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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Weekend Estimates by Klady: The Anchorhobbit

Weekend Estimates 2013-12-22 at 9.13.03 AM

Not a ton to add today.

Hobbit 2 may have to settle for a domestic gross in the $275 million range. Anchorman 2 solid, but not overwhelming. American Hustle expands well, a step behind another Oscar-time Megan Ellison project, True Grit. Still looks like a $100m+ domestic grosser. Frozen is icy hot and should pass Walt Disney Animation’s top domestic gross ($200m for Tangled) by this next Friday or Saturday. Could well be at $230m or more by the end of the holiday… $250m domestic total seems a sure bet. As noted before, it’s Tangled‘s $390 international that is the bigger hump at this point… with a lot of world to still open.

A decent expansion for Saving Mr. Banks, but nothing to dance with penguins over. Can Disney warm this one up at this late date? Huge challenge.

Walking With Dinosaurs looks even worse after 3 days. No real Saturday bump. In other words, their strongest demo play is flopping too.

Inside Llewyn Davis clearly has some interest out there… but at 148 screens, these numbers are truly tea leaves. I suspect that CBS, which has been all-publicity-all-the-time on this film for months will be waiting on Oscar nominations to really lift the box office boat. (Of course, The Coens already have a Best Picture nomination for the second lowest grossing BP nominee in modern history… under $10 million for A Serious Man. So the rules of gross mattering to many pictures may not be relevant in analyzing their Oscar chances.)

78 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Klady: The Anchorhobbit”

  1. Bulldog68 says:

    And looks like no post nomination bump for 12 Years a Slave. Is it all but done? Will it survive until Jan 16th when Oscar noms are announced?

  2. EtGuild2 says:

    Are you aware that Walt Disney Animation Studios existed prior to 2007? The studio numbers its titles Criterion style, with “Frozen” #53, and their top grosser is a little picture known as “The Lion King,” #32. The real impressive figure is that even adjusted for inflation (let the screaming begin), #53 “Frozen” will be the biggest Disney Animation Studios film since #32 “The Lion King.” It has no chance of catching it though, even in raw dollars.

  3. Chris says:

    I know the answer to “Why haven’t I seen any ads for fill-in-the-blank movie is usually, ‘Because you aren’t the demo for it,’” but I AM the demo for “Saving Mr Banks” and I have seen very few ads for it. Did Disney (mistakenly) market it to kids?

  4. Chucky says:

    “Saving Mr. Banks” is a full national release, emphasis upmarket/arthouse. Unfortunately the Mouse House is promoting it as just another mindless movie for mouth-breathing peoples. Awards Galore! Quote Whores! Trajan! Based On A True Story!

  5. movieman says:

    “Dinosaurs” should get an OK holiday week bump, but “Frozen” is proving to be more potent than expected a month after its release.
    Sometimes quality does make a difference.
    I’d love to see “Frozen” ultimately beat “Monsters University” since it’s vastly superior.
    In fact, I think “Frozen” is Disney’s best since…”The Lion King.”

  6. palmtree says:

    DP is probably referring to Walt Disney Animation post-shuttering of the 2D studio and post-explosion of 3D animation. Why he doesn’t say that I’m not sure, but it kinda makes sense…after all, Lion King existed in a world where there weren’t many other viable players for feature animation.

  7. movieman says:

    3 days before its opening, and I still haven’t seen a single review of “47 Ronin” anywhere.
    Uh-oh.
    There weren’t any advance screenings in my market.
    Was that the same everywhere?

  8. movieman says:

    Fox is actually doing Xmas Eve “previews” of “Walter Mitty.”
    A late matinee and an early evening show.
    Mighty odd.

  9. Chris says:

    I don’t think Universal is showing “Ronin” to anyone in the U.S., movieman, but it did open in some overseas markets and there are some reviews out there.

  10. EtGuild2 says:

    “DP is probably referring to Walt Disney Animation post-shuttering of the 2D studio and post-explosion of 3D animation.”

    But “Winnie The Pooh” is a traditional 2D hand-drawn release and came out after “Tangled.” Not sure what point of reference he’s using.

  11. Pj says:

    So many underperforming Oscar bait films: Nebraska, ILD, Philomena, Dallas Buyers, All is Lost, etc. And the funny part is they all got good reviews. The public just rejected them.

  12. PcChongor says:

    ^ Yet when the next “Avengers” finally rolls around, the film blogosphere will once again be inundated with the usual “Hollywood lacks originality” articles.

    The problem now lies with the consumers, not the creators.

