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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Ant Len

Friday Estimates 2015-07-18 at 8.51.18 AM

Ant-Man is a little behind Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor, but Marvel has to feel pretty good about this number.

Trainwreck opens a little behind Spy, but Judd Apatow and Universal have to feel pretty great about this opening.

Minions‘ 65% drop of Friday will likely translate to something in the low 50s for the weekend. Solid. The film will easily pass $500 million worldwide this weekend. Looks like $35m or so ahead of Inside Out domestically after 2 weekends, as that film closes in on (or passes) $500 million worldwide as well.

Jurassic World, now past $600 million domestic, is starting to slow a bit. But it has now passed the first-run domestic gross of Titanic (with the domestic total still possible) and will pass The Avengers‘ domestic total next weekend.

This is the best looking indie weekend in a while. Openings of Irrational Man ($10.5k per on 5 on Friday) and The Stanford Prison Experiment ($5050 per on 2 on Friday) were strong while with a 363 screen opening, Mr. Holmes managed $1791 per screen to start.

35 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Ant Len”

  1. Kevin says:

    So JURASSIC WORLD passed 600 M $, first film to do so since THE AVENGERS, I think.

    And INSIDE OUT will hit 300 M $ this weekend.

    Meanwhile, I saw both ANT-MAN and TRAINWRECK, and I actually think the Marvel film is the funniest of the two, though I laughed a lot during the Amy Schumer flick.

  2. PJ says:

    Ant Man looking at 55M, which would be tied for lowest opening weekend of MCU with The Incredible Hulk from all the way back in ’08.

  3. Jack says:

    The chart has a big mistake…. TERMINATOR: GENISYS actually grossed $1.73 million on Friday, not $1.5 million.

  4. movieman says:

    “Trainwreck” blew me away, and I went in as a non (Amy Schumer) fan.
    It just may be my favorite movie so far this year.
    Come for the laughs, stay for the tears.
    I was reminded of previous midsummer “miracle” movies like “There’s Something About Mary” or “The 40-Year-Old Virgin.”
    While I found “Ant-Man” relatively breezy for Marvel Corp. product–and appreciated the fact that no major U.S. city was destroyed in the climax–
    it never really clicked for me. Gave it a “B MINUS”–2 1/2 star rating.
    Rudd seemed vaguely uncomfortable: like he wanted to be in another movie instead. Maybe a Judd Apatow movie. Maybe “Trainwreck,” lol.
    Michael Pena seemed to be channelling Bill Dana’s Jose Jimenez. It was near cringe-worthy retro at times, but still the funniest thing in the movie.

  5. Big G says:

    Don’t know why Disney didn’t try to put a little more distance between Inside Out and Minions. They should have switched release dates with Tomorrowland. Inside Out would have had the animation audience all to itself for seven weekends instead of just three. No doubt Minions is cutting into Inside Out’s box office. Who knows how much more Monsters University would have grossed had Despicable Me 2 not opened just two weeks later.

  6. David Poland says:

    Jack… Len’s estimates, particularly on Friday, are often different than others.

  7. Jerryishere says:

    Ant-Man is one of the better Marvel movies IMHO, until it devolves into some of that MCU nonsense. But the writers and directors smartly keep that to a minimum. (And is this the first post-credit sting in a different aspect ratio? I imagine it was shot by Russos on Civil War set)

    That said, one of the more enjoyable ones — borderline coherent for Marvel. So of course this is the first underperformer for them in… Maybe ever?
    If it hits 60 and has legs than all will be forgiven but I didn’t feel this one, anecdotally, connecting with the crowd I saw it with.
    Hopefully I’m wrong, I’d rather see them continue to go in this direction and maybe have the courage to do a fully stand alone film.

  8. Mr. Peel says:

    Does the 1.85 trailer at the end of FIRST AVENGER count?

  9. Eric says:

    I wonder if Ant-Man’s opening suffered from the general blahness of Avengers 2 such a brief time ago.

  10. matt says:

    Thanks for the reliable box office analyses weekly Dave. Especially appreciate the highlighting of the indie films and their performances.

  11. js partisan says:

    Jerry, people go to these movies for the “MCU NONSENSE.” I remember having a conversation in the 80s that went like this, while reading a West Coast Avengers comic.

    Me: “Could you imagine a movie with Hawkeye in it?”
    Comic Book Owner: “It will never happen in a million years.”
    Me: “An Avengers movie?”
    Comic Book Owner: “Who would want to see an Avengers movie, and that isn’t going to happen either.”

