“Let me try and be as direct as I possibly can with you on this. There was no relationship to repair. I didn’t intend for Harvey to buy and release The Immigrant – I thought it was a terrible idea. And I didn’t think he would want the film, and I didn’t think he would like the film. He bought the film without me knowing! He bought it from the equity people who raised the money for me in the States. And I told them it was a terrible idea, but I had no say over the matter. So they sold it to him without my say-so, and with me thinking it was a terrible idea. I was completely correct, but I couldn’t do anything about it. It was not my preference, it was not my choice, I did not want that to happen, I have no relationship with Harvey. So, it’s not like I repaired some relationship, then he screwed me again, and I’m an idiot for trusting him twice! Like I say, you try to distance yourself as much as possible from the immediate response to a movie. With The Immigrant I had final cut. So he knew he couldn’t make me change it. But he applied all the pressure he could, including shelving the film.”
~ James Gray
By David Poland firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday Friday Estimates Estimates by by Klady Klady
Noah is likely to crack the Top 5 for opening weekends of 2014 so far… but not only is it early in the year, but Paramount has long known that the story of this film will not be told in the US, but overseas. This film has a legitimate shot at $100 million domestic, but it could also break Aronofsky’s worldwide best – $330 million – in foreign alone. Even if it doesn’t manage that number internationally, it will surely become his biggest worldwide.
Divergent has a solid drop considering the number last Friday. Going into its 2nd weekend, it is falling a little further off the pace of Twilight than it was last weekend. Looking like it will land in the mid-140m area domestically. The series will go on, though budget will be a big issue unless international shows up more strongly than domestic.
The Muppets Most Wanted story isn’t getting much better. It’s a reasonable drop, but certainly no indication that there will be especially long legs on this frog. Disney has done two very different kinds of Muppet films in the last few years. But they still haven’t found the trick that will turn it into a $100m+ domestic franchise. Maybe an action movie with Kermit America, Iron Piggy, Fozz, and Gonzo Widow will be the next attempt.
Fox Searchlight is the place you want to be if you have a movie with “Hotel” in the title. The expansion of The Grand Budapest Hotel continues, looking not dissimilar to the expansion route of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. (The Marigold sequel just wrapped last week, btw.) Marigold went 25, 78, 354, 1233. Budapest has gone 4, 66, 304, 977. Budapest is ahead going into the over-350 screen expansion weekend… but the number for the expansion weekend (Marigold did $6.4m) looks pretty similar. Budapest will probably be $500kor so higher. Will this weekend be the peak for Budapest? Who knows? I suspect that Searchlight will have one more expansion of a few hundred screens and see what happens. But Wes Anderson’s $52.4m domestic best gross (Tennenbaums) is still the target… so another expansion with some success will be needed to get there. Otherwise, Budapest will likely land in Anderson’s #2 or #3 spot, just behind or just passing Moonrise Kingdom‘s $45.5 million.
God’s Not Dead held well… but so what? Noah passes its 2-week cume today. The film is a great success in the micro view… for the filmmakers and for Freestyle. But on the big radar, nothing but a blip.
Sabotage didn’t happen. After being on the upswing through 3 films, David Ayer is taking a box office step backwards. A big one. I can’t speak to Open Road’s spend, but my impression was that there wasn’t a lot of money and the only message was, come see Arnold… which obviously didn’t blow the theater doors off. This is Ah-nuld’s 3rd film back from being The Governator and he hasn’t opened to $10 million yet. If he plans on continuing, he probably needs to find a better strategy… as he did when he shifted to comedies.
300: Rise of an Empire will hit $100m domestic tomorrow or Monday. But it’s done about double domestic overseas, which makes it a borderline success. Of course, the numbers match up pretty closely with the first rebooted Clash of The Titans, which then had a 50% jump in international for the sequel. So don’t be surprised to find WB ramp up another 300 movie, even if this one closes out with 50% less in worldwide gross than Zack Snyder’s original. Sometimes it works… sometimes it doesn’t. But in a franchise-mad moment in movie history, the temptation is often too strong to say, “no, thanks” when they should.
Let us be sad for Cesar Chavez.
The Raid 2: Berandal is open on 7 screens. Last time, Sony Classics started on 14. So the per-screen will be significantly better this time and the gross will be about 35% lower. Strategy. But i like this sequel to do better than the original, though not to break out massively. Maybe $6 million domestic? Still a really good number for a movie that is very much a masterwork of its genre.