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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Friday Estimates By Peculiar Klady

Friday Estimates  2016-10-01 at 9.25.31 AM

The month of epic mediocrity continues!!!

But everything is relative. Deepwater Horizon could be the highest grosser for Lionsgate year-to-date by the end of October ($66.3m is the target). The film opened with the same vibe as a major studio movie (and more like a studio spend than is often the case from Lionsgate), but if it was a WB film, a (hopeful) $70m domestic gross would be seen as disappointing. But as Lionsgate, this feels like a strong number.

Meanwhile, Fox didn’t seem fully committed to much of an opening for Miss Peregrine, their first Tim Burton movie in 15 years. And the opening, while not a disaster, is mediocre as Burton visual extravaganzas go. They’d have to be happy with Dark Shadows number about now. But remember… DS did almost &250m worldwide and Peregrine seems to be the kind of movie that could hit internationally… a quirky X-Men (on which Fox doesn’t share the IP).

Masterminds’ second release effort is as mediocre as the original push seemed likely to be. The opening, even with all that comedy star power, should land dead smack on the middle of the list of 34 Relativity openings. After 17 months in the distribution business, they’re 0 for 2. The future is a curiosity.

Sully passes $100m today. Solid. International has been ok and they are holding the film for the post-Thanksgiving period in some key US-friendly markets. $200m worldwide is a realistic possibility.

Denial and American Honey are the limiteds that will crack the $10k per screen barrier this weekend. Both worth your time and then some…

29 Responses to “Friday Estimates By Peculiar Klady”

  1. EtGuild2 says:

    Yikes. Of the 16 wide releases in the last month, only SULLY and BRIDGET JONES will likely be more than very marginally profitable. Too soon to tell for sure on M7 and STORKS, but the international starts aren’t encouraging. This ongoing logjam (11 wide releases in the next 3 weeks!) is beyond stupid.

  2. Movieman says:

    And it doesn’t get any better, Ethan–the absurd logjam, that is.
    Look at October 21st (5 wide releases) or November 11th (4 wide releases).
    And scheduling Marvel opposite an original, heavily publicized ‘toon and Gibson’s ballyhooed “Hacksaw Ridge” on November 4th almost seems kamikaze-like.
    In this Darwinian environment, it’s going to be tough for any movie to leave a significant footprint.
    Heaven help the expansion prospects for initially limited release titles like poor “Katwe.”

  3. JS Partisan says:

    Hollywood seems to forget, that there are weekends in February, March, and August, that could use films. Perrigrine should have been a late Winter, or Xmas movie. It seems to be a movie, that needs some serious Fall/Winter weather, for the mood it’s creating.

    Deepwater, is a Spring movie. It screams, “CHECK ME OUT IN MARCH! COME ON! LATE MARCH!” But no, let’s throw it into a crowded weekend, in early October. Sure.

    If these motherfuckers are going to continue to book this way, then let’s hope they look at the whole fucking calendar. Seriously, Hacksaw Ridge could be a great film, but guess what? WHO THE FUCK IS GOING TO WATCH A GIBSON FILM, over Strange? Put that shit out in limited runs for Oscars, then open it in January. I can go on and on about this, because these fucking idiots need to optimize their dates.

  4. EtGuild2 says:

    This weekend, SULLY becomes the highest-grossing live-action September movie in a generation. Solid.

    And, agreed JS. Good points. And yeah, I think HACKSAW is toast with that date. Agreed that that date is risky movieman. There is precedent…the July, 2013 weekend where MONSTERS U and WWZ opened to $82 million and $67 million respectively. And BREAKING DAWN 1 stampeded to $140 million across from $35 million for THE BLIND SIDE in November…but why bother?

  5. Movieman says:

    On paper, several October releases have the potential to really pop:
    “Girl on the Train,” “The Accountant,” “Keeping Up…,” even sequels “Never Go Back” and “Inferno.”
    Between now and Xmas, the only movie that truly looks like a total slam dunk is “Fantastic Beasts.” Everything else has a question mark (or 10) attached, even Marvel and “Moana.”