    That it happened, continues to happens, and people deride it. The present would freak out the past!

    Ultron made a shit ton of movie, so there is no BLAH going on. Ant-Man is just a weird concept for some people to grasp. This leads me to wonder, how the fuck they get people to give a shit about fucking Doctor Strange, when Doctor Strange is the most important character in Phase 3… outside of Stark.

    Nevertheless, Ant-Man will make money, because overseas loves that “MCU NONSENSE!”

  12. Greg says:

    Ant-Man is/was a tough sell from the beginning. I think 60 million is a miracle. Production costs couldn’t have been that high.. it has to end up profitable, right??

  13. leahnz says:

    my boy and i having a running joke, after seeing ‘end of watch’ together (and boo hiss on ayer for – SPOILERs! – having the most ‘fucks’ ever apparently but not having the guts to have the white boy eat shit and die and the less famous brown boy emerge as the survivor, pfft brownie points lost for being way too cliché, on a few levels): that Michael Pena should be in every movie, like even just a cameo, so i’ll probably watch ant-man at some point just for MP – though the jimenez comparison makes it sound like he’s been put in a box again, free Pena from that box he’s way too terrific

  14. amblinman says:

    “but not having the guts to have the white boy eat shit and die and the less famous brown boy”

    It was definitely a white/brown tihng. Totally wasn’t cause Pena’s character was, like, the family guy and thus, like, more poignant. Or something. So you get points for sniffing out a cliche in that ending but you didn’t stick the landing.

  15. amblinman says:

    @Greg I don’t see how Ant-Man was a tough sell. Guardians proved people will embrace an off beat corner of the comic universe. The film has Paul Rudd, has been getting good reviews. I think this may be the first real sign of fatigue with Marvel/super hero movies. I guess we’ll see next summer.

  16. leahnz says:

    er, except janet (i think that was Kendrick’s character) was preggers, so mike was a family man with a wee kid and brian was a family man about to have a wee kid — not convinced there’s a huge diff in the potential poignancy factor and subverting a tired white movie star cliché (maybe you could re-mount your apparatus and practice your hand grip some more)

  17. Bulldog68 says:

    For the record, I thought that having them both die would have been more fitting with the title.

  18. Amblinman says:

    The entire movie spends virtually every minute of Pena’s screen time emphasizing his family man-ness. And following your cliche theory, it usually is the big white movie star who buys it at the end of the movie so he can play Jesus and sacrifice himself for our sins.

    and yes, I *love* masturbating! Thanks for the interest! :)

  19. leahnz says:

    “For the record, I thought that having them both die would have been more fitting with the title.”

    me too, i actually thought it was going to be unique and gutsy and have them both kark it at the end (as would have been realistic anyway) but no

    ETA “it usually is the big white movie star who buys it at the end of the movie so he can play Jesus and sacrifice himself for our sins”

    are you smoking crack (hey, might make masturbation more interesting)

  20. Amblinman says:

    No, no crack. I just watch movies. Unless you’re mixing and matching your dopey movie cliches. Is this the one where black people die first in sci fi/horror? Cause this isn’t that.

    Again, the cliche isn’t in the white guy living. I get that it’s your programming that requires that narrative. The family guy biting it is the cliche. The real racial divide question on the deep end of the pool is whether Michael Pena would be allowed to have the white movie star role in the first place. It would make way more sense for a street cop thriller to star a black/brown person vs a white guy in 2015, let alone one that purports to be “realistic and gritty.”

  21. leahnz says:

    hello, please don’t tell me what my ‘programming’ is, pup. yeah like i don’t watch movies and you do (and i’m ‘programmed’ and you’re not? hahahaha please, your programming is so deep and systemically entrenched that you don’t even think it EXISTS, that’s the most hilarious thing – that the most systemically and culturally programmed group think their opinions are ‘neutral’ and clearly considered while others not of your group – who know more than you do – aren’t)

    yes pena in the brian role would be more logical. but ayer’s writing for ‘end of watch’ (a movie i rather like, warts and all) is rife with simplistic racial clichés – even cringeworthy at times – RIGHT TO THE END. saying the white male movie star surviving [insert conflict here] at the end isn’t a cliché, indeed a STAPLE, of cinema is downright laughable. i have nothing more to say on the matter

  22. amblinman says:

    Yeah, didn’t say most of what you’re talking about. These words you’re using, I do not think they mean what you think they mean.


    “and i’m ‘programmed’ and you’re not?”

    No, never suggested as much. I’m quite aware of my biases and tendencies.

