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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by $174m Opening Puts Us Behind Last Year Klady

A $30 million jump from the first in the franchise to the second, released two years later… though the second didn’t quite equal the first in total domestic gross.

And not, an estimated $50 million jump from 2 to Three… even though #2 was not well-liked… but there was The Avengers in between.

The baseline is that it’s good to open the summer if you have a franchise that will open big. Five of the 10 biggest summer openings of all-time are from the “first weekend of summer,” aka the first weekend of May. All 5 are superhero movies, by the way.

If you’re wondering how significant May is to opening weekends, 11 of the 24 all-time $100m opening happened in the month of May. Following that are November with 5 and July with 4. November’s mega-opens are limited to Potter & Twilight. July, Potter & Pirates. June has 2, one being the 2nd Transformers and the other being the final Toy Story. March is the most interesting spot, though only 2 have turned the trick there, Burton’s Alice remake and the launch of Hunger Games, of the “if you build it, they will show” phenomenology.

Amyway… I don’t really have anything interesting to say about the domestic Iron Man Three opening itself. It doesn’t, as an event, prove that theatrical is strong. It is the #2 domestic opening ever, but somehow feels like it’s been done before… a phenomenon of annual “we’re the biggest ever” opening growth. (Only Jim Cameron has outrun that… twice.) It does suggest that front-loading is continuing to be what studios want.

IM3 is already the #1 Iron Man movie—total worldwide gross—of the series, thanks to the rest of the world being almost $200 million ahead of any IM movie of the past. It’s generated $505m in the rest of the world through this American opening weekend, which also, by the way, dwarfs the $335m that The Avengers had in its coffers internationally through their opening weekend.

In other words, fuck worldwide day-n-date. Disney has the new killer op in distribution of big, loud movies. Fill the tank outside of the US before landing here. AKA, go where the suckers are. Go early and don’t let the United States be the arbiter of taste in any way.

And you know that the movie universe is topsy-turvy when WE are the ones holding out for higher quality.

For the record, I’m not saying that Iron Man Three is junk. It’s certainly better directed that either of the first two films in the series and even though it cops out pathetically on its Black-ian ambitions (another odd moment… as we hold Shane Black as Mr. Arty Edge, even if many of us loved his sleekest, smartest film, Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang), it is not unfair, in my eyes, to call it the best of the lot. But it’s still a deeply flawed movie. Not really good… but not offensively bad.

So that is the trend line to watch. Warner Bros, the international-selling superstar of the 90s into the early 00s, is rolling out Man of Steel in its normal method, basic worldwide day-n-date, which they pioneered, but everyone caught up with. Fox which has been pushing the international envelope in the 00s is sticking to pretty traditional day-n-date for The Wolverine. Paramount is in similar mode with World War Z. And Sony, with Roland Emmerich’s White House Down, isn’t even pushing day-n-date, with a worldwide rollout over couple of months, even without an Olympics of World Cup.

This could be the moment when the American media finally gets serious about international box office. It’s very possible that in the next two weeks, the Iron Man Three international gross will pass the previous best worldwide gross for an Iron Man film. It is distinctly possible that Iron Man Three will be a $350m domestic movie… and do double that internationally.

And when was the only other time in the last decade of box office $ boom we saw something like that 33/67 split from the summer’s top film? The final Harry Potter two summers ago… but that was unique to Potter, which never once in eight tries did as much of 335 of its box office domestically. (The first one came closest with 32.6%.)

This is the box office story to watch this summer. If The Hangover 3 goes $400 international/$200m domestic, it’s a pretty strong signal… not of the failure of domestic theatrical, but of the intentional (I love when the industry pretends things just happen… sometimes they do… mostly, they are by design) change to the ecology that will create a new domestic film industry vacuum that will need to start being managed in earnest.

85 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by $174m Opening Puts Us Behind Last Year Klady”

  1. Etguild2 says:

    That Saturday number….LOOK AT IT. IM3 went from having the 9th best opening day, to the 2nd best non-opening day in box office history.

    Even more impressive, is that the film now trails only AVENGERS, TDKR and SPIDEY 3 overseas among superhero films.

  2. SamLowry says:

    …and not a one of them is all that good. Crap sells.

  3. Lex says:

    No numbers at all for Tim Buckley? BADGLEY/POOTS POWER?

  4. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    DP screen avg of $411,100+ seems high for IM3

    In other new the earth weeps as the populace inches closer to an idiocracy.
    Things go boom. Bright colors. Stretchy suits. Pretty pictures
    Eat more snax. Buy more toyz
    rinse. repeat


  5. nick says:

    Had a BLAST watching movies this weekend.

    It’s possible, but rather unlikely, that there’ll be a more emotionally affecting and honest movie this year than The End of Love. Major, major Mark Webber POWER. 90 perfect – if sometimes upsetting – minutes of storytelling.

    Pain & Gain is a massive triumph for Michael Bay, and a hopeful indication that we haven’t totally lost him to CGI toy movies. Easily his most coherent and enjoyable film since The Rock (I’m tempted to say it’s the best film he’s ever made period), due in no small part to the wildly outrageous screenplay he had at his disposal. As usual, his unmatched, aggressive visual style is always on stylish display, but this time, it’s in service of a real story with real characters with real stakes and real drama. It’s a film that combines and glamourizes all of the hallmark Bay excesses while simultaneously mocking them. Mark Whalberg hasn’t been this good since Boogie Nights, The Rock gives the performance of his career, Anthony Mackie is depressingly awesome, and both Tony Shalhoub and Ed Harris steal all the scenes they appear in. Masterpiece.

