“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 email@example.com
Friday Estimates by Uptight Dude Next Door Klady
Excluding animated voice performances… Neighbors‘ opening day is a bigger opening day than any Seth Rogen opening… bigger than any Sandler opening… any Apatow opening as producer, director, or writer… any Will Ferrell opening. Bigger opening day than The Hangover… but not Hangover II. The only original comedies with stronger opening days are Ted and Bruce Almighty. Add in Sex & The City if you like, though it’s obviously not a real original. And Jackass 3D. That makes this – unless I am missing something – the 6th best comedy opening day in movie history… which is really something.
As usual, there are plenty of box office ignoramus’ out there – one very special one back at Deadline – who think of it all as some zero sum game of who beat which film and why. Of course, had Neighbors been opening against the second weekend of Captain America 2, a month ago, it would have been Cap2 on its 2nd Friday by nearly the same margin… but because of reporting bias, Cap 2 (as other movies would have been) was hailed as winning a triumphant 2nd weekend and Amazing Spider-Man 2 is being pissed on. I know some of you are bored to death with me deconstructing poor reporting, but until editors and reporters start reporting box office with some semblance of objectivity, I feel compelled to keep pointing out what bullshit a lot of it is.
And when Godzilla wins next weekend, it won’t be crushing Neighbors or Amazing Spider-Man, but succeeding on its marketing merits… which is pretty much the story at least 47 weekends a year.
Speaking of the other box office hits of the last 6 weeks, Captain America 2 (the current box office #1 of 2014) should end up at just over $700 million worldwide, almost $250m of that coming from the domestic box office. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (the current box office #2 of 2014) will pass $500 million worldwide this weekend, about $140m of that domestic. ASM2 is looking like it will come in a bit behind Cap domestically. International is still open to interpretation. Time will tell.
The only other openings over 1000 screens were dumpers, really. Mom’s Night Out and Legends of Oz. Both sound like Vegas sideroom shows, no?
Open Road has a small hit in Chef, which will have a per-screen near $25k on 6 thanks to aggressive grassroots marketing, emphasizing a web presence, in-person appearances around the country, and a stellar supporting cast. The real scene stealers in the film, however, are Amy Sedaris and John Leguizamo.
Coppola brood release Palo Alto is also doing nice exclusive business, with a $15k+ per-screen for the weekend on 4.