“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 Estimates by Still Shelled-Again Klady
I hate this time of year.
Good indies that are commercially challenging get “launched.” Bad studio movies that they’ve given up hope on get freed. (Go into the light, Giver.)
There is a good chance that Guardians of the Galaxy will end up beating Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles before the weekend is over (not that slotting matters). Both films have landmarks this weekend… Guardians at $200m and Turtles at $100m.
There are three $10m – $20m openers this weekend. Degrees of disappointment vary. For all of the profound navel-ga… uh, deep, profound insight about the real-life horrors of Ferguson, Mo occurring in the same week Let’s Be Cops is released, it’s having the best opening vs production costs. If the reported $17m production price tag is true, a $40m gross – which it looks like it’s headed for – is a win.
The Expendables 3 is yet another franchise dying domestically, but continuing because of international. The sequel was off about 17% domestically from the first film… but up 29% internationally. Friday is off 45% from Ex2’s opening Friday. That extrapolates to $47m domestic. But the eyes are still on what they hope will be a $200m gross internationally. But even if the film does gross $250m worldwide, don’t expect them to be in a rush to make Expendables 4. Of course, if international is off anything close to the domestic, the film will lose money and that will be that.
The connection of Let’s Be Cops to the horror show in Ferguson is nonexistent. But it allows for plenty of pretentious writing. The timing is clearly less of a problem for audiences than for film critics. I can’t imagine that this opening number would be any different if Ferguson wasn’t happening. Meanwhile, if this universally-panned film really just cost $17 million to make, its crappy $15m likely 3-day will be okay, suggesting about $40m total domestic to go with TV sales overseas and a small profit on the film. This is the kind of situation where Fox’s fiscal discipline makes Shinola out of shit.
Phillip Noyce is a true high-quality director. The Giver got onto Charlie Rose. But the opening number… ugh. I haven’t seen the film. I won’t be seeing the film. But again, if the reported cost of $25m is real, the movie has certain already covered production with international dollars, leaving some price and P&A to The Weinsteins. So it may not be a total car wreck for the company.
It’s a particularly ugly scene on the bottom half of the Top 10. 65%, 74%, and 67% drops, combined with 43% off for the adult-focused The Hundred-Foot Journey, and the one okay drop, for Lucy.
Okay $15k range per-screens for indies The Trip To Italy and Frank. (I love Frank, BTW. Weird, indie, smart, fun.) A24’s experiment with an early DirecTV-only VOD release of Life After Beth will generate about $7,500 per on 2. The aggressive young indie announced this week that it will continue to experiment with DirecTV on another film. Everyone’s looking for The Answer.