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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Klady of the Galaxy

Friday Estimates 2014-08-30 at 9.04.53 AM

Is this the worst weekend of the year?


Most boring.


The first week of December is competitive. But this weekend is usually pretty horrid.

The November Man looks like a direct-to-DVD title with a marketing budget. As Below/So Above is from the cheapie horror school, made to look even cheaper and less worthy of attention by its release date.

Summer is over.

As I have been noting for weeks, Guardians is now the #1 domestic film of summer and the year-to-date and is still unlikely to hit $300m. Internationally, it is still #9 for the summer with a few big markets left, but a likely ceiling of around $600 million (depends on China and their funny money).

The Last of Robin Hood will be the top per-screen of the weekend… but on only 2 screens. The #2 per-screen title will be Lionsgate’s latest hit in the Spanish-language market, Cantinflas, which is also much more impressive overall with $2120 per-screen on 382 yesterday and a likely spot in the Top Ten come Monday-Tuesday.

26 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Klady of the Galaxy”

  1. EtGuild2 says:

    GUARDIANS will be over $277 million by Monday. How, exactly, will it miss $300 million? The only 3 movies opening wide before September 19 are the strictly for young kids “Dolphin Tale 2,” strictly for bored black housewives “No Good Deed,” and strictly for…I’m not sure…insipid idiots(?) “The Identical.” Simply put, it’s the only game in town, and multiplexes are going to have it in heavy rotation.

    Also worth noting is that if you exclude China, it’s already ahead of GODZILLA and EDGE internationally.

  2. Geoff says:

    Actually Etguild, there is a possibility that the market could dry up heavily after Labor Day – there is a REASON that a lot of summer hold-overs see upticks on Labor Day Weekend, it’s because moviegoing is about dry up for a lot of people. That said, I would be surprised if Disney doesn’t get it over $300 million domestic. And $700 million is still looking like a very strong possibility worldwide – the legs with international have NOT been as good as domestic but with at least $35 million left in the tank domestic, it’s hard to imagine that this film cannot cobble at least $100 from just China and Japan combined.

    Still there’s a very strong possibility that despite all of the MCU hype in the press, the highest grossing Marvel title worldwide this year ends up being X Men: Days of Future Past….and before you go into how much money Fox spent on it, I highly doubt there’s much of a discrepancy in overall cost between that film and Captain America/Guardians when you include marketing costs – both of those films have seen HEAVY advertising spending several weeks into their releases.

  3. Geoff says:

    And you really have to give props to Fox for the summer they have had – no doubt ‘Dragon 2 under-performed domestically, but they’re going to see well over $2 billion worldwide from that, Apes 2, X Men, and Fault in Our Stars.

    And for all of the talk about this looming showdown between Disney and Warner Bros with their DC/Marvel/Harry Potter/Star Wars properties, Fox is setting up for a hell of a year in 2016 – they have Apes 3, more X Men, Independence Day 2 AND the new Avatar coming that year!

  4. Nick Rogers says:

    Geoff: Not to mention $60 million (give or take) for “Let’s Be Cops.”

    Et: I’m with you. It might take every last day until Sept. 19, but I think it gets there. Also, with Green Inferno bailing, next weekend is going to be historically crappy for pretty much everything but Guardians and (maybe) Turtles again.

  5. dsm says:

    As usual with certain films featuring a certain demographic, I see NO GOOD DEED’s wider appeal is being severely underestimated

  6. EtGuild2 says:

    @Geoff In the last few years “The Butler,” “The Possesion,” “Lawless,” “The Debt,” “The Help,” “The American,” are all films that made less on Labor Day weekend, and didn’t have measurably better word of mouth than “Guardians,” but still managed to make another $20 million give or take in September.

    In all of those years, there was more competition than in this one. The best comparison for the post-Labor Day weekend might be 2012, which had nothing but “The Words,” which was basically punted into theaters by CBS…what you wound up with were astonishing holds for movies about a bootlegging Shia Labeouf that wasn’t well received, and Jewish demon possession that I bet everyone’s forgotten existed.

  7. Big G says:

    I know David Poland hates this but its funny that Guardians of the Galaxy has, as of now, sold 841,100 fewer tickets than The Lego Movie. It will pass it eventually but still …

  8. jesse says:

    Can’t wait to hear the Monday analysis where DP casually mentions that $170 million is probably out of reach for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

    But yeah, nice job programming September, studios. Essentially ZERO wide releases next weekend unless you count the Christian niche thing going out on 1500 screens. A small-scale thriller and a family movie the weekend after… and then four wide releases smashed together the weekend after that, with another two big-ish ones coming on 9/26.