    You can smell Shane Black’s nasty attitude all over Iron Man 3. Big fan. So much to love about how Black was able to shake up a getting-tired formula. This is easily the best Marvel movie yet. Any superhero movie where Iron Man tells a kid “don’t be a pussy” gets my vote. Without spoiling any of the twists, I found the movie constantly surprising, subversive and darkly funny, and pretty much flawless from a special effects standpoint. RDJ and GP have great chemistry. It felt like the least Marvel-y movie to come out of that stable yet and the one that was genuinely trying to be different and take some chances. The more I think about it the more I like it. It all boils down to the Shane Black factor — awesome choice. And really, at this point, there’s NO need for any more stand-alone Iron Man movies. It all feels complete.

    Not Fade Away, while feeling somewhat incomplete, is a funny and interesting time portal back to the 60’s, with a fantastic soundtrack, and a killer supporting performance from James Gandolfini. David Chase REALLY needs to be working more — his dialogue remains sharp as a tack and I applaud the freewheeling, almost rambling quality to the film’s narrative. It felt like it was a little more than half of an extended pilot to a potentially masterful television series…

  6. Etguild2 says:

    Jeffrey and Sam, welcome to summer blockbuster season. Try not to get too angry.

    Nick, I’m off work today with the flu and just saw END OF LOVE. Was really hesitant due to the tongue in cheek appearances of Seyfried, Cera, Aubrey Plaza and everyone else, but damn it works. Totally affecting film, and all the single dads out there should be jealous of Mark Webber

  7. nick says:

    the cameos were fun and served the story and generally weren’t distracting. plus the voicemail that Cera leaves is the funniest thing yet in cinema this year. glad you watched/enjoyed, I woke up this morning with the film still on my mind…

  8. John says:

    Dave- curious on your math. How would it be possible for IM3 to only gross $350 million domestic? With a 50% drop next weekend and the weekday grosses this week it should be above $300 for ten days.

  9. Ryan says:

    So would you classify the early Gatsby reviews as giving the film a pass? Still can’t tell if Denby loved the acting and hated the movie or what. Read more than one review that referred to Mulligan as not ‘classically beautiful’. Besides being an a-hole thing to say, it’s just plain false.

  10. Lynch Van Sant says:

    No summer box office forecast this year? Or has it become so dull to prognosticate the ever smaller number of movies which are mostly sequels anyway, and most of which have each weekend practically to themselves? We’re lucky now to have a couple of so-called sleepers anymore since very few lower budget movies come out. So, the only excitement is when one of the massively advertised tentpoles “flops” and does under $100 million.

  11. anghus says:

    I was wondering when the Summer Box Office prognostication was going to come out. Here is my completely incomplete list based on nothing but gut feelings and the red wine fueling my output.

    (All domestic by the way, in no particular order)

    1. Man of Steel – 500 million
    2. Iron Man 3 – 380 million dollars
    3. Star Trek Into Darkness 240 million
    4. The Great Gatsby – 110 million
    5. Fast & Furious 6 – 180 million
    6. After Earth – 110 million
    7. The Wolverine – 150 million
    8. The Lone Ranger – $145 million
    9. Hangover Part 3 – 165 million
    10. This is the End – 80 million
    11. White House Down – 90 million
    12. RIPD – 8 bucks
    13. The Internship – 80 million
    14. Pacific Rim – 125 million
    15. One Direction: This is Us – Eight billion dollars

  12. palmtree says:

    That’s strange. DP gave a 350 figure and now anghus has it at 380. What’s going on? There no way IM3 is headed anywhere except over 400.

  13. anghus says:

    well number one, i am no expert. My original thought was higher, like 450, but theres so many films coming out this month. I mean, its bananas. I figured Gatsby will bring in the female demo. Fast Six, Hangover Part 3 and Star Trek Into Darkness will start hammering away at the other quadrants that would be seeing Iron Man 3. It feels like the movie has about 2 weeks to bring it whatever its going to bring in before you have some monster sequels coming in and taking all the attention.

    That’s my theory, for whatever it’s worth.

  14. amblinman says:


    Why do you have Pacific Rim so low? I think it’s going to be the breakout big time cultural event of the summer. Man of Steel a either a close second or 1a. I can’t imagine every boy, young and old, not wanting to see that movie 500 times.

  15. anghus says:

    I think Pacific Rim is interesting, because i see it as an underperformer. Here’s my theory.

    1. Geared too much towards geeks and young boys. This is not a four quadrant film.
    2. No marquee names. This hurts it a lot.

    To me it looks like a Cowboys and Aliens, Prometheus or a Battleship. One of those films thats all FX and has a hard time getting a huge audience. I could see it perform like Prometheus, which was last years high polish sci fi film without a real big name around 140 million, but i dont think it makes any more than that.

