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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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“I suddenly couldn’t say anything about some of the movies. They were just so terrible, and I’d already written about so many terrible movies. I love writing about movies when I can discover something in them – when I can get something out of them that I can share with people. The week I quit, I hadn’t planned on it. But I wrote up a couple of movies, and I read what I’d written, and it was just incredibly depressing. I thought, I’ve got nothing to share from this. One of them was of that movie with Woody Allen and Bette Midler, Scenes From a Mall. I couldn’t write another bad review of Bette Midler. I thought she was so brilliant, and when I saw her in that terrible production of ‘Gypsy’ on television, my heart sank. And I’d already panned her in Beaches. How can you go on panning people in picture after picture when you know they were great just a few years before? You have so much emotional investment in praising people that when you have to pan the same people a few years later, it tears your spirits apart.”
~ Pauline Kael On Quitting

“My father was a Jerome. My daughter’s middle name is Jerome. But my most vexing and vexed relationship with a Jerome was with Jerome Levitch, the subject of my first book under his stage and screen name, Jerry Lewis.

I have a lot of strong and complex feelings about the man, who passed away today in Las Vegas at age 91. Suffice to say he was a brilliant talent, an immense humanitarian, a difficult boss/interview, and a quixotic sort of genius, as often inspired as insipid, as often tender as caustic.

I wrote all about it in my 1996 book, “King of Comedy,” which is available on Kindle. With all due humility, it’s kinda definitive — the good and the bad — even though it’s two decades old. My favorite review, and one I begged St. Martin’s (unsuccessfully) to put on the paperback jacket, came from “Screw” magazine, which called it “A remarkably fair portrait of a great American asshole.”

Jerry and I met twice while I was working on the book and spoke/wrote to each other perhaps a dozen times. Like many of his relationships with the press and his partners/subordinates, it ended badly, with Jerry hollering profanities at me in the cabin of his yacht in San Diego. I wrote about it in the epilogue to my book, and over the years I’ve had the scene quoted back to me by Steve Martin, Harry Shearer, Paul Provenza and Penn Jillette. Tom Hanks once told me that he had a dinner with Paul Reiser and Martin Short at which Short spent the night imitating Jerry throwing me off the boat.

Jerry was a lot of things: father, husband, chum, businessman, philanthropist, artist, innovator, clown, tyrant. He was at various times in his life the highest-ever-paid performer on TV, in movies, and on Broadway. He raised BILLIONS for charity, invented filmmaking techniques, made perhaps a dozen classic comedies, turned in a terrific dramatic performance in Martin Scorsese’s “The King of Comedy,” and left the world altered and even enhanced with his time and his work in it.

That’s an estimable achievement and one worth pausing to commemorate.

#RIP to Le Roi du Crazy

~ Biographer Shawn Levy on Jerry Lewis on Facebook