  13. movieman says:

    Surprisingly, Variety wasn’t among them, Chris.
    They usually review U.S. titles in advance of their domestic release if they opened overseas first.

  14. EtGuild2 says:

    Not sure if DBC and PHILOMENA really qualify as underperforming. The latter will end up high on Dench’s box office list of leading roles, and DBC is not exactly something that audiences would be expected to flock to.

  15. Ray Pride says:

    A “reissue” of 12 YEARS has already been announced for that week.

  16. jesse says:

    Chris, 47 Ronin was shown to the NYC press (for anyone interested, anyway) this week. I’ll have an opening-day review at Film Racket.

  17. Joshua says:

    Movieman: Isn’t Christmas Eve usually a poor day at the box office? Most theaters even drop their last show of the day from the schedule.

  18. movieman says:

    That’s another reason why it’s so bizarre, Joshua.
    I nearly shit myself when I saw that, lol.
    Not sure what Fox’s rationale is. They should have just sneaked it this past weekend (or last weekend) the way they’ve done w/ some of their previous Xmas releases (“We Bought a Zoo,” “Cheaper by the Dozen,” etc.)
    I’ve always liked using Xmas Eve late afternoons to catch up on things I hadn’t seen since theaters are usually pretty deserted.
    The floodgates open by midday Xmas, though, and most ‘plexes become hellish experiences until (at least) January 2nd.

  19. movieman says:

    I enjoyed “Anchorman 2″ even though it’s maybe 15-20 minutes too long.
    A few period-specific inaccuracies bugged me, though.
    For a film allegedly set between 1978-1980, I found it nearly comical that we never see a single character (or extra) with a cigarette between their lips.
    Not in the workplace, a restaurant, bar or even on the streets of New York.
    It also bugged me when Carell’s weatherman character says, “I ain’t afraid of no ghosts,” six years before the “Ghosbusters” theme song (which features that immortal line) was even written.
    And using Stephen Bishop’s song from 1982′s “Tootsie” in a 1980 scene was just plain wrong.
    Of course, I still haven’t gotten over the Winnie the Pooh plush toy in P.L. Travers’ Beverly Hills Hotel suite (circa 1961) either.

  20. arisp says:

    movieman – it’s b/c it’s lazy filmmaking. pure and simple. the movie is a (bad) joke.

  21. movieman says:

    I’ve got a hunch the “no smoking allowed even if it’s 1978, ’79 or ’80″ rule was simply Paramount capitulating to the MPAA in order to avoid an “R” rating.

  22. Joe Leydon says:

    On Christmas Eve 2 years ago, I saw The Darkest Hour. Now there was a warm and fuzzy Yuletide treat.

  23. EtGuild2 says:

    Hollywood sure has dumped quite a few yule logs on audiences this year at once. GRUDGE MATCH is awful, RONIN is almost certainly awful, DINOSAURS is painful, MITTY is a hackneyed mess, and the less said about Bieber fever the better.

  24. leahnz says:

    i’m kind of disappointed it’s not called ‘Beliebe’ (at least that’s slightly amusing rather than a douche-o-rama of doucheyness)

    that is pretty weird about the cig thing (or lack thereof) in ‘anchorman dos’ movieman, is smoking an automatic ‘R’? i didn’t even realise that. was there smoking in the first ‘anchorman’? i can’t remember. my boy is always commenting on how “everybody smokes” in ‘old’ movies (meaning 60′s onwards really, sometimes i can convince him to watch classic bnw’s – recently we’ve watched ‘to have and have not’, ‘night of the hunter’ and ‘to kill a mockingbird’ and he really dug those, hopefully he’ll get stuck into some more) so clearly it’s something noticeably different to the young generation nowadays.

  25. christian says:

    Walt Disney’s cigarette history was scrubbed from SAVING MR. BANKS to prevent an “X” rating. The original title was in fact SMOKING MR. BANKS.

  26. movieman says:

    To be perfectly honest, Leah, I don’t remember the original “Anchorman” well enough (only saw it once nine-and-a-half years ago) to give you an answer. But it really stuck out for me in the sequel.
    Maybe only a smoker like me would notice, though.
    The “Ghostbusters” ref and the use of the “Tootsie” song were–as arisp
    said–simply examples of lazy filmmaking.
    Or at least proof that movie studios don’t employ fact checkers like New Yorker Magazine, lol.