  16. dinovelvet says:

    Pacific Rim looks like exactly the kind of thing that will do huge business overseas; it seems particularly geared towards Asian audiences, and has that easily translatable/dumb concept “big robots vs monsters!”, and its US gross will be almost irrelevant.

  17. palmtree says:

    I think the driving force behind IM3 versus Hangover & Fast 6 is repeat viewing, especially now that Avengers has given it a larger significance. Unless people hate it, which they don’t, I’d say 400 is something of a floor…

  18. John says:

    IM3 is the only movie in May that will draw kids by the droves. That’s how it’s getting over $450 domestic

  19. Mike says:

    I’m skeptical on Man of Steel. Even if it’s great, it might be like Batman Begins, where people stay away because of previous films.

    I also think people tend to overhype Superman as a draw. He might be one of the biggest names in comics, but that doesn’t always make people interested in seeing the movie. I think it’ll make Captain America money.

  20. Etguild2 says:

    THIS IS THE END is too meta to crack $50 million.

  21. jesse says:

    Mike, do you think Superman Returns has that poor of a rep among casual moviegoers?

    I could see them staying away because of a oh-this-again feeling, but then again, Amazing Spider-Man restarted the franchise just five years after the third part. It did tick down from that movie’s gross, but that franchise had a pretty stratospheric average going.

    In some ways, Superman Returns looks like sort of a positive indicator to me. It did $200 million seven years ago, pre-Dark Knight, without being (seemingly) a particularly well-loved movie. It seems to me that if you can market a new Superman movie as Superman-by-way-of-those-Dark-Knight-movies, you should be able to get to 250 or so.

    Probably not 500 unless people love the living bejesus out of it.

    Also, it seems like inflation + 3D + love for the original should = Star Trek Into Darkness at least equaling the first time, probably exceeding it, even if it may not do quite as much as they were probably hoping based on the original’s 260 or so (probably they’re hoping for 300 but I don’t know if it’ll get there).

  22. Mike says:

    Jesse, I never hear Superman Returns spoken of fondly. I think it’s mostly been forgotten.

    I just think prognosticators get excited because it’s SUPERMAN, a well-known character. But I think that while people may know of Superman as much as Batman or Spiderman, it’s rare to find a lot of people who love Superman, the way they love Batman or Spiderman.

    You’re probably right about the final total, but I’m still skeptical. I still say somewhere around $200.

  23. hcat says:

    IM3 does have a lot of competition coming up but just like that previous summer where Spiderman, Shrek, and Pirates all dropped in the same month the BO could easily expand to accomedate all. Especially if people are digging IM3, if anything makes people want to see the next blockbuster its enjoying the previous one.

    I agree with Anghus that Hangover will take a dip, the goodwill from the first one will have dipped a bit, even with their going back to vegas, I can easily see The Heat being the big comedy of the summer, anywhere from 150 to 180.

    And Superman even in his late 70s early 80s heyday where it was a groundbreaker in terms of special effects was never the worldbeater that Spiderman and Batman were. The two installments that are beloved still got outgrossed by more zeitgeist blockbusters of Grease, Animal House, Raiders and On Golden Pond. I can see it hitting around 310 for the second spot.

    Looking at the trailer I cant see a single reason for an adult non-geek woman to watch Superman. Adams probably has a lot of goodwill toward her, and that could steer them into a comedy or indie drama but not enough to get them into a superhero movie.

  24. hcat says:

    So here’s my list

    Iron Man 425
    Gatsby 70
    Peeples 60
    Star Trek 210
    Epic 205
    Fast 6 210
    Hangover 145
    After Earth 160
    Internship 35
    Man of Steel 305
    This is the End 29
    Monsters 213
    World War Z 115
    The Heat 175
    White House Down 140
    Despicable Me 160
    Lone ranger 180
    Grown Ups 150
    Pacific Rim 95
    Turbo 140
    Wolverine 165
    Smurfs 120
    Elsyium 55
    2 Guns 75

    Now what do people think the indie breakout will be? Whats the Moonrise Kindgom, Midnight in Paris suprise hit?

  25. Paul Doro says:

    “Looking at the trailer I cant see a single reason for an adult non-geek woman to watch Superman.”

    Henry Cavill. My wife and I saw a trailer before The Great Gatsby last night. I asked her if she had any desire to see it. She said yes, for Henry Cavill.

  26. Martin S says:

    Pacific Rim, Man of Steel and Iron Man 3 will be the top three summer films. Every boy 8+ is going to be begging to see Power Rangers 2013 and it will be the movie you have to see in 3D/IMAX at least once.

    Only Cowboys and Aliens is comparable in demo, but the hybrid genre has never sold well, particularly western+ whatever.

    Pac Rim is a clean premise. Voltron, Power Rangers, Transformers – you’ve got three generations raised on this concept.

    I don’t know if Pac Rim can beat IM3, but as much as I like what I’m seeing from Man of Steel, I don’t see it beating IM3. It’s following the Hulk/Incredible Hulk pattern where the first reboot left a bad aftertaste that hasn’t faded yet. I’m curious to see if Marvel’s day-n-date China strategy results in a bigger haul than MOS. Superman is actually dependent on IM3 if people want another superhero fix or is it Avengers/RDJ-centric only.

