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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Friday Estimates by MId-September Klady

Friday Estimates 2016-09-17 at 9.15.08 AM

Sully is doing well. Not “parade” well, but very nicely. It started slightly better than 2014’s The Equalizer and is holding a little better than the same. So look for the hundred & teens. International will be interesting, given the material vs The Hanks.

The trio of newcomers (Blair Witch, Bridget Jones’ Baby, Snowden) could land in any order, with Witch hampered by horror. Bridget is the likely top earner with some date value on Saturday. But Snowden could surprise.

No $10,000-per-screen arthouse stuff this weekend.

Box office should spoke sharply with the number of big titles in the coming two Fridays.

17 Responses to “Friday Estimates by MId-September Klady”

  1. Christian says:

    Sad to see those VESSEL numbers. If you admire late-period Malick – and I know not everyone does – you’ll revel at least in parts of the Malick-produced film. It has his fingerprints all over it.

  2. Dr Wally Rises says:

    Tough sledding all round apart from Sully, which will comfortably outgross Bridge of Spies and at least get close to Captain Phillips. Expected more from Blair Witch. Bridget Jones is a head scratcher. After all this time why not just reboot the thing with Felicity Jones or Carey Mulligan or whoever? If we can have three Spidermans in nine years is anyone really bothered about seeing Renee Zellweger come back to that character after nearly fifteen years?

  3. Jspartisan says:

    Kid didn’t want to see movies, based on almost two decade old properties. So not shocked.

  4. EtGuild2 says:

    Malick has a better track record as a hands-on producer than as an E.P., though I always wonder how horrified he is that AMAZING GRACE turned into a Tea Party crucible.

    Given that conventional wisdom around calendar release dates has been totally upended the last few years, I wonder if this year will serve as the slaughter for the last sacred cow of scheduling: that the Labor Day period is meant for dumping only.

    Top all-time movies released between August 20-September 15:

    1. SULLY (assuming it ends over $120 million)
    2. INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
    3/4. DON’T BREATHE/INSIDIOUS 2

    Given the disastrous results this weekend, the “better wait until 2 weeks after Labor Day” strategy might be done.

  5. Movieman says:

    So sad that a movie starring Jessica Lange and Shirley MacLaine would post just $58-per-screen opening day.
    Figured it must already be available as a VOD, but it’s not.
    Amazon lists a DVD release on October 4th, though.
    (Netflix apparently didn’t get the memo since they’re insisting it hasn’t been dated yet. Oh, that crazy Netflix!)

  6. Arisp says:

    Who is clamoring for a MacLaine Lange movie exactly? And even more – who knows about it?

  7. EtGuild2 says:

    Speaking of rejecting anyone over 50 who isn’t that handsome devil Sully (my great aunt is positively smitten, whether for Sullenger, Hanks, or a threesome with both I can’t tell), at least Lange and MacLaine are in good company. I never thought Eddie Murphy would manage to sink lower than the $940 PTA opening for PLUTO NASH, but MR CHURCH is giving it a run for its money! At least it didn’t cost $100 million.

    @JS it seems the kids want to see remakes of remakes of 60 year old properties instead based on the M7 tracking…as long as it isn’t some ancient history thing. The soundtrack alone poses fascinating anthropoligical questions, such as, how would Akira Kurosawa react when meeting his contemporary, Kanye West? Would Yul Brynner twerk to the sweet strains of the Harlem Shake?

  8. Sideshow Bill says:

    Boy I was wrong about Blair Witch. I guess that’s why I’m just a schmuck amongst the cornfields of Illinois and not a blogger, box office analyst or Hollywood insider. I’m seeing the movie tonight and still expect to enjoy it but the perils of reviving a 17 year old property (as JS alluded too) are, well, perilous. Still been a good year for horror though.

    That being said I watched Rob Zombies 31 last night and I thought it was a piece of shit. His worst movie. Utterly uncompelling and at times incomprehensible. Rob Zombie needs to burn his DGA card and stick with his silly music. Please.

  9. Bitplaya says:

    Blair isn’t just a 17 year old property. It’s one who has had it’s one unique element copied ad naseum ever since. All the Paranormal movies and copycats have done the same thing as this movie but better.

  10. Movieman says:

    I’m always in the market for a movie (good, bad or indifferent) starring Jessica Lange and Shirley MacLaine, Asrip.
    But you’re right about the invisible “marketing.” I’d never even heard of the movie until seeing it listed on RT.
    Clearly Weinstein steered clear of major markets: pretty sure it didn’t rate even a single Manhattan screen.

  11. Sideshow Bill says:

    You’re right, Bitplaya. I personally love the found footage subgenre. I enjoyed most of the Paranormal movies. I think [REC]* is a flat-out masterpiece. Some of them are shit but the good ones work my last nerve. They work on me. Maybe I’m a dumbass. But, yes, kids have grown up with the genre and I’m sure a lot of young people think BWP was crap (a lot of older people do too). I mean my 17 y/o daughter told me the other say she thinks Jaws is shit. I didn’t physically harm her but she got a good long stink-eye. She is excited for the movie tonight. Both my daughters are. They like BWP. I raised them (mostly) right. But a ton of young people obviously don’t. It is what it is.

  12. Pete B. says:

    @EtGuild2
    We have a second run theater showing Mr Church. How weird is that? Its the first time I know of that a brand new release has ever played there.

    Not to be crass, but shouldn’t When The Bough Breaks have been rated R? If ever a movie needed some nudity….

  13. Tom says:

    Can’t wait for the inevitable #OscarsSoWhite backlash against LA LA LAND for being a movie that is set in Los Angeles yet has no Latinos.

  14. JS Partisan says:

    Ethan, if Denzel hasn’t even seen the original, then we can excuse the kids on this one. Also, it has Pratt, and the kids love fucking Pratt. They will show up for his films.

    Tom, THERE ARE NO LATINOS OR HISPANICS IN IT? REALLY? It’s like fucking HER. A movie, that is really fucking wonderful, except for the whole. “Hey everybody! There are hardly any people of color in LA in the future. Have fun watching this!”

    You don’t even have to do a so white campaign, but it’s so weird these movies take place in these URBAN AREAS. Yet, for some reason, they cast them like fucking Friends. Goofy shit like this has to stop.

    Finally, found footage is a fine genre, when it’s not fucking hacky shit. There is no genre without Blair Witch, but kids don’t care. If you were 5 in 1999, you are 22 now, and do you really care about the BLAIR WITCH PROJECT? Fuck no. What Lionsgate should have done, is leave the fucking film titled the WOODS, and watch them make some cash. This is also, a really shitty time of year, for a horror movie.

  15. Bitplaya says:

    JS: Everyone in involved in mainstream movies is rich and privileged. Most never deal with anyone of color in any capacity other than servers. You can be a high earning actor/writer/director and never deal with anyone of color.
    People give Donald Glover shit for hiring black writers for his one show out of like 200 on television. It’s all kinda depressing.

  16. Sideshow Bill says:

    I agree, JS. It was too early to release Blair Witch. I know late October already had Ouija 2 and Rings scheduled, but they should have dropped it early October. Probably would have opened a bit stronger anyway.

    It’s a bummer for me because I really really liked it. It’s the 2nd best Witch movie of the year. My girls freaking LOVED it. They were terrified. I was never really scared but I enjoyed the ride. I don’t want to post a spoiler or anything but the first “reveal” was a great horror movie shot. Reminded me of The Descent.

    I got what I wanted out of it. Probably buy the disc in a few months. So….whatever. I hope Rings is good.

  17. chris says:

    “La La” is virtually a two-hander and the small supporting class does include John Legend.

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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