  27. leahnz says:

    “Maybe only a smoker like me would notice, though.”

    i was going to say for the sake of your health you gotta give that tobacco shit up movieman!… but we all (or most of us anyway) have our vices… i’m on a strict regime of beer and weed so i’m in no position to lecture people about giving up their drugs, whether legal or illegal haha

    christ that’s just ludicrous about the Ghostbusters/tootsie (and pooh bear toy) references, which would take aprox 1 minute to fact-check for period authenticity on the interwebs; perhaps the fact that seemingly no-one even noticed those errors in the final editing process make me wonder…something, i’m not sure what but nothing good

    (ETA ‘smoking Mr Banks’ somehow sounds more fun than the actual title)

  28. Pete B. says:

    Hey leahnz,

    Maybe you mentioned in another post (and if so I’m sorry for missing it), but what did you think of Gal Gadot being cast as Wonder Woman in the next Man of Steel?

  29. jesse says:

    You guys also catch that Anchorman 2 (SPOILERS) ends with appearances from a ghost, a minotaur, a “gun from the future,” and features characters surviving a massive RV crash?

    I think maybe the Ghostbusters and Tootsie bits were more knowing than you’re giving them credit for. Especially considering that Brick, the character who says the Ghostbusters thing, is portrayed as essentially a man out of time (no phone number, SSN, or address, and “born: ?” on his fake tombstone); and that pssst, movies use anachronistic songs all the time. If it’s non-diagetic sound, what’s the problem?

    This blog’s commenting crowd gets the most fuddy-duddy about comedies. Do any of you have LOVE for any broad comedies made before the year 2000? Or do you just hit BZZZT NO for every swear word, anachronism, or scene that doesn’t serve the story?

  30. leahnz says:

    Pete B: i don’t remember seeing any reaction or discussion here about the Gal casting, but i easily could have missed the thread, i miss heaps. weirdly my reaction was kind of nil, to be honest i can’t remember much about her in the Fast & Furiouses and i haven’t seen her in anything else (i don’t think she’s been in much, but sometimes going with a relative unknown is beneficial if the talent/charisma’s there; in this case i can’t remember anything even remotely extraordinary about her, mostly she strikes me as kind of bland, which doesn’t bode well but i guess you never know about these things so here’s hoping (one glaring problem but a seemingly typical hollywood one is that while tall, her almost painfully-thin frame looks capable of maybe winning a fight against a feather, so with any luck Gal’s hitting the protein powder and weights big time to get buff and athletic because diana/WW is no waif runway model – what Gal looks like – she’s a big chick, an amazon warrior… if the bean counters make their movie WW another skin and bones girl then they need to take their heads out of their collective asses. i’m not holding my breath that’s for sure, they’ll likely fuck it up). anyway the fact of Snyder directing a batman v superman feat. WW follow up is even more of a concern, more dull, uninspired Debbie Downer self-serious mediocrity isn’t going to help WW’s cause any. What do you think about it?

  31. pat says:

    Soundtrack music is non-diabetic, I get that. If it was full of Jay Z and Beyonce, I wouldn’t have a problem. But it is all period correct music. And Tootsie is the one obvious mistake.

  32. movieman says:

    I think maybe the Ghostbusters and Tootsie bits were more knowing than you’re giving them credit for…

    Jesse, I think you’re giving the filmmakers more credit than they deserve.
    Hey, I enjoyed “Anchorman 2″ overall; I even laughed out a few times.
    But I really believe the “AM2″ braintrust thought, “Hey, it’s ‘The late ’70s/early ’80s! Any pop-cult reference from that ‘general period’ will do. Nobody cares anyway.
    And allowing any of our characters–even the background extras–to smoke cigarettes (smoking crack is OK because it’s a joke) will piss off the MPAA and might cost us an almighty PG-13 rating, so let’s pretend America was as smoke-phobic 30+ years ago as it is now.”

  33. Pete B. says:

    leahnz-

    I hadn’t seen a post or thread on the new WW either, but I remember you were pretty eloquent on your feelings regarding the character. I really didn’t recall Gal Gadot from the F&F movies too, so that speaks volumes. She does look pencil thin and very non-Amazon. Unfortuantely that description fits most of Hollywood. One of the few actresses who looks like she could kick butt is Gina Carano, but a.) she can’t act; and b.) she and Henry Cavill were an item at one time so that probably put the kibosh on that. I’m one of the few who liked Man of Steel, it was my fave tentpole movie of 2013. I just wonder if any of the characters will get proper attention in the next one if they have Cavill/Superman, Affleck/Batman and Gadot/Wonder Woman in addition to the alleged Joaquin Phoenix/Lex Luthor and whoever Jason “Conan” Momoa is playing. That seems like alot of pieces to deal with. They may just name it ‘Justice League’ when all is said and done.