    As debated before, the number for IM3 does not happen without Avengers in between. If it went IM2, Cap, Thor, then IM3, it would have done less than IM2.

    I’m rally interested in the drop for next week. I don’t think it will be less than 55%.

    Don’t buy the Trek hype.

  27. hcat says:

    Last time Trek opened a week after Wolverine (which plummeted in its second week) and was the only PG-13 sci-fi action type film for six weeks until Transformers came stomping along. There were hits inbetween there, Hangover and Night at the Museum 2, but those aren’t the direct competition that Trek will face this year with Fast 6 and After Earth directly on its heels and then Man of Steel a few weeks after.

  28. Etguild2 says:

    “Now what do people think the indie breakout will be? Whats the Moonrise Kindgom, Midnight in Paris suprise hit?”

    The top 3 contenders:

    3. MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING-Goodwill toward Joss Whedon should at least get it to $15 million
    2. THE WAY,WAY BACK-Could either end with $5 million or $35 million, depending on how it plays out.
    1. BLING RING-I think it cracks $40 million easily, assuming the reviews aren’t awful. The buzz among young urban women/gays is through the roof. $70 million is not impossible, assuming this movie’s more like the MAGIC MIKE audiences thought they were getting, rather than the Soderbergh film it was since it’s getting the slow rollout. Regardless, this is Emma Watson’s breakout on June 14, not THIS IS THE END.

    The indies that deserve this status, but won’t get it due to perceived difficulties/release date idiocy: DRINKING BUDDIES and FRUITVALE STATION.

    And c’mon, I love Guillermo, but PAC RIM just isn’t getting much buzz outside of the geek community. I know it’s early, but the comparisons to BATTLESHIP, TRANNIES and even AVATAR/ALIENS will put a cap on it.

  29. Paul Doro says:

    In terms of Pacific Rim’s box office prospects, are comparisons to Transformers, Avatar and Aliens a bad thing?

  30. Etguild2 says:

    The challenge is transcending those movies with general audiences. The average moviegoer doesn’t know what a Guillermo Del Toro is, but he knows “Battleship” sucked.

  31. Paul Doro says:

    If Pacific Rim is reminding general audiences of Battleship, that’s probably a different story than reminding them of Transformers and Avatar.

  32. hcat says:

    I think he means comparisions in the Been There/Seen That type of way rather than box office prospects.

    And Bling Ring is a good pick, I can’t think of anyone I know that is not ready for Emma Watson to be a major movie star. She should have been constantly calling Richard Curtis for the past few years demanding that he write her up some cute mid-to-highbrow english confection for her to star in (as long as it wasn’t a may-december romance thing with Grant).

  33. Etguild2 says:

    My point, perhaps in-eloquently made, was that to most audiences it risks looking dangerously like a ripoff of those films, ala BATTLESHIP with monsters. You’ve really got the leap off the screen to breakout in the sci-fi action genre, as we’ve seen so many times. Even TERMINATOR 4 fell into this trap with TRANSFORMERS comparisons four summers ago.

  34. Paul Doro says:

    I never would have thought of Battleship after seeing a Pacific Rim trailer, but I’ve been on board since it was first announced. That also probably taints how I feel about its box office prospects.

  35. jesse says:

    Here are my guesses:

    Iron Man 3: $450 million
    The Great Gatsby: $130 million
    Peeples: $35 million (Perry didn’t direct it, isn’t in it)
    Star Trek Into Darkness: $275 million
    Epic: $120 million
    Fast & Furious 6: $200 million
    The Hangover Part III: $175 million
    After Earth: $130 million
    Now You See Me: $48 million
    The Internship: $85 million (see this performing like Fred Claus: worse than you might expect at the outset, a better hold than you might expect given the sure-to-be-middling reviews)
    The Purge: $25 million
    Man of Steel: $300 million
    This is the End: $70 million
    Monsters University: $220 million
    World War Z: $105 million
    The Heat: $158 million
    White House Down: $145 million
    Despicable Me 2: $260 million (most animated sequels outside of Toy Story don’t outgross their predecessors, but people seem to LOVE the original)
    The Lone Ranger: $150 million
    Grown Ups 2: $125 million
    Pacific Rim: $120 million
    The Conjuring: $50 million
    RIPD: $77 million
    Red 2: $57 million (getting an eighties-style sequel vibe from this one)
    Turbo: $105 million (could do less)
    The Wolverine: $155 million
    2 Guns: $115 million
    300: Rise of an Empire: $66 million (easy candidate for summer disappointment)
    The Smurfs 2: $125 million (could take out Turbo in a big way)
    Elysium: $148 million
    Percy Jackson: $65 million
    Planes: $52 million
    We’re the Millers: $80 million
    Kick-Ass 2: $48 million
    The To-Do List: $32 million

    …and then a bunch of genre programmers I don’t know how to predict this far out.

  36. hcat says:

    I know this is the summer movie season and that all of it is cynical manufactured product, but the Disney stuff this year seems even more so than usual. It would fill me with glee to see the three remaining titles stumble and faceplant.

