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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by The Klady 200


I’m camping… yes, with a tent. So did anything happen this weekend?

The Avengers number is a $30m or so (wait for finals) leap over last year’s record-breaker, Potter 7b, which passed by The Dark Knight by $11m. A new record can’t be far off. But no doubt, the Marvel strategy of seeding a group movie has worked. And no doubt, Joss Whedon helped keep things upbeat, positive, and moving forward… even behind making the film, because as you all know, opening weekend has nothing to do with the quality of a movie.

I don’t know whether this opening record will be broken this summer, next summer, or in 2014 , but. I think it’s a safe bet that the Dark Knight record will be broken again this summer. And it will be interesting to see if all the Avatar box office whiners will point out the 3D, IMAX, etc on this weekend’s record. My guess is that it will be more like the Republicans discussing the Bush era. All politics are local.

I’ll be going back to nature now…

211 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by The Klady 200”

  1. arisp says:


  2. NickF says:

    3D, 3D Imax, and regular Imax. That helps a lot when you’ve built up the anticipation with 5 prior movies.

  3. waterbucket says:

    Wow, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel will be a solid success too.

  4. movieman says:

    I guess “Last Call at the Oasis” isn’t going to become the next “Food, Inc.” or “Forks Over Knives” after all.
    Sure hope “Bernie” widens fast enough to get here by Memorial Day weekend.
    Kind of surprising it isn’t being released by a proper distributer like Sony Classics, Weinstein, Searchlight, etc.
    Of course, “Me and Orson Welles” suffered a similar fate, and that seemed like perfect Weinstein Oscar bait fare (despite actually being, a, y’know, really good movie).
    Did Linklater piss a lot of people off or something? He always seemed like such a nice, unpretentious guy.

  5. JS Partisan says:

    Really? You think the IMAX and 3D bump now is what it was in late 09/10? Really? Haven’t you even discussed that it’s not? I know it’s only anecdotal to my circumstance but where I saw the Avengers. The 2D showings had 6 sell outs. The 3D had three sell outs. There are apparently more 2d showings in most places, so it’s weird to bring up Avatar. Especially given that it, wisely for it, did not open in the Summer.

  6. Aaron Aradillas says:

    You think the folks at MCN know how fucking annoying the font of the box office charts really is? I mean, it’s REALLY annoying.

    @movieman: A critic friend of mine told me once that Linklater can be a dick to certain people. This was back ’06. I thiink he’s kind of lost his way after the triumphs of SCHOOL OF ROCK and BEFORE SUNSET. His movies since then have been “intersting,” if not great.

  7. Tuck Pendelton says:

    Two years ago Iron Man 2’s release numbers shrunk by $6 – 7 million, I expect this will go below $200M by the time real numbers come out on Monday.

    That’s not to shrink the accomplishment. Marvel played this one beautifully. I’ve heard mixed to mostly good things from people I know who saw it.

    When the Dark Knight Rises comes out…expect the argument of exactly how many million 3D inflates grosses to come roaring back.

  8. JS Partisan says:

    Tuck, that’s IM2. This is the Avengers. I’d expect it to go up. Seriously, it started the weekend only making 175m, topped that by 25m, and it’s hot over a lot of the country. 205 to 210 could be the final given the heat alone.

    Oh yeah, that argument about a 3D bump is bunk when you are referring to a discussion between The Avengers with a lot of 2D showings, and a movie in TDK-R opening on a ton of IMAX screens. Which negates any film getting a true advantage over the other.

  9. Edward Wilson says:

    This is the same weekend exactly 10 years ago that Spiderman broke $100M.

  10. movieman says:

    I’m surprised to hear that, Aaron. Like I said, Linklater has always come off like an Austin-style mensch in interviews.
    Except for his unnecessary “Bad News Bears” remake, I’ve really liked his post-“Sunset” stuff.
    “Me and Orson” is truly some kind of wonderful (it’s perhaps my favorite of all his films to date), “Scanner” is pretty darn cool (even if it’s not in the same league as the brilliant “Waking Life”) and I’ve always thought “Fast Food Nation” was criminally underrated.

  11. JS Partisan says:

    Edward, yeah, and if that means we are up to 300m in 10 years. Well, really, that’s sort of staggering.

  12. Geoff says:

    All snarkiness aside, this is damn impressive! There was absolutely ZERO money left on the table, you could make a case that this actually over-performed!

    I mean, think about it….Iron Man 2 kind of disappointed in all reality, that opening was NOT where it was expected to be. You could definitely compare that movie’s reception to Spiderman 3. But….

    To those who are all giving credit to Downey and Iron Man, I call bullshit – Thor overperformed last year and had some genuine goodwill going towards it….I really think that movie’s success deserves as much as credit for the buildup as any one character at this point. And they way they utilized Hulk in the marketing was tip-top, probably actually more expertly done than either of the actual stand-alone Hulk movies.

    And though Dave bashed the starpower of the cast a few years back, you cannot deny how much of a team-effort on their part to get the word out really helped. True few of them are superstars, but folks like Johansen, Renner, Jackson, Hemsworth, and Ruffalo have been OUT THERE consistently for the past several years…..these are known actors who can always get a prime spot on a Leno or Letterman at this point and they worked it. Marvel really got the right ensemble together to make it work – they were all game to promote it and draw out different audience segments.

    I would definitely call this the biggest unqualified marketing success since The Dark Knight – that campaign set the standard with the help of Ledger’s death, of course. Marvel, Disney, and Paramount’s (yeah, they deserve some credit) effort over the past year truly deserves kudos. And don’t tell me it was all pre-sold….that’s bullshit as this could have gone wrong so many ways. It’s a team-oriented superhero movie and remember that only one X Men opened over $100 million and that was on a holiday weekend. The marketing folks behind this should rest their heads high, today.

  13. martin s says:

    3D gave a definite pad, but without it, Avengers was rocketing on its own.

    I think the best comparison would be to remove the 3D punch from Avengers, Potter and Avatar to get a sense of strength. Avengers should still win.

    3D/Imax seems to have a greater sense of distribution for Avengers than Avatar and especially TDK.

    I think this is the point of declaring it the new norm and not a novelty.

    I don’t think TDKR can match this opening. WOM will have to be truly epic, like Ledger cutting room footage appearing in act two.

  14. Dpw says:

    Anyone know how those 40 dollar marvel movie marathons are figured in to the gross here?

  15. martin s says:

    Geoff, I agree with the A&M success, but that’s the point of Disney. Who can match them?

    As for RDJ and Thor…Thor got the “better than expected” review which only brought out the same audience. RDJ and IM went beyond that. When you look at the quads, you can see it went as deep as possible with its main audience and then pulled females in 25+ couples. That’s RDJ predominantly, with Evans and Jackson helping out.

  16. anghus says:

    Dpw, not sure. Though i heard it was only 1.5 million in ticket sales which means even if removed it has like zero impact.

    Dark Knight Rises doesn’t need to beat it. Comic book adaptations only benefit when they do well and are across the board hits. Even if DKR doesnt beat it, its still going to be big.

    The real test comes with Amazing Spiderman. Will another Marvel property benefit from Avengers. Do you think Sony is kicking themselves for not working out an Avengers cameo?

  17. bulldog68 says:

    If it indeed has grossed over $200m then this new record will be broken in the first weekend of 2017. 1st weekend of May 2002, Spiderman became the 1st movie to break $100m. Exactly five years later, 1st weekend of May 2007, Spidey 3 broke the $150m barrier. Now exactly five years later, Avengers claims the new benchmark.

    So two things, one..the new Spidey should have staked out this date a long time ago, it’s always good news for them, and two, anyone know what opens May 5th 2017?

  18. Jason B says:

    Unbelievable. Kudos all around to Marvel and Disney. Hope they keep the momentum up. If they only fall 50% next weekend, $100M second weekend has never been done, right?

  19. JS Partisan says:

    Jason, nope, and that would be pretty incredible.

  20. LYT says:

    JS was right about this one. I honestly didn’t think he would be.

  21. cadavra says:

    Are you guys sure TDKR is 3-D? I seem to recall Nolan being fairly adamant about NOT using it.

  22. JS Partisan says:

    Cad, TDK-R is in IMAX and should be on a ton of IMAX screens.

  23. J says:

    “opening weekend has nothing to do with the quality of a movie”

    I know this is a truism, that everything is marketing… but this one had enough advance positive critical win and enough genuine online positivity that — despite Sam Jackson’s petty tweet, which should have otherwise kept me away — I got convinced to go ahead and not wait for video.

    How much pure profit has the cumulative Avengers franchise made between Iron Man 1 & 2, Hulk 2, Thor, Cap and this? And is that JLA film back on track?

  24. palmtree says:

    And 17 years ago, it was Batman Forever that broke $50 million. How those days (and that record) seem so distant now…

  25. bulldog68 says:

    And the record for the quietest $200m in foreign grosses goes to….drum roll please…..Battleship.

  26. anghus says:

    it needs to make a lot more than $200 million overseas for Universal to be happy.

  27. film fanatic says:

    RE 3D/IMAX boosts: At least when TDKR opens in IMAX, the people paying the surcharges will actually receive something of tangible added-value for their extra money, instead of getting ripped off. I saw AVENGERS in 2D, but can’t imagine that it would look like anything other than sh** in 3D, as, even in 2D, it was often murkily underlit and filmed with a definite TV aesthetic. This isn’t a comment on the quality of the film itself — so don’t get your panties in a bunch IO — but I was shocked at how cheap and shoddy it looked for such a huge blockbuster.

  28. JS Partisan says:

    Yeah I have no idea how anyone could think it looks cheap or shoddy. All the FX houses did top notch work on it. The 3D is also the best post conversion I’ve ever seen. It’s that damn good, so don’t get your panties in a bunch that you are completely and utterly off the reservation of Logic, FF XD!

  29. Jason B says:

    Avatar owns the most second weekend pull with $75M (about $500k more than TDK). Have to think Avengers has that in the bag, even if it falls short of $100M.

  30. Tuck Pendelton says:

    Anghus – seconded. Battleship needs to do $600 million world wide.

  31. bulldog68 says:

    Also something I find fun to think about, Peter Skarsgard’s son, Alexander, has a key role in Battleship. Let the father/son battle begin.

    Next week will be a very interesting week, as we are now dealing with numbers bigger than we have had before. The 1st 2nd weekend above $100M? The best 2nd weekend is $75m by Avatar and Dark Knight. DK had its largest fall it’s 2nd weekend with a 52% drop. It only had Step Brothers to face. Is there room for Dark Shadows in the shadow of Avengers? Can Battleship beat Avengers 3rd weekend which might most likely be above $50M? And is Battleship now the casualty between Avengers and the following week of MiB3?

    I cant wait for it all to play out.

  32. film fanatic says:

    IO: The Iron Man stuff looked top notch, as that was probably the ILM A-Team at work on those shots, and the Hulk stuff, particularly the mo-cap and facial work, was excellent, as well, and much better than the Gumby looking work of the previous Hulk films. The flying ship and the big battle at the end not so much. Whenever you suddenly see the color palette on certain shots change to that silver “Sky Captain” hue with lots of added digitial blur to cover up shoddy FX work, it’s usually an indication that those scenes in question were farmed out to the lower-level VFX houses in India to save money or because of post-production time crunch.

  33. bulldog68 says:

    Saw Avengers in 3D Imax, it looked great to me.

  34. Michael says:

    I believe “opening weekend has nothing to do with quality” is becoming less true. As I left work on Friday, my coworker shared an very positive tweet from a friend that had just seen The Avengers. That instant word of mouth changed his mind about going this weekend. I think Twitter and Facebook are really changing the speed at which word of mouth spreads. This film may be the ultimate case for this, with many people REALLY loving it and becoming evangilists. I even had random people recommending it to me at the grocery store on Saturday (old school word of mouth).

  35. anghus says:

    there was one shot towards the end that i loved, where Iron Man is flying paralell to one of those big serpent things and the camera looks like it’s affixed to Iron Man.

    It looks like one of those old Japanese Ultraman kind of shots. It felt like a monster movie homage. I was curious to see if that’s the intention.

    film fanatic, don’t try applying logic and technical arguments to IO. It’s the greatest movie in the world. It broke all the records, therefore it is beyond any sort of critique at all.

    Hey IO, when do you begin the “Avengers going to get a Best Picture nomination” posts?

  36. JS Partisan says:

    FF, yeah, I did not see that what so ever, but I go to a theatre with some of the best digital projection on earth. It might be a shitty print or whatever, but it’s trippy that you saw something that I really did not see.

    Also, Michael has a very solid point.

    Hey anghus, stop being an asshole, and stating what I can and cannot do. It’s fucking tiresome, but seeing as you are nothing more than a pissed off Southerner. It’s sort of assumed because Southerners love telling other people what to do.

    You can also keep on being the curmudgeonly dick of this blog but fucking grow up already. Jesus, if you want to nitpick everything, then go nitpick everything, that does not mean some folks can see something that you didn’t see like a reflection in a mirror.

    Also, I am not going to start anything about it being a Best Picture nominee, because it’s probably too loud and complicated for those old silent film loving Academy members.

    Oh yeah, if you can’t use a person’s name, then I might as well refer to you as the COWA.

  37. Amblynman says:

    So what I”m curious about now is does this opening weekend change plans at all for Marvel? Will they want to ramp up production on a sequel instead of the Thor and Cap movies?

  38. film fanatic says:

    An added thought: has an epic comic-book film, particularly one with the veritable Dream Team/Murderer’s Row of awesome protagonists, ever had such an underwhelming villain? You have Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America and Thor all facing off against a mincing fop with resentment issues holding a glowing magic spear that looks like an abandoned prop from KRULL? And it didn’t help that the no-name actor in question seemed to be doing a bad job of channelling Richard E. Grant from HUDSON HAWK. You have all these amazing A-list actors and they couldn’t have cast another one as the villain so the antagonist might reasonably have had a shot at holding his ground with them? WTF?

  39. Jason B says:

    Quality may have played a bit into Sat or Sun, by marketing got Avengers to $80M Thur night and Fri.

