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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Weekend Estimates by The Kladyation of Box Office

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The worst domestic gross for a December movie opening within $10m, more or less, of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, is $256 million. So please keep it in your pants, headline writers.

Not a whole lot to add since yesterday. 12 Years A Slave nearing $40m pre-Oscar noms is worthy of stories that are not being written. Lots of nice small runs going on for awards movies. Homefront is going to be one of those movies that people discover on cable and adore.

Next weekend’s box office SHOCKER could be Walking With Dinosaurs, the only new family film this month. Fox has a habit of doing way better than expected business in December with family movies that simply fill a void, good or bad.

21 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by The Kladyation of Box Office”

  1. Tuck Pendelton says:

    I’m really curious how American Hustle plays out box office-wise. Silver Lingings Playbook had an upbeat ending and rom-com appeal.

    Hustle is…just all over the map. I thoroughly enjoyed it but it’s just a strange, strange movie. The tones, the characters… I’m just not sure how many outside of art house audiences will like it. I could write a book about how much I loved and hated the film’s music. Great choices, and WAY toooo on the nose choices.

    I thought everyone in the film was great, except for Mr. Cooper. Not sure if it’s how his part was edited but of all the characters he

  2. Pj says:

    So for next weekend: Hustles OW over/under 12 Years a Slaves entire domestic gross?

  3. David Poland says:

    PJ – I assume you are kidding.

    Anchorman 2 maybe… Dinosaurs maybe… not in Hustle’s wildest dreams (though Hustle will ultimately be bigger than 12 Years)

  4. Chris says:

    I guess I get the “Madea” mis-dating: The only good dates were taken by “Best Man” and “Nativity,” although I do think “Madea” would have been able to bring in its core on the always-dicey first weekend after Thanksgiving, a week before it ended up opening, giving it a bit more holiday breathing room.
    But the lack of a wide-appeal family title is bewildering (and “Walking With Dinosaurs,” though OK, ain’t it). Did everyone think “Mr. Banks” was more of a family-appeal title than it turned out to be? Was “Frozen” THAT intimidating?

  5. EtGuild2 says:

    I think we all get that “Llewyn Davis” is niche but that is a discouraging number. “A Serious Man” had a better 2nd weekend number.

    I still think WALKING WITH DINOS fails by default, because it looks more like an IMAX doc than a movie. WATERHORSE: LEGEND OF THE DEEP numbers ($40 million cume) seem about right.

  6. movieman says:

    I still think WALKING WITH DINOS fails by default

    That’s why I think it’ll do OK, Et.
    By default.
    Since “Frozen” (which opened November 27th) will be the only other (bona fide) tyke-friendly movie in release over the holiday break.

  7. movieman says:

    Anchorman 2 maybe…
    “Maybe”?

    (though Hustle will ultimately be bigger than 12 Years)
    Uh, yes.

  8. EtGuild2 says:

    You could be right movieman. I tend to rely far too much on my cousins and newphews, and the fact they aren’t aware of its existence (and were hyped for the similarly competition-less CROODS this spring) is probably influencing me. But yeah, desperate parents may save it given the lack of competition.

    Btw…reported production budget $85 million? That seems pricey, but I guess it could be big internationally.

  9. DevonL says:

    I concur with Tuck. While I like all of the actors in AH, and I have liked David O. Russell’s previous work, I really found the movie strange and rambling. As a fan of Adams, I was really disappointed in her performance and it affected my view of the film as a whole. People around me were commenting similarly as they left the theater. I just don’t know that the word-of-mouth for the general public will be, but Jennifer Lawrence’s fan base will definitely help. As much as I wanted to believe she is overhyped, her smaller role was worth the price of the ticket.

  10. Tuck Pendleton says:

    The more I think about it the more Renner was the real standout.

  11. EtGuild2 says:

    Sure DP is going to write something up, but Peter O’Toole and Joan Fontaine passing on the same day, hard to think of a greater day of loss in film. 11 Oscar nominations between them, two of the last titans of a generation.

    Of course, the big question, is that now that Olivia De Havilland outlives her sister, and becomes the sole remaining Academy award winner of the 1940′s for acting (Luise Rainer is still repping the 30′s ) will she bury the hatchet and attend the funeral if she’s able?

  12. YancySkancy says:

    Actually, O’Toole died yesterday, Fontaine today. But it’s got to be the worst one-two punch since we lost Robert Mitchum and Jimmy Stewart on July 1 and 2, respectively, in 1997.

  13. christian says:

    And Tom Laughlin, who besides being BILLY JACK altered the way films are distributed. For better or worse…

  14. Joe Leydon says:

    I wonder if the folks who are underestimating Walking With Dinosaurs are the same ones who doubted the prospects of Alvin and the Chipmunks (which, BTW, also was a Fox movie)?

  15. Chris says:

    I thought the same thing, Joe, especially since all of the “Chipmunk” movies opened around the 20th, as well. Maybe it’s the nothing-else-out-there-for-families-and-it-doesn’t-completely-suck option?

  16. Jermsguy says:

    A little disappointed that Walking with Dinosaurs looks so similar to Dinosaur, a movie no one ever talks about anymore.

  17. Bulldog68 says:

    “Maybe it’s the nothing-else-out-there-for-families-and-it-doesn’t-completely-suck option?”

    But Frozen is still hot. Pardon the pun. And Hobbit is a big tent.

  18. chris says:

    True, Bulldog68, but there’s ALWAYS a day-before-Thanksgiving family title still in theaters at this point and there’s always room for another one or two. Still seems weird.

  19. EtGuild2 says:

    Question for DP or Ray…is MCN not doing the Top Ten List compilations this year? Always one of my favorite things about the site as it shows how different the top critical choices often are from the Oscar nominees, and how certain films (Holy Motors last year) are held in extremely high regard but totally ignored.

  20. Ray Pride says:

    The charts will appear in the next couple days, ET.

  21. EtGuild2 says:

    Man, I was disappointed with “Philomena.” I’m really getting annoyed with this trend of drastically altering events to further a fictional narrative and imply that it draws “inspiration” from reality when countering the spirit of what actually happened. “Inspired by True Events” is starting to give “Directed by Brett Ratner” a run for its money as text most likely to make me run screaming from the theater.

    The real Philomena Lee is not entirely amused by this movie. She had completely renounced the Catholic Church when her search with Sixsmith began, and is a little embarrassed by Judi Dench’s portrayal of her, saying ” Crikey, they did make me out to be a bit of a dumb-cluck!”

    Coogan’s adaptation diminishes Philomena Lee’s actual story to soft-serve a black and white narrative to an audience he clearly doesn’t trust to handle complexity. What the heck is the purpose of having Philomena embrace a faith she’d abandoned in real life? The real Philomena has made it clear that leaving Catholicism helped to give her the freedom to pursue her search. In the movie, her Catholicism helps to give her closure….w.t.f.

    If you’re going to completely contradict the spirit of the book upon which your movie is based, just go the Diane Arbus route and call the film “Potato: An Imaginary Portrait of Philomena Lee” in which Coogan’s character sprouts roots and potato skin in order to tie the Catholic Church’s selling of babies to the Irish Potato Famine.

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