  37. tbunny says:

    Movies I care about this summer:

    1. Elysium
    2. Elysium
    3. Elysium
    4. Elysium
    5. Elysium

  38. SamLowry says:

    Jesse, considering this story, which speculates that the budget for WWZ might be $400M, a take of $105M would be hilarious:

    “The only consolation might be that if World War Z does go down in flames, Heaven’s Gate-style, it could serve as a warning to studios that butchering much-loved material for the sake of popcorn kicks rarely ends in anything but misery for all concerned.”

    When I heard they were turning it into that could’ve once been a Schwarzenegger vehicle, I wondered why they even bothered buying the rights to WWZ when they had no interest in putting any part of it on screen.

  39. anghus says:

    400 million? Damn. How does that even happen?

  40. jesse says:

    Thinking about it more, Pitt + Zombies + popular book can probably equal an opening of at least $40 million, which doesn’t make it a lock for over 105, but makes it pretty likely. But I do sense that maybe zombies are more of a niche item in terms of summer movies. And if that movie cost even half of that figure (which I assume is inflated), it was still not a great idea.

  41. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    So many hilarious predictions above. Bling Ring doing $40m! Can’t wait to see that take. LOL. Man of Steel and Pacific Rim.. Bzzzt. Fail.

    Hcat seems closer to reality than anyone else except for his Lone Ranger call. Who wants to see that crud? Lets all go back and check out Cowboys V Aliens again. There’s going to be some sad faces this summer.

    Summer BO surprises, both sequels – 300 & Kickass 2.
    Both predicted to tank. Both won’t.

  42. leahnz says:

    how do you have a sequel to ‘300’? they all died. (except david wenham…) is it called ‘1’?

  43. js partisan says:

    The “Moonrise Kingdom” of this Summer is: “Before Midnight.” Those two characters have a lot of love, that goes across a lot of quadrants, and I can see that movie being strong all Summer.

  44. Lex says:

    BLING RING is the LOOK AT HER must-see of the summer, but yeah, that airy, spacey, moony, Hollywood Hills-at-dusk Coppola vibe is good for a nice first-week run at the Arclight and Landmark where it’ll be greeted with that precise 50/50 mix of appreciation and tart-tongued snark… then it’s gonna go wide and do what ALL arty “in-betweener” movies do. One week in the smallest shoebox at a 700 multiplexes, then a fast fade to 15-20 if it’s lucky.

    SOMEWHERE didn’t even crack 10 mil, did it?

  45. movieman says:

    Regardless of how it performs domestically, I really don’t see “WWZ” flopping internationally.
    Brad Pitt is god overseas, and there seems to be an insatiable appetite for CGI-heavy Hollywood extravaganzas in foreign markets.

    Re: Lex.
    $10-million? I don’t think “Somewhere” did even $2-million domestically.
    A shame, too, since it was my favorite movie of 2010.
    But you’re right w/ your “Bling Ring” b.o. prognosis. I’d be shocked if it even does “Spring Breakers” biz. Which doesn’t mean it’s not one of my most eagerly awaited “summer” movies.

  46. Etguild2 says:

    Laugh if you want, but we shall see! My biggest concern is actually the distributor. A24 put out virtually no advertising on SPRING BREAKERS, which they can’t do here.

    I do love “Somewhere,” but c’mon, that was her least commercial film by a country mile.

  47. Lex says:

    Look, I love Sofia Coppola. Love every single movie she’s made at a literal FOUR-STAR level. The mood, the look, the longing of her stuff plays into a lot of my interests, obsessions, fetishes, whatever. I think she’s a genius, I get wavelength…

    But it is NOT a mainstream wavelength. You talk about some hipster chicks and gay guys gearing up for a movie where Emma Watson’s slinging one-liners breaking into mansions…. But the movie’s gonna come out and it’s gonna be the exact same UN-MAINSTREAM, slow, airy, moony, swoony, drone-themed SOCAL mood piece as Somewhere, and NOT some tee-hee high-octane camp classic.

    It’s gonna open in LIMITED, and honestly? I’d love to see stats on how that antiquated pattern works anymore. Does “buzz” really still build from hipster movies that open in 2 LA theaters and 2 NYC theaters? LA audiences I know for a fact are usually jaded and disillusioned and never talk up ANYTHING. Must be why so many indie movies drop a week early in NYC these days. Everything from FARGO to BOOGIE NIGHTS to NO COUNTRY to DRIVE, in my 2 decades in LA, I’ve RUSHED OUT to see every big LIMITED MOVIE at its rarefied “special engagement,” and almost every time, the LA aud trudges out afterward nitpicking it to death and not really THAT enthused. How does that translate to the alleged hucklebucks in Pennsylvania catching wind that they NEED TO SEE “Somewhere” or “Spring Breakers” or “Pines” in a 10-seat arthouse for 15 bucks a ticket?

    Much as I LOOOOOATHE VOD, it makes sense as a business model. I don’t think “BUZZ” from the COASTS is some propulsive deal anymore like it might’ve been circa 1995.

  48. Paul Doro says:

    “When I heard they were turning it into that could’ve once been a Schwarzenegger vehicle, I wondered why they even bothered buying the rights to WWZ when they had no interest in putting any part of it on screen.”

    That’s pretty much exactly what J. Michael Straczynski says in the Vanity Fair story about the movie and its troubled production. I believe he was the first screenwriter on the project, and after learning of all the planned changes to his draft, he basically said there was no need to option the book. Story is very entertaining. I was surprised how many people spoke on the record.

