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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Friday Estimates by Yeah, He Stayed Klady

friday estimates 2014-08-23 at 8.53.13 AM

Welcome to the dregs of August. And even so, a $16m-plus opening for Chloë Grace Moretz is pretty good. It ain’t The Fault In Our Stars, but then again, Chloë doesn’t have a YA franchise she is fronting, nor is this based on material that had such a strong position in the culture. It is a better opening than Endless Love. And it’s a 5% improvement (on the day) over the other film in which Ms. Moretz had an above-the-title role, Carrie.

Meanwhile, Sin City 2 turns out to have box office to be killed by. Opening day is a massive 78% off the original film, which is a fairly good sign that the Geek Middle Class bailed on this one. I suspect that the vast majority of the weekend audience for the film will be Hard Core Geek. And as with most cases of that happening, look for a steep fall off on the film in weekend two, after having squeezed all the blood out of that group. I don’t see it reaching $20 million domestically. The first film had a better number overseas than here, so it is possible that international will pull the fat out of the fire for Weinstein.

Beating SC2 was When The Game Stands Tall, a half-ass pre-Rothman Tri-Star release, with an inspirational football coach played by former Jesus, Jim Caviezel. Is the crown for the film of faith? Could be. There was apparently a reach-out to that community. I am not a believer in chart placement as an issue, but the irony of turning the other cheek beating out showing every possible cheek is amusing.

Holds are looking quite good in this weekend of pretty soft, niche releases. Guardians 31%, Fri-to-Fri. Turtles, 44%. Cops, 44%. Hundred Foot Journey, 23%. The films that got smushed (Giver, Expendables, Storm… 57%, 68%, 54%) were all actioners with unhappy critical response and, apparently, word of mouth.

Guardians will become the #1 domestic film of the summer today and could be #1 domestic for the year as soon as next weekend. Ironically, international is its weak point. It’s unlikely that the film will crack the Top 5 for the year-to-date worldwide, even with some big markets yet to open. It would need to do $200m internationally, doubling its current figure, to get to $700 million worldwide and $100 million is a lot more likely. No shame in that. Iron Man also took time to get hold internationally, then finally blew up to over $800 million overseas alone for #3.

Love Is Strange is the indie opening winner of the week, looking to average better than $20k per on 5 screens. All the other openers will be in four-digit per-screens.

10 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Yeah, He Stayed Klady”

  1. Joe Leydon says:

    I realize that my memory may not be what it used to be. But when the first Sin City opened — wasn’t it repeatedly proclaimed “the future of movies” by some smug little jackass who used to post here?

  2. Maniac Cop says:

    A big reason SIN CITY performed so dismally is that it’s only playing (at least from what I can tell) in 3D. Nobody’s going to pay $15 for a movie they’re on the fence about seeing in the first place.

  3. I have the feeling that “Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I” will be the domestic box office champion of 2014.

  4. David Poland says:

    The funny thing, Joe, is that even though Sin City 2 is a low example of the form, the unreal, not terribly coherent, action-is-all-that-matters aesthetic is pretty rampant these days.

  5. JS Partisan says:

    I’m going to go with the sin city number, being a repudiation of Frank Miller. That’s what I am going with.

  6. Pete B. says:

    The wife & I were the only ones in the theater for the first 3D showing of SC: ADTKF today. Not a good sign.

    All I can say is thank Heaven for Eva Green!

  7. EtGuild2 says:

    I was with you until I remembered that international grosses are your personal kryptonite. The truth is, no one, studio included, has any real idea how GUARDIANS is going to play in China and Japan, so making any kind of projection is an exercise in futility and stupidity.

  8. brack says:

    To top it off, it appears Frank Miller is dying or at the very least extremely ill.

  9. spassky says:

    As someone who lives in China, a lot of young people I’ve talked to are pretty psyched for GoTG (and of course, all expats are pretty up on it). Of course, totally anecdotal, so we’ll see.

  10. Christian says:

    Did “The Giver” get “smushed” if its weekend was off 45% – the same as the “quite good” Friday-to-Friday drop of “Turtles” and “Cops”? I realize it’s 45% off a much smaller number, but 45% seems like a respectable, if not great, hold.

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“I suddenly couldn’t say anything about some of the movies. They were just so terrible, and I’d already written about so many terrible movies. I love writing about movies when I can discover something in them – when I can get something out of them that I can share with people. The week I quit, I hadn’t planned on it. But I wrote up a couple of movies, and I read what I’d written, and it was just incredibly depressing. I thought, I’ve got nothing to share from this. One of them was of that movie with Woody Allen and Bette Midler, Scenes From a Mall. I couldn’t write another bad review of Bette Midler. I thought she was so brilliant, and when I saw her in that terrible production of ‘Gypsy’ on television, my heart sank. And I’d already panned her in Beaches. How can you go on panning people in picture after picture when you know they were great just a few years before? You have so much emotional investment in praising people that when you have to pan the same people a few years later, it tears your spirits apart.”
~ Pauline Kael On Quitting

“My father was a Jerome. My daughter’s middle name is Jerome. But my most vexing and vexed relationship with a Jerome was with Jerome Levitch, the subject of my first book under his stage and screen name, Jerry Lewis.

I have a lot of strong and complex feelings about the man, who passed away today in Las Vegas at age 91. Suffice to say he was a brilliant talent, an immense humanitarian, a difficult boss/interview, and a quixotic sort of genius, as often inspired as insipid, as often tender as caustic.

I wrote all about it in my 1996 book, “King of Comedy,” which is available on Kindle. With all due humility, it’s kinda definitive — the good and the bad — even though it’s two decades old. My favorite review, and one I begged St. Martin’s (unsuccessfully) to put on the paperback jacket, came from “Screw” magazine, which called it “A remarkably fair portrait of a great American asshole.”

Jerry and I met twice while I was working on the book and spoke/wrote to each other perhaps a dozen times. Like many of his relationships with the press and his partners/subordinates, it ended badly, with Jerry hollering profanities at me in the cabin of his yacht in San Diego. I wrote about it in the epilogue to my book, and over the years I’ve had the scene quoted back to me by Steve Martin, Harry Shearer, Paul Provenza and Penn Jillette. Tom Hanks once told me that he had a dinner with Paul Reiser and Martin Short at which Short spent the night imitating Jerry throwing me off the boat.

Jerry was a lot of things: father, husband, chum, businessman, philanthropist, artist, innovator, clown, tyrant. He was at various times in his life the highest-ever-paid performer on TV, in movies, and on Broadway. He raised BILLIONS for charity, invented filmmaking techniques, made perhaps a dozen classic comedies, turned in a terrific dramatic performance in Martin Scorsese’s “The King of Comedy,” and left the world altered and even enhanced with his time and his work in it.

That’s an estimable achievement and one worth pausing to commemorate.

#RIP to Le Roi du Crazy

~ Biographer Shawn Levy on Jerry Lewis on Facebook