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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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“The evening’s curious vanity and irrelevance stay with me, if only because those qualities characterize so many of Hollywood’s best intentions. Social problems present themselves to many of these people in terms of a scenario, in which, once certain key scenes are licked (the confrontation on the courthouse steps, the revelation that the opposition leader has an anti-Semitic past, the presentation of the bill of participants to the President, a Henry Fonda cameo), the plot will proceed inexorably to an upbeat fade. Marlon Brando does not, in a well-plotted motion picture, picket San Quentin in vain: what we are talking about here is faith in a dramatic convention. Things “happen” in motion pictures. There is always a resolution, always a strong cause-effect dramatic line, and to perceive the world in those terms is to assume an ending for every social scenario… If the poor people march on Washington and camp out, there to receive bundles of clothes gathered on the Fox lot by Barbra Streisand, then some good must come of it (the script here has a great many dramatic staples, not the least of them in a sentimental notion of Washington as an open forum, cf. Mr. Deeds Goes to Washington), and doubts have no place in the story.”
~ Joan Didion On Hw’d In 1970

CAMPION: We were driving around the countryside the other day, and we happened to chance upon a lone bull and cow going through some sex rituals. I was so surprised to see how lengthy the whole process was for this bull. He started licking the cow’s shin and worked his way quite laboriously up toward her ass. And every now and again, you thought, “Maybe she’s ready now—he’ll try a quick move.”
TAYLOR-JOHNSON: She wasn’t ready.
CAMPION: She made it clear that that wasn’t the case. We couldn’t even wait; it was like 15 minutes, but it was really adorable. Even when we came back, they were still at it. The foreplay was phenomenal.
TAYLOR-JOHNSON: You don’t think of animal love in that way.
~ Jane Campion And Sam Taylor-Johnson in Interview

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