“Let me try and be as direct as I possibly can with you on this. There was no relationship to repair. I didn’t intend for Harvey to buy and release The Immigrant – I thought it was a terrible idea. And I didn’t think he would want the film, and I didn’t think he would like the film. He bought the film without me knowing! He bought it from the equity people who raised the money for me in the States. And I told them it was a terrible idea, but I had no say over the matter. So they sold it to him without my say-so, and with me thinking it was a terrible idea. I was completely correct, but I couldn’t do anything about it. It was not my preference, it was not my choice, I did not want that to happen, I have no relationship with Harvey. So, it’s not like I repaired some relationship, then he screwed me again, and I’m an idiot for trusting him twice! Like I say, you try to distance yourself as much as possible from the immediate response to a movie. With The Immigrant I had final cut. So he knew he couldn’t make me change it. But he applied all the pressure he could, including shelving the film.”
~ James Gray
By David Poland firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday Estimates by Hawkeye Klady
At this point, there’s not much to do but to watch the count for The Avengers. The Friday number is off about 63% when you count the Midnight screenings (not sure why Klady didn’t), but given that’s the Friday-to-Friday, it would be fair to expect that number to drop into the mid-50s for the overall weekend. Though some were fantasizing about $100m this weekend, $90m is no small feat. $360m in 10 days accelerates the number well past Dark Knight again… then we’ll see what the weekdays next week look like. 40% off… $90m over days 11-17, would take the film to $450m 10 days faster than Dark Knight. The Titanic domestic number ($600m) still looks like a long shot, but it does seem that passing Dark Knight domestically (and internationally) is inevitable.
The biggest question for the moment is whether Battleship will slow down Avengers at all… I mean, $1.
There is nothing remotely shocking about Dark Shadows‘ opening. It’s running slightly behind Burton/Depp’s Sleepy Hollow and much better than Sweeney Todd or Mars Attacks. Obviously, 2 of those 3 titles are older, but collaborations like Alice and Wonka just can’t be compared. There is no reason why Dark Shadows kitsch could not be a new phenom, but it isn’t a revered work that has millions anticipating an adaptation by a visual master. Personally, I think WB should be happy with this number. Even if the movie was unanimously praised, this is probably all that was there for the taking on opening weekend.
I think it’s worth pointing out that Think Like A Man is still chugging along and that $80m for the film is a very strong number for Screen Gems.
On the indie front, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which Searchlight wanted to position as this summer’s Midnight in Paris, is moving a bit faster than Paris, but in expansion to 178 screens did almost the same number as Paris did on expansion to 147. The answers to the overall number will come when they go about 5 times wider than this… and I don’t know what their pace on that will be. But so far, so solid. This could be Searchlight’s best platform performer outside of Oscar season in a while.
And not a bad number for Girl In Progress for Lionsgate. No one will be getting Christmas bonuses off of this one, but with almost no TV budget and the feel of a direct-to-video title, this number is pretty good.