  40. JS Partisan says:

    Loki is a great villain but please, do not let his rather realistic intentions get in the way of criticizing him. Nope, he’s so horrible because he hates a place that his brother loves, wants to rule it to spite his brother, but does not see the bigger plans of THE MAN. Yeah he is so hawwible.

  41. movieman says:

    Even though I’m not a fan, it’s nice to see “Marigold Hotel” open so well.
    It should perform nicely for Searchlight over the next few months–making up for whatever they lose on “Sound of My Voice” and “Lola Versus.”
    I know the latter hasn’t even opened yet, but seriously.
    Why are they even releasing that movie?
    It looks like an IFC or Magnolia throwaway.
    And I don’t think Zoe Kazan’s vanity project is going to do all that well for them either, its “Little Miss Sunshine” pedigree notwithstanding. (Personally, I’d be a lot more psyched about Dayton and Faris’ planned “Abstinence Teacher” adaptation that–for some reason or another: does anyone know the answer?–never happened.)

  42. Amblynman says:

    JS, I almost feel bad for you. In a few months when you watch the Blu ray at home and don’t have the audience reaction to goose it I suspect this movie is going to play very differently for you.

  43. anghus says:

    I like Hiddleston as Loki. I think i would have preferred a better, more involved plan. I want to see the super long 3 hour cut to see if there was originally a little more cohesion or logic to it all.

    The biggest, most gaping plot hole to me was (Spoliers)

    Iron Man flies the nuke into the portal, hits the big ship, blows it up, and all the soldiers and creatures collapse. Which was pretty much the exact same mechanic used in Phantom Menace to topple the droid army.

    I couldn’t quite figure out why this seemingly organic alien race required a battery. And if it only took one nuke to take them down, how much of a threat were they in the first place. Apparently one well placed nuke out of the hundred thousand they have on this planet were enough to defeat the Chiatauri.

    Maybe if they’d set it up as a special missile they’d developed using the tessarect, one of the super powered WMD’s the Banner showed on the monitor, it would have felt like a superweapon that could fell an alien armada.

    Loki’s plan to me was like that episode of South Park with the Underwear Gnomes.

    Get Tessarect ??????????? Profit

  44. Amblynman says:


    You hit it on the head. The film’s script is pretty dumb, and not just “gee it’s a superhero movie, what did you expect” kind of dumb. How about just having the Avengers beat the shit out of the aliens, they retreat, boom – Earth isn’t to be fucked with due to the superheroes it has now…as opposed to the nukes we’ve had for over 50 years?

  45. Amblynman says:

    I just want to add again: Hawkeye/Black Widow. Same. Fucking. Character. I know they desperately wanted Hawkeye flipping his bow open to be cool but…it’s a fucking bow. The other guys have laser guns. Fuck your bow.

  46. anghus says:

    In spite of some flaws i still had a great time at Avengers and will see it again. But to me it’s a success because of the the actors and the character building moments. But it wasn’t smart.

    I mean (spoilers), there’s this halfway through where Loki makes a comment about the bright shining light of the world and Banner flat out says “i think he was talking about you” and they mention the ARC reactor.

    Then at the end they give Iron Man this AH HA moment when theyre talking about Agent Coulson being dead and Stark declared “He’s making it personal”, cut to Stark Tower.

    I wasn’t sure why they didn’t already know he was heading to Stark Tower or why that was such a mystery when it seems like Loki flat out said it.

  47. chris says:

    Bulldog, Peter Sarsgaard has two children, but they are girls and not in “Battleship.” Stellan Skargard has a son, Alexander, who is in “Battleship.”

  48. David Poland says:

    1. There are not “a ton” of IMAX screens, so don’t lose perspective on that.

    2. Experiential anecdotes aside, opening weekend is still not driven by the film itself. There is just no logic, hundreds of times a year, to the claim otherwise. Crap films aren’t slowed. Great films don’t accelerate.

    What I do agree with is that a relentless drumbeat from the media going into opening weekend can change the game, especially when people are constantly being told that the film is going to be a box office phenom. That creates “must see” because water coolers still exist, online and off.

    The difference in this current era is that exhibitors accordioning screens allows for every single person who wants to see a film like this THIS weekend can. Except for IMAX, sell-outs, aside from, say, exactly 8p Sat night are very rare. There is now, on a release like this, a 7:30 and an 8:30 to accommodate everyone while the iron is hot.

    So you don’t get the old fear factor of wanting to see a movie and really being turned away. This Is also a boon to the ticket per-sellers. And a lessened opportunity for counterprogramming of the “the big movie is sold out so they’ll go to ours” variety.

  49. David Poland says:

    JSP – Seriously… enjoy being right about something and don’t embarrass yourself trying to discount the 3D bump because you were rooting for this film.

    Based on the studio figures, it sounds like the 3D bump was good for about $25m – $30m this weekend.

    That still puts it right there with TDK, which is still a spectacular success.

  50. JS Partisan says:

    David, that statement comes from discussions you have had about the 3D bump on this blog. You’ve stated as much about the 3D bump. I’m just taking your word on that, but it’s interesting to know it’s still worth something even though you are giving me crap for basing that statement off of something you’ve stated on this blog a few times.

    ET man, yeah, you and Ang have complaints that really are so far a field, that it would be easy to rip them apart, but what’s the use? You’re on the island. It’s a small and tiny island but you two have each other for company. That’s something!

    You stating the movie will play different for me, is really goofy given that the freaking film supercharges the hell out of me. It is everything and more that I could ever imagine it to be. I feel sorry for you and Ang for being so pointlessly nit-picky and not getting that Tony didn’t a-ha it because Loki were fucking with their minds. This is why Bruce turned into HULK and had no control over it. Again, could go on, but there’s only so much facepalming one do.

    Seriously, Clint and Nat are not the same character. Stating that they are, ignores that really is not even the case. Again, stating that they are ignores that both get character moments to establish how different they are.

  51. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Over 50% of the money came from 3D! And that’s a fact! Would be under 100M if it wasn’t for 3D bump!

  52. Mariamu says:

    Almost changed my mind about seeing The Avengers tonight–then remembered I had to do laundry. “Hipsters” did better than expected at my theatre and “Monsieur Lazhar” is holding well.

  53. Krillian says:

    So did Dark Shadows soil itself just a little bit?

  54. martin s says:

    Anghus – “Do you think Sony is kicking themselves for not working out an Avengers cameo?

    Funny you mention that. It hit me this morning that Disney Avengers now reverses Marvel’s relationship with the other studios.

    For example, Fox wouldn’t even consider allowing Kingpin or any secondary Dardevil characters to appear in Spider-Man, or any FF villains, for that matter. X-Men has been living on a deserted isle for this same reason, as has Dr. Strange, Namor and a handful of others.

    Now, they will be begging Marvel to cross-promote. It will be interesting to see what Disney decides to do, because they could leverage them for a return of ownership, like IM. X-Men and Spidey won’t go anywhere, but everyone else should be fair game.

    As for what can beat this, Justice League could easily…but that now depends on Man of Steel. If Snyder is off-base, WB will be in a tailspin without a TDK on the map. If it works, it comes down to Zack or if Avengers piqued Nolan’s interest.

    Very strange events, when you consider if Miller’s JLA was made, it would have derailed Nolan and depending on its success, altered Marvel’s strategy by either rushing to Avengers, (if JLA worked), or not going forward at all, if it didn’t pan out.

  55. anghus says:

    Man. IO, your jspartisan character really captures the fanboy experience. it’s like performance art. i finally get it.

  56. film fanatic says:

    Actually, Foamy, David’s math is closer to being correct. The studio is claiming 53% of the tickets sold were for 3-D engagements. Assuming an average 25% surcharge for 3D, that means the movie made approximately 13.25% more than it would have if it were only in 2D. If were are to believe the $200M weekend figure (let’s check again tomorrow when the actuals are in), that means it otherwise would have made $176M, still an incredibly impressive figure by any yardstick. The film is a crowd pleaser and I assume it will have better legs than some other recent huge openers, but David makes a good point about how exhibitors’ ability to offer as many auditoriums as demand dictates on opening weekend means that everybody who wants to see it can do so in the first three days. When you look at the box-office figures for CAPTAIN AMERICA and THOR (approx $180M each domestic, as opposed to IRON MAN 1-2’s $300M), it’s possible to infer that pretty much EVERYBODY who went to see those two over the course of their runs (more or less the core of the die-hard Marvel niche) came out this weekend to see AVENGERS. And considering the fact that they paid the money for THOSE films (especially the horrific clunky THOR), why would the huge number for AVENGERS be a surprise?

  57. bulldog68 says:

    Thanks Chris. I always get that Skarsgard/Saarsgard thing mixed up.

  58. chris says:

    Accepting that the quality/opening/marketing argument is true, I wonder if there’s an exception for “Avengers” (which I don’t think is all that great, but many seem to): If a movie opens huge in the U.S. and has good reviews, that surely affects its playability overseas — meaning its quality may not matter on opening weekend in the U.S. but could contribute to a bigger, later opening overseas (for one thing, mightn’t perceived quality get it booked into more theaters?). And mightn’t the reverse be true here, where “Avengers” opened a week earlier all over the place and the word from overseas was good?

  59. David Poland says:

    Uh, no, Chris.

    Are we going to see a $100m+ opening here for Battleship? That would support your notion a bit.

    Truth is, the idea of throwing these characters together, especially Iron Man and Hulk, worked for audience anticipation. And then, yes, media built it up a lot. But media has done the same for a lot of movies that haven’t opened as well.

    In the end, you need all those pieces to get people excited… but you need 2 minutes of the product they can get excited about.

    These big comic book films are pretty clear… they have a solid base… and then the ones that do bigger business reach outside of that base. Avengers has done that. And I do understand why. No one is really coming out of it screaming for their money back… even critics who were invited for free. It’s not unlike the JJ Abrams Star Trek. Not the greatest movie, but the decades old, huge base of fans were satisfied. And that was enough.

    Here, you have an even bigger base… even bigger interest. And yes, by making enjoyable Thor and Cap films, they effectively build to this moment. Feige was right. He deserves credit.

    But let’s not go batshit crazy over one film that opened. Let’s see the final number. (Hunger Games, anyone?)

  60. film fanatic says:

    Having AVENGERS and the other Marvel films be successful obviously builds the brand, sets the stage for sequels, sows the seeds for new generations of fans, generates merchandising revenue and, when contracts at other theme parks lapse, will provide fodder for attractions at Disneyland and Disneyworld, all of which will go a long way toward amortizing Disney’s $4B purchase of Marvel.

    That said, even if AVENGERS grosses a staggering $1B, when you figure 55% for rentals, then deduct the $250M budget, $100M for worldwide ads, and $57M+ payoff to Paramount, the resulting profit will STILL be less than the writedown on JOHN CARTER.

  61. JS Partisan says:

    Oh anghus, the fact that you think you aren’t a character is what’s really funny. You also having a problem with fanboys is funny, given all the time you and I spent in geekchat back in the day. Seriously, fanboys are not the devil, but you keep on being pissy at a group of people. Keep it up man, !

  62. Lane Myers says:

    The mention of the latest Star Trek actually being a good movie, reminded me of this great Onion faux news video piece: “Trekkies Bash New Star Trek Film As ‘Fun, Watchable’.”


  63. Steven Kar says:

    I have seen BATTLESHIP and am now convinced that it will not perform well in the US. It might have a decent to strong opening weekend, say 35-50, but it will peter out at 100 or so. Internationally, it will do 250, maybe even less?

    My two major problems with Battleship were: there was absolutely not one original idea in the entire 131 minutes, AND there was no story logic at all.

  64. Foamy Squirrel says:

    JS, you just don’t get it. People like you have an opinion that is just an opinion, and you are up against FACTS.

    Wait until GI Joe 2 completely DESTROYS Avengers opening weekend!

    This is all I have to say to you!

  65. JS Partisan says:

    Awaiting moderation? Come on! Fine, FS, I cannot rebut you in a style in which you are accustomed, so please take this picture as a response to your previous post:

  66. SamLowry says:

    “Fun, Watchable”?!? As if.

    Finally rented Abram’s Star Trek only because Redbox offered me a second movie for $0.50, and even without going on about the self-inflicted lens flare or the Enterprise being built on the ground, it was still horrible. Fast-forwarded through the first half and finally gave up when Scotty was sucked through a series of pipes. Just mind-numbingly stupid from beginning to, well, midpoint, at least.

    And film fanatic, the front page is stating Paramount will walk away with at least $115 mil from the Avengers. Toss in your typical Coming to America-style accounting and it just might end up less profitable than Cabin in the Woods.

  67. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Oh yeah?!?!?

  68. anghus says:

    I think JLA would have been a more difficult proposition back then because they hadnt laid the groundwork and Warner Bros has not traditionally been great at weaving their characters into any kind of cohesive world.

    JLA is a more likely propsect now but still faces the fact that other than Superman or Batman there is zero awareness. Green Lantern might be the DC version of Hulk. Though i doubt any scenario where audiences cheer for a snarky Ryan Reynolds.

    Plus JLA has now lost the novelty of it all. It will always be the other superhero team up film. Warners might be happy with that.

  69. martin s says:

    So Namor and Strange are already back with Marvel. I keep think Strange and Sony, but that’s because of Savoy. Par was the last holder, which was awhile ago. Namor flipped around the time Hulk did, very quietly.

    Interesting possibilities now. If they continue with Thanos, then I guess all of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” talk makes sense.

    But intro Namor or Strange in the sequel, and you’ve got ready-made spinoffs.

    The only one they really need back is FF, but like Daredevil, Fox is keeping it in active development. Ghost Rider will revert on its own, leaving Spidey and X-Men as stand alone.

  70. martin s says:

    Anghus – What WB was planning was the opposite of Marvel; use Batman and Superman to launch JLA as a way to intro the other characters, and then spin ’em off. They had been looking at that option since World’s Finest with Wolfgang.

    As for novelty, you’re right it’s second, but Batman and Superman are still the biggest two names. There is some recognition parity now.

    It comes down if they could talk Bale into it. A week ago, I’d say probably not. But after this weekend, you know adrenaline is flowing at WB, so the pressure will be on.

    I don’t know how WB could justify handing a JLA project over to Snyder after Watchmen, unless Man of Steel is amazing.

