because the guy who runs HBO is his own special kind of crazy. Which leads to them giving chances to shows, that should have been given up on seasons ago. You know, they gave another season to HOW TO MAKE IT IN AMERICA for fuck’s sake. It’s not TV. It’s TV RAN BY LOONEY PEOPLE (which isn’t a bad thing. It’s good that they give shows a chance to find their footing and hopefully take off with the American people. They seemingly suck at that paying off though. They usually need to have a strong pilot that knocks it out of the park. If not, the shows falter, and sort of die on the vine)!

  5. Joshua/CaptainZahn says:

    Anybody who’s seen the movie have any thoughts on this review?

    http://www.slantmagazine.com/tv/review/game-change/314

  6. The Big Perm says:

    The X-Files? That show pretty much knew what it was from the beginning. Maybe it took awhile to find an audience, but it didn’t wait around to “become interesting.”

  7. Paul D/Stella says:

    “the movie pretty much shits on the source material”

    Really, cause the book is hardly a masterpiece. It’s an easy enough read but the authors spend most of it rehashing stories that received extensive media coverage during the campaign. It’s not all that insightful or compelling. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, The Battle For America is an infinitely better book about the 2008 presidential election.

    Luck has been pretty good overall. It’s not as good as I’d hoped but it’s also mostly what I expected from a Milch/Mann HBO show. The cast is spectacular and makes it worth watching. Few shows have an ensemble as good as Luck’s.

  8. sanj says:

    why not try to get the impossible and get Sarah Palin dp/30 to talk about all the docs / movies / tv shows she’s been in …ask her if she’s seen any of the oscar nominated movies ..

  9. scooterzz says:

    paul d– i never suggested the book was a ‘masterpiece’…what i said was the movie isn’t the book…a few good performances, not a good movie…
    re: “Luck has been pretty good overall.”
    no…it hasn’t…again, a great cast saddled with mediocre material…not too long ago, i had the chance to ask bruce greenwood about the mess that was ‘john from cincinnati’ and he said the cast of the show liked to use the term “getting milched”… i’m guessing the cast of ‘luck’ will be picking up the term also…

  10. Paul D/Stella says:

    The movie must be pretty awful if it’s not as good as the book, cause the book is not good. In fact it’s mostly garbage.

    Great cast (giving great performances) + mediocre material = pretty good in my book. And anyway I’d argue that the material is better than mediocre. Luck isn’t John From Cincinnati, so that quote means nothing to me.

  11. scooterzz says:

    “The movie must be pretty awful if it’s not as good as the book…”

    i didn’t say it isn’t ‘as good as the book’…i said it ‘isn’t the book’…indicating that it has no respect for the source material (garbage or not…doesn’t matter)…
    as for ‘luck’…it’s your time, waste it as you see fit (better than reading ‘garbagre’ books, i guess)….

  12. David Poland says:

    Well, I obviously disagree strongly with scooterzz about Game Change. People can make up their minds for themselves, but I really enjoyed the film.

    As for Luck, it is so not John from Cincinnati. Milch does start blurry often, but Luck is not a weird high-concept thing. And I would argue that anyone who watches the last three episodes this season will be thrilled to see the next season of Luck, with Gambon vs Hoffman as a central, dangerous, interesting arc.

    Essentially, these last three episodes get over what plagued the first 6… characters are doing and not just talking.

  13. JS Partisan says:

    BP, that’s not what happened. X-Files plodded along for a season and then really took off in the first part of season two, and became the weird phenom that it became. A lot of shows in the 90s worked this way. Buffy being another one.

  14. Paul D/Stella says:

    Why is it important for the movie to respect the source material, especially if said material is junk? The movie is its own beast. It only covers small portions of the book. Danny Strong conducted his own interviews to construct his screenplay. I’m not sure why it’s a bad thing for the movie to not respect the source material.

  15. sanj says:

    just watched game change – so what happens when Paris Hilton runs for government …

    - everybody was good – Ed Harris was wated – Wooody H should have been bad guy – Moore was good …probably will
    get some tv award …

    - 30 minutes too long …

    - this will be forgotten about after a year ..

    - anybody outside the US actually care about this ?

    - only reason why this is on hbo is cause they needed
    big stars … this could have been a 1 hour movie on tlc or orpah network ..

    - this is easy to understand for dumb guys like me …

    - if DP really likes this movie so much there should be
    some dp/30′s ..

    if hbo wants to make a movie they should try Putin …
    that dude is more interesting than Palin..