    To not tank, does Kick Ass 2 just have to make as much as the first? I have less than no interest in that one and with the 300 sequel or prequel or whatever it is.

    Does Before Midnight really make more than the $5.8 million of Before Sunset? I love the first two and look forward to the new one, but I can’t see it making much more than what the last one made.

  49. hcat says:

    I think Before Midnight will do well, better than Sunset, but it will probably top out at that 12 million level that SPC seems to be content with so they still make a few bucks but don’t have to spend a mint on marketing. Midnight, Crouching Tiger, and even Howard’s End are pretty big outliers in terms of box office, it seems they have to hit just the right sweet spot to make the larger investment in going wide, and am not sure if this will warrent that (though I do agree that the people who are into this couple absolutly LOVE these movies).

  50. Martin S says:

    They optioned WWZ because it’s a great title and easy to sell.

    When screenings for Pac Rim start, WOM will take over. Legendary didn’t jump on Godzilla as a follow-up because they had nothing else going on. Once they got a look at some rough effects, coupled with IMAX 3D, they saw the next trendline. It’s the same deal Marvel sees with Ant-Man.

    None of this matters if WB/Legendary falls apart. If it’s a pissing match between Tull and Robinov, then this is about control over DC projects. Two hyper-fans controlling the second largest comic property in the days of billion dollar returns.

  51. hcat says:

    In the reality that exists in my head, Soderbergh got miffed that Pitt did not ask him to helm WWZ so he decided to make his own “Red Circles engulfing the Map” disease movie, only quicker, cheaper, and smarter.

    When WWZ is released Contagion might look closer to the spirit of the Brooks original novel than the adaptation.

  52. movieman says:

    I’d love to see (Sofia) Coppola bring her indie cred–and phenomenal skill set–to a more mainstream project.
    I still think she was the perfect director for the upcoming “Endless Love” remake.
    Not sure whether she’s just not interested, or if the studios simply lack the imagination to hire directors (especially female directors) who think outside of their increasingly narrow little boxes. Probably the latter.

  53. hcat says:

    Is Coppola’s wavelength any less mainstream than Allen’s or Anderson’s? If I would discount Bling’s chances at breaking out for anything it would be that it might not appeal to the older audiences that made Midnight and Moonlight hits.

    And Dr., I think Depp and the Disney name will carry Lone Ranger pretty far. I know most of us are expecting another Wild Wild West type debacle….but if you adjust West’s gross for inflation, it ends up just shy of 180.

  54. Etguild2 says:

    Anyone read the bizarre Deadline (I know, I know) piece on the ongoing compensation issues for the Marvel cast? Truly strange. The idea that the most profitable division of any studio would be willing to part ways with virtually everyone (aside from RDJ and Whedon) over compensation is way out there, though given the fact they had to muscle Natalie Portman into THOR 2, and dumped Terrence Howard I can’t say I’m that surprised.

    The idea that AVENGERS’ “break-even” was $1.1 billion seems like a very deceptive way of saying the studio made off with $400 million in profit. And that’s without taking into account $200 million+ in domestic DVD/Blu-Ray sales, ancillaries, rentals, international DVD…. The true break-even was somewhere way below that, the back-end for everyone would have just been smaller.

    Anyway, it seems as though NO ONE is safe after AVENGERS 2, aside from maybe Chris Evans who is locked in. Maybe that’s why they’re springing forward with ANT-MAN and DR. STRANGE (and buzzing about HULK) instead of concluding THOR AND CAP trilogies.

  55. Fitzgerald says:

    Man, if fanboy hype were dollars, Scott Pilgrim would have made 400 million and Kick Ass would be good for 300. Obviously, Pac Rim has more going for it than that, but I would not at all be surprised if it underperformed. No stars, and unless they start selling a human story, I’m not sure how regular people feel about it. GDT is amazing, but he is not a household name outside of our circles. I know they’ll drive at least one and a half quadrants out for opening weekend, but…

  56. Bulldog68 says:

    So Hangover 3 blinks and comes out one day early so opens May 23rd by itself instead of May 24th with F&F6. If WOM is very good then it could take some audience away from F&F6. But it no longer has to compete to be #1 for the weekend, as the studio can easily say they opened a day early.

    On the other hand, if now F&F6 does not win the weekend, then it will be viewed as a disappointment.

    Now while #1 is good for marketing purposes and not much else, this pissing contest should never have been started in the first place.

  57. hcat says:

    If hangover settles for the #2 (or three, after epic), they will just call it “America’s #1 comedy.”

    And Avenger’s break even point might have been that high seeing that Disney had to give Paramount a pretty sizable chunk of first dollar gross to release it themselves.

  58. SamLowry says:

    If I was Brooks I’d be pissed because it will kill the sales of his book.

    Really, how many times have you gone out to buy the book a movie is based on if you walked out the theater holding your nose but a friend said “I heard the book is better”? Never, because that would be throwing good money after bad.

  59. hcat says:

    So you expect sales of Gatsby to plummet?

    And is there no The Help, Eat Pray Love, Julie and Julia late summer book club trip to the movies entry this year? And the closest thing to a romantic comedy is Meet the Peeples? Talk about leaving money on the table. Way to counterprogram studios.