  71. greg says:

    SamL, I think you’re going to have to admit you’re in the minority about Trek…

  72. Joe Leydon says:

    I still want to know: Where the hell were Ant-Man and Wasp? They were in the original Avengers line-up! And if they were going to include members of the second lineup (like Hawkeye) where were Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch?

    (You know, back in the day, I got the crap kicked out of me by high school classmates for talking about stuff like this instead of girls and football.)

  73. JS Partisan says:

    Joe, Janet has been replaced by Nat in the movie and in the comics. Nat’s the defacto Avengers female. While Hank may eventually show up even though you really do not need him in this universe. You have Banner and Stark, you really do not need Hank. You can do Vision without him.

    Now, with Wanda and Pietro, given the way Feige brought them up. Sort of screams, that they will probably show up in the next series of films leading up to Avengers 2. How you explain their powers without using the word “mutant” will be interesting to see if they can pull off, but this is a new world. FOX might get the stick out of their ass, realize that being a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a good thing, and we might get the mutants mixing with everyone else.

    The real thing that a lot of people are going to want eventually in an Avengers film, are Wolvie and Spidey being a part of the team. If they can do that, there’s your even bigger opening weekend.


  74. hcat says:

    I would think the effects budget would increase quite a bit if you add Wasp (Mila Kunis would be perfect) and Ant-man, I can see why they held them off until later. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are probably owned by Fox through the X-men.

    Just curious, was there a Disney or Touchstone studio logo on the Avengers or just the Marvel banner?

  75. storymark says:

    “Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are probably owned by Fox through the X-men.”

    Feige explained last week that those characters are available – Marvel can use them, they just can’t mention “mutant powers’ or their father – which to me negates their usefullness as characters – but its possible that they could appear.

    Though I for one hope that they never fold the X-Men into the Marvel film universe. Just like the comics (in which they eventually had to de-power like, 90% of mutants), they just make super-powers a little too common.

  76. JS Partisan says:

    SM, certain mutants are great Avengers though, and those characters should be the only ones that could go between both.

    This includes Wanda and Pietro, who are so much more than their father, and remain some of the best Avengers ever. Sure, Hank and Janet (No Mila Kunis, please god know) are founding members but Wanda and Pietro work in that world really well. Of course I’d prefer Captain Marvel (aka Carol Danvers) to show up in the next Avengers film before anyone else.

    Finally, HC, it’s a Marvel logo followed by a Paramount logo. No Disney logo is present.

  77. storymark says:

    “SM, certain mutants are great Avengers though, and those characters should be the only ones that could go between both.”

    Im not talking about the team make-up, but the world the stories inhabit – and in that context, Im totally okay with mutants being left out of the equation.

  78. Krillian says:

    If the numbers are to be believed, The Avengers had a smaller production budget than John Carter.

  79. hcat says:

    Obviously the Universe buildup was a success, if they are going to introduce a slew of new less well known heroes I would suggest this – Do an Astonishing Tales film, three mini stand alone individual adventures, anchor the third tale with an already established hero to boost interest. If they don’t think they can get away with an Ant-Man movie, have an Ant-Man/Namor/Captain America movie. Maybe make two of them, have them bookend the Summer and have one of the installments end in a cliff-hanger.

  80. JS Partisan says:

    So SM, you are okay with Beast never joining the Avengers? Storm? Wolvie? I guess you are not enjoying AVX XD?

    HC, Hank Pym would probably work best inside of either a Shield movie or an Iron Man movie. If they even use him but they might, and that could eventually mean Ultron. Oy with the Ultron.

  81. Jason B. says:

    WB should get on a JLA movie. Has to be one with Darkseid, right? I think a JLA movie would be immensely popular. Their comics were always popular and with the animated show laying ground, I would think JLA is familiar with the public. Obviously, the Avengers movie has upted that.

    They should not tie it to Current Supes/Bats. Plus, not sure Bale would be up for it (not to mention the Nolan movies would seem to not fit with JLA).

  82. Joe Leydon says:

    I just want to hear Ant-Man (or was he Giant-Man by this point?) cry out: “O Wasp, where is thy sting?” Just like he did in the comic book once when he feared his beloved was toast.

  83. JS Partisan says:

    Avengers is up to 207 million. Now if it can make 100m next weekend, that crazy speculation about a totally different movie doing that will have happened :D!

  84. My screening had a Paramount logo. And yes, Joe, it is a little odd that these once cult/geek-friendly characters have been so embraced by the very audiences that once mocked those who were fans back in an earlier time. It still is kinda nuts that theoretically large numbers of jocks and-the-like all went gaga for a movie starring Thor… THOR! I mean I’m somewhat of a comic nerd (mostly DC through Batman) and I learned most of my Thor trivia through that Hulk Vs. Lionsgate DVD release a few years back. I get the wide appeal of Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man, and I get how shrewdly Iron Man was sold as an adult-skewing politically-conscious action drama starring ‘grown-up actors’ AND a movie about a bad-ass dude blowing shit up with a metal suit, but I’m still (pleasantly?) surprised at how well Marvel, Paramount, and Disney have sold these arguably far-geekier properties. But it is still beyond strange how the last ten years have seen the mainstream blockbuster success of films (The Avengers, Lord of the Rings, etc) eagerly devoured by people who, yes, probably would have mocked anyone who read the original source material ‘back in the day’.

    Maybe I’m being naive, but I have to believe that the sheer hugeness of the Saturday and Sunday numbers compared to the Friday number, especially compared to prior mega-opening weekends, means that word of mouth and alleged quality played a role in this debut. If the film had grossed $100 million on Friday and topped out at $200 million on Sunday, then fine, it’s a normal front-loaded mega-debut. But the film made just 9% of its weekend at midnight (normal for a big debut is 4-7%, so it’s almost in the ‘normal’ range) and actually made more money on Saturday ($69m) than it did during ‘regular Friday business hours’ ($61m). Hell it almost did more on Sunday ($59m) than it did during ‘normal Friday’ ($61m). And while Twitter is not an exact science, my feed was lit up all weekend with people who were seeing the film 2-3 times just over the weekend. And while I’m closer on the critical scale to DP than Drew, the film is undeniably entertaining and absolutely delivers in the big-scale spectacle for at least the last act (although I prefer the second-act action sequence) and provides enough laughs and buzz-worthy moments to create genuine water cooler-effect. Those merely going for a grand time with characters they like are walking away completely satisfied and they’ve been making their approval known from the start of the weekend. Point being,I think this is a rare case where the film’s would-be quality (or at least pure-entertainment level) played a role in the opening weekend. If nothing else, the mainstreaming of box office reporting played a role too, as the continuous news about the huge business arguably spurred some people to check out ‘what everyone else was seeing’, which I think somewhat drove the larger-than-expected Sunday number.

  85. storymark says:

    I don’t think you can deny word-of-mouth having an impact at this point. It’s not *just* marketing (didn’t we spend a fair ammount of time here mocking the marketing? The EW cover, the poster, etc).

    Hell, most of the people I know saw it more than once this weekend – you can chalk the first time up to marketing – not the second.

  86. hcat says:

    Wouldn’t it be reasonable to think that the Friday number not being as huge as the saturday or sunday would be attributable to the fact that school is still in session?

    And from what I remember about junior high and high school, the kids that read comic books or were really into Lord of the Rings would have gotten mocked no matter what reading material they carried around.

  87. Krillian says:

    …..aaaaaaaaand that’s the end of Miley Cyrus’s movie career.

  88. Mike says:

    I know we like to say that first weekend doesn’t have to do with reviews, and while that’s true, I think buzz does come into play. We have had the same conversation about the first Iron Man and the first Pirates movies both exploding out of the gate. It’s impossible to deny that positive buzz predated those openings or this one.

    When my wife–not a big superhero fan–said she heard Iron Man was good and wanted to see it before it had even opened–not having read any reviews–buzz is having an impact on box office. So, I think positive “reviews” can help, as long as it seems overwhelmingly positive.

  89. David Poland says:

    “most of the people I know saw it more than once this weekend”

    the kind of obvious hyperbole that allows people to convince themselves of something.

    The Saturday bump was clearly not word of mouth… but it does indicate that families went to see the film.

    I find it endlessly fascinating when very smart people convince themselves of something happening that makes no sense because something surprising happened.

    It is possible that there will be a case for opening weekend being significantly adjusted by the movie some time. But there will never be a moment like that which can be clearly read on Monday morning.

    I learned this lesson long ago. (See: Titanic)

  90. storymark says:

    The early international premiere has to factor in, too. In today’s world of social media, I was hearing about it from friends around the world almost instantly.

  91. David Poland says:

    Mike… “buzz” and “word of mouth/the quality fo the movie” are two very different things.

    The first Pirates movie DIDN’T break out of the box the way the second one – which had a LOT of negativity in the media about its content – did.

    That’s my point.

    The phenomenon is not a judgement on the movie, but on the ability to convince a broader audience than normal to be willing to engage with a superhero movie. Spider-Man did it. To some degree Iron Man & Downey did it. Now, Avengers has done it.

    But the reverse engineering of an argument why there was a $200m opening is the mistake. It happened for all the reasons all big openings happen. And there is nothing in any of the numbers to date suggesting otherwise.

    The one really unusual element is the international opening a week earlier… but that is more of an indicator than a leader.

  92. storymark says:

    “the kind of obvious hyperbole that allows people to convince themselves of something.”

    Wasn’t presenting it as some be-all-end-all proof.

    Nonetheless – you’re “Opening weekend is ONLY about marketing” routine rings less absolute all the time. Especially with communication as it stands today. For it to be ONLY marketing pretty much requires one to assume that people don’t talk, at all.

  93. Mike says:

    Is buzz not usually tied to the quality of the movie? That seemed to be the case for both Iron Man and (depending on who you ask) Avengers.

  94. storymark says:

    Good point, Mike – how many movies get good “buzz” that people don’t like? Many movies with big buzz get the backlash later, when certain people will begin insisting its the worst thing ever, but that’s a different beast.

    And boy – is the backlach on this gonna be big.

  95. Joe Leydon says:

    But what about when there is little or no marketing — and people show up anyway? Not many people, in most cases, but I would argue that favorable Social Media buzz has some effect on some folks. After all, I wasn’t entirely alone when I saw LOL late Saturday afternoon.

    Oh and Krillian: As I posted on another thread:

  96. martin s says:

    Joe – “I still want to know: Where the hell were Ant-Man and Wasp? They were in the original Avengers line-up!”

    Yeah, they were dropped for Hawkeye/Widow due to VFX costs a few years ago.

    Scott – a number of colleges let out this past weekend, so IMO, that was the change-up from Friday to Sat/Sunday. Travel and Commencement pushed things back a day or two.

  97. SamLowry says:

    Greg, yes, Abrams’ Trek sold a lot of tickets, but three Transformers movies would like to tell you that high ticket sales do not prove high quality.

    Martin S, Saturday was not only the end of finals week, but it was also Cinco de Mayo, which may not seem terribly important until you see a store full of college students in sombreros looting the liquor aisle. So, no, I don’t think they were all that interested in going to the movies.

  98. Melquiades says:

    My sister and brother-in-law almost always base their Friday movie selection on which new release has the best Rotten Tomato ranking. I think “I hear it’s really good” plays some part in how a movie opens — not a huge part, but some.

  99. Tuck Pendelton says:

    The Weekend Actuals came in $207 million for the Avengers, earlier on this thread I said it’d dip below $200 Million, and I’m clearly wrong.

  100. JS Partisan says:

    Tuck, it happens, but this film is something special, so 200m really seemed a bit too low for the final total.

  101. Triple Option says:

    You guys who can find all these cool stats, is there any number on how many tix were pre-sold? This movie definitely had the signs up for sales earlier than I’ve ever seen. Seriously, a month before. I would think this would kinda explain the high numbers on Sat. Even before the theaters got the particulars, I’d imagine, sight unseen they’d say, “we’ve got shows on Friday midnight, 11 AM, 2 PM, 5, 7, 10 and mid Sat” before the theater knows what movies they’ll be playing that opening week and when they can time everything out. So those go right away because no one’s gonna wait and see if they can do better time wise. They’ll just grab whatever’s best avail. Then when the full number of screens and times and what other movies will be playing in their theater, the other showing start filling in when they’re released.

    This movie was going to make a ginormous buttload regardless of quality but I’d say the time necessary for word of mouth to have an effect is less than previous eras. But I think for opening weekend instead of prompting someone to see something like My Big Fat Greek Wedding that was super leggy, in this case it sways people who were on the fence. People who already had an awareness and desire but were maybe weren’t committed to go opening w/e instead of waiting. I don’t know any way to calculate that. Yes, it’s anecdotal to say, we’ve all been on the fence or known people who’ve been swayed one way or another based on what we’ve heard early on, so because it’s so common, one would have to believe there’s enough of an accumulation to move the needle one way or the other.

  102. Krillian says:

    Of all the indie darling movies that never come around here, LOL was actually in a theater near me, I presume because the owner figured it couldn’t do worse business than another week of Lockout.

  103. Yancy Berns says:

    Uh, has everyone on this board forgotten that quality is subjective? Dave seems incensed that AVENGERS is doing better than he would seem to like it to (a feeling I’ve shared regarding other films), but its very clear at this point that people are really loving this film. I know I did.

  104. David Poland says:

    Joe… LOL averaged fewer than 20 people A DAY per screen last weekend.

    So you were kidding, right?

  105. JS Partisan says:

    Berns, ssshhhhhh :D. We don’t mention the obvious.

  106. Yancy Berns says:

    I would love to be able to argue that THE DARK KNIGHT is insanely overrated (and I often do), but I can’t deny that the movie really broke through to its audience. Same with TRANSFORMERS – people may say they hated them, but you don’t get to 400-500 mil without a good percentage of people liking the film. No, the culture may have decided that TRANSFORMERS 2 is garbage (I’ve never seen it all the way through), and therefore more people may be inclined to say they, also, hated it. But the numbers don’t lie: somebody liked it. Same with the STAR WARS prequels (which I do indeed treasure): how many people out there need to comfort themselves by telling you how much “everyone hates them” or “everyone in my theater blah blah blah reacted the same way I did”? And yet, those numbers don’t lie. In fact, I’d say there isn’t a single movie to pass 400 million where I can’t see what people responded to. And hating a movie that makes over 500 million begins to border on misanthropy.