  34. christian says:

    Giving a film a PG 13 or R for smoking is truly the apex of Hollywood cultural idiocy.

  35. movieman says:

    And they probably finished with:
    “…Fuck verisimilitude. Our core audience wasn’t around back then anyway. What do they know?”

  36. jesse says:

    And just to reiterate, you’re complaining about LACK OF VERISIMILITUDE in a movie that includes a ghost, a “gun from the future,” and a man so stupid he doesn’t know if he’s dead or not.

    You know what else? RON BURGUNDY DIDN’T ACTUALLY INVENT SENSATIONALISTIC NEWS PRACTICES. But in this movie, he did. Man, it was like they were making all KINDS of stuff up!

    Also, I’m not tracking how it’s the filmmakers’ fault that the MPAA gives R ratings for heavy smoking — and further, that they should have just torpedo’d their intended target audience’s access to the movie and lost a bunch of money to include more smoking in a movie that’s not realistic at all because it’s a semi-surreal comedy.

    Would it be a funnier movie if the characters were smoking in more scenes?

  37. Tuck Pendleton says:

    The smoking PG-13 to R issue ain’t a Hollywood thing. That’s the MPAA. A government org that’s been unfortunately scared by the anti-tobacco lobby.

    Having worked in the industry for a bit and had to deal with this – it’s F***ING ridiculous. They have zero consciousness on how absurd the rule is, even for historical accuracy.

  38. christian says:

    I think a roomful of the lamest comedians could probably make smoking funny in an era when it was so common place. If you can make endless shit jokes….

    The writing on this stupid wall came in 1989 with the “smoking can be dangerous to your health” warning at the tail end of LICENSE TO KILL. A chunk of irony died that day.

  39. movieman says:

    Would it be a funnier movie if the characters were smoking in more scenes?

    For me, (detail specific) verisimilitude only enhances the humor in a period film, Jesse, because it lends an aura of realism/reality to the comic set-ups.
    And for the record, none of the characters (or dress extras) smoke in any scene…unless you’re counting the crack-smoking bit.

    Which reminds me of the absurdity of the gay sex club scene from “Shame.”
    Some dude is visibly smoking crack without any complaints/interference from management despite a plethora of “NO SMOKING” signs everywhere. I kept thinking that if he’d lit a cigarette, they would have probably thrown him out, lol.
    Silly.
    Speaking of gay sex, the b.o. chronicler on Deadline Hollywood alluded to a “homosexual orgy” scene in “WOWS.”
    I just saw the movie 10 days ago, but don’t remember anything that was even vaguely reminiscent of a “homosexual orgy.”
    (Did I somehow miss said orgy during a 2-minute sprint to the men’s room halfway through the movie?)

  40. leahnz says:

    Pete B (i feel like kind of a jackass when i diss movies that other people like, so i’m glad you liked M O S, as the Duder would say, it’s just, like, my opinion, man): yeah the superman sequel does sound crowded – and i hadn’t heard about the Joaquin as lex luthor thing, i sure wish his brother was still around to be doing this stuff… anyway obviously the ideal WW would be a combo of someone who looks the part and can handle herself/fight like a fucking true badass like carano (‘haywire’ has really grown on me over time, gina can’t act to save her life but she’s got such amazing skills it doesn’t even bother me now) and an actress with a lot of spark and personality to bring Diana to life. Gal looks like she’d snap like a twig, bummer.

    (when did the MPAA crackdown on smoking and the stricter rating start, i was watching ‘Rushmore’ last night in which Bill Murray smokes like a freaking chimney – sometimes 2 at a time – which was rated ‘M’ here in the late ’90s, so the harsher rating for smoking doesn’t appear to apply in enzed)

  41. David Poland says:

    ET… noted this last week. When Lasseter took over, there was a re-boot of the division. When I specifically refer to Walt Disney Animation (Studios), that is to what I am referring.

    It really started with Bolt, though Meet The Robinsons was released after the christening.

    Obviously, I know about The Lion King and all the other Disney product that came before then. You are here every week. Didn’t really expect you to consider the idea that I wasn’t aware of that an option.

  42. David Poland says:

    PS Still havent seen Anchorman 2. Want to.

  43. Nick Rogers says:

    movieman: You might have. It had to do with the Belforts’ butler.

  44. YancySkancy says:

    If ANCHORMAN 2 is funny, I can’t imagine I’ll have an issue with the lack of verisimilitude re smoking. However, I guarantee that those guys could’ve got some comic mileage out of the constant smoking of the era, if they didn’t mind getting the R rating. This is another reason the rule is absurd — it doesn’t even allow for the use of smoking for satirical purposes.

