“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 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.)