  107. Yancy Berns says:

    Nothing wrong with misanthropy, though. Again, the more people rave about Nolan, the more I dislike him.

  108. David Poland says:

    Yancy… I’m not incensed at all with the film or its business.

    What makes me crazy in these situations is that suddenly, the crackpot theories start flying around as though something game changing has happened.

    Year after year after year, it’s the same bullshit. The world changed to darkness or the world changed to light… it’s the same thing, really.

    There are structural things that have changed. They have changed for EVERY movie. They have a real effect on EVERY movie.

    I don’t mind lunar eclipses either… until people start explaining that there is some profound meaning to them other than “nature.” Homosexuals didn’t earn AIDS anymore than smokers in the 1950s and 1960s earned lung cancer.

    With all the respect I can muster, “this film is something special, so 200m really seemed a bit too low for the final total” is right up there with “if you donate enough to the church, this drought will end and the rain will come save your farm.”

    And of course, I get the truly moronic, “Well he just doesn’t like the movie” spin… when if you read his comment, JSP felt almost exactly as I did about the film, aside from his dramatic love dances.

  109. storymark says:

    Who (well, aside from JSP) is saying this is a game changer, though? You seem to be bringing out defenses against an argument no one is really making.

  110. Joe Leydon says:

    David: So you were kidding, right?

    Well, the name of the movie is LOL, right?

    But seriously: I occasionally wonder how even the few people who do show up for some movies found out about those movies in the first place. Like, I was amazed that I wasn’t the only person in the auditorium when Janky Promoters opened out in the sticks a while back.

  111. David Poland says:

    Not bring defenses. Ongoing stating the reality. Period.

    And yes, many people – some of the dumbest in here and some have the smartest – have suggested fundamental changes to box office reality have occurred. (it’s not unlike Avatar signalling to people – falsely – that 3D was now a workable standard for any film.)

    Word of mouth has sped up… but not close to having a significant effect on Saturday box office.

    International going first has some value, but you have to look at the % of Americans who even know it happened.

    Etc, etc.

    I am against all overhype. It skews perception into the future. People have developed wild imaginations and very short memories.

    All I am saying is, “Take a breath and let any changes that may happen come to you,” because that is the only realistic way to see change and learn whether it’s real.

    Or we can all dance naked in front of the fire like JSP. (Ewwww)

  112. brack says:

    I would be inclined to think the Marvel movie build-up worked. Whether or not it is a game changer, I’m not sure, but I’m sure studios will want to replicate this kind of success nonetheless.

  113. storymark says:

    “Word of mouth has sped up… but not close to having a significant effect on Saturday box office.”

    But what about a week’s worth of word coming from across the world? People are pretty connected these days.

    “All I am saying is, “Take a breath and let any changes that may happen come to you,” because that is the only realistic way to see change and learn whether it’s real.”

    I think what a lot of folks are saying is, that they have come. Subtly perhaps, rather than upheavals, but change nonetheless.

  114. palmtree says:

    DP, totally agree on nixing the hyperbole.

    My only addition to the mix is that the Twitterverse (the little bit of it that I occasionally reluctantly pay attention to) did threaten to make me go for fear of missing out on a great cinematic experience. I mean, the love is unbelievably overwhelming. The fact that I still haven’t gone doesn’t negate that I was very tempted.

    While Avengers isn’t the game changer, at some point, it seems inevitable that social media will have a substantial measurable effect on BO, especially on big event movies where expectation is high. But as with most game changers, this will be the result of new technology and/or saturation and not any one film.

  115. martin s says:

    DP – You don’t think between Potter and Avengers, IMAX/3D, can be considered part of the pricing norm for monster films?

    IMO, this is what Cameron was after; produce massive spectacle that no home theater can replicate, and you’ve created a new class of movies.

    I don’t know what you call it, but it’s very specialized: Avatar, Deathly Hollows 2, Avengers, and soon TDKR, possibly Prometheus.

    I go back to what Cameron was developing at Universal Studios, and all that’s missing is the live theater aspect; actors and moving chairs. If Cameron could swing it for Avatar 3, it might happen.

    If IMax was willing to replicate the Back To The Future ride, the entire industry upgrades.

  116. David Poland says:

    Brack… yes, it clearly worked. Which leads to one or two possible opportunities in future.

    But there is also the opposite issue. When will the pushback start? It happens to every filmmaker and every genre eventually. And when each of these films is a $200m + $150m investment, when will it draw blood and whose blood will it draw.

    Let’s not forget that Disney is the same studio that paid for John Carter, released just a few months ago.

    As for the notion that social media will some day change box office futures… I say, “probably not.” The message is NOT the medium in movie marketing. The game is the same no matter what mix of media a marketing department uses. Find eyeballs… convince eyeballs… convert eyeballs.

    Before a movie is released, Popular on Twitter is no more effective than Popular on Magazine Covers. No reason to think it ever will be.

    And after a movie is out, there is plenty of reason to think social media is more inclusive and a single voice can be more widely heard. But there is also reason to think that individual voices are discounted by the overall hum.

    What we see here – The Avengers – is a must-see event that was built the old fashioned way… but a ton of media hype and excitement, enhanced further by being the first big film of the season, enhanced further by there being no Fast Five level film at the end of April, enhanced further by a couple of good films last summer that people mostly enjoyed that opened the door more widely than “Iron Man & Friends.”

    And as I noted yesterday… I don’t see any film beating this number this summer. But I do expect a couple of films – surely TDKR – to beat the TDK number that is now #2.

    Going into this summer, we will have had 3 $150m domestic openings in history. And by the end of this summer, I believe we will have 4 of them this year alone. And maybe a fifth this November (last twilight).

    That is not a phenomenon of any one film. It’s not teens flocking back to the theaters because they now hate the internet. It’s a system playing out its design with absolute intent. And the variations or $10m or $20m are distractions, not game definers.

  117. David Poland says:

    Martin S – The problem with IMAX is that it is – pun not really intended – maxing out.

    FAUXmax is not the same. And new real IMAX screens are not being built in huge numbers.

    So yes, IMAX is a great tool for 5 or 6 movies a year to bring their avg ticket price up another buck or two for 10% of their customers. And it’s a beautiful format for some movies. But it doesn’t change the overall economics of the industry much at all. It does give more studios inspiration to try to line one of those films up for the bonus bump.

    Thing is… overall… there is nothing wrong with movies in theaters, there was nothing wrong with movies in theaters. Media is over 40 and over 40 doesn’t go to the movies. So there is an endless process of rationalizing trouble for the exhibition world that is not there. (And god knows, studios have been trying to kill exhibitors, on and off, for years.)

  118. JS Partisan says:

    David, you once again confuse me for someone who gives a shit about you and your personal attacks. If I were dancing naked around a fire. It would be a lot prettier sight than you doing it, and that alone makes me crack up at anytime you try to insult me or my appearance.

    If you want to make shitty analogies about correct statements, then why not use twitter? That’s what you want to do anyway and your shitty analogies can fit in a 140 characters. You also denying this film is special. Ignores that to me and a lot of other people, it is, and that you cannot disagree with a feeling. Keep trying though, it’s hilarious to see you do this:

    Keeping the Collar wide open side, SM, that story is all over the net. I am not the only one who has stated as much. Other people agree with me, that you people mostly do not understand is due to not dealing with NEW 52 and it’s DARK REBOOT ass. All of that, and the new Spidey movie, are about the Dark Knight taking the joy out of the genre and making it dark and gritty. Now, the Avengers, has taken it back from Nolan. It’s brought back the comic book nature of these movies and that’s a good thing, even if you don’t get that or agree with it.

  119. storymark says:

    JS, I feel like you’re in the middle of an argument with me that I am unaware of. What exactly am I not supposedly “getting” or that I don’t like this time?? And it had WHAT to do with the new 52?

  120. JS Partisan says:

    SM, the reason why it has redefined the genre, has a lot to do with the way TDK in the last 4 years has changed the entire medium. We are getting a DARK AND GRITTY SPIDEY reboot for god sake’s. The NEW 52 got rebooted to a dark and gritty gorefest because DC truly believed, that’s all anyone wanted. When, really, we want what the Avengers gives us. It gives us the comic book action and story sorely lacking for four years. That’s how it changes things.

    Which, again, some of you might not get this (David) or understand it, but to the folks who really love this stuff. It’s a straight up two middle finger salute to everything that has made the medium a slog to get through ever since TDK hit big.

  121. mitchtaylor says:

    “Before a movie is released, Popular on Twitter is no more effective than Popular on Magazine Covers. No reason to think it ever will be.”

    I know it’s a mistake to conflate the personal with the universal, but I think there’s a mistake here… If EW and others do a series of magazine covers on a movie, it means just about nothing to me other than increase my awareness.

    But I’ve personally curated my twitter and/or facebook page with people whose opinions I actually care about (be they friends, be they critics or whatever). And if they rave about a movie, I find I am a whole lot more likely to make the trip to the theater rather than see it on video. And that’s opening weekend too.

    I suspect I’m not alone, but I guess there’s probably also enough other types of statistical noise to cancel people like me out… don’t know. I just think there’s a solid difference between what a far flung editor has picked out to show me and people who I’ve picked out of all the din to listen to.

  122. palmtree says:

    “And after a movie is out, there is plenty of reason to think social media is more inclusive and a single voice can be more widely heard. But there is also reason to think that individual voices are discounted by the overall hum.”

    Overall, yes. But Avengers has been so different. Almost everyone who’s seen it has basically said a variation of the best thing since sliced bread. I mean, if it were simply a thumbs up, I wouldn’t give a shit. But the kind of adulation is so beyond the norm that it’s genuinely making me re-think whether I should go sooner than later. I know it’s only anecdotal, but if you had told me people I know personally would across the board be this enraptured, I wouldn’t have believed it.

  123. martin s says:

    JS – If you are so opposed to “Dark & Gritty” superhero movies, why were you the head pimp for Kick-Ass and Watchmen?

    You’re basing a Spidey on the tone and visuals of the trailer, when it will be no heavier than the first Iron Man. Avengers does share the same Marvel people with Amazing Spider-Man; they found a sweetspot and are going to hold to it.

    If you’re trying to argue that Whedon is the difference, then that means the director has final vision. If that’s the case, then how is Favreau not the guy responsible for Avengers, since he set the visual palette and tone, and was actively involved with its production from Iron Man through the last year’s shoot?

  124. David Poland says:

    Palmy – I don’t want to argue with you, but if you read 90% of the reviews, they aren’t close to “best thing ever.” And I don’t know anyone who has had the proverbial “geek orgasm”… including JSP.

    As for JSP… there’s no point. He’s just filling diapers now.

  125. bulldog68 says:

    Favreau was so involved that he exec produced Avengers. I did not see Kenneth Branagh or Joe Johnston in the credits. Out of all the heroes, something they could not fuck up was Iron Man in the Avengers mix, so I do a double take when people are quick to throw Favreau under the bus. His stewardship of a two $300m hits is a huge factor in why Avengers did what it did this weekend, and that’s not to remove anything away from Whedon. It is possible that more than one factor contributed to a $207m opening weekend.

  126. JS Partisan says:

    David, seriously, you’re closer to that age. Poor thing. Projecting now. You also do not follow enough people on twitter. If you did, you would have read after the premiere people from Brubaker to Seth Green to Paul Dini stating how awesome Avengers is. The same goes with every critic that I follow from TV or FILM. Seriously, stop trying to put this shit on me like I am alone in loving this movie. You are on AN ISLAND. A TINY LITTLE ISLAND with just enough suntanning lotion to get you through the Summer. The fact that you act as if a film with 94 percent reviews at RT and A+ cinemascore is people not excite about is, why you were never a police detective.

    Martin S. much like David, you seem to interpret things in a way only you could. You also are confused by a property from 1986 being adapted by a guy who almost adapted it scene for scene. How you confuse that with the effects of TDK are beyond.

    The same with you forgetting my problem with you and Kick-Ass, having to do with you stating it would not be profitable. Much like anytime you try to go against me, you were proven wrong, by it selling a shit ton of DVD/BDs. Again, that’s more of an argument with you that you were wrong about, then pimping a movie. Who pimps a movie anyway? Who uses that term other than someone who really does not get the difference between it and the word HYPE.

    You also apparently cannot keep up on a project all the time, and have missed the discussion about how Amazing Spidey has been referred too as DARK more than once. Again, it’s dark and gritty, and who wants that from a Spidey film? Hopefully he quips enough to make it less BROODY.

    Finally, you going on about Favreau is just that: you going on about Favreau and trying to take credit from the guy everyone is giving it too. The Avengers looks better than every previous Marvel film, it has a better aesthetic, and you trying to take that from Joss and Co. is you not being a Whedon fan. Whedon gets the credit, he’s responsible for the awesomeness that is THE MAN, and he sets the tone for the next four years. Do you accept that are you wrong or are you going to keep crying about it like David “SUPER WRONG ABOUT THE AVENGERS” Poland?

  127. Hallick says:

    “SM, the reason why it has redefined the genre, has a lot to do with the way TDK in the last 4 years has changed the entire medium. We are getting a DARK AND GRITTY SPIDEY reboot for god sake’s. The NEW 52 got rebooted to a dark and gritty gorefest because DC truly believed, that’s all anyone wanted. When, really, we want what the Avengers gives us. It gives us the comic book action and story sorely lacking for four years. That’s how it changes things.

    Which, again, some of you might not get this (David) or understand it, but to the folks who really love this stuff. It’s a straight up two middle finger salute to everything that has made the medium a slog to get through ever since TDK hit big.”

    Are you jesting, sir? Where are you coming from with these two paragraphs? You do understand that a comic book is a medium, not a specific genre, that encompasses the entire spectrum of storytelling from light to dark? After The Dark Knight hit, nobody was slogging through the eternal gloomfest that was Iron Man or RED or Kick Ass or X-Men First Class or The Green Hornet or Captain America (well, a lot of people probably were, statistically speaking, but I’m not here to teach a math class, I’m here to declarate!).