  6. Geoff says:

    No doubt November weekends always leave room for big action blockbuster and one big animated film to open at the same time, it’s happened again and again – Interstellar & Big Hero 6, SPECTRE & The Peanuts Movie, Skyfall & Wreck it Ralph – so Dr. Strange will be fine. I’m guessing Disney is hoping and expecting it draws in that early November sweet spot ($475M to $650M) they have gotten over the past few years for their early November releases like Thor 2 and Wreck-it-Ralph with one small caveat: it’s not going to be as kid-friendly as any of those films, they even putting disclaimers on their TV spots now for it which is strange, pun-intended. 😉

    Hacksaw Ridge MIGHT break out especially if Trump loses and they market well to the Christian Conservative audience which is going to want a pick-me-up that weekend. Hard to tell….but it’s not going to siphon off grosses from any bigger films.

    Yeah Deepwater Horizon….seriously I don’t know if it would have done any better in March – have you seen the release slates for March in recent years?? This coming March, we have Wolverine, Kong, Beauty & the Beast, and Power Rangers opening in rapid succession – there would be no breathing room for a big budget adult disaster movie in that crowd either.

    And Fox sold the shit out of Miss Peregrine for months….it’s their first true big budget release since Independence Day Regurgitate so they had plenty of time, I just don’t think it was ever going to connect that strongly. I don’t know about you guys but my daughters were both creeped out by just that image of the little girl at the dinner table eating that food with the back of her neck…..you can’t go full-on dark Burton in your advertising and expect to draw in tons of kids.

    “Between now and Xmas, the only movie that truly looks like a total slam dunk is “Fantastic Beasts.” Everything else has a question mark (or 10) attached, even Marvel and “Moana.””

    Come on Movieman, we’ve been down this road too many times before…..EVERY Marvel film is a guaranteed $500M worldwide at the absolute floor at this point – you have a GUARANTEED $100M in China and a guaranteed $180M in the U.S. as the absolute FLOOR, do the math for the rest. 😉

  7. Stella's Boy says:

    I would much rather see Hacksaw Ridge than Doctor Strange. I bet a lot of people feel that way. There are lots of people out there who don’t salivate over comic book movies. Hacksaw Ridge has good buzz. November seems like a logical time to release it. I think it’ll do better than some of you think. Those two are going for very different audiences.

    Inferno and Never Go Back have terrible trailers that play like parody. I hope the movies are better than the trailers, especially Reacher. I really like the first one. The Accountant and The Girl on the Train have much better trailers and look intriguing.

  8. Movieman says:

    I’m not as balls-on confident as you, Geoff.
    As you admitted, “Dr. Strange” does look rather unconventional and not as family-friendly as your typical Marvel.
    And Scott Derrickson has a pretty iffy track record at delivering the b.o. goods.
    Good point about “Hacksaw” potentially breaking out as a sop to Drumpf depressives post November 8th. But that date doesn’t give them much time to turn the marketing around. Right now it’s pitched to “Braveheart” rather than “Passion” fans.

  9. Stella's Boy says:

    I see the trailer going for Passion fans. They don’t try to hide the religious angle. They’d be crazy not to go after those folks. They still love Mad Mel don’t they?

  10. Geoff says:

    “Good point about “Hacksaw” potentially breaking out as a sop to Drumpf depressives post November 8th. But that date doesn’t give them much time to turn the marketing around. Right now it’s pitched to “Braveheart” rather than “Passion” fans.”

    LOL am I the only one who thinks that way?? :) I remember very well back in 2004 that it was a genuine pick-me-up to see The Incredibles which opened the weekend after Bush got re-elected…..and I was planning on the same thing for Skyfall four years ago if Obama lost – still a great movie regardless!