    ” that the most systemically and culturally programmed group”

    No idea what group I’m supposed to belong to, White Guys Who Like White Guy Cops That Survive Cop Movies, perhaps? I’m guessing you have any number of internet-based conflicts going on at any given time, are you confusing our conversation with some other you’re having with someone else on another forum?


    “saying the white male movie star surviving [insert conflict here] at the end isn’t a cliché, indeed a STAPLE, of cinema is downright laughable.”

    No, I didn’t say that. I said in this case the cliche was layered on the family man character having to die. But again, your programming is myopic in it’s direction’s spray (Incidentally, the cliche you’re really describing is simply a cliche of most protagonists: they tend to SURVIVE whatever conflict thrown at them. Y’know, the hero coming out on top and all that. It’s, like, a staple of most films. As I said the deep end of the pool thinking would ask why those protagonists must almost always be white. That’s the larger more depressing conversation.)

    But hey, thanks for giving me the last word. Very reasonable and thoughtful of you. Good talk!

  23. PcChongor says:

    Oof, all this “programming” talk is starting to sound like the comments section of an InfoWars article.

  24. Amblinman says:

    You were programmed to say that.

  25. Jerryishere says:

    JS — reread my comment please.
    I was talking about MY opinion (which is 100 percent valid) that the marvel nonsense ruined the film.
    Clearly there are plenty of people who like it (or tolerate it) given how much money those movies make.
    My point was, and is, that Marvel finally ALMOST made a good movie.
    In my one hundred percent valid opinion.
    Ant man was almost an actual movie with character, theme and story.

    But yes, many people like the nonsense.

    To each their own.

  26. movieman says:

    For the record, I thought that having them both die would have been more fitting with the title.

    Agree 100%. The ending left a really foul taste in my mouth.
    Maybe that’s why–despite really liking “End of Watch:” the chemistry between Pena and Gyllenhaal was fantastic–my favorite Ayer movie is (don’t laugh) “Sabotage.”
    The “Suicide Squad” trailer looks pretty freaking amazing, though. And everyone on here knows that I’m not a comic book guy, lol.

  27. movieman says:

    I think this may be the first real sign of fatigue with Marvel/super hero movies. I guess we’ll see next summer.

    Amblin- If a Marvel fatigue is indeed responsible for “Ant-Man” (slightly) underperforming (about frigging time if you ask me), what does that mean for “Fantastic Four” opening in just three short weeks?

  28. EtGuild2 says:

    It’s too soon to tell personally. Wasn’t ASM2 considered a “sign of fatigue” last year?

    Anyone get to see “Court?” Devastatingly good.

  29. leahnz says:

    can i laugh just a tiny bit at your choice of ‘sabotage’ movieman? (i just watched ‘sophie’s choice’ though so any choice besides sophie’s seems a trifle. still one of the all-time benchmarks in film acting from streep, jesus herbert christ just next-level surreal in its intense pain and beauty, it haunts me)

  30. Jerryishere says:

    F4’s performance, IMO, has no bearing on marvel fatigue.
    The only thing it will indicate is the success or failure of FOX’s attempt to reboot.
    To me, it looks like the real trainwreck

    We’ll get a sense I think of whether marvel fatigue is real with Civil War next year. And I think marvel knows that — hence the cramming in of Spider-Man.
    They are smart over there in manhattan beach. They’ll figure out how to keep the train running for a while. And given the heights they’ve reached it’s probably a long ride down.
    I suppose we’ll see soon enough.
    I just wish the movies were better.
    Booting whedon feels like the right movie. Russos did much better.
    Derrickson is a good choice too. It all depends on how much free reign they’re given.

  31. Movieman says:

    Pakula was the man, Leah!

  32. Doug R says:

    Pena had a nice turn in Observe and Report.

  33. Bulldog68 says:

    “It’s too soon to tell personally. Wasn’t ASM2 considered a “sign of fatigue” last year? ”

    I just thought it was specifically a sign of Spiderman fatigue.

  34. leahnz says:

    pena’s the shit in ‘observe and report’

  35. amblinman says:

    “Amblin- If a Marvel fatigue is indeed responsible for “Ant-Man” (slightly) underperforming (about frigging time if you ask me), what does that mean for “Fantastic Four” opening in just three short weeks?”

    Nothing, honestly. That movie has been getting shitty buzz and press so if it tanks it wouldn’t be a good test case for any kind of audience fatigue.

    (If I’ve said it already, I want to re-iterate that FF is actually one of the few comic properties I was looking forward to because TRank was doing it. I loved Chronicle. There’s a shot it would be so much more interesting than any of the Marvel dreck.)

