MCN Blogs
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.

The Hot Blog

Quote Unquotesee all »

“The Motion Picture Academy, at considerable expense and with great efficiency, runs all the nominated pictures at its own theater, showing each picture twice, once in the afternoon, once in the evening. A nominated picture is one in connection with which any kind of work is nominated for an award, not necessarily acting, directing, or writing; it may be a purely technical matter such as set-dressing or sound work. This running of pictures has the object of permitting the voters to look at films which they may happen to have missed or to have partly forgotten. It is an attempt to make them realize that pictures released early in the year, and since overlaid with several thicknesses of battered celluloid, are still in the running and that consideration of only those released a short time before the end of the year is not quite just.

“The effort is largely a waste. The people with votes don’t go to these showings. They send their relatives, friends, or servants. They have had enough of looking at pictures, and the voices of destiny are by no means inaudible in the Hollywood air. They have a brassy tone, but they are more than distinct.”All this is good democracy of a sort. We elect Congressmen and Presidents in much the same way, so why not actors, cameramen, writers, and all rest of the people who have to do with the making of pictures? If we permit noise, ballyhoo, and theater to influence us in the selection of the people who are to run the country, why should we object to the same methods in the selection of meritorious achievements in the film business? If we can huckster a President into the White House, why cannot we huckster the agonized Miss Joan Crawford or the hard and beautiful Miss Olivia de Havilland into possession of one of those golden statuettes which express the motion picture industry’s frantic desire to kiss itself on the back of its neck? The only answer I can think of is that the motion picture is an art. I say this with a very small voice. It is an inconsiderable statement and has a hard time not sounding a little ludicrous. Nevertheless it is a fact, not in the least diminished by the further facts that its ethos is so far pretty low and that its techniques are dominated by some pretty awful people.

“If you think most motion pictures are bad, which they are (including the foreign), find out from some initiate how they are made, and you will be astonished that any of them could be good. Making a fine motion picture is like painting “The Laughing Cavalier” in Macy’s basement, with a floorwalker to mix your colors for you. Of course most motion pictures are bad. Why wouldn’t they be?”
~ Raymond Chandler, “Oscar Night In Hollywood,” 1948

“Film festivals, for those who don’t know, are not exactly the glitzy red carpet affairs you see on TV. Those do happen, but they’re a tiny part of the festival. The main part of any film festival are the thousands of people with festival passes hanging on lanyards beneath their anoraks, carrying brochures for movies you have never and will never hear of, desperately scrabbling to sell whatever movie it is to buyers from all over the world. Every hotel bar, every cafe, every restaurant is filled to the brim with these people, talking loudly about non-existent deals. The Brits are the worst because most of the British film industry, with a few honourable exceptions, are scam artists and chancers who move around from company to company failing to get anything good made and trying to cast Danny Dyer in anything that moves. I’m seeing guys here who I first met twenty years ago and who are still wearing the same clothes, doing the same job (albeit for a different company) and spinning the same line of bullshit about how THIS movie has Al Pacino or Meryl Streep or George Clooney attached and, whilst that last one didn’t work out, THIS ONE is going to be HUGE. As the day goes on, they start drinking and it all gets ugly and, well, that’s why I’m the guy walking through the Tiergarten with a camera taking pictures of frozen lakes and pretending this isn’t happening.

“Berlin is cool, though and I’ve been lucky to be doing meetings with some people who want to actually get things done. We’ll see what comes of it.”
~ Julian Simpson