    God, it just occurred to me that AIRPLANE would get an R for Lloyd Bridges picking the wrong week to give up smoking.

  45. christian says:

    So the classic KING OF THE HILL episode, “Keeping Up With Our Joneses,” would be XXX by MPAA standards today.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r40bleyTjTg

  46. movieman says:

    OK, yeah. I remember that scene now, Nick.
    Guess I’m pretty blase about that stuff and didn’t think it was any big deal, lol.
    The Deadline commentator implied that it signaled the end of western civilization as we know it, lol.
    Leah: “Rushmore” was rated “R” in the U.S. Probably more for the occasional “fuck” than Murray’s smoking since the MPAA crackdown on smoking in movies didn’t really kick into high gear until the past decade or so.

  47. Joe Straatmann says:

    “God, it just occurred to me that AIRPLANE would get an R for Lloyd Bridges picking the wrong week to give up smoking.”

    I’d think it’d have more to do with the random shot of breasts in the middle of the movie.

  48. YancySkancy says:

    Joe: I guess the breasts would do it, too. Whether “more” so than the smoking, I don’t know. Either one on its own would be enough, if I understand correctly.

  49. cadavra says:

    This whole no-smoking thing drives me bugfuck. The original complaint from that anti-tobacco group was about glamorizing smoking. They made it quite clear that they didn’t have a problem with villains smoking, nor anyone smoking in a period film. In fact, when GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK came out, they actually took out trade ads stating that they were fine with the PG rating because it was historically accurate–everyone knew Murrow was a chain-smoker.

    But the major studios, overreacting as usual, decided to ban all smoking, even in R-rated period movies. Hell, even the goddamn Nazis don’t smoke anymore, apparently because killing six million Jews is okay, but lighting up a Lucky is a big problem. I shudder at the thought of a Bogart or Bette Davis biopic in which they never smoke.

    And for the record: the MPAA does NOT give movies an R rating just for smoking.

  50. YancySkancy says:

    cad: Thanks for the info. I did a quick Google search that didn’t turn up anything about smoking getting an automatic “R,” but plenty of articles wondering if it SHOULD.

  51. EtGuild2 says:

    DP, gotcha. It just seems bizarre to say “Frozen is Walt Disney Animation’s most successful film since they managerially rebooted the division, the point at which they did is technically hard to say” while also implying every era of Disney managerial changes should be catalogued into its own era, rather than “Frozen is Walt Disney Animation’s most successful film since ‘The Lion King.’”

    Merry Xmas Hot Blog! :)

  52. David Poland says:

    And yet, for those of us who have lived through the many lives of Disney animation, not bizarre at all. The time between Lion King and the start of Walt Disney Animation under Lasseter is less than between The Jungle Book and The Black Hole…. also different planets of time and space.

    (Off the top of my head) There was Walt… there was Walt’s nephew… there was Katzenberg… there was Schumacher… and now there is Lasseter. 5 very different eras, as different as Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar.

    Should I call the last 7 years the WDAS modern era? That seems like a semantic stretch.

    Anyway, happy holidays to you too.

  53. EtGuild2 says:

    Still not sure how noting that it’s the biggest Disney film since their second Golden Age doesn’t only make your point, but also expounds on it in a less confusing way, but oookay.

    On another note, HUNGER GAMES today became the top domestic movie of all-time released in the post July months directed by someone other than James Cameron , but I’m still seeing commentary on moving MOCKINGJAY to Spring or Summer.

    It’s that old phrase, “If you can’t become the top grosser in the history of cinema, you better panic and move your sequel out of the holiday season.”

  54. Bulldog68 says:

    And Catching Fire sits at $377m at the start of another 7 days or so of weekend type grosses every day, so by 2014 it’s at about $390-$400m and then an outside shot of equaling the first Games, and becoming the top grossing movie of the year. Now that’s what I call an under-performer.

    Also of note, looks like Frozen will give Smaug a run for it’s money for the runner up position for the second half of the year. Who’d of thunk it. Last year, the Hobbits were marginally outgrossed by Skyfall domestically and even more so internationally. It’s pleasantly surprising to see a movie with such an uncompromising trailer, such as Frozen, turn out to be so well done.

  55. EtGuild2 says:

    Still gotta think FIRE is actually a favorite to CATCH the original. $17 million ahead of HUNGER GAMES 1 with $30 million to go, and no drop in theater count guaranteed for 15 days. $395 million after the holidays would give it a bigger advantage, as the original earned its buckos in the final frames in less than 1,500 theatres, and like HG1, HG2 will have zero additional competition for weeks.