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This is probably going to sound petty, but Martin Scorsese insisting that critics see his film in theaters even though it’s going straight to Netflix and then not screening it in most American cities was a watershed moment for me in this theatrical versus streaming debate.

I completely respect when a filmmaker insists that their movie is meant to be seen in the theater, but the thing is, you got to actually make it possible to see it in the theater. Some movies may be too small for that, and that’s totally OK.

When your movie is largely financed by a streaming service and is going to appear on that streaming service instantly, I don’t really see the point of pretending that it’s a theatrical film. It just seems like we are needlessly indulging some kind of personal fantasy.

I don’t think that making a feature film length production that is going to go straight to a video platform is some sort of “step down.“ I really don’t. Theatrical exhibition as we know it is dying off anyway, for a variety of reasons.

I should clarify myself because this thread is already being misconstrued — I’m talking about how the movie is screened in advance. If it’s going straight to Netflix, why the ritual of demanding people see it in the theater?

There used to be a category that everyone recognized called “TV movie” or “made for television movie” and even though a lot of filmmakers considered that déclassé, it seems to me that probably 90% of feature films fit that description now.

Atlantis has mostly sunk into the ocean, only a few tower spires remain above the waterline, and I’m increasingly at peace with that, because it seems to be what the industry and much of the audience wants. We live in an age of convenience and information control.

Only a very elite group of filmmakers is still allowed to make movies “for theaters“ and actually have them seen and judged that way on a wide scale. Even platform releasing seems to be somewhat endangered. It can’t be fought. It has to be accepted.

9. Addendum: I’ve been informed that it wasn’t Scorsese who requested that the Bob Dylan documentary only be screened for critics in theaters, but a Netflix representative indicated the opposite to me, so I just don’t know what to believe.

It’s actually OK if your film is not eligible for an Oscar — we have a thing called the Emmys. A lot of this anxiety is just a holdover from the days when television was considered culturally inferior to theatrical feature films. Everybody needs to just get over it.

In another 10 to 20 years they’re probably going to merge the Emmys in the Oscars into one program anyway, maybe they’ll call it the Contentys.

“One of the fun things about seeing the new Quentin Tarantino film three months early in Cannes (did I mention this?) is that I know exactly why it’s going to make some people furious, and thus I have time to steel myself for the takes.

Back in July 2017, when it was revealed that Tarantino’s next project was connected to the Manson Family murders, it was condemned in some quarters as an insulting and exploitative stunt. We usually require at least a fig-leaf of compassion for the victims in true-crime adaptations, and even Tarantino partisans like myself – I don’t think he’s made a bad film yet – found ourselves wondering how he might square his more outré stylistic impulses with the depiction of a real mass murder in which five people and one unborn child lost their lives.

After all, it’s one thing to slice off with gusto a fictional policeman’s ear; it’s quite another to linger over the gory details of a massacre that took place within living memory, and which still carries a dread historical significance.

In her essay The White Album, Joan Didion wrote: “Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969, ended at the exact moment when word of the murders on Cielo Drive traveled like brushfire through the community, and in a sense this is true.”

Early in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, as Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s characters drive up the hill towards Leo’s bachelor pad, the camera cranes up gently to reveal a street sign: Cielo Drive. Tarantino understands how charged that name is; he can hear the Molotov cocktails clinking as he shoulders the crate.

As you may have read in the reviews from Cannes, much of the film is taken up with following DiCaprio and Pitt’s characters – a fading TV actor and his long-serving stunt double – as they amusingly go about their lives in Los Angeles, while Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate is a relatively minor presence. But the spectre of the murders is just over the horizon, and when the night of the 9th finally arrives, you feel the mood in the cinema shift.

No spoilers whatsoever about what transpires on screen. But in the audience, as it became clear how Tarantino was going to handle this extraordinarily loaded moment, the room soured and split, like a pan of cream left too long on the hob. I craned in, amazed, but felt the person beside me recoil in either dismay or disgust.

Two weeks on, I’m convinced that the scene is the boldest and most graphically violent of Tarantino’s career – I had to shield my eyes at one point, found myself involuntarily groaning “oh no” at another – and a dead cert for the most controversial. People will be outraged by it, and with good reason. But in a strange and brilliant way, it takes Didion’s death-of-the-Sixties observation and pushes it through a hellfire-hot catharsis.

Hollywood summoned up this horror, the film seems to be saying, and now it’s Hollywood’s turn to exorcise it. I can’t wait until the release in August, when we can finally talk about why.

~ Robbie Collin