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David Poland

By David Poland

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.

27 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Warm(ish) Klady”

  1. chris says:

    Looks like the Weinsteins won’t get a lot of love from the Oscars but they sure are getting it from the box office.

  2. Melquiades says:

    And Zero Dark Thirty and Silver Linings Playbook will both cross $75M.

    Nice showing for a good crop of Oscar movies.

  3. StellaPD says:

    Man rough going for action stars. The combined opening weekends of The Last Stand, Parker, and Bullet to the Head will be less than $20 million. One day of Warm Bodies (which I really liked) will be more than any of them made in their entire opening weekend. That’s pretty terrible.

  4. dinovelvet says:

    In the future, when someone asks “How come they don’t make R-rated action movies anymore?”, we’ll know to just point to Jan-Feb 2013.

  5. Duvalin says:

    Dinovelvet – it has nothing to do with the R rating. Look at Django. It has everything to do with the fact that no one wants to see the steroidal machine-like 80s-era action star, especially when they’re over 60. And Statham’s movies never do very well theatrically.

  6. cadavra says:

    Combination of too many similar movies in too short a time span, plus horrible marketing (espcially PARKER). I’m not saying they would’ve turned it around if they’d been spread out more, but they could and should have done better.

  7. movieman says:

    I haven’t seen the new Soderbergh yet, but “Bullet in the Head” is the best directed movie I’ve seen so far this year.
    Yeah, I realize it’s only February 2nd and that my comment smacks of “damning with faint praise.”
    Yet the damn thing moves like a speeding locomotive.
    I loved how there’s not a wasted moment in the entire film.
    Hill’s still got it. Attention must–or at least should–be paid.
    Shockingly, there was a decent-sized crowd at my matinee this afternoon.
    And that was despite yet another brutal northeastern Ohio winter snowstorm.

  8. etguild2 says:

    Nice to see LINCOLN passing THE HELP, TRUE GRIT, and BEAUTIFUL MIND among recent drama nominees.

  9. Spacesheik says:

    Two weeks left and nary a GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD review in sight.
    Looking forward to the movie – the fact that its R rated helps but I’m worried about the alleged 97 minute running time and Feb release date.

    Not a big fan of John Moore’s THE OMEN or his other flicks.

    I think the fact that all these R rated movies – BULLET, PARKER & LAST STAND – flopped before DIE HARD’s release is worrying though.

  10. Joshua says:

    I wonder why the 2013 Oscar Shorts get classified as one box office entry. They really should be listed as four different entries — one for Animation, one for Live Action, and two for Documentary (the documentaries are longer and are split into two separate programs). You would have to buy four tickets to see all the nominated shorts. In Chicago, they’re not even all playing at the same theater.

  11. movieman says:

    Space- While I share your, uh, lack of enthusiasm for the profoundly ungifted John Moore, I wouldn’t worry too much about “DH.”

    Fox’s marketing machine has been in overdrive the past few months, so even if the movie is as wretched as Moore’s previous films I’d be shocked if it didn’t have a better opening than the combined opening weekends of “Parker,” “Bullet to the Head” and “The Last Stand.”
    Having a 4-day versus 3-day o/weekend won’t hurt either.
    Fox clearly loves Moore, even though he’s never delivered much bang at the box office. Maybe he works cheap and is consistently under budget.
    “Behind Enemy Lines” (his biggest hit?), “Max Payne” and the pitiful “Flight of the Phoenix” and “Omen” remakes were all Fox releases.

  12. Joe Leydon says:

    Actually, I have to admit liking Moore’s “Flight of the Phoenix.”

  13. StellaPD says:

    Yeah it’s not the rating nearly as much as it’s the marketing. None looked like they are worth $10 to see in theaters. Hill may indeed still have it but that doesn’t change the fact that Bullet to the Head looks incredibly generic and stupid, like something you could see on Reelz any day of the week. Parker and The Last Stand don’t look much better. A Good Day to Die Hard looks equally awful but at least it’s part of a franchise. That and the ubiquitous marketing should result in a much better opening than the aforementioned trio. Still, wouldn’t be surprised at all if it underperformed.

  14. bulldog68 says:

    The thing about all the previous Die Hard movies that really worked was that Willis was always buddied up with someone who was very personable, Reginald Veljohnson (still the best) the rotating Dennis Franz, Art Evans, John Amos, in Die Hard 2, Sam J in 3, and my least favorite, Justin Long, who wasn’t bad, but just didn’t live up to the others.

    Also, the quality of the bad guys diminished in 4. While I like Timothy olyphant, Alan Rickman, Jeremy Irons and William Atherton were memorable.