  11. Geoff says:

    “As you admitted, “Dr. Strange” does look rather unconventional and not as family-friendly as your typical Marvel.
    And Scott Derrickson has a pretty iffy track record at delivering the b.o. goods.”

    None of that is going to matter though – this is the Disney/Marvel marketing machine and they’re already in high gear. There is a decent chance that the film could under-perform domestically but with Cumberbatch as the lead, I have a feeling it will clean up in Europe to more than make up for that.

  12. Movieman says:

    Bigger internationally than domestically for “Strange”? I can see that happening. I also see the potential for another “Green Lantern.”
    The strangest thing about the trailer is that it barely feels Marvel-ly. Just kind of, well, strange w/ Cumberbatch (one of the last actors you’d expect to be donning tights for a comic book movie) and darling Tilda doing her androgynous thing.
    But, hey? What do I know? The November wide releases I’m most psyched for are “Billy Lynn” (hard to bet against Ang Lee and the book is fantastic) and “Rules Don’t Apply” which looks about as adorable as a newborn pup. Not expecting either to make much of a dent commercially, though.

  13. Movieman says:

    I’m still waiting for something that’s set to open between now and January get bumped to 2017.
    For some reason–not sure why: maybe because Paramount has enough other horses in the awards derby perhaps–the “big” movie I wouldn’t be surprised to see getting pushed back is “Allied.” Especially if it’s beginning to look that “Hacksaw” may take off.
    Paramount already moved “Rings” for the sixth freaking time. AT this rate, I wouldn’t be surprised if it winds up as a straight-to-DVD title next year.

  14. Movieman says:

    Especially if it’s beginning to look LIKE…

  15. Geoff says:

    “The strangest thing about the trailer is that it barely feels Marvel-ly. Just kind of, well, strange w/ Cumberbatch (one of the last actors you’d expect to be donning tights for a comic book movie) and darling Tilda doing her androgynous thing.”

    Marvel/Disney knows what they’re doing at this point: as it gets closer to release, they’ll insert more mentions of the Avengers into all of the ads and more funny quips that they garnered from the recent re-shoots. They’ll get the $75M domestic opening they need.

    “I’m still waiting for something that’s set to open between now and January get bumped to 2017.
    For some reason–not sure why: maybe because Paramount has enough other horses in the awards derby perhaps–the “big” movie I wouldn’t be surprised to see getting pushed back is “Allied.” Especially if it’s beginning to look that “Hacksaw” may take off.”

    Paramount is probably between a rock and a hard place with that movie – they would LOVE to move it a bit further away from all of this bad press that Brad Pitt has been getting but they still want to maintain a good relationship with Plan B as well.

    What I’m unclear about is WHY they seem to be nudging Silence into an awards consideration spot when they already have Arrival on the way, armed with raves….and Fences, which they will DEFINITELY promote the hell out for awards season. Might be a bit much to use too many resources to push a Scorcese and Denzel awards picture at the same time.

  16. chris says:

    “Allied” moving because it’s afraid of “Hacksaw Ridge?” Yeah, that’s not happening.

  17. JS Partisan says:

    Allied needs to move, for one damn reason. It needs to get away, from Brad Pitt’s personal life. Why they haven’t announced moving the movie already, is beyond me.

    Now, I liked the most recent Fantastic Beast trailer, but the only guarantee is Rogue One. It’s like 1.5bn guarantee. It could be less, if China goes out for their own product, like the did with TFA, but it just screams ginormous success. Fantastic Beasts? It still looks so damn cheap. All the acting seems fine, bringing up Grindlewald is a nice touch, but it still feels rather, “Meh.” I hope that I am wrong, but here’s hoping JK has a second act in her.

    Finally, I am looking forward to Hacksaw Ridge as well, but guess what? I don’t shit all over you, for your love of every shit horror film that comes along. It’s an accepted thing, and it doesn’t make me think any less of you, but god forbid someone is excited to see a MARVEL STUDIOS film. It’s like I shit in your cupcakes. That’s such an odd fucking reaction to have, to someone else’s enjoyment.

