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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Friday Estimates by Gobble Gobble Klady

It’s funny how unimpressive Thanksgiving seems next to the big summer openers. As is, there will be at least one movie that will be in the Top 10 all-time for the Thanksgiving 5-day… probably two.Of course, neither of those films launched this weekend… because like Christmas, distributors have learned that big movies are better off being in Weekend 2 or 3 when Thanksgiving comes.

The top new movie is going to be Rise of the Guardians, but not by nearly as much as DreamWorks Animation – in its last release via Paramount – would like. The 5-day opening is looking more like Bolt than Tangled. I would argue that there was never a familiarity with the conceit of the film established in the marketing, which relied on the presumed historic familiarity with the characters. The film could have an upturn based on word of mouth and the ongoing holiday season… but could easily end up a step behind Megamind, which was not perceived as a success, in spite of a $321m worldwide gross.

I didn’t mean to forget Lincoln, which has been a very, very solid performer as dramas go, especially historic dramas. $64m or so in 2 weekends of wide release (with about $1.4m of that from a week in exclusive). There are not a lot of perspectives from other similar films available, but Lincoln is about 45% ahead of Argo at the same stages of their runs. It’s not moving quite as fast as The Help, but if things continue at this rate, this will have to be seen as a legitimate commercial phenom, above and beyond the awards angle.

Life of Pi is looking healthy with a $33m opening 5-day. And in its case, there really are no comparisons to work with. It could become a phenom and gross over $150m… it could be a reasonable success with an $80m domestic total. The history is all over the place here.

For a movie that was feeling a little thrown away, Red Dawn is doing okay, from an exploitation perspective.

And at this time next week, we will be talking about Argo as a $100m domestic grosser.

Silver Linings Playbook expanded to 367 screens on Friday and is looking at a strong $15k per over the weekend. Is this the beginning of a long, happy journey or a stumble out of the gate? I would vote for the former, but can’t discount the possibility of the latter… it’s really up to the Harvey Machine to decide how invested they are in the film.

Hitchcock is looking at about $18k per screen on 17 for the 3-day weekend. Not bad. Not great. Definitively not definitive.

(EDITS: I made a typo in graph 3, repeating the name Lincoln in a comparison. It was corrected by an editor, but backwards. Lincoln is well ahead of Argo’s numbers at this point.)

7 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Gobble Gobble Klady”

  1. etguild2 says:

    Unless I’m mistaken, won’t “Lincoln” end up as at least the 4th highest grossing biopic, if you consider it a biopic as well as an historical drama? (“A Beautiful Mind,” “Walk the Line”, “Erin Brokovich.”)

  2. Pete B. says:

    Does The Blind Side count as a bio pic? Over $250 million?

  3. palmtree says:

    I thought bio pic referred to films about a famous person’s life from childhood to death, a filmed biography. Just having a film based on real events doesn’t seem to fit the bill. Lincoln technically would not be a bio pic. Nor would Erin Brokovich.

  4. matthew says:

    I can kinda see where palmtree’s coming from. Would Hitchcock be a biopic, if all it deals with is the filming of Psycho? My Week With Marilyn?

  5. etguild2 says:

    Im not sure there’s a definitive definition. “Capote” is considered a biopic by pretty much everyone even though it only centers around the events of In Cold Blood.

    But then again, perhaps “Lincoln” isn’t personal enough. I think most people going see the movie expect a biography rather than a masterful political procedural…but it also still revolves around Lincoln.

  6. cadavra says:

    IMHO, the term “biopic” is pretty flexible; I think it can cover anything from a week to a life, as long as the central character is/was a real person. A movie that uses a real person or persons in supporting roles (e.g., Teddy Roosevelt in WIND AND THE LION or NEWSIES) but with largely fictional leads would obviously not qualify. And of course, outright fantasies like that other Lincoln movie (the one with the vampires) are also exempt. So yes, I would consider LINCOLN, HITCHCOCK, MWWMarilyn and even PT-109 biopics.

  7. Sam says:

    Is there a reason not to pair the definition of “biopic” with the definition of “biography”? That’s where the term comes from, after all. A biography need not deal with the entirety of a person’s life, but it must be a generally factual (if colored through some perspective) account of a real person’s life.

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How do you see film evolving in this age of Netflix?

I thought the swing would be quicker and more violent. There have been two landmark moments in the history of French film. First in 1946, with the creation of the CNC under the aegis of Malraux. He saved French cinema by establishing the advance on receipts and support fund mechanisms. We’re all children of this political invention. Americans think that the State gives money to French films, but they’re wrong. Through this system, films fund themselves!

The other great turning point came by the hand of Jack Lang in the 1980s, after the creation of Canal+. While television was getting ready to become the nemesis of film, he created the decoder, and a specific broadcasting space between film and television, using new investments for film. That once again saved French film.

These political decisions are important. We’re once again facing big change. If our political masters don’t take control of the situation and new stakeholders like Netflix, Google and Amazon, we’re headed for disaster. We need to create obligations for Internet service providers. They can’t always be against film. They used to allow piracy, but now that they’ve become producers themselves, they’re starting to see things in a different light. This is a moment of transition, a strong political act needs to be put forward. And it can’t just be at national level, it has to happen at European level.

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