    Green Lantern wasn’t dark and gritty but everybody hated the glowing green crap out of it nonetheless.

    The people behind the Spider-Man reboot basically had no other choice but to flip the tone because it hardly had a run going before they decided to play Chutes and Ladders and start all over again like the money-humping dumb asses they are. It’s following the same model as the Batman franchise, but firstly, Spider-Man was never geared toward the agony and the ANGSTacy; and secondly, nobody really called for a new take on something that was just so recently praised for being some of the best of the Super Hero genre.

  128. greg says:

    Sam, sorry, I’m a lifelong Trek fan and I greatly enjoyed the reboot, as did just about all of my friends.. you can say its poor quality, but along with music movies are pretty damn subjective and we’ll just have to agree to disagree…

    As for Avengers, just walked out of the theater an hour ago and still smiling.. certainly not perfect but immensely enjoyable…

  129. JS Partisan says:

    Hal, the medium, and the medium has suffered due to everything needing to be dark and gritty. I buy floppies, and DC has turned almost their entire universe into DARK, GRITTY, AND GOREY! Go read those New 52 launch titles and soak in the dark and gritty.

    Spidey seems to be the most effected by it, but Avengers fills a need for a lot of people who want to have fun with these films not the dark and gritty shit like the Green Lantern (come now man the destruction in that movie is pointlessly gorey) and the Green Hornet (randomly killing fuckers is fun) put in the world.

    This is more about ruining comics than the movies but let’s not act as if DARK AND MOODY SPIDEY isn’t coming two weeks before DARK AND BROODY BATS signs off. You got to have some joy in these films and a lot of that doesn’t always come through in a post TDK world.

  130. bulldog68 says:

    Prometheus is rated R. Yaay.

  131. palmtree says:

    DP: “I don’t want to argue with you, but if you read 90% of the reviews, they aren’t close to “best thing ever.” And I don’t know anyone who has had the proverbial “geek orgasm”… including JSP.”

    Not even remotely arguing with you, DP. But to clarify, I meant to suggest my friends across the board were geek-gasming…not mainstream critics. Hope that makes sense.

  132. anghus says:

    Ive been reading a lot of the new 52 titles and I cant quite figure out this assertion that theyve gone dark. Compared to the era after Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns theyre downright day glow.

    Superman and Action Comics, Batman and the court of owls storyline, Justice League…. They all went over the top and bombastic. These arent realistic grim stories. Do you think any of the current Batman titles (all foir hundred of them) are featuring stories any darker than Knightfall, No Mans Land, the Killing Joke….

    If anything I think the new 52 is trying to match the marvel tone of anything can happen storytelling and heavy focus on developing second tier characters into more viable properties. Something Marvel is far better at.

    But after reading nine months of Superman fighting alien elementals, secret societies from Gothams past, and the JLA fighting Darkseid dont think its dark and gritty theyre going for.

  133. SamLowry says:

    Hollywood must be going through dark times if someone can say “Toss in your typical Coming to America-style accounting and [The Avengers] just might end up less profitable than Cabin in the Woods” and not one person said “BULLSHIT!”

  134. JS Partisan says:

    Anghus, yeah, go read Earth 2. That’s all I have to do to respond to you. Go read it. If that’s not unnecessarily dark and gritty, then obviously you are focusing on different titles from the new 52.

  135. Joe Leydon says:

    I am finding it increasing difficult to believe that Social Media has no effect on openig weekend grosses. Tonight, saw a preview screening of Dark Shadows. While the closing credits were still rolling, 3 young women seated along the row in front of me were tapping away on their cell phones. Could be none of them were Tweeting about the movie. Could be all of them were. I don’t know.

  136. film fanatic says:

    I tend to agree with Joe. While week-to-week decline (or, at end of a film’s run, eventual multiple of opening weekend) is probably the best way to gauge to what extent an audience actually liked a film enough to spread the favorable word or see it more than once, huge swings from Friday to Saturday on an opening weekend are often indicators of Twitter chatter or other forms of friend-to-friend buzz/word of mouth. Of course there are anomalies: family films always have a big Saturday boost because of the matinees, horror films usually do better on Friday night and a lot of the tentpole pictures with pent-up demand from rabid fanbases tend to have outsized Fridays because everyone has to see it the very first DAY, as opposed to merely catching it sometime during the opening weekend. But if you see a movie have a big day-to-day dropoff on its opening weekend, it’s often indicative of the fact that the word is already out and the next weekend is going to be brutal.

  137. christian says:

    Oh…and Nobody Knows Nothin’.

  138. cadavra says:

    “And new real IMAX screens are not being built in huge numbers.”

    David, are any being built at all, at least in the U.S.? Heck, the real IMAX in Columbus I go to every year while in town converted to digital a year or so ago. Feh.

    Thank God AVENGERS is digital only or DARK SHADOWS would be in even worse trouble.

  139. movieman says:

    I have no idea how “Dark Shadows” will do, but I really, really liked it.
    What puzzles me is how misleading the trailer is: it’s hardly a Mel Brooksian spoof-a-rama.
    Kudos to Seth Grahame-Smith (and Burton and Depp obviously) for finding the perfect balance between light and dark. I was also impressed by how faithful it is to the original series without being slavishly, laboriously reverential.
    The entire cast is terrific (Depp’s performance is equal to his “Edward Scissorhands” turn), and it was a relief to see a vampire movie that was so (literally) light and bright versus digital-murky.
    The promo audience I saw it with seemed to be having a blast (they had to add an add’l auditorium for the overflow crowd). But again, I’m just not sure how that will translate to actual tickets sold.
    Cult status is assured, however.
    It’s easily Burton’s most enjoyable film in years.

  140. movieman says:

    …was surprised/amused that Box Office Mojo didn’t even post weekend grosses for “LOL.” Yowza.
    Finally caught up with “Damsels in Distress” yesterday afternoon and found it absolutely delightful and ineffably charming.
    It’s like a 1940’s MGM musical minus the production numbers.
    Whit Stillman really was the original Wes Anderson, wasn’t he?
    I was stunned when the theater manager informed me that I was the first person to buy a ticket (and it opened on Friday afternoon!)
    So sad.

  141. martin s says:

    JS – typical response. You’re asked a legit set of questions, and you try to make it personal.

    Martin S. much like David, you seem to interpret things in a way only you could. You also are confused by a property from 1986 being adapted by a guy who almost adapted it scene for scene. How you confuse that with the effects of TDK are beyond.

    Not me confusing anything. You can’t directly answer, so you’re talking gibberish. From TDK to Watchmen, your shtick was dark movies = respect for comics. Now, you’ve flipped.

    The same with you forgetting my problem with you and Kick-Ass, having to do with you stating it would not be profitable. Much like anytime you try to go against me, you were proven wrong, by it selling a shit ton of DVD/BDs.

    We argued over theatrical, which you claimed it was going to kill. And it bombed. BD/DVD sales is your fallback. I know Millar is claiming Kick-Ass 2 is about to commence.

    Who uses that term other than someone who really does not get the difference between it and the word HYPE.

    You just admitted to being a hypeman. So all of your fan passion Blather over the years, is bullshit. Got it.

    You also apparently cannot keep up on a project all the time, and have missed the discussion about how Amazing Spidey has been referred too as DARK more than once. Again, it’s dark and gritty, and who wants that from a Spidey film? Hopefully he quips enough to make it less BROODY.

    It’s dark, compared to what? Raimi. The guy did a musical number in Spidey3. This does not mean we’re getting TDSpidey. Will it have a darker visual style? Apparently, but that’s because of McFarlane’s influence on Spidey through Ultimate Spider-Man. If you should be blaming anyone, it’s Bendis.

    Finally, you going on about Favreau is just that: you going on about Favreau and trying to take credit from the guy everyone is giving it too.

    History is context, and you live in a mutually exclusive world.

    It’s just a fact, Jason. Favreau was deeply involved in this buildup, it was stated in numerous articles during IM’s pre-release.

    Who put Cap’s shield in IM? Who added the Fury/Stark end sequence?

    This is why I wonder if you’re psychotic; Favreau and Nolan rebuilt and saved the entire genre, you used to exalt them for it, now you spit on them. And make no mistake, that’s what you’ve been doing.

    …he sets the tone for the next four years.

    The only thing that’s accurate. Whedon sets the tone from here out. That’s true.

    We all know when TDKR comes out, you’ll change your tone. Just like you will about Amazing Spider-Man.

    And anyone who says TDKR is better than Avengers will be attacked as a heretic. Then when you’re called out for it, you’ll claim victimhood, throw a few emoticons as if that smoothes things over, and change subjects.

  142. Geoff says:

    You know Dave – you kind of dig a hole for yourself on this blog…..there’s no way you can minimize this opening just like you did for Hunger Games. Avengers broke the opening weekend record by almost $40 MILLION, blew it away……how can you not see that as a game changer in some way? You want to say that neither Twitter or Facebook have genuine impact on the buzz/early marketing for a movie….it’s impossible to prove or disprove otherwise.

    It’s your blog and you’re allowed to show whatever bias you have, but it was just a couple of years ago that you were doing DAILY posts on the weekday grosses for Avatar which WERE genuinely impressive and a compelling story. That was a movie you seemed to genuinely love and your enthusiasm for its success was undeniable….not saying that you are obligated to show such enthusiasm for Avengers, but it’s pretty obvious that your lack of enthusiasm for this film has affected your coverage of its success.

    In all likelihood, it will make at least half a billion domestic and more than that overseas…..just a few years back, these were second-tier comic book characters and the lead actor was at best a cult draw box office-wise. You have now had two major studios jockeying to take credit for it, it’s likely to help launch at least half a dozen more sequels and/or spin-offs, its success is a boon for the online ticket sellers, and I GUARANTEE that you will see marketing campaigns for future tentpoles work further to emphathise money shots for side characters in their ads moving forward… cannot deny the impact that the success of this movie will have.

  143. David Poland says:

    Geoff…. not sure what you are going on about?

    I haven’t been minimizing the numbers. Ans still, as terrific as these numbers are, they will still end up being half of Avatar’s at best.

    I’ve had the same conversation about openings over and over and over again. (And recall… not a huge opening for Avatar.) It doesn’t matter whether I like the movie, hate the movie, love the movie, have children with the movie. I don’t think I have covered a movie’s box office closely on a daily basis since Pirates 2 in 2006. I may have gotten into dailies during the 3 triquel summer a bit. But this whole, “Why aren’t you doing this for this movie?” thing is a bit silly. (Also, as with many things, I have been mentioning it on Twitter daily so far.)

    Finally, the “I GUARANTEE that you will see marketing campaigns for future tentpoles work further to emphasize money shots for side characters in their ads moving forward” thing is silly as well. First, movie marketing has ALWAYS done this. Robert Duvall and Morgan Freeman have gotten a lot of big paydays for being the side character with a snappy 2 lines in the trailer for decades. Second, as I have written, Feige’s notion of building a series of successful movies leading to this was absolutely successful. But these are entire movies, not just shots in trailers. Of the 4 movies that were made – not Iron Man – two were marginally profitable and two were slightly better than marginally profitable.

    Avengers will be highly profitable. $400m – $500m in profit, I’d guess.

    Let’s talk when there are a couple of John Carter level losers in a row… maybe Marvel, maybe DC, maybe some other superheroes. I am perfectly happy for Feige & Co. But if the industry started believing that this is a new norm, we’d see a studio go out of business chasing it by 2017. Notice how you haven’t seen everyone trying to make Avatar knock-offs.

    I’m sorry it’s not a world changer, but not much different on that end from Transformers 3, Pirates 4, and Potter 8 last summer.

    I know that this week it’s fun to play some weird game of Pin The Tail On The Poland, but this is a great success for Marvel. But if you want to argue with the big boys, you need to be able to not pee yourself with excitement. This is Marvel’s Shrek 2. It’s one of 3 sueprhero movies this summer. It is, as I noted, likely one of 3 $150m+ openings this summer. Etc.

    It’s really simple. Burton’s Batman changed the game for superhero movies. Then, Spider-Man uped the ante with CG. Since then, we have seen that market steadily growing with more CG, more screens overseas, and the accordion strategy in theaters. Dark Knight was a significant tick up. This is a significant tick up. But these are ticks, not leaps.

    If you can’t understand that without seeing it as a biased lack of enthusiasm, sorry… not thinking with your head… thinking with your Iron Man heart pump. And that’s okay. But it doesn’t make me wrong and it doesn’t require me to eat your collective shit.

    Like it or not, Cameron’s last two movie were both singular freak shows, not really in the same category as anything else. It has nothing to do with me liking them or not. The numbers are not complex. Avatar moved a LOT slower than Avengers. 32 days to $500m. Avengers may well beat that. But will it get to $700m domestic?


    This is the same conversation, like it or not, as I have about The Slump or about The Resurrection of Theatrical (those stories will be coming shortly). This is the same as The Hunger Games was just a few months ago, though Avengers will bury that film in all areas.


    Just a little.


  144. David Poland says:

    Yes, Joe… but you know… before twitter or facebook existed, they had phones – even rotary ones – and offices and schools and churches, etc.

    The illusion is that friends are waiting in the foyer of the theater, anticipating the tweet from someone to tell them which ticket to buy.

    As any marketer of anything can tell you, a call to action and an action are rarely so closely connected in time.

    Every time something that’s highly anticipated on the web succeeds on opening weekend, there is this mad dash to believe that social media is a major influencer on opening weekend. And then, when the next dozen or two dozen examples don’t play out that way, people don’t worry about it. And than, BOOM, it’s that Twitter effect again.

    But ask me, when you hypothesis can only be proven 5% of the time… it’s a faulty hypothesis.

