“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 email@example.com
Friday Estimates by Warm(ish) Klady
Warm Bodies is kind of the classic “The Adults Don’t Get It” programmer for a January. Following on the troubled Hansel & Gretel opening well and invisible-to-adults Mama opening really well, a third opening of around $20 million for a “stupid film for bored teen idiots” is being explained away by the all-so-grown-up media. But almost the entire history of successful January launches at the box office is junk, horror, and Oscar expansions.
Bottom line, there have no been a lot of $100m hits out of January. Almost all of them are expansions from award season. But journalists also forget how sucked-dry the audiences are over the holidays. The lull is comparable in many ways to the summer leading to September. Just cyclical. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have a Taken, but that movie truly was a phenom… and only ended up with $140m domestic, which would be “just okay” mid-summer.
Truly dumped movies like Bullet to the Head and Parker are dumped every month of the year. Teh strategy on these seems to be a cheap theatrical, hoping for a miracle, followed by milking post-theatrical as best they can. This is the new frontier of VOD, I think. Bachelorette, it should be acknowledged, kinda started it. But the VOD market for higher end junk than Magnet – meaning movie stars – seems ready to become a viable business.
At the end of the weekend, Lincoln passes $170m, Django Unchained passes $150m, and Les Miserables passes $140m.
The Gatekeepers is the muscular new limited release with over $14k per screen for the weekend on 3. Koch is doing some solid business in NYC. And Dave Grohl’s Sound City is also doing pretty well.