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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Stranded At #1 Klady

Friday Estimates 2015-10-10 at 9.02.20 AM

So… Friday…

The Martian is rolling along, a bit behind Gravity’s October records (with growing distance so far), but more than solid. It’s still not clear where this one is heading, aside from well over $100 million domestically. But that could be a $150 million domestic total… or $250 million. There’s really no way to know. The Ridley Scott movie it is closest to in terms of box office is Hannibal, which, obviously, was sold like a sequel.

The Martian is running ahead of Hotel Transylvania 2, though they will have similar second weekends.

13 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Stranded At #1 Klady”

  1. Bulldog68 says:

    C’Mon Dave, that’s a pretty wide guesstimate of somewhere between $150m and $250m. I think it’s a pretty safe bet, without doing any advanced mathematics that this may split the difference between Interstellar and Gravity and probably do somewhere between $200-$230m. That’s what the trajectory looks like.

  2. movieman says:

    The most interesting story is why/how “The Walk” missed so badly.

    Any thoughts?
    Or does nobody even bother reading this blog anymore?
    It’s been crickets on here since TIFF.

  3. Ray Pride says:

    Cartoon Frenchmen are annoying?

  4. Anthony says:

    Why watch the Walk when you can watch Man On Wire? It’s Dogtown and Z-Boys vs. Lords of Dogtown all over again.

  5. Hmmm says:

    THE WALK has no reason to exist outside of Zemeckis farting around with some new toys.

  6. PcChongor says:

    I brought it up before, but for the vast majority of mouth breathers out there, the only reason to watch a highwire act is to see if they’re going to go splat.

    The 3D is incredible, but that alone isn’t going to get anyone out to the theaters anymore, and neither is JGL.

  7. Brandon says:

    My guess is that WALK and MARTIAN are both chasing the same general core audience of literate adults, and that MARTIAN is easily first choice of the two. (It certainly was in my household, even though my partner and I are quite interested in seeing both films on the big screen — we caught MARTIAN Thursday evening and will try to catch up with WALK sometime this week. Plus, it’s pretty common knowledge that WALK has a happy ending, despite that nail-biter of a trailer.)

  8. Brandon says:

    Man, EVEREST just kinda died on the vine, too, didn’t it?

  9. Amblinman says:

    I agree with the reasoning on The Walk failing put forth by a few here: ultimately no one gives a shit about the subject. Also, I wonder if people might have actually been turned off by the idea of spending 2 hours staring at the Twin Towers.

  10. Smith says:

    There’s a lot of factors for The Walk’s failing – bad marketing materials, lousy release strategy, overwhelmingly strong competition from The Martian. Add in resistance from movie fans due to the Man on Wire factor, JGL’s hammy French accent, and lingering 9/11 anxiety about the Twin Towers, and it’s a perfect recipe for empty theaters all across the nation.

    Meanwhile, I saw Carol yesterday at the New York Film Festival and *swoon.*

  11. Amblinman says:

    I think the 9/11 piece of it is interesting. Totally an anecdotal observation but I think people are at a point where they really do want to forget I think there’s an overall grieving fatigue where 9/11 is concerned.

  12. Eric says:

    “The Walk” is also as boring a title as can be.

  13. movielocke says:

    The walk fails because of the title. Give man on wire that title and it doesn’t even get accepted into festivals, much less an Oscar nom or win.

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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