    I`m actually surprised they did not raise the stakes after the success of 4, like pairing Willis with a known entity as his son, a young up and commer who`s a bit more well known, and go for more of a heavyweight like a Brian Cox or Brendan Gleeson, so for the sake of the franchise I hope this Sebastian guy brings it.

    I did not like 4 very much, and this one looks cheaper, so I hope it surprises.

  15. scooterzz says:

    fwiw — it’s not horrible… (and willis was surprisingly non-confrontational at the press conference)

  16. dinovelvet says:

    “it has nothing to do with the R rating. Look at Django. It has everything to do with the fact that no one wants to see the steroidal machine-like 80s-era action star, especially when they’re over 60″

    I can buy that, to a degree (personally I don’t see Tarantino movies as “action”, more like bloodthirsty talky dramas), but at the same time its not like audiences are avoiding Sly and Arnold to check out a younger, hotter action star – because there aren’t any younger, hotter action stars out there. The genre itself doesn’t seem to sell tickets anymore.

    The Rock’s only hit in years that wasn’t a pre-existing franchise he snuck into was that football comedy with the little girl, Vin Diesel is DOA in anything that isn’t a Fast and Furious, Gerard Butler’s been a one hit wonder with 300, Cage is all over the place doing VOD flicks. In fact the only bona fide action draw to have emerged in the last few years is…61 year old Liam Neeson!

  17. Lane Myers says:

    What’s interesting is that there is an audience for these action “stars” — that is if they are all together in The Expendables, but on their own, Arnold, Stratham & Sly, clearly aren’t exciting enough to get people off their couches.

    It’s the equivalent of a concert where a bunch of 80’s bands have gotten together, so suddenly it’s worth the price of admission. But I’m not going to see Quiet Riot on their own.

    Having said that, Bruce Willis in a Die Hard is like Bon Jovi on a Greatest Hits tour — and I guarantee this new installment is going to open really well.

  18. Lex says:

    John Moore is the GOD OF ALL ACTION. Better than Cameron, better than McTiernan. That shot in the trailer of Willis an that AWESOME MOTHERFUCKER FROM JACK REACHER playing his son falling through various shattering glass into water is a CLASSIC John Moore shot, and as good as anything you’ll see all year.



    TERESA PALMER POWER OH MY GOD BOW SHE IS THE PERFECT IDEAL WOMAN (other than Julianne Hough, K-Stew, and Rachael Taylor.)

  19. Lex says:

    Gonna see WARM BODIES like SIXTEEN MORE TIMES just to BOW to Teresa Palmer who is like a hot version of Kristen Stewart with better feet.

  20. spacesheik says:

    I don’t think DIE HARD will bomb but it seems ‘smaller’ in scope than the previous flicks – shorter running time (97 minutes), 1:85 ratio, no ‘star’ villians, Feb. release date…

    I’d love if the series continued indefinitely but they to be less of ‘event’ pictures than they were in the past.

    There is a brilliant 5 minute-plus sequence in LOOPER where an unhinged, semi automatic-toting, hysterical Bruce Willis breaks into Jeff Daniels’ lair – typical John McClaine, a glint of desperation & madness in the eyes. If only the last couple of DIE HARDs had the LOOPER Willis…

    For the record: I liked BEHIND ENEMY LINES, a nice piece of kinetic entertainment; you can’t go wrong with Gene Hackman in mentor/action star mode (UNCOMMON VALOR, BAT 21 etc).

  21. Dr Wally Rises says:

    Seeing the trailers for A Good Day To Die Hard just makes me all the more sad that Fox (and Andy Vajna) wussed out of using the originally shot ending for Die Hard With A Vengeance. Not only was it less goofy than the last-minute reshoot they ultimately went with, it’s Mclane-turns-vigilante angle would have sent the franchise in an intruiging new direction that could have sustained it for several more instalments. It’s not as if Moore is that bad a director (Phoenix has the best non-Zemeckis plane crash i’ve seen in a movie), but he’s not the director that can bring Die Hard back to it’s heyday. Is Mctiernan out of the slammer yet?

  22. christian says:

    Id say A BULLET IN THE HEAD might not be the best film title for this particular cultural moment. And its not a remake of John Woo’s film is it?

  23. YancySkancy says:

    christian: Woo’s film is indeed titled “Bullet in the Head” (no “A”), but the Hill is actually “Bullet TO the Head.” No relation.

  24. Joe Leydon says:

    BTW: John Woo’s Bullet in the Head is one of the greatest action movies ever made.

  25. christian says:

    And on the day a famous SNIPER couldn’t protect himself from another gun…

  26. Rashad says:

    It’s a great fucking title. Grow up

  27. christian says:

    Yes, you’re still a fucking idiot Rashad.

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