    October and November are a little more smartly programmed. Although December, even with some last-minute reshuffles, still looks like a pile-up in the last two weekends. Annie, Hobbit 3, Into the Woods, Night at the Museum 3, and Paddington aren’t all going after the EXACT same audience, but that’s still a lot of overlap for six days.

  9. dinovelvet says:

    I don’t understand why THE DROP is only getting a limited release. Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, and James Gandolfini’s final performance, together with the usual Dennis Lehane “from the writer of…” angle ain’t good enough for the plexes? Jeez, put it out next Friday. There’s NOTHING else. Easy $10 million opening weekend (assuming it doesn’t suck) just by being the only new game in town!

  10. LexG says:

    Just curious, don’t some of you guys, who see about as many flicks as I do, sometimes actually ENJOY a week off? Obviously nobody’s forcing me (or any of us) to live in movie theaters taking in four B- or C-level movies a week in the dog days of August, that’s more a compulsive OCD mania, but on the rare weekends where “absolutely nothing” comes out, I couldn’t be happier. Sometimes my blood pressure enjoys a weekend free of “big” movies.

  11. EtGuild2 says:

    Yes and No Lex, because I don’t enjoy the “50 movies in 50 days” (or something like it) madness that’s become an annual event after mid November. I always miss stuff (this year it was Ray Fiennes’ quietly enchanting “Invisible Woman”) because I just can’t absorb that much stuff at once, especially during such a busy time of year. But yeah, having only 4 movies on my schedule in the next 20 days is kind of nice, I admit (the Eleanor Rigby duel perspective, The Skeleton Twins, Stray Dogs and as dinovelvet mentioned, “The Drop,” which I agree is a crazy thing to dump. I refuse to believe it’s as bad as “The November Man”).

    PS…nice to see the blog now runs on Greenwich Mean Time.

  12. Chucky says:

    Oh, to long for the days when megaplexes included current arthouse fare on Labor Day weekend.

    And Sony Pictures is mighty pleased that its stealth re-release of “Ghostbusters” has tanked.

  13. Breedlove says:

    Let’s switch gears and address a far more important topic. I’ve often wondered, if someone posts on a blog as “Geoff,” why someone (see ETGuild above) would reply to them as “@Geoff.” I’ve seen this on a number of occasions. You’re not typing a twitter handle or an email address, what is the point of adding the “@” to someone’s name on a blog? Is that just force of habit? Never understood that.

  14. jesse says:

    Lex, yeah, I will cop to a vague feeling of relief when the movie release calendar slows down. When I question what the hell studios are doing it’s more from a broader box office perspective — hell, even on 9/5 and 9/12, I can see God Help the Girl, The Skeleton Twins, and maybe catch up with Love Is Strange, so I’m not hurting at the multiplex. Just a little surprising to me that we could get three weekends in a row with almost nothing, sort of a throwback to 10-15 years ago when the conventional wisdom that nothing could possibly hit in late August/most of September. I mean, it’s fine we’re not getting some four-quadrant blockbuster attempt every weekend, for sure, but it is surprising to me that there’s essentially not even a shot at $20 million opening until 9/19 (and then two movies with very similar audiences, Tombstones and Equalizer, come out right on top of each other).

  15. Hallick says:

    Sometimes people type the @ sign before a name to indicate that their comment is directed “at Geoff”. There just wasn’t a hyphen or colon placed after it.

  16. Pete B. says:

    Just by comparison –

    David Poland:
    “…Guardians is now the #1 domestic film of summer and the year-to-date and is still unlikely to hit $300m.”

    Box Office Mojo:
    “In the long run, Guardians is now guaranteed to earn over $300 million, and could finish as high as $320 million.”

  17. doug r says:

    I see Ghostbusters making more per screen than Expendables 3. There is hope for America, after all.

  18. Hallick says:

    There’s hope for America if nobody tries to make as many Ghostbusters as they made Expendables.

  19. LexG says:


    As said by elseone above, I think some of you guys are underestimating how big No Good Deed with Elba and Taraji will be. That seems like an “out-of-nowhere” 25-30 mil opener.

    Also: My local ‘plex’s poster of Green Inferno has had a “September 5th” tag over it for weeks; I assume that’s not the case?

  20. EtGuild2 says:


    And regardless if “No Good Deed” opens that high (it won’t), it just doesn’t cross-over much, if at all, with GOTG.