    Oh yeah: Geoff, your daughter is right, and they are starting to make March more of an event month. Maybe, Deepwater Horizon, fits more of an older March mode, but it sure as shit, shouldn’t have been released this weekend.

  18. Stella's Boy says:

    I have plenty of friends who love Marvel movies and can’t wait to see Doctor Strange. The difference between you and them IO is that they don’t belittle the opinions of people who don’t worship Marvel movies. So pardon me if I don’t buy your hurt feelings routine. You’ve bashed me for not loving Marvel way too many times over the years for me to believe it or care.

    Don’t you almost have to release a Scorsese movie during awards season? As long as it isn’t terrible it’ll get at least a handful of nominations. Will Garfield be competing with himself now that Silence is getting a December release? I guess he could be supporting for that one.

  19. JS Partisan says:

    Boy, this has been going on for OVER TEN YEARS, and you use as SIX YEAR OLD LOG-IN, as a way to what? Goad me? If that’s not trying to BELITTLE someone, then what the fuck is?

    My feelings aren’t hurt, but you constantly act like I did the ultimate wrong to you… on a MESSAGE BOARD… A DECADE AGO! Literally. It’s going to be over a decade, and you are still fucking angry? Come the fuck on.

    You come in here week after week, all joyous about films, that I don’t give two shits about, and most likely will never give three fucks about seeing. Do I take my fucking time to give you shit for liking something? Fuck no. I seem to be the only person on here, that continually gets shit for liking something.

    I mean, you motherfuckers were going on (and it may not have been you, so this may be a general thing) about motherfucking Battleship, like it was a good fucking movie. Did I jump in, and start giving you shit about it? Fuck no.

    Again, Boy, Stella, Stella’s Boy, Ryan, whatever your name is… if you are still angry about something from ten damn years ago, then I apologize. If you still, if you still want to be a dick to me about liking something, then seriously, what the fuck is that about? People like different shit on here. Sure. I will defend what I like, and respond in kind, because that’s how a opinionated discussion works. A discussion also works, when a person reads/hears something, and decides against being a dick in said discussion, in order to not be rude.

    And do you know what we need in here? SOME HOLIDAY BOX OFFICE PREDICTIONS!

  20. EtGuild2 says:

    “What I’m unclear about is WHY they seem to be nudging Silence into an awards consideration spot when they already have Arrival on the way, armed with raves….and Fences”

    ARRIVAL isn’t a real awards player, and FENCES reminds me of another Denzel helmed starrer that arrived on Christmas–GREAT DEBATERS, which was insipid, eye-rolling drivel. Denzel tends to get as mushy as a holiday pudding when directing.

  21. Dr Wally Rises says:

    All this talk of Allied either moving dates or being doomed because of Pitt’s personal travails has made me think how odd it is that Zemeckis, one of the most successful directors in movie history,has in the past decade become a guy who just can’t get a break. First, Polar Express, a movie that in many ways was an unheralded game changer (it was one of the first to synthesize motion capture, 3D and IMAX, things we now take for granted) gets slammed for its uncanny valley. The first soldier through the gate is always the one who gets it. Then Dick Cook resigns from Disney, ending the performance capture experiment and his Yellow Submarine movie is shelved because of it. Then his underrated The Walk gets caught in the path of The Martian and is ignored by the public. Now Allied gets caught in the slipstream of its stars personal life.

    Yep, he’s had a tough time – I wonder if it wasn’t for Fox’s illness we would have gotten BTTF 4 by now.