  60. Martin S says:

    Re: Avengers cast. The Marvel belief is their characters have gone through so may iterations over the decades, that when/if they have to change actors, then they’ll change the direction of the movies.

    Look at Amazing Spider-Man. They rebooted using a later origin variation. Same thing with Incredible Hulk. They stepped away from Ang’s Peter Davis-based version and went to Bixby. It’s the same approach they’re now taking with Fantastic Four. Thank Nolan and Goyer.

    Only thing you can’t reboot is Avengers, but they’ve constructed it in a way that they can shuffle the cast around Sam Jackson and keep continuity. That’s why we’re hearing Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Black Panther, etc… as possibilities.

    …and that break even point is a crock. Marvel got enough tax breaks and ancillaries before release to drop that number by a third.

    Re: Fanboy hype and dollars. It’s a little hard to make that argument anymore post-Avengers. Super Team-ups are the wettest of wet fanboy dreams. We can argue about the talent’s sex appeal, but that movie had nil appeal for girls night out.

    It’s about what can take advantage of the current technology the best. Many females will go with a male counterpart for the 3D/Imax version because it will feel event-size. Megan Fox and LaBeef didn’t put one female ass in one seat for Trannys, but they stilled showed because of a male who wanted to go and the release felt big. Same rule applies to Pac.

  61. leahnz says:

    “I’d love to see (Sofia) Coppola bring her indie cred–and phenomenal skill set–to a more mainstream project.
    I still think she was the perfect director for the upcoming “Endless Love” remake.
    Not sure whether she’s just not interested, or if the studios simply lack the imagination to hire directors (especially female directors) who think outside of their increasingly narrow little boxes. Probably the latter.”

    movieman, i’m on the same page – i’d love to see what Sofia would do with a really mainstream populist project, but there’s a part of me that seriously wonders if her intensely and yet somehow delicately lyrical, languid, meditative style (aka ‘boring’ to those who don’t care to swim in her pool), that signature sensibility that makes her something of an auteur, could that ‘survive’ a big budget with bean counters breathing down her neck…the very style that makes her unique seems so at odds with – even the antithesis of – ‘requirements’ nowadays, i can just imagine much of the delicate, languid tissue paper of her work getting dissolved in the wateringing-down process of bigger-budget film-making where she had to answer to the marketing machine (unless she somehow had final cut approval, which is of course laughable). maybe i’m being overly dramatic about it.

  62. Fitzgerald says:

    Martin S,
    I hear you, and I am rooting for Pac Rim, but Pac Rim is no Avengers. Avengers pulled together some of the most known characters in pop culture history in an unprecedented team up. Characters that people of all ages know and love. I haven’t seen that from Pac Rim. Transformers is a better comparison, but Transformers had 25 odd years brand recognition and groundbreaking effects. We’ll see. I just think if Pac Rim doesn’t get hosannahs, is just a pretty good movie, girls and grownups aren’t necessarily showing up. A Depp, a Pitt, a Smith, hell even a Bridges or a Tatum is a great weapon that Pac can’t deploy.

  63. Jermsguy says:

    Did my b.o. prog on April 20, already woefully underestimating Iron Man 3. Silly me.

    I just see The Wolverine and The Lone Ranger as two big-budget movies that won’t quite get to $100 million domestic. I also think the MiB comparison to RIPD will help it, as when I saw Oblivion, the trailer for RIPD got more reaction than any other.

  64. Fitzgerald says:

    Jerms, had the same reaction in my Oblivion theater. RIPD trailer came out of nowhere and the crowd was audibly buzzing. Guessing it plays better with real people than online people might be crediting it for. I don’t know what the top end for that movie is, but I could see it doing pretty well. I’m also betting on the Heat, like lots of people, as well as WH Down. All have a fun factor.

  65. Etguild2 says:

    Good points re: AVENGERS cast. I just have a hard time seeing a scenario where they allow the Avengers to fall by the wayside to be replaced by third-tier characters which you’d have to do in the case of RDJ, Hemsworth or Evans. But I guess it could happen.

  66. movieman says:

    Leah- I feel your grief (and rage).
    Yet I’m heartened by the occasional miracle when a director of substance somehow manages to land a big ticket mainstream gig and emerges not only unbeaten/unbowed in the process, but triumphant.
    I’d like to think Sofia could be one of those miracle auteurs.

  67. Bulldog68 says:

    Even though I’m not a fan of the subject material, imagine what Twilight would have been with Sofia at the helm. It probably may have made less money but all the angst would have been way more textured.

  68. scooterzz says:

    i hadn’t thought of it before but i’m totally with bulldog on this…

  69. leahnz says:

    movieman, i’d like to think so too (re: miracle auteurs doing mainstream successfully, it can happen)

    Sofia doing ‘twilight’ is a wild idea bulldog – also one thing i think sofia really excels at is female sensuality, she’s clearly an admirer of real women and the female form, likes to ‘caress’ her women with the camera – and of course is very at home with fully-formed female protagonists – so it’s intriguing to think what she could have done with the character of Bella, who is so one-note (particularly in the movies) and could have had so much more complexity and an interior life even within the confines of the rather silly premise (then again the idea of Catherine Hardwike taking on Twilight after her successful handling of ‘thirteen’ and ‘Lords of Dogtown’, plus her rather good eye as a production designer, seemed somewhat promising – but to be fair she wasn’t given the chance to really get stuck into that franchise, weirdly given the flick after the first one actually did so well – and fwiw was the best of the lot imo, not that that’s saying a great deal…anyway i’m not suggesting hardwicke is anywhere near the stylistic director sofia is, just blathering with a bit of a twilight-related example/comparison at any rate).