    Putin rally in Moscow ends in more arrests

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60QRqk-Wmc8

  16. movieman says:

    Moore so completely transforms herself into Palin that I forgot I was watching the star of “Boogie Nights,” “Safe,” “Far from Heaven,” etc., etc.
    She was possibly even more impressive than Streep in “Iron Lady” (and I loved Streep in “IL”).
    “Game Change” was easily the most enjoyable movie I’ve seen so far this year.
    I’d like to believe that “Luck” will finally click tonite and give me something…anything…to hold onto for the remainder of the season.
    Personally, I’m relieved there are only three eps left.
    Can’t wait for Lena Dunham’s series to debut in April (“Tiny Furniture” was a small masterpiece), and Phil Kaufman’s Hemingway flick definitely looks intriguing.
    (But would it would unkind of me to wish Corey Stall was playing Papa instead of Clive Owen?)

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The Hot Blog

Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
Guardians of the Galaxy 3.8 3462 -21% 262.1
As Above/So Below 3.2 2640 NEW 3.2
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2.7 3543 -41% 153.3
If I Stay 2.6 3003 -62% 23.1
The November Man 2.2 2776 NEW 3.9
Let's Be Cops 2 3010 -39% 51.1
When the Game Stands Tall 1.4 2673 -52% 12.1
The Giver 1.3 2805 -37% 27.6
The Hundred-Foot Journey 1.1 1918 -30% 35.9
The Expendables 3 0.85 2564 -55% 30.5
Also Debuting
Cantinflas 0.81 382
Ghostbusters - 30th Anniversary 0.49 784
Rabhasa 0.1 86
Double Di Trouble 38,300 33
Life of Crime 30,600 35
Kundo: Age of Rampant 28,900 26
Swearnet 28,300 88
Raja Natwarlal 22,100 74
Peruchazhi 14,100 13
The Congress 7,560 13
The Last of Robin Hood 7,100 2
Starred Up 2,900 2
Temporary Family 2,800 5
Through a Lens Darkly 2,750 1
Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie 2,700 7
Last Weekend 1,350 1
3-Day Estimates Weekend % Chg Cume
It was supposed to be a horse race (notwithstanding Belmont) but at the finish line the singular teen romance The Fault in Our Stars left the competition in the dust with an estimated $48.1 million debut. Conversely, the frame’s other major release Edge of Tomorrow proved disappointing in a distant second at $28.9 million.
Exclusive newcomers were strong, including a solo Manhattan campaign of $9,400 for Citizen Koch. Much-ballyhooed abortion-themed rom-com Obvious Child proved fertile with $84,100 at four dispensaries.
In the niches, Indian import Holiday partied fair at $373,000 while Pinoy romantic comedy Maybe This Time grossed an impressive return of $552,000 on a trifling 51 screens.
Revenues for the session exceeded $160 million and ebbed 3% from last weekend’s tally. It was 8% improved from 2013 when the debut of The Purge posted $34 million and holdovers of Fast & Furious 6 and Now You See Me duked it out for place position with respective box office of $19.6 million and $19 million.
Industry tracking pitted The Fault in Our Stars against Edge of Tomorrow with the former demonstrating a slight edge as it picked up momentum toward opening day. The adaptation of John Green’s YA novel of teens who strike sparks in a cancer support group had a prognosis of $35 million.
The tide truly turned when Fault generated $8.2 million and Edge took in $1.8 million from Thursday previews. Crystal ball-gazers upped the ante to $55 million but the picture took another surprise turn with an unexpected 31% drop from Friday to Saturday business. Strong WOM in exit polling bodes well to broaden the opening weekend crowd, a predictaly 82% of women and was 79% aged 25-years and younger.
Edge of Tomorrow appeared to suffer from the amusement park factor with the movie crowd opting to skip this particular fun ride. Tracking had pegged the pic to open at between $32 million and $34 million. Reviews were upbeat for the futuristic mayhem with a Groundhog Day twist that opened a week earlier in 27 international territories to $18.7 million.
