“Let me try and be as direct as I possibly can with you on this. There was no relationship to repair. I didn’t intend for Harvey to buy and release The Immigrant – I thought it was a terrible idea. And I didn’t think he would want the film, and I didn’t think he would like the film. He bought the film without me knowing! He bought it from the equity people who raised the money for me in the States. And I told them it was a terrible idea, but I had no say over the matter. So they sold it to him without my say-so, and with me thinking it was a terrible idea. I was completely correct, but I couldn’t do anything about it. It was not my preference, it was not my choice, I did not want that to happen, I have no relationship with Harvey. So, it’s not like I repaired some relationship, then he screwed me again, and I’m an idiot for trusting him twice! Like I say, you try to distance yourself as much as possible from the immediate response to a movie. With The Immigrant I had final cut. So he knew he couldn’t make me change it. But he applied all the pressure he could, including shelving the film.”
~ James Gray
By David Poland firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday Estimates by Insatiably Hungry Klady
As expected, The Three Stooges looks to open in the high teens, though Saturday could be a surprise if Fox has gotten the message that the film is kid-friendly across to parents. This is a solid success for Fox, yet Blogger Nikki Mengele has managed to put Fox in the position of appearing to apologize for their Friday number, even though it was actually in line with their projections. Event the idea that the film could crack $20m – still possible – was just enthusiastic, not wrong headed. But when you indulge stooges, you get poked in the eyes a lot.
The Hunger Games continues in the #1 slot, though obsessing on slotting remains the sign of box office ignorance. The THG numbers are more than the sum of four weekends at #1. The film has been neck & neck in the speed grossing department with Star Wars: Sith, but will start to separate as the weekend continues. The question is whether THG can maintain the legs to get to Sith’s $380m domestic number or, for more recent comparison, last year’s #1 movie, Potter 7a ($381 million). The summer could stop the film’s momentum before that happens. But still, the film is already past Twilight and looks to end up at least 15% ahead of Twilight’s best. And foreign will be better than the first Twilight for sure… whether it will be as big as some of the others, we shall see.
The Cabin In The Woods is Joss Whedon’s latest underperformer… though Joss Whedon didn’t direct the film. Drew Goddard did. And for Drew Goddard and Lionsgate, a pretty good opening. The standard for horror is $20m, set by Screen Gems, and it won’t be there. But it will be in Lionsgate’s top 10 openers of the last 3 years. Given that half of that list is Tyler Perry & Hunger Games, no excuses need be made for this number… unless you thought they should do a better job selling a movie starring Thor and produced by the director of the upcoming The Avengers.
Lockout leaked out. I don’t know what the hell happened there. Open Road jumped in after FilmDistrict, which is still pretending to be in business, looked for a life boat. But it was a half-hearted effort and the number is surprising large considering that. Now if they can come up with a similar number for the no-budget charmer Safety Not Guaranteed, it will actually be pretty good. But… sigh…
Intouchables is only in Canada right now. The Weinsteins have it opening here in May. This is the biggest non-English-language worldwide grosser in history with over $310 million. Kind of mind-boggling. Unsurprisingly, US critics reviewing out of Tokyo or France have panned the film for many of the same reasons some critics got sniffy about The Help. TWC has been so focused on Bully that they really haven’t focused on this film yet, though it seems to deserve their full efforts. It will be interesting.