  56. Smith says:

    Looking at the Christmas day numbers, I think I’m most surprised by American Hustle doing $7.4m, despite WOWS’s opening day. Since AH seems to be connecting with audiences and WOWS is, perhaps, not, what do we think the odds are that AH ends up outgrossing WOWS by a significant margin between now and next Wednesday?

  57. leahnz says:

    not really the place for it but there’s no seemingly appropriate thread: having just seen ‘wolf of w s’ last night and reading a bit of reaction and the apparent divisiveness, i just thought i’d spew out some non-spoiler-y observations for the hell of it:

    it *appears* Scorsese has fallen into a too-obvious trap attempting to make bold satire/farce – which requires a great deal of subtlety and finesse to pull off successfully – wherein to put it simplistically if one too bluntly (and in this case OTT amusingly and REPETITIVELY) glorifies the very behaviour and ‘lifestyle’ you’re supposedly intending to satirically skewer, it’s almost impossible to ‘come back’ from too blunt an instrument – particularly in this case where any attempt at portraying or generating even subtle sympathy/empathy for the actual victims of such utterly obnoxious behaviour of the lead characters is minimal to nil – so i’m not sure i’m buying the satire ‘defence’ of the movie’s egomaniacal, grossly sexist excesses. related, i was channel-surfing on cable (before i saw the movie) and happened to come across a one-on-one interview with leo (i can’t remember who the interviewer was, a woman), who commented on how much time he spent with the real belfort and with Belfort’s book upon which the film is based, and i suspect perhaps ‘therein lies the rub’ — because from what i’ve heard about the book (and tbc i haven’t read it myself so this is based on what a person who did read it had to say, one of the people with whom i watched the movie) it’s unsurprisingly Belfort’s POV and he didn’t/doesn’t consider himself a big crook or an asshole, his attitude more of the ‘gee wiz sorry i got caught swindling’ rather than the ‘i had an epiphany and i’m sorry for my inexcusable asshole behaviour’ variety. and to be honest, this is more how the movie feels/plays out to me, the layers and subtext required for successful satire are not there, the feel is much more linear as per Belfort’s ‘account’ of what happened TO HIM, it’s all about him and his rise and fall, an examination of one man’s enormous ego (as a pretty textbook sociopath) and journey through assholedome to the clink, i thought it obnoxiously funny at times but not ‘satire’ as people are claiming as a defence using the ‘unfair/you just don’t get it/it’s not really offensive!” objection to (valid) criticism.

    another baffling thing was Leo’s response in the interview when asked if the movie depicts the ultimate sinful male fantasy, to which leo says yes – but that Belfort was “always ‘sad’ while doing it”, which appeared to flabbergast the interviewer into silence (it certainly flabberg’ed me after seeing it, because i didn’t get the faintest whiff of leo’s portrayal of Belfort as being ‘sad’ underneath while he and his cronies act like epic greedy, arrogant, entitled, spoiled-rotten misogynist frat boy assholes for the majority of the run time [and boy is it fucking long, 'bash-you-over-the-head repetitive and eventually weirdly boring' long, i was shocked; trimming out a half-hour of idiocy would have been so simple and effective]; if this was actually the intention, to portray Belfort as even remotely ‘sad’ or conflicted in his self-involved fuckery for most of the story, what an epic film-making fail is pretty much all i can say… i find it hard to believe – or is it possible there were cross-purposes at work during the shoot and were there subtleties required for subtext then edited out of performances in the final presentation of the film?

    (the other thing i don’t get is, if this movie wasn’t at all intended upon completion to coincide with the ‘awards season’ as apparently Scorsese and others are claiming in the ‘backlash’, why rush to get it finished for a release before the end of the year, and all the q & a appearances and leo seemingly doing a shitload of press, etc, which reeks of the ushe awards-mongering BS — kind of odd. not really buying that one either.)

  58. EtGuild2 says:

    There are going to be a LOT of WOWS haters. My position is “American Hustle” was just as outlandish and I could easily generate the extended thesis LEANZ does. WOWS…a lot of this stuff really did happen,” actually….There is probably ZERO LEGIT CONTENTION THAT WOLF OF WALL STREET ISNT CLOSER TO REALITY THAN AMERICAN HUSTLE. So why scream at Scorsese and support Russell? Because Scorsese goes dark in ways here that make people uncomfortable. And David O. Russell is never far from the yuks.

    We had President Jimmy Carter speak out about how “Argo” was not fact. I see these commentaries about WOWS, and they are written by people totally suckered by stuff like “Argo.” Belfort’s story….backed up to an extent not evident in “Argo,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “American Hustle,” on and on, rings true. But Scorsese is at fault for “going there?”