  145. sanj says:

    >The illusion is that friends are waiting in the foyer of >the theater, anticipating the tweet from someone to tell >them which ticket to buy.

    hey DP – will you ever do a dp/30 inside a theatre and talk to regular movie people ?

    do you get a lot of feedback from people who watch movies only after they’ve seen a dp/30….

    i’m just not into the weekly box office numbers game but DP you need a trivia thing where if people beat you they get real prizes like bluray players or bluray movies ..

    also any reason why nobody from the avengers showed up for a dp/30 ? Renner seems easy to get i liked his last one where he was so serious .

    i was missing Lucy Walker – she was super awesome in the dp/30 so i checked the youtube and there’s a new 1 hour interview i watched … point is – you need to follow up on some people who haven’t done dp/30 in 2 years .
    do you want people to forget about past dp/30 ?
    hype them up more – that JLaw dp/30 should have 1 million views by now if you hyped it up.

  146. christian says:

    “But ask me, when you hypothesis can only be proven 5% of the time… it’s a faulty hypothesis.”

    Proven by who or what?

  147. Sam says:

    “Yes, Joe… but you know… before twitter or facebook existed, they had phones – even rotary ones – and offices and schools and churches, etc. The illusion is that friends are waiting in the foyer of the theater, anticipating the tweet from someone to tell them which ticket to buy. As any marketer of anything can tell you, a call to action and an action are rarely so closely connected in time.”

    I’m actually on your side of this, DP, at least for now. But surely it’s obvious that twitter, etc, have accelerated the speed at which word-of-mouth takes effect. People being always connected, receiving emails and tweets on their personal phones, which they carry around with them everywhere, is a whole different game than someone calling up a friend after work the next day. The acceleration is geometric, in fact, not linear: not only does the word get out faster, but it gets out to more people as well. Because 28 of the 30 friends reading your twitter feed might never have gotten that dedicated phone call.

    In the case of The Avengers, the picture is complicated by the fact that it opened on a Tuesday. It’s one thing to assert that the first Sunday’s grosses aren’t substantially affected by word-of-mouth from the first Friday’s audiences. But it’s a whole different animal if you’ve got fanboys seeing it on Tuesday and broadcasting their enthusiasm to their friends all week, at which point a fence-sitter might well have decided to give in and catch a Sunday matinee.

    Again, I’m mostly on your side of this, because I think you’re closer to the mark than reporters who need something to write articles about and fanboys who are doped up on opening weekend adrenaline. I just think it’s also important not to get so caught up in fighting against the wild exaggerations as to discount the small but very real shifts in the evolution of the big picture. (Not that I’m saying you are, necessarily.)

  148. KrazyEyes says:

    I’ll throw some anecdotal evidence into the ring:

    I had ZERO intention of seeing AVENGERS this past weekend. None. By Saturday morning I had been inundated with Facebook updates and Tweets by many friends stating how awesome they thought the movie was. My iPhone was buzzing non-stop. It was enough that made me decide to check it out at a Sunday matinee.

    Yes, I realize this is completely anecdotal, yet I can’t be the only one responding this way.

    And sorry, DP, your phone analogy seems especially silly unless you want to make an argument that the information exchange via Twitter or Facebook or even text message is no different from the phones of old.

  149. Paul D/Stella says:

    Did Twitter really convince that many people who weren’t already planning on seeing The Avengers? Were a lot of people on the fence and sitting around, checking Twitter to make up their mind? Is there any way to know how many people are using social media to check audience reaction and make movie-going decisions?

  150. Joe Leydon says:

    David: Your attempts at sarcasm are a poor substitute for reasoned and civil dialogue. I didn’t say they were in the foyer of the theater, waiting for a Twitter to direct them in their ticket purchase. And, obviously, this couldn’t happen when the movie is being screened days in advance of its opening. But there is a reason why they call them “opinion-maker screenings.” Yes, those opinions could be shared via rotary telephones. But we live in the age of miracle and wonder, when someone seeing a movie at 7 pm Friday can Tweet something that could affect the choice of someone planning a Saturday evening visit to the megaplex. And notice: I said “could,” not “would.”

    I’m sorry, but there are certain subjects — Social Media, ticket-price inflation — that seem to bring out the unreasonably cranky old coot in you. I don’t think anyone here — well, OK, anyone other than [name redacted] — who’s claiming Social Media is the ONLY factor at play when massive numbers of people choose to buy tickets for a particular movie. But I think it’s becoming a significant factor.

    Tell you what — and I’m as serious as cancer about this: I’ll be teaching six or seven college classes in the fall. How about I pass out a questionnaire, and have students report (anonymously) just how much they rely on Social Media when deciding what movies they want to see? Hey, I might even get an article for an academic journal out of this.

  151. Joe Leydon says:

    Just curious: Are my comments “awaiting moderation” because I mentioned a certain other person in my post?

  152. Joe Leydon says:

    Yes, I guess so.

  153. Paul D/Stella says:

    Sounds interesting Joe. I’d like to know how many students are relying on social media to make movie-going decisions.

  154. Geoff says:

    Dave, I appreciate the thorough response. I am not clouded by love for Iron Man or any other character….saw Avengers on Sunday night and enjoyed the hell out of it, though there are flaws. It’s not an exceptional movie by any stretch. But from a business perspective….

    You cannot look at this as just a “tick” – there’s no way when you consider the risk of building up five big budget movies over four years into this, that you can brush off what they accomplished from a business standpoint. Yeah, it’s not a slowbuild like Avatar or Titanic….those were slower builds and they were genuine freakshows. But you can’t just say it’s “just” an opening when the movie has amassed over $600 million worldwide barely three days after it was released domestically. That money is banked and into the coffers – sure, would it be more impressive in some ways if it opened at $85 million and grew into $450 domestic vs. the likelihood of $200 million opening into growing into $525 million domestic?? Of couse and that’s even a better box office story in some ways, but does that really matter to Marvel? Not at all!

    And I get your point about Freeman and Duvall….hell, Bruckheimer was saavy about using Steve Buscemi that way for his tentpoles back in the ’90’s. But what Disney/Paramount/Marvel was still pretty unique: they took an action tentpole which was an ensemble (and much more expensive for it, as well) and were very saavy about reintroducing characters like the Hulk with action beats in specific spots. It’s actually a strategy that has been tried before and often fails pretty miserably…..Warners tried it with those goofy CGI creatures with Green Lantern last summer and just took more needed emphasis off of Ryan Reynonds and his sex appeal.

    The marketing was really a very delicate balancing act and I guess it truly helped that the movie is jam-packed with trailer and 30 second spot-worthy moments.

    And I have been hearing this for years, now….where were the Avatar and Titanic imitators??? We’re still pushing that myth – you know better, Dave. The summer after Titanic, major studios were re-shooting and changing the marketing emphasis for their tentpoles to nab the Titanic audience….I still say Twilight would not have been given the big marketing push without Titanic in the record books. John Carter would NOT have happened without Avatar, no way in hell….and Tron Legacy would not have gotten the “visionary” 3D push just a year later after Avatar if not for that movie’s success.

    The studios are not stupid nor are they subtle about riding trends….it might take 18 months to launch a true imitator, but you’ll see elements of that trend 6 to 9 months later from studio marketing departments.

  155. Triple Option says:

    David Poland wrote: before twitter or facebook existed, they had phones – even rotary ones – and offices and schools and churches, etc.”

    But it’s the decrease in lag time and increase in audience reach that’s a huge difference. Why, when I was a boy if I wanted to tell someone about a great movie I saw, I would get home a half hour after seeing Indy Jones and pick up my parents’ princess phone and dial 2, maybe 3 friends, over the course of one evening.

    Let’s just say my buddy Bobby says “Thanks for the tip, I’ll check it out.” Chances are, it won’t be until the following w/e that Bobby goes to see it. Why? He probably couldn’t see that day if he wanted to because there were only a fraction of the theater locations and airing times available. Also, how much of a sense of urgency would one person get from one known reviewer? Back then, I would tell two friends, and they’d tell two friends and so on and so on and so on. That’s about 3 weeks later maybe. Today, someone, before the credits finish, can tell 500, 600, maybe 1,000 friends how great a movie is. Hell, all those rude ass people who text in movies could be saying Avengers is da bomb while they are actually in the movie. Not only that but I may have a dozen, 2 dozen people tell me, before I get done with my Lucky Charms, that Avengers is da bomb and I need to check it out. 500 people will tell 500 people and they’ll tell 500 people and so on and so on and so on.

    While I’m wading through the Avengers glow, I can touch my phone 3 times and figure out where and when I’m going to see it. Touch it three more times and I’ve already have my ticket. I didn’t even have to get up to go outside to look in the bushes for the morning paper to look at the various theater ads to see what theater is closer and what time I can make it. Back then, if you didn’t calculate at least an extra 45 mins to the time a movie’s starts, you’d be SOL.

    The person doesn’t have to be in the lobby waiting. The person could be at the grocery store or park and can then be verbally instructed turn by turn on where to go to see a movie at a time that’s convenient and available. You don’t have to go home to do recon on the theater or time. You don’t have to go home to get the fam or call your boys one at a time to see what everyone wants to do. Everything can be done on the fly. You text them to meet you there. Three weeks can become 2 hours.

    Now, I’m not saying that’s the norm. I’m not claiming to know the percentage of attendees who’ve made flash decisions, I’m just saying the possibility is there and in such a large standing network in place that it shouldn’t be ignored.

  156. Not David Bordwell says:

    Damn, Joe, “six or seven college classes”? Guess I have to make my peace with my 4/4 load and first online course this summer. Guys like you make it so hard for guys like me to bitch, you bastard.

  157. Paul D/Stella says:

    Where are the Avatar imitators? How could you miss it?

  158. David Poland says:

    Joe… I wasn’t being sarcastic at all. And it’s lazy, cheap rhetoric to call me old or whatever – please invoke Wells, while you’re trying to rile me – since that’s not remotely relevant.

    Ticket price inflation is something I address in a clear, simple, factual way. It’s not an issue of argument. It simply is what it is. People get turned on by being contrarian at time and tickets sold is a stat that allows contrarianism, but has almost nothing to do with the success or failure of the movie industry.

    You pretzel ideas to make an argument of feeling, not logic.

    Absolutely, someone making plans to go to the multiplex on Saturday hearing from a friend on Friday could have some effect.

    But let’s really go through the steps. Plans have been made. So we’re talking about influencing a pre-sold ticket buyer. Fine.

    So take an average person. An adult friend of yours. If this person decided they were going to the movies this weekend, on Saturday night, what were the odds that they weren’t going to see Avengers? Would someone telling them it was mediocre or not very good on Friday night have deterred them?

    Flip side… if they were going to see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and a friend tweeted that they really enjoyed Avengers, would they change movies?

    Of course, there are layers in that. I do think there is a cultural event element to all of this. Social Media contributes, yes. Absolutely. So if Avengers is being touted as this massive opening to come and a couple that isn’t very interested has heard this a half dozen times on The Today Show and a friend tweets that it’s great, can that push them over the edge? Sure.

    But I would argue that the weeks of set-up for The Event were more influential than the tweet, as if they were just not interested in a comic book movie, friends’ opinion won’t change that thinking overnight.

    But there is an element to all of this that is like ancient people thinking the moon was angry when it rained or something.

    Is Social Media an inflencer to the tune of 5%? Probably.

    But your survey thing… classically wrong scientific thinking… because most of your students really won’t know the answer to the question. It’s too general. It’s like asking “How much do you rely on the telephone (or the web) to decide what movies you want to see?”

    I would bet that 95%-plus of them have watched the trailer of the vast majority of movies they ever pay to see. So they have used the web to start. And how did they find those trailers? No doubt, social media in many situations. Have we proven anything?

    Ask them how many times a year have they decided to go see a movie that they weren’t planning on seeing within 72 hours of reading positive feedback from friends on any Social Media platform.

    That’s the question I am addressing, over and over.

    I’m not saying that anyone is saying that Social Media is the only reason for anything, that it sold most of the tickets, that it changed the fortunes of Avengers even.

    What I am saying is that 3 of the 6 biggest grossers in history opened before there was a Twitter. The most recent one, Pirates 2, opened to $135m six years ago. How was that possible? 54% on RT. And yet, it still did more than 3x opening weekend. Back then, people were blaming texting… though those same people seemed to think the movie wasn’t very good. Hmmm…

    Seriously, Joe… get away from Avengers for a while. See whether you can talk yourself into thinking Social Media is a significant factor – which is to say, has a direct cause & effect on ticket sales – in a few more cases.

    But I have been looking, weekly, at Friday/Saturday drops for over 15 years. There was no remotely consistent evidence that texting was changing the 1st weekend cycle, there was no consistent evidence that MySpace was changing the 1st weekend cycle, and there is no consistent evidence that Twitter or Facebook is changing the 1st weekend cycle.

    Bad movies go up on Saturday… good movies go down on Saturday… etc, etc, etc

    And finally, let me point out, even smart veteran movie people talk about how the quality of a movie is going to change the opening weekend numbers. It is human nature. But it is false. Once we have seen a movie, we seem to forget that most people buying tickets have not.

    So of course we think that Twitter is having an effect. We tend to see it as a reflection of ideas we have in our heads. But we shouldn’t lose touch with that time in our lives – it’s been 15 years for me, longer for you – when we had top decipher all that hum and get so excited or so turned off before ever even seeing the film… our only change to see the film being to stand on a long lines on opening weekends. It’s different.

    JSP – oy! – is a classic example. He has spent weeks in here fighting about a movie he hadn’t seen. He saw it. He felt 10% better about it than I did. And now, he’s still fighting as though it mattered… because that’s what arouses him. THAT’s the buzz on Twitter. Even the “the quality is driving this” arguers are often spinning on things they heard and not things they have experienced.

    Is the hypothesis only works on occasion, when the mood is right, it’s a shit hypothesis. Sorry.

  159. David Poland says:

    Geoff – You seem like a decent, intelligent, thoughtful person. But your facts are not accurate.

    Twilight was turned down by the studio system and put into turnaround by Paramount. So much for the studio that sold Titanic in the US trying to imitate Titanic’s success.

    John Carter was in production before Avatar opened. I interviewed Sam Morton in Sept 2009 at TIFF and she was already working on it. Avatar opened in Dec 2009.

    And most of Avengers money was overseas… where it was in release a week earlier than here. 10 days overseas and 3 days in the US was also over $600m for Harry Potter last summer.

  160. David Poland says:

    Triple Option – I’m not ignoring the internet and Social Media. But compared to the many other tools that studios have used to expand the opening weekend numbers, all of which we can see have continuing and specific cause and effect, there is still no clear correlation between someone buying a ticket and buzz on social media.