  70. movieman says:

    Sofia or Todd Field were the only directors who could have truly done Scott Spencer’s great book justice.
    The fact that the studio/producers opted to look elsewhere (and then cast the film w/ mid-twentysomething Brits/Aussies) means they have zero interest in actually making a good movie.
    Might as well just rerelease the abysmal ’81 Zeffirelli version. At least it was pretty to look at and had a nice theme song, lol.

  71. Lex says:

    The 81 movie is one of the BEST MOVIES EVER MADE.

    CRUISE. HEWITT. SHIELDS. GERTZ. SPADER. That BIG YELLOW CAB NYC VIBE and the DEPRESSING SONG, it is pure 1981 shitty-color BIG NEW YORK CITY GLORY esp that part where the mom hits on Hewitt (CARNAL CRIMES POWER) which is positively satanic.

  72. Etguild2 says:

    Lex, you’re a Dardenne Brothers film waiting to happen….

  73. christian says:

    I was going to say something, but this blog is dead, Jim.

  74. hcat says:

    Martin, yes guys will bring dates to big event films that would not normally be the womans pick, but right now I don’t see guys lining up to see PR either, the marketing seems really lackluster.

    You are right that Transformers was in the same boat but once that giant robot burst through that bus in the trailer the audience was in. There is no similiar hook in the pacific rim trailers, no money shot like the boat going up the wave in Perfect Storm, Neo dodging the bullets in Matrix or Superman getting shot in the eye for Returns. They still have time to create excitement but so far it only looks good on paper.

  75. Paul Doro says:

    I don’t know hcat, the Pacific Rim trailer with the giant robot swinging a battleship as a weapon, that is pretty damn cool. A hell of a lot cooler than the Transformer bursting through a bus. I couldn’t possibly be more excited.

  76. Martin S says:

    I do agree that the current Pac RIm trailers are more busy than eye-grabbing.

    No doubt it comes down to A&M. If they whiff and play this movie as small-scope, like Battleship always felt, then they got trouble.

    I think the MOS posters are the perfect example. The generic flying-into-poster stinks, but the FB banner…

    is great.

    If Pac goes Tranny’s, people won’t notice. They have to sell the scale of these things.

  77. Paul Doro says:

    Come on, that’s awesome.

  78. hcat says:

    Paul, we can disagree about what works for us individually, for me the Trans moment works better. For me, the transformer/Pacific Rim relationship sort of mirrors the Jurassic Park/Emmerich’s Godzilla pairing. If we love 20 foot tall dinosaurs/robots than we are going to go apeshit for 300 foot tall dinosaurs/robots. Once you get to that scale you risk losing the human interaction element.

    Its probably grumpy old man syndrome but all the action looks cluttered (and that was certainly how I felt about the trannies as well). Just saw the Ender’s Game preview and shrugged it off as well, all the action looked like a mess of models flashing in the dark, same with that shot of Jor-El in Man of Steel looking out the window at some galactic battle. I will agree with almost any criticism of Lucas you want to toss out, but that man knew how to stage immense battle sequences that hurled a lot of visual information at you but didn’t overwhelm.

  79. SamLowry says:

    Every time I think of a great moment in a Star Wars movie, it doesn’t take long to realize it came from one that Lucas didn’t direct.

    And Lex went from lucid to insano in 25 minutes–are we taking any bets on what he was drinking?

  80. Monco says:

    Embalming fluid.

  81. Paul Doro says:

    Normally I suffer from at least a mild case of grumpy old man syndrome, but Pacific Rim is right up my alley. I have to believe that even if it disappoints (and my expectations are pretty high), it’ll be better than Transformers.

  82. brack says:

    I like that the more disturbing post by Lex is left on, while the sexual/more typical Lex post is gone.

    Haven’t seen a single Pacific Rim trailer yet. Then again I haven’t seen much at the theaters that would show one except for Iron Man 3, which still didn’t show one.

  83. Etguild2 says:

    “Then again I haven’t seen much at the theaters that would show one except for Iron Man 3, which still didn’t show one.”

    Same, and most audiences are being subjected to a 2D November release trailer (Hunger Games 2) in 3D theaters.

  84. Bulldog68 says:

    There was a Now You See Me trailer attached at my Iron Man showing and I heard more than one murmur of “that looks good. very interesting.”

    The Man of Steel trailer is a very solid piece IMO.

    And I think the Avengers goodwill will continue with Thor. That trailer works as well. I think it has a legitimate shot at $250m.

    Oh and if anyone did not stay for the usual after the credits scene in Iron Man, it alone was worth the price.

  85. chris says:

    Not a good sign for “Now You See Me”: They just canceled the promo/press screenings.

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