Exit demos also indicated that the sci-fier wasn’t particularly stepping on Fault’s toes with a 61% male tilt and 73% of the audience aged 25-years and older. A studio spokesman expressed confidence for a strong second weekend hold but history and upcoming competition definitely have the picture bucking considerable odds. International prospects are already ahead of Edge of Darkness’s likely final domestic tally with a second weekend estimated at $82 million that included a $25 million bow in China, $16.6 million in South Korea and Russia with $8.6 million.
Open Road's Chef expanded effectively again, prepping $10 million domestically.
Weekend (estimates) June 6 - 8, 2014
Title
Distributor
Gross (average)
% change *
Theaters
Cume
The Fault in Our Stars
Fox
48.1 (15,160)
NEW
3173
48.1
Maleficent
BV
33.6 (8,520)
-52%
3948
127.5
Edge of Tomorrow
WB
28.9 (8,280)
NEW
3490
28.9
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Fox
14.9 (4,090)
-54%
3639
189
A Million Ways to Die in the West
Uni
7.2 (2,270)
-57%
3160
30.1
Godzilla
WB
6.0 (1.920)
-50%
3110
185.1
Neighbors
Uni
5.2 (1,940)
-36%
2674
137.8
Blended
WB
4.0 (1,370)
-51%
2928
36.5
Chef
Open Road
2.5 (1,940)
32%
1298
10.3
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Sony
1.9 (1,290)
-46%
1481
196.3
Million Dollar Arm
BV
1.8 (1,120)
-49%
1643
31.4
Belle
Searchlight
.75 (1,580)
-40%
476
7.6
Rio 2
Fox
.72 (1,030)
-35%
702
125.6
Maybe This Time
ABS
.55 (10,820)
NEW
51
0.55
The Other Woman
Fox
.48 (980)
-65%
489
83.2
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
BV
.43 (1,360)
-31%
317
255.9
Holiday
Big Pictures
.37 (2,590)
NEW
144
0.37
Heaven is for Real
Sony
.37 (830)
-54%
446
88.8
Words and Pictures
Roadside Attractions
.29 (2,940)
269%
98
0.54
Grand Seduction
eOne
.28 (3,020)
-13%
97
0.82
The Lego Movie
WB
.26 (960)
-5%
274
255.8
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Fox Searchlight
.24 (1,280)
-37%
185
57.8
Ida
Music Box
.21 (2,540)
-10%
84
1.3
The Immigrant
Weinstein
.19 (1,320)
-39%
145
1.4
Divergent
Lionsgate
.19 (650)
-43%
298
149
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films)
$156.60
% Change (Last Year)
8%
% Change (Last Week)
-3%
Also debuting/expanding
Fed Up
Weinstein Co.
83,600 (950)
-49%
88
1.2
Obvious Child
A24
84,100 (21,030)
4
0.08
Cold in July
IFC
68,900 (970)
-38%
71
0.25
Night Moves
Cinedgm
48,500 (1,520)
126%
32
30,800
Lunchbox
Sony Classics
50,700 (1,100)
-9%
46
4.1
Filmistaan
UTV
35,500 (1,480)
24
0.04
WolfCop
Echolands
34,900 (4,360)
8
0.03
Ping Pong Summer
Gravitas
26,400 (1,760)
15
0.03
Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon
Weinstein Co.
23,200 (5,800)
4
0.02
Only Lovers Left Alive
Sony Classics
22,800 (760)
-53%
30
1.6
Tracks
Mongrel
13,800 (2,760)
5
0.01
Citizen Koch
Variance
9,400 (9,400)
1
0.01
Trust Me
Paladin
5,100 (565)
9
0.01
Burning Blue
Film Arcade
4,600 (380)
12
0.01
The Case Against 8
Submarine
4,300 (1,430)
3
0.01
Test
Variance
2,400 (800)
3
0.01
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 - June 5, 2014)
Distributor
Box Office
Market Share
Warner Bros. (12)
728.5
16.80%
Buena Vista (11)
677.1
15.60%
20th Century Fox (11)
615.2
14.20%
Sony (11)
577.7
13.30%
Universal (10)
540.5
12.50%
Paramount (8)
322.2
7.40%
Lionsgate (13)
285.4
6.60%
Open Road (6)
95.1
2.20%
Fox Searchlight (5)
83.7
1.90%
Weinstein Co. (12)
76.5
1.80%
Relativity (5)
75.5
1.80%
FreeStyle (6)
68.9
1.60%
Focus (6)
39.2
0.90%
eOne/Seville (14)
35.3
0.80%
Other * (142)
107.9
2.60%
4328.7
100.00%
* none greater than 0.4%
Top Domestic Grossers (Jan. 1 - June 5, 2014) *
Title
Distributor
Box Office
The Lego Movie
WB
255,590,340
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
BV
255,447,104
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Sony
194,388,396
Godzilla
WB
179,093,006
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Fox
174,401,266
Divergent
Lionsgate
148,811,524
Frozen *
BV
137,534,677
Ride Along
Uni
134,965,071
Neighbors
Uni
132,600,495
Lone Survivor
Uni/eOne
125,026,404
Rio 2
Fox
124,909,565
Mr. Peabody & Sherman
Fox
110,162,081
300: Rise of an Empire
WB
106,601,189
Noah
Par
100,950,258
Maleficent
BV
93,846,968
Non-Stop
Uni
91,869,306
Heaven is for Real
Sony
88,412,645
American Hustle *
Sony/eOne
82,661,672
The Other Woman
Fox
81,725,819
The Monuments Men
Sony
78,132,865
* does not include 2013 Box Office