    I’m not saying that no one has ever been persuaded by a tweet. But closing the sale on a movie ticket is not the same thing as reading someone rave on Twitter. Just isn’t. Over and over we see lots of positive buzz online lead to shit box office.

    In fact, I would consider the argument that Social Media is becoming LESS significant as we go along, as the noise level gets higher and higher, making it harder for anything to be an authoritative voice… even friends.

    I’m still waiting for a real argument other than,”Social Media is so pervasive for kids… it MUST be selling something.”

  161. Paul D/Stella says:

    Regarding The Avengers and social media, it just doesn’t seem like the kind of movie people were on the fence about. With that kind of opening weekend and all the buzz/anticipation, I just can’t imagine someone waiting to gauge viewer reaction on Twitter before deciding whether or not to go see it. But I’m 33 so maybe I’m way off.

  162. storymark says:

    Okay, we’ve reached the point where David is ignoring questions that don’t fit his set answer, and he’s equating rotary phones to people texting from the theatre seat itself.

    I don’t see this conversation leading anywhere insightful anytime soon.

  163. bulldog68 says:

    I have always felt that Pearl Harbour was a direct decsendant of Titanic.

  164. David Poland says:

    What is the question, Story?

    Lots to sift through in here… but thanks for the bullshit accusation/spin. It doesn’t contribute to any insight, you’re right.

  165. martin s says:

    DP – Ask them how many times a year have they decided to go see a movie that they weren’t planning on seeing within 72 hours of reading positive feedback from friends on any Social Media platform.

    This is the key point, IMO.

    These people were inclined to go, and you can argue 5-10% of them were nudged into going opening weekend via Social Media, and another 5-10% by normal WOM avenues.

    So the answer comes in the daily takes and next weekend.

    How much does it drop? On what screens is it mostly occurring?

    IMO, 3D/IMAX should cushion the fall, probably keeping them around 125M for next weekend. Avengers will have a higher repeater value due to the number of fanboys who will go back for 3D, or if they couldn’t get in to IMAX the first time.

    Deathly Hollows 2 dropped 72% from 1st to 2nd week. So, if Avengers drops to 60M, can we say we have a new pattern, where instead of WOM killing a movie from 1st to 2nd week therby creating the drop, WOM frontloads two weekends worth into one?

  166. SamLowry says:

    Anyone who thinks there’s a BIG DIFFERENCE between a rotary phone and a smart phone must think there’s a BIG DIFFERENCE between a Mazda and a Lamborghini. There’s not, unless you like throwing around money to impress small-minded people.

    Actually, I’d rather hear a review from someone who took the time to drive home and pick up the phone. Much less likely to be overly enthusiastic, like someone reviewing a roller-coaster moments after getting off. Take a few minutes to think about it, at the very least.

    And aren’t writers told “Write what you know”? Lena Dunham’s quote is painful to read because she’s telling us she grew up surrounded by Jews and WASPs but because she dared to write a show about Jews and WASPS she’s being relentlessly attacked for not throwing in token characters to make all the different minority groups happy. Yeesh.

  167. sanj says:

    DP – do movie stars going on late night talk show make a difference during the opening week ? Chloë Moretz is on
    all the late night talk shows this week promoting Dark Shadows …

    i was listening to the awards daily podcast and Sasha Stone said she’s not going to see the avengers – she said if she reviewed it – it wouldn’t matter cause people would see it anyways .

    it’s one thing for people on message boards to see or not to see a movie but if your a critic – you really should see the movie – so now as a critic of movies i trust her less. she has no idea who i am so it doesn’t matter.

  168. Joe Leydon says:

    “Ask them how many times a year have they decided to go see a movie that they weren’t planning on seeing within 72 hours of reading positive feedback from friends on any Social Media platform.”

    Oddly enough, that’s almost exactly the wording of a question I have on a rough draft of a questionnaire I had planned to pass out last semester.

  169. Joe Leydon says:

    But that doesn’t change the fact that, sometimes, you are a cranky old coot.

  170. David Poland says:

    I do get cranky. I’m not sure that I am prepared to accept “old coot” at 47.

    I do have a memory though.

  171. Joe Leydon says:

    Hey, wait until you’re 59. Trust me: You’ll get worse.

  172. sanj says:

    i haven’t seen avengers cause it’s too long – my legs and back starts hurting after awhile – unless i’m on a drug that
    numbs the pain .. i’ll wait for dvd . i learned my lesson after 2012 movie . took me 10 minutes to walk normally . stupid seats.

    theatrical experience means nothing to me.

    probably skip dark knight rises because it’ll also be too long.

    some people can deal with the time issue – i can’t .

    i dunno how super old movie critics deal with it .

  173. Joe Leydon says:

    We use heroin, Sanj. Copious amounts of heroin.

    And it’s because of wussies like you that theaters like this close. Shame on you.

  174. storymark says:

    “Anyone who thinks there’s a BIG DIFFERENCE between a rotary phone and a smart phone must think there’s a BIG DIFFERENCE between a Mazda and a Lamborghini. There’s not, unless you like throwing around money to impress small-minded people.”

    Sure, sure…. just like there’s no difference between a coffee thermos and carrying around the oven.

  175. storymark says:

    “What is the question, Story?

    Lots to sift through in here… but thanks for the bullshit accusation/spin. ”

    I, and others, asked about the early international opening, and how the could have had an effect.

    And you even responded to points raised in the SAME post, so call it bullshit if you like, and Ill call your indignation a dodge.

  176. JS Partisan says:

    David, I came at you for being a Debbie Downer about the movie, and someone else agreed with me. You also thinking that stating a movie is MEDICORE and MEH and me referring to it as the SUPERHERO MOVIE only varies by 10 percent. Well, Dave, I hope you get your medical marijuana prescription filled before Obama shuts down your local shop.

    Martin Simpson, you are creeping Jason out because Jason post on here as Jason, so refer to me as JS to avoid creeping out poor Jason.

    Also, I gave you answers to your questions and like the wonderful saint of a man you are, you refuse to take them as they are. You also go into creepiness stating that you know how I will feel about movies before they have come out, and refer to me as PSYCHOTIC for not wanting to give Favreau a win on the Avengers and turning on Nolan? Did you get hit on the head? The way you us psychotic there is a bit off and you not getting that Whedon took what Favreau set up and blew everyone of those previous movies out of the water, is on you. This does not mean I hate the IM movies, the Incredible Hulk, Cap, or Thor. No, it means that Joss took all of those raw materials with the Marvel guys, honed them down to a sharp edge, and made the best movie in the Marvel universe.

    You also are not getting the point about Nolan. He made the genre more real but he also never got it right. He’s Burton writ large, and he made some great movies. He also led to shit happening within the medium by DC in particular, that fucking sucks. You not getting that, anyone not getting that, means you haven’t visited your local stores in quite sometime.

    You also thinking that you know me or understand me, is creepy all on it’s own. You also spending this much time trying to figure out how I will feel about movies that I have not seen yet, is rather funny. If Spidey and TDK-R movies are good movies, then they will be good movies. If either approaches the greatness of the Avengers, I will state as much, and if they don’t that doesn’t make me psychotic you very weird individual.

    You want the answers you want and you also want to take a win away from Whedon. That’s the point of this Favreau nonsense so please, stop it, and if you refer to me as anything use the JS not Jason, to avoid creeping him out.

    ETA: Oh yeah, if you think the only difference between a Mazda and any Lambo is just the money, then you really know very little about cars.

  177. David Poland says:

    Story… I responded to that at some point in the last 36 hours… So not dodging… not sure why you think it would be worth dodging.

  178. sanj says:

    Joe – never been to that theatre – they don’t advertise too much – also never been to that tiff lightbox thing either.

    there should be a tv show where movie critics hang out at movie theatres and give tours .

    the maximum i can take is 1:40 minutes at a theatre .

    i’m not saying every theatre is bad – theres 2 basic things – really good screen and nice seats . can’t do anything about annoying people with cell phones and people
    talking throughout the movie .
    the longer the movie is – the more annoyed people can get .

    people who saw the avengers – did you get annoyed by the small things that had nothing to do with the movie ?

    there’s like 4 movies i really need to check out at the theatre but they are just too long. so yeah extra 30 minutes make a difference to me.

    also i’m pretty sure the average Canadian would be more upset if a Tim Horton’s shut down instead of any movie theatre shutting down.

  179. Joe Leydon says:

    To be honest, I’m kinda bummed that the Mr. Submarine joint that used to be on the corner where I usually stay with friends in Toronto got torn down and replaced with Starbucks.

  180. sanj says:

    Joe – Mr.Sub was the Subway before Subway came around – i used to eat them all the time as a kid – have you been to every single theatre in Toronto vs other cities ?

    theatres never advertise in newspapers that they have the best screens -seats – food or a lot of the times even prices. its amazing people go to the theatre without any
    extra bonus info they need to choose.

    dark knight rises is going to be big film – it’s going to be long – so if one guy in the theatre pulls out a cell phone – it’ll make people angry …

    theatres should give out written warnings to people – no cell phones. stop with the talking part.
    it’s the only way theatres can survive these days .

    i guess the theatre experience is just awesome for DP and he’s got no compliants …

    DP should use the millions off the dp/30’s and buy all the theatres in LA – Joe – you buy all the theatres in Texas and Ebert can buy all the theatres in Chicago .

  181. palmtree says:

    Well, I can only say that I was NOT planning to see the Avengers, but now that I’ve heard so much noise from my personal friends about it on FB & Twitter, I would definitely go (if I had the time, which I don’t right now).

    Having said that, I don’t think social media sells tickets anymore than this blog does. But what I think it does is change the conversation we have about movies and change their cultural value (like this blog). Avengers now has more cultural value to me, because so many non-critic average Joe people I know are raving about it.

    In other words, the only thing “new” here is that the medium has found its killer message. I guess that does seem to be a benchmark (as far as my own experience with social media goes).

  182. sanj says:

    if i go to the avengers it’ll probably be at the end of the month – hopefully things die down by then and the thatre is half empty. by then everybody will be watching mib3 and battleship and snow white …

    the only way i’d see any movie opening weekend if i got free tickets and that doesn’t seem to happen to me as i’m not lucky.

    i’d rather see avengers at best buy on a 60″inch tv for 2 bucks. they should try that.

    DP – with all the discussion on the message boards – do you want to see avengers again and give it another rating ?

  183. martin s says:

    JayAss – Also, I gave you answers to your questions and like the wonderful saint of a man you are, you refuse to take them as they are.

    No, you didn’t. Just like now, just like you’ve done for years, you continuously dodge until the subject changes.

    You also go into creepiness stating that you know how I will feel about movies before they have come out, and refer to me as PSYCHOTIC for not wanting to give Favreau a win on the Avengers and turning on Nolan?,

    Perfect example. Instead of dealing with what I wrote, you change it so you can run.

    I think you’re psychotic, because your behavior is manic. You worshiped Nolan until the TDKR material hit and turned out to be flat-fucking-wrong as to what he was going to do. Now, you flipped on Favreau because people are pointing out how deeply involved he was with Marvel’s five-year plan.

    So instead of debating facts, you try and shift the debate.

    Do you deny that you were Nolan’s/TDK’s biggest cheerleader?

    Do you deny that you were championing the Avengers as The Next Big Thing before Whedon had anything to do with it?

    …and you not getting that Whedon took what Favreau set up and blew everyone of those previous movies out of the water, is on you.

    And your inability to recognize the budget constraints and revisions put on Favreau, Leterier, Branagh, and Johnston did not exist for Whedon, because he was working on a Disney property and they were shooting with Marvel’s limited resources.

    That’s the point of this, Jay; the information is out there, easily accessible, and your answer is to ignore it, or else your mutually exclusive delusion falls apart.

    This does not mean I hate the IM movies, the Incredible Hulk, Cap, or Thor. No, it means that Joss took all of those raw materials with the Marvel guys, honed them down to a sharp edge, and made the best movie in the Marvel universe.

    And that’s fine if you want to believe that. It doesn’t change the fact that he did not get involved until things started to unravel between Favreau and Marvel. By that point, Favreau, Arad, Feige, Zak Penn, even Billingsly, had laid the plan out to the point where they had a first draft. Fav’s was going to direct this. His continued involvement was a stipulation from RDJ.

    You also are not getting the point about Nolan. He made the genre more real but he also never got it right.

    This is what I mean by saying I think you’re clinically manic.

    You act as if this has been your position for years, and it never was until a few months ago, at earliest.

    He’s Burton writ large, and he made some great movies.

    When the fuck have you ever made that claim, before?!

    He also led to shit happening within the medium by DC in particular, that fucking sucks. You not getting that, anyone not getting that, means you haven’t visited your local stores in quite sometime.

    I’m quite aware as to what’s gone on with DC. I wrote about it when the first Man Of Steel images appeared which coincided with the relaunch.

    Here’s the problem with the analogt; Nolan had nothing to do with it. I guess in your perpetual victimhood world, Geoff Johns and Jim Lee had no choice but to follow Nolan.

    …But how the fuck that explains Green Lantern being rewritten into a Ryan Reynolds knockoff, when Nolan had nothing to do with Reynold’s Movie.

    Oh, wait. I’m not supposed to know that. Oops.

    You also thinking that you know me or understand me, is creepy all on it’s own. You also spending this much time trying to figure out how I will feel about movies that I have not seen yet, is rather funny.

    Oh, no. It’s not funny. It’s sadly predictable. It takes zero effort to guess which angle you will take. Anyone here can do it. It could actually be a column by Klady.

    If Spidey and TDK-R movies are good movies, then they will be good movies. If either approaches the greatness of the Avengers, I will state as much, and if they don’t that doesn’t make me psychotic you very weird individual.

    No. You will say they are beyond awesome and anyone who replies with anything less, will be verbally assaulted.

    You’ll also deny that you ever doubted Nolan or the “dark tone” of Spider-Man. And anyone who points out otherwise, will be verbally assaulted.

    …and eventually, you’ll deny how offended you were about Brits being cast as Spidey and Superman, if Garfield and Cavill pull it off.