  22. Movieman says:

    Yeah, I get where you’re coming from re: “Fences,” Ethan.
    Now that “BOAN” had its “inevitable” status scorched, everyone is scrambling for the new Great Black Hope.
    On paper, “Fences” looks eminently worthy (and they should just give Viola Davis the Best Supporting Actress trophy now), but I also remember Denzel’s previous Oscar hopefuls (“Debaters” and the equally blah, similarly drearily earnest “Antwone Fisher”).
    If Washington hasn’t grown immeasurably as a filmmaker since 2007, all the “Fences” Oscar talk will once again prove to be a lot of hot air.
    Expect a big awards push from Paramount, though.
    Remember, they’re the studio that’s still getting heat for their too-little-too-late “Selma” campaign two years ago.

  23. Stella's Boy says:

    The source material elevates Fences at least somewhat thought right? Compared to Great Debaters and Antwone Fisher.

    Ethan did you catch Arrival at TIFF? After the festivals it sure seemed like a serious Oscar contender, especially Adams. Not being as dark as Sicario or Prisoners (that’s my impression anyway) would seem to work in its favor as well.

  24. EtGuild2 says:

    I didn’t, though my friends did. The impression I’ve gotten is that it’s very well done, but simply isn’t good enough to transcend the fact it’s been more than a quarter century since a movie with alien spaceships snagged a major award. It could certainly get nominated (Adams will, whether for this or NOCTURNAL remains to be seen)–DISTRICT 9 snagged a Best Pic nod back in those first, experimental voting reform years. But if Paramount wants to mount a major campaign, it’s highly risky, and could be seen as a big waste of money.

    That’s a good point on the SELMA blowback, movieman. But yeah, proceeding with caution here.

    Holiday box office? Pretty straightforward with these Potential breakouts-PASSENGERS, ALLIED, SING and on a lower scale to perhaps six-figures, WHY HIM? and OFFICE XMAS PARTY. Potential bombs: ASSASIN’S CREED, BAD SANTA 2, INFERNO, HACKSAW and PASSENGERS.

  25. Bob Burns says:

    Miss Peregine posters are everywhere in Paris.

  26. Movieman says:

    I think the only negative on “Passengers” is that it’s sci-fi opening a week after “Rogue One.”
    J-Law and Chris Pratt are among the most well-liked headliners out there, and the high concept premise sounds pretty darn irresistible to me.

    Potential bomb? “Collateral Beauty.” The deeply odd trailer makes me think it’s either going to be a megaton bomb or a major sleeper–in other words, “Seven Pounds” or “The Pursuit of Happyness.”
    Have a hard time believing “Allied” is even going to open next month, or that it’s going to be a smash, Ethan. Of course, “World War Z” smelled like a Pitt flop, too, and we all know what happened. It just seems like the zeitgeist–something that worked so well for Zemeckis once upon a time w/ smashes like “Back to the Future” and “Forrest Gump”–has passed him by.

  27. David Poland says:

    Comparing Fences to The Great Debaters is, simply, ignorant.

  28. Stella's Boy says:

    Just saw the Passengers trailer for the first time, before Magnificent Seven. Didn’t do much for me. No real wow moments. Doesn’t look all that interesting. I was thinking nominations for Arrival, not wins. I certainly don’t think it’ll win Best Picture.

  29. EtGuild2 says:

    And why is that, Mr. Trump? Because you say so? Having read and written a capstone on the Pittsburgh cycle, it certainly holds a great deal of historical and sociological significance, moreso than a biopic of the week. But so do a lot of things, more recently, FOR COLORED GIRLS. Hell, we just got a trainwreck of an adaptation of one of the most significant works of fiction of the past 20 years in Toronto, and we get a new James Franco/Faulkner catastrophe every other month.

    Wilson’s work doesn’t feel cinematic to me. Regardless of Rudin’s involvement, this is better suited to an HBO one off like SUNSET LIMITED or a Pittburgh miniseries in the vein of Kushner’s own ANGELS IN AMERICA. I have no clue why you’d think Denzel is suited for this material, given his penchant for heavy-handed messaging…but please, clue me in. BTW, both movies are produced by Todd Black and edited by Winsborne.

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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