    It. Is. Outrageous. Scorsese didn’t totally change a true event like “Argo,” “Zero Dark” or “Twelve Years a Slave.” He takes the event and pushes it further. Or maybe he didn’t because he never is beyond what you can imagine Belfort doing.

    I think movieman and I can split the difference on WOWS in that I expected it to open explosively, because DiCaprio has become a commercial call-word, and so has Scorsese after his last 3. I thought it would leg-it to $100 million, but it’s clear audiences hate it so it could tank spectacularly.

    I think audience rejection of WOWS makes it a SLAVE-GRAVITY-HER-HUSTLE free for all where something like WOWS or LLEWYN if nominated could crash the ceremony. It’s the most exciting Oscar Race in years, and the rare one where there aren’t a lot of people who HATE any movie….excepts “Wolf of Wall Street.” SLAVE and GRAVITY have their fair share of haters. But you don’t see camps like in the “Hurt Locker” vs “Avatar” race. What a great awards season :)

  59. movieman says:

    That “C” Cinemascore rating is definitely cause for alarm.
    But I’ve been saying for weeks that “WOWS” is as purposefully/artfully alienating as Scorsese’s “King of Comedy,” and that I worried it might
    take–pace “KOC”–30 years before it received its due.
    Also said “American Hustle” would be the bigger commercial hit because the characters were more ostensibly “likable,” and (big “and”) it’s not three hour long.
    I’m just glad that both movies–and “Her,” “Llewyn Davis” and “Nebraska”–are in theatrical release, albeit on a vastly differing # of screens, at the same time.
    It’s nirvana for film lovers right now.

  60. EtGuild2 says:

    Yup, movieman, a CINEMASCORE under B+ (everything under Slave/Gravity) is tough because nothing under a B+ CinemaScore has ever won Best Pic (edit: Hurt Locker blocked its CinemaScore and won Best Picture).

    So that makes it a SLAVE vs GRAVITY race because HER and LLEYWN are disqualified. As we say, CRASH had the highest CinemaSccore and was the winner in 2006!

  61. movieman says:

    Et-In other words, the Oscar race is at the exact same place at year’s end that it was Labor Day weekend.
    Wild.
    And, sadly, kind of boring, too.

  62. EtGuild2 says:

    No….I don’t go with popularai. At Labor Day weekend it was SLAVE d GRAVITY. Now its SLAVE, GRAVITY, HER, and HUSTLE.

  63. movieman says:

    But the Labor Day weekend top dogs (“12″ and “Gravity”) still remain the undisputed leaders, no?
    As much as I adore “Her,” it doesn’t have a ghost of a chance at winning over older Academy voters.
    There’s a glimmer of hope that “Hustle” could be an “Argo”-type spoiler, though. Which would be OK with me.

  64. Mike says:

    Yeah, I’m surprised at the suggestion Her could make it very far. There’s a lot of press now, but I don’t think it has the legs.

    American Hustle really has seemed to work its way into the race. Though no one seems to love it, which is what Argo had going for it.

  65. brack says:

    The Hurt Locker made a YouTube reference years before YouTube existed.

    Lazy filmmaking!!!

  66. movieman says:

    Mike- I love “Hustle” and liked “Argo.”
    But I’m not an Academy voter.
    Personally I think Russell is due after his remarkable run of nominated films (“The Fighter,” “SLP,” undoubtedly “Hustle”) these past few years.
    I really think it’s “12 Years” Oscar to lose, though.
    Even Academy members who haven’t seen it could vote for “12″ because it seems like the politically correct thing to do.
    As though a Best Picture win will somehow make amends for slavery, and have a positive impact on race relations in America.
    Yeah, right.

  67. movieman says:

    Christ (hey, ’tis the season, right?)!
    I can’t believe how poorly “Walking w/ Dinosaurs” is faring.
    It doesn’t even seem to be a factor in the compiling of anyone’s holiday b.o. figures.
    I really thought it would benefit from being the only new (“Frozen” opened a month ago) movie in release aimed squarely at kiddies.
    And, boy, was I wrong.
    Pity the poor ‘plexes who have to share studio titles w/ nearby competitors.
    Concurrent Fox release “Walter Mitty”–while hardly a barnburner–looks like “Avatar” by comparison.

  68. Joe Leydon says:

    Movieman: This likely isn’t that much of a factor, but: Wasn’t Walking With Dinosaurs the title of a well-received History or A&E documentary a few years back? Could it be that some people think is a feature film version of something they’ve already seen?