    You want the answers you want and you also want to take a win away from Whedon. That’s the point of this Favreau nonsense…

    It’s all about credit, and you give Fav’s none. And if RDJ walks after IM3, as Feige is close to willing to do, you’ll say he wasn’t the draw anyway so it doesn’t matter.

  184. JS Partisan says:

    Martin Shithead, in what world do you exist that you do not evolve? Seriously you act as if I am predictable is rather funny, given how PREDICTABLE YOU ARE. You are a bitter republican who has a hard time putting two and two together. The entire rant you posted above has nothing to do with me. Zero. Zilch. Nada. That’s you thinking you know me as well as my best friend and that you can claim that I am psychotic or manic, ignores that PEOPLE EVOLVE YOU STUPID SOD! Get over yourself and realize that I will never throw RDJ under the bus and that’s your stupid shit blowing up in your face again, Shithead. You also not getting how Green Lantern plays into the DARK AND GRITTY by basically having Parallax straight kill motherfuckers, is again, you not paying attention and projecting nonsense that has nothing to do with me on me.

    Seriously though, I’m crazy to you because I change my mind. Wow, the level of dangerous stupidity you put into every post only magnifies how much of a shithead, you actually are.

  185. SamLowry says:

    Mazda, Lambo–personal modes of transportation, like a bike, and nothing more.

    Think it was NPR where I heard of a study where people were asked how much they would pay for a car if they knew no one would ever see it. The average price cited was around $18k.

  186. Joe Leydon says:

    I once read somewhere that only guys with tragically small cocks worry about how impressive their cars might appear, and that there’s actually an inverse proportion to penis size and car splendor.

    BTW: I drive a 2003 Dodge Neon.

  187. palmtree says:

    The first time I saw a smartphone was probably around 2002. And I was amazed by how you could watch videos, listen to music, play games, go on the internet, email, do word processing, and yes, make phone calls. But at the end of the day, I thought who the hell needs all that in a phone? I just wanna be able to call someone.

    Well, just 10 years later, I LOVE my smartphone and I do everything on it.

    So the answer for me is that somewhere in there I made a shift in my attitude as to what the phone in my pocket could and should do. What does that mean for society? No idea.

  188. SamLowry says:

    They must’ve improved the quality of Neons considerably since 1997 when I bought mine. Ugh, what a nightmare. Head gasket, AC, brakes (they locked up), and it overheated, in February, in Michigan.

    And that was back in the days when winter was cold.

  189. sanj says:

    hey Joe – did you get any interviews with the avengers cast ? DP didn’t get any for his world famous dp/30’s …

    did the entire cast of avengers figure out that doing interviews with super serious movie critics would hurt the movie and they would only make like 150 million ?

  190. Joe Leydon says:

    Sanj: If DP couldn’t get the interviews, what makes you think I could get them? LOL.

  191. Telemachos says:

    “I haven’t been minimizing the numbers. Ans still, as terrific as these numbers are, they will still end up being half of Avatar’s at best.”

    I know I’m late to the game here, but DP, it’s going to be at half of Avatar’s numbers after next weekend, with a couple hundred million left in the tank. Can’t you see how statements like that are seen as minimizing?

    (Unless you’re referring to WW numbers? In which case, “half of Avatar’s at best” still means the 3rd greatest total of all time, and worthy of crazy praise no matter what.)

  192. sanj says:

    Joe – i was thinking maybe one of the avengers cast trusts you more than DP or something…plus can’t you use the line your from Variety the most read movie publication in the world. so you better come Thor!

    DP didn’t get anybody from John Carter or Hunger Games for a dp/30 either ..

    i guess the movie studios know that DP only does indie film interviews . just proves that not all actors care when
    they have all the money in the world .

    now i’m wondering if DP can get Theron again for snow white movie ..

  193. cadavra says:

    Being a grumpy old dude, I’m perfectly capable of deciding on my own whether to see a movie or not based on the people who make/are in it. Sometimes a trailer may change my mind from a no to a yes (especially if it’s an art film about which nothing has been written and/or from people of whom I have little or no knowledge), but I don’t need friends to tell me something’s awesome. Besides, most of my friends are old enough that they can think of another adjective.

    Two days until DARK SHADOWS opens. Two weeks until I see it on that 102′ real IMAX screen at the AMC Lincoln Square. It’ll be worth the wait.

  194. bulldog68 says:

    “I once read somewhere that only guys with tragically small cocks worry about how impressive their cars might appear, and that there’s actually an inverse proportion to penis size and car splendor.”

    Just for you Joe:

  195. martin s says:

    Jay – You still suck at this. I keep making the mistake that you’ll realize, one day, you lack the ability to take a cohesive position.

    Seriously though, I’m crazy to you because I change my mind.

    No, you’re manic because you go from worshiping someone to blaming them for everything that’s wrong.

    Nolan was the savior with TDK, now, he’s destoying DC. Yet, he has no control over these decisions.

    Favreau was the man for laying the Avengers groundwork, now, only Whedon deserves credit, because it all sprung, fully developed, from his forehead.

    That’s why it’s easy to predict, you’re going to pull this with TDKR and Spidey.

    You won’t admit that you were wrong, you’ll just turn on the hype machine. When you get called out, the same flame-out pattern will follow.

    And even if audience reaction to Spidey is bleh, you’ll still end up hyping it, blaming others for “not getting” something or another.

    So, please, prove me wrong. Nothing would be better than to come here and read a critical reaction from you over Spidey or TDKR based on your current misgivings, or an admission that you were wrong about tone or direction.

    I’m not betting on it.

  196. Paul D/Stella says:

    Martin, I admire your dedication and agree with pretty much everything you have said here, but man you are a glutton for punishment.

  197. bulldog68 says:

    Martin, been there, done that.

  198. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Just stick with parody quotes and gif links. That’s what I do these days.

  199. JS Partisan says:

    Martin, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, do we need to give credit to Favreau? He worked on one prong of a four pronged franchise. He gave us a good Iron Man setup, and a muddled filler episode sequel featuring a shitty Black Widow. What else is his? Why him and not Brannaugh, Letterier, Branaugh, Johnston? And wasn’t Letterier basically making Hulk at the same time, therefore making him just as much of an architect?

    Also, Whedon clearly said that he wiped Penn’s script and started from scratch. So very little of the Favreau groundwork, other than what was in other movies, mattered.

    Seriously, that, and you folks really do not get that I do not have to take a cohesive position is perplexing. Things are fluid but what shows the world, that you really suck at this unlike me, is your failure to even comprehend my point about Nolan.

    It’s called a RIPPLE EFFECT, Martin. Nolan created a ripple that changed things. Another ripple effect you might remember is the one with the Matrix. These effects happen when something so big or pop culture changing, enters the world, and people respond to it. DC clearly responded to it. Other films clearly responded to it. You not getting that is you not getting that.

    Seriously though Martin and his goons, the goons being worse because they are grown ass men with families who act like little kids about things (and are supporting a man whose giving me shit for discussions that have not even happened yet. If you think that I am so difficult then seriously, what the hell is he? The Tabula Rosa of the blog of the something), what the fuck is the point you are trying to make? Why do I have to admit that I am wrong again? You do get that I’ve admitted to being wrong on here before? Avatar? Hello? Is this thing on?

    Continuing on, your last paragraph is ridiculous because you basically want me to act like you. You want me to be nitpicky and guess what? Nitpicking is and always will be weak sauce. You also wanting sound criticism ignores that what you seem to want, again, is for me to act the way you want me to act. You not getting that the hype machine is not a hype machine, but stating how I feel about something is you being pissy someone dares state things in a way that does not fit your worldview. If those two movies are good. They are good. If those two movies are bad. They are bad. Until I SEE THEM, how would I know? You wanting a definitive position on them in freakin MAY is why you really are off the reservation.

    ETA: FS, totally ripping me off now. You jerk :P.

  200. David Poland says:

    Telemachos…. Avengers is going to be at $1.4 billion by the end of next weekend? Really?

  201. storymark says:

    “and a muddled filler episode sequel featuring a shitty Black Widow. ”

    This from the guy who ripped into anyone who didn’t love Iron Man 2… Same as it ever was.

    Just for kicks, I just went back and re-read some old threads on this blog related to comic films. It’s amusing to see how similar the “conversation” is when it involves…. a certain individual (by either name). Just change the name of the superhero in the conversation, and they read just the same.

  202. Triple Option says:

    My old barber used to always say, “A Mercedes can’t take you anyplace that a Buick can’t.” Now, I don’t have a smart phone but can acknowledge they can offer more than a means of communication. I think it’s even more than comparing a Mazda to a pickup. I remember getting a book back in the 90s called something like “Your Mac is Not a Typewriter.” Necessity, though, I suppose could always be argued.

    What I’d really like for my car would be a camera mounted on the roof with a lens that would follow my eyes like the guns on an F-18. I’d just snap photos of all the mo fo’s texting or using their cellies why they drive w/out a hands free device. If I could just get a reward for busting people in the act. The device would totally pay for itself. I’m starting to wonder how much it would cost to buy an ambulance. Might as drive that and save myself the trouble.

  203. JS Partisan says:

    SM, again, doesn’t mean I hate the film, and you seem to be hung up on the first reaction as if it’s the only reaction. Why you folks don’t get that a person’s mind can change over time is why I can easily dismissed the rest of your WAH WAH post, because that’s all it is. Even if you used another name, all you post are WAH WAH statements. How about you add something the blog other than the WAH WAH? Is that possible? Doubtful, given you spend most of the time giving me shit and NOTHING ELSE! You even go back and re-read threads from years ago to give me shit, which is you spending more time on me, then I would ever spend on you WAH WAH.

    Houston Santa Claus, Ezz Pee? What the fuck.

    ETA: Seriously how many of you folks do not have smartphones?

  204. storymark says:

    “and you seem to be hung up on the first reaction as if it’s the only reaction. Why you folks don’t get that a person’s mind can change over time is why I can easily dismissed….blah blah blah”

    No, you nimrod – it’s that you show complete and utter contempt for ANY opinion that isnt yours, even though yours is constantly shifting.

    We get that people can change their minds – why can’t YOU get that not everyone MUST agree with your manic ass at all times??

  205. JS Partisan says:

    Story, when are you and the rest of the simpletons going to understand that I could give a shit if anyone of you agrees with me? Hate or love whatever you like but if you post some stupid shit, then I am going to respond. This blog is filled and has been filled with people, from the very top down, that love declarative statements. When you all make declarative statements, then how the fuck should one respond to such a statement like this; “The only thing people are going to remember about the Avengers is the money it makes and the Hulk.” That’s fucking stupid, the person who posted that is smarter than that nonsense, but how should anyone respond to that?

    That’s the hot blog though. Post declarative statements and then get pissy at the guy who goes; “No, that’s fucking stupid.” Seriously, you spent time reading old blogs in order to start some shit with me and that’s hilarious. You folks also need to get that once a thread is through, I am done with that conversation, and basically forget all about it. All of you seem to spend more time on this shit from years ago that I do not even remember, then I ever would.

  206. film fanatic says:

    Joe: if your theory about cars holds true (and I’m not saying it doesn’t) then Lex with his oft-derided broken-down 1990 Taurus means a legitimate heir to John C. Holmes walks among us.

  207. David Poland says:

    JSP – You are right about something about twice a year… just like the proverbial broken clock. Then you make it clear that it was just a fluke. And then you become a relentless bore.

    I just try to keep your b.s. in perspective and wait for your fever to pass. But do be nice to others as you blow yourself, please.

  208. JS Partisan says:

    David, you are the living facepalm. Seriously, when are you going to put out that glowing Battleship review? You have now referenced me naked and me blowing myself in the same thread. Yeah.

    What I do find funny is that you thinking you are so thrilling, when you bitch about netflix, the NYT, and so on and so forth over and over and over again. If you want to know what a relentless onanistic (thanks scoot) bore looks like, then go into your bathroom, look in the mirror, and smile.

    Seriously David, you trying to give me shit continues to demonstrate how utterly bougie you are. Please keep on trying though because nothing is funnier than the dude who runs the blog, making an ass of himself, by trying rather poorly to insult me.

  209. scooterzz says:

    i believe, when used as an adjective, the word is ‘onanistic’…. carry on….

  210. SamLowry says:

    JSP, I don’t own a portable phone of any kind. You’d think working 2 jobs/60+ hours per week, I’d deserve a gold-plated 4G device studded with diamonds, but $23k per yr. don’t cover such amenities.

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“As these stories continue to break, in the weeks since women have said they were harassed and abused by Harvey Weinstein, which was not the birth of a movement but an easy and highly visible shorthand for decades of organizing against sexual harassment that preceded this moment, I hope to gain back my time, my work. Lately, though, I have noticed a drift in the discourse from violated rights to violated feelings: the swelled number of reporters on the beat, the burden on each woman’s story to concern a man “important” enough to report on, the detailed accounting of hotel robes and incriminating texts along with a careful description of what was grabbed, who exposed what, and how many times. What I remember most, from “my story” is how small the sex talk felt, almost dull. I did not feel hurt. I had no pain to confess in public. As more stories come out, I like to think that we would also believe a woman who said, for example, that the sight of the penis of the man who promised her work did not wound her, and that the loss she felt was not some loss of herself but of her time, energy, power.”
~ “The Unsexy Truth About Harassment,” by Melissa Gira Grant

“To say I knew exactly what I was doing at the outset — what’s that called? I think that would be a lie. Wormwood is something that was figured out as we went along. There was a kind of plan. My sales pitch to Netflix was, ‘I’m going to create the cinematic version of the everything bagel, except no raisins. I don’t like them in bagels. I think raisins are wrong, at least as far as bagels are concerned. But I told them I wanted to do something that combines straight drama, reenactments, archival research, various diverse graphics elements, and on and on and on. It wasn’t going to be documentary business as usual. It was going to be something different. I have suffered for years this idea that interviews aren’t directing and that there’s something really different about real people and actors. Whereas I’ve always believed that it’s really about performance — eliciting a performance, creating a performance on film. That’s true of interviews, it’s true of scripted material, it’s true of reenactments, it’s true of everything. It’s all direction.”
~ Errol Morris