  21. movieman says:

    Rather than celebrating the fact that Summer 2014 is finally going to have its first $300-million-grossing movie, we should all be mourning the fact that said film is–when all is said and done–just another damn Marvel Comics

    Of course, I’m one of those Luddites who believes Marvel has been the creative death knell to Hollywood movies in the 21st century.

  22. EtGuild2 says:

    I just surprised you continue to believe this summer was worse than average, quality wise, movieman. It didn’t have a massive blockbuster sequel in its pocket (and had a Pixar film vacate the field last minute…in addition to the usual last minute pullout [Juputer]), but I can’t understand how any film critic could put up the best 5 blockbusters of this season, and see them lose against the top five from 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010.

    We had several solid high shooters (XMen, Edge, Guardians, Apes, Dragon 2) and several solid lower shooters (Neighbors, 22 Jump, Fault, Lucy). (I personally didn’t care for Maleficent, but throw that in)

    You’re complaining about one of the MOST original summer you have seen or will see in years. Good luck with that.

  23. rabartlett says:

    I actually think the movie star/auteur relationship is a big part of what hurt mainstream, non-comic-book movie moviegoing. Basically, you have people like George Clooney and Nicole Kidman, who have the name recognition and movie star glamor, who choose to do bizarre, sometimes alienating motion pictures. Which is great for cineastes, but often turns off the the “mature” audiences, who may not want CGI spectacles, but still want something digestible. The highest grossing non-franchise, non special effects, straight up drama of the last ten years? “The Blind Side”. But actors (Except the canny Sandra Bullock) don’t want to make “The Blind Side”. They want to make Lars Von Trier’s dark escape into the human soul, and if they need to make some of that superhero money so they can enjoy the movie premieres and limos, so be it. Which is fine, but the box office top ten will be filled with superheroes unless you realize so-called adult audiences want more “Rain Man”s and less “Taxi Driver”s. They’ll be glad to stay home and watch TV–and not “Mad Men”, but rather “Castle”.

  24. movieman says:

    I wish I could don your rose-colored glasses, Et.
    But as I’ve mentioned previously, I just wasn’t as sold on the quality (or originality) of this summer’s movies.
    Of the films you mentioned, I was only genuinely enthused about a few of them (“Apes,” “22,” “X-Men” and, yeah, “Maleficent”). Yet none of them was a four-star lollapalooza for me.
    And I either flat-out disliked (“Neighbors,” “Fault”) or was disappointed in the rest (“Edge,” “Dragon 2,” “Lucy”) of the stuff you mentioned.
    “GOTG,” while admittedly superior to most Marvel products, was too overstuffed for its own good, and suffered from a boring, Marvel-Generic third act. So, despite my oft-professed Christ Pratt ardor, I can’t say that I loved the movie. (My favorite big-screen Pratt for 2014? “The Lego Movie.”)
    For me, FX’s “The Strain” delivered more popcorn movie-type pleasure than any of this season’s big-screen tentpoles.

  25. Triple Option says:

    I definitely won’t be remembering this summer as a whole. I’m trying to think when the last time that’s happened for me. I guess I’ll have to go back and look at films and make a tally. X-men I thought was pretty solid. Apes was well executed but much more bleak than I had imagined. Not that the last installment was happy, I just didn’t walk out of these lamenting the sad state of affairs where our society currently resides.

    Lucy was a huge disappointment. So was Maleficent. Crap, weekly episodes of Once Upon a Time were more engaging and that show have been stuck on replay for well over a year now.

    22, Neighbors and Dragons2 did nothing for me. I liked Guardians but not as much as a lot of you. Edge of was probably my biggest pleasant surprise of the year. Especially because of the trailers that suggested this is a money grab you’ve already seen before.

    I wanted to see a movie yesterday but there was nothing I wanted to even bother rolling the dice on. November Man is normally the kind of film I’m excited to see but that looked like something I’d find on TNT waiting for a game to start.

    What makes TV noticeably more engaging than films these days? Is that a false perception? It’s mostly dramas. I haven’t really been engaged w/too many comedies of late.

    It’s nice that there’s Orange, 24, Castle, Mad Men, Sons of Anarchy, Sherlock, Abbey, House of Cards, Arrow, Thrones and Breaking Bad even if I don’t watch all of those. Variety seems to survive in a crowded marketplace. In film, too many of the smaller, auteur films of late have been too self indulgent, which, yeah, can and has always been a risk, but then it’s just superhero left. Yeah, I like a lot of those films but I wish there were more options in between.

  26. palmtree says:

    So DP said this on Friday, and he used the word “unlikely” so he meant it wasn’t out of the question. But having now the hindsight of Labor Day figures, GotG will hit 300, right? Or is it still too early?

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