By David Poland firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday Estimates by Klady The Buzz Killer
It has not been in a good first quarter in MovieVile this year… well, 2 months, really. And not helping at all is Jack, The Giant Slayer, aka The Movie That Got Bryan Singer Back To X-Men.
Jack is, really, just another victim of The Twilight Saga… the move towards fairy tale thinking with a twist, meant to thrill and inspire ticket purchases the young and/or romantic at heart who also want a bit of a thrill. The last cycle, before Twilight, of chasing this female-heavy audience were the series of Asian horror film remakes, which finally died off. This “genre” is close to dead on arrival, with Warner Bros taking a double load of buckshot already this year, with Beautiful Creatures and now, Jack. Paradoxically, Nicholas Holt, who was at at the center of Summit’s #3 hit all-time that was not a Twilight film, Warm Bodies, enjoyed that success just a month ago. But WB (acronym pain) cost about 1/7 what Jack has and opened too $500k more on opening Friday alone.
Think of it like shopping for clothes with your teen daughter. You may think you know what she’ll want, but as a parent, you’ll really only get it right 5% of the time… some of the time, you’ll just be “wrong” so she can tell you you’re wrong. That is what studios look like, flailing around these days, looking for the next Twilight or Potter.
21 and Over, Relativity’s attempt to recreate Project X, opened to a little worse than half of the original.
The Last Exorcism II, a title that is comically stupid, is about 60% off the first Last… and this one moved from Lionsgate to CBS Films. This is not brain surgery. There is a reason why it was available and not at Lionsgate this time.
Interestingly, the fourth new release, Phantom, is produced by a father & son team that has made a business of picking up mini-franchises that no longer interest the originating studio enough to produce themselves. Rui Costa Reis (RCR) did Ice Castles in 2010, Wild Things 4, Stomp The Yard 2, Lake Placid 3, 30 Days of Night 2, Quarantine 2, S.W.A.T. 3, and Hostel 3. The Reis’ are branching out now, but once you’ve been in the knock-off business, it’s hard to move out of it.
I am a big fan of Stoker. I don’t think it’s world beating, as many don’t, but as thrillers with broken teen girls go, it kicks ass. It’s cinema. And sometimes, that is enough for me.
Perhaps the only real news in the chart today is the length of the list of small new releases. When everyone is doing a theatrical, no one is doing a theatrical.