    Maybe they should have called it… Walk the Dinosaur?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYKupOsaJmk

  69. movieman says:

    Joe- Yeah, it’s a spin-off of the BBC America nature series.
    But done in a more toddler-friendly fashion (i.e., with poop jokes AND
    3-D).
    I wasn’t expecting it to set the b.o. charts on fire, but never thought it would/could tank this bad.
    Of course, I didn’t expect “Grudge Match” (which is much better than the brutally bad trailer) to flop so resoundingly either.
    And while “47 Ronin” had a (much) better than anticipated Xmas Day gross (and a solid “B PLUS” Cinemascore rating), apparently everyone/anyone who wanted to see it went opening day.
    It had the steepest drop of any movie yesterday.
    So much for Cinemascore contributing pro or con WOM.

  70. Joe Leydon says:

    You know, I may have to see 47 Ronin while it’s still in theaters. Saw the trailer tonight on the big screen and it actually looked kind of cool.

  71. leahnz says:

    it’s kind of a bummer there are no DP reviews of the ‘big’ year-end flicks on the hotblog anymore — i don’t visit many movie blogs so i look forward to reading the debates here (and thinking about my own personal take on the movies if i’ve seen them), since commenters here tend to be people who really dig movies and write about their opinions well. not that that has to do with anything in this thread at the moment, just fwiw

  72. Joe Leydon says:

    Leah: Have you seen Gravity yet? If you have already posted a comment, I have missed it. As I posted elsewhere: What I loved about the film is, it’s the story of a woman who has no reason to survive. If she does, it will be because she chooses to.

    Come to think of it, can’t recall whether I saw LexG’s comments about the film. I assume he enjoyed all the shots of Sandra Bullock’s feet.

  73. cadavra says:

    12 YEARS is too brutal.
    GRAVITY is too lightweight (pun intended).
    WOLF is too raunchy.
    HER is too weird.
    AMERICAN HUSTLE is too glib.

    There’s one contender that has no bona fide negatives, an A Cinemascore and hits Academy voters right where they live. The same film I’ve been saying will win since September: SAVING MR. BANKS.

    “C’mon, you trust old Cadavra.”

  74. Mike says:

    Cad – Interesting theory, and I can totally see that scenario, though I think it’s going to come down to Slave vs. Hustle. Glib has never seemed a problem for the Academy.

  75. movieman says:

    “Slave” vs. “Gravity” with “Hustle” as the potential spoiler?
    I still think there’s no way “Slave” can lose.
    For the various reasons I cited above.
    And my choice would still be “Hustle.”
    Again, for the reasons I mentioned previously.

  76. leahnz says:

    Joe, i can’t remember what I’ve said here about ‘gravity’ – i think it’s rather brilliant, the very rare case of an ‘arthouse action blockbuster’.

    i think the film embraces an interesting duality in the protagonist ryan stone, the character obviously intentionally and successfully portrayed as an ‘everyperson’ – which is usually a man (the character as written could just as easily have been a father who’d lost a child with nary a change) – and yet cuaron also deftly celebrates ‘woman’ with bullock’s lithe, floating form and incorporating symbolism/visual metaphor such as for birth/rebirth and maternal vulnerability and strength in his harrowing, esoteric tale about the human will to live. (i know some view the film as obvious Christian/religious allegory, but i believe in choosing a female protagonist for his representation of humanity cuaron also subverts this notion, eschewing the male-centric dogma of religion which mostly sidelines women to explore a more holistic, perhaps even pagan – which celebrates the female alongside the male as powerful in nature – concept of ‘god’ as represented by the vastness and beauty and terror of the cosmos, and in the will of the individual, and perhaps ultimately the duality of our ‘connectedness’ with all things and the ‘power of one’. it’s one of those movies i’m grateful i saw a second time on the big screen, because on first viewing my focus was more on just that wonderful discombobulated feeling of being in space and being in such mortal peril and twisting and turning and fighting and giving up and the exhaustion of just wanting to make it back home to earth, i was able to see a lot more the second time once i had my ‘space-legs’ haha). did you do a review?

  77. movieman says:

    Leah- “My body is walking in space….My soul is in orbit with G-d face to face….”!

  78. leahnz says:

    ha awesome movieman, floating, flipping – i wonder if cuaron is a fan of ‘hair’? you never know where inspiration comes from… (in my description of the pagan above i kind of missed out an important element in ‘gravity’, that of the power and pull of our magnificently beautiful planet and home, Earth, another constant face of ‘god’ in the story)

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