“Let me try and be as direct as I possibly can with you on this. There was no relationship to repair. I didn’t intend for Harvey to buy and release The Immigrant – I thought it was a terrible idea. And I didn’t think he would want the film, and I didn’t think he would like the film. He bought the film without me knowing! He bought it from the equity people who raised the money for me in the States. And I told them it was a terrible idea, but I had no say over the matter. So they sold it to him without my say-so, and with me thinking it was a terrible idea. I was completely correct, but I couldn’t do anything about it. It was not my preference, it was not my choice, I did not want that to happen, I have no relationship with Harvey. So, it’s not like I repaired some relationship, then he screwed me again, and I’m an idiot for trusting him twice! Like I say, you try to distance yourself as much as possible from the immediate response to a movie. With The Immigrant I had final cut. So he knew he couldn’t make me change it. But he applied all the pressure he could, including shelving the film.”
~ James Gray
By David Poland firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday Estimates by Out Getting Klady
You gotta love Universal’s sense of humor, putting Get Out on Oscar weekend. The story of a smart, attractive black guy being brought home to the white liberal family in the suburbs could be a metaphor for Moonlight at The Oscars. I won’t extend the metaphor as to avoid spoilers for the movie). You should see it if you like “The Twilight Zone,” and you shouldn’t let anyone tell you anything about it.
Saturday will tell us whether audiences are seeing the film as a horror movie or a date movie and whether the excellent Friday was driven by “the urban audience” or a broader swath of the nation. I would be happy to see this become Universal’s second breakout thrill-horror film of 2017, a reminder that you can make a lot of money playing to all fields. And on top of that, that the studio would have been throwing away many millions with a day-n-date VODing either of these movies.
John Wick: Chapter 2 will pass $100m worldwide today with a fair amount of gas left in the tank. This Wick will be pretty profitable, though not as much as the original. The upgrade in 2 was adding Morpheus to Neo’s violent journey. Hard to say whether Mr. Fishburne drove much box office or if this was the post-theatrical strength of the film showing up for the sequel. The frustration for Lionsgate is that it didn’t work better. So the challenge of a “Wick 3″ will be to figure out how to get a wider audience out. I don’t know that there is an answer. Some ideas have a natural cap, no matter how hard the core and how much the critics buy in. But the box office explosion of the Fast & Furious franchise continues to be a siren song for many smart producers and studios. If Logan does strong business, expect John Wick to have a young daughter next time.
The Weinstein Company continues to successfully nurse the Lion box office. Another 260 screens this weekend after adding 205 last weekend. One has to figure, with the film growing in Weekend 14 that the adult audience is slowly finding this mouth and giving it strong word of mouth. Very patient play by TWC. Obviously, Oscar helps. But it’s more than just that.
Two wide releases crashed this weekend, Rock Dog and Collide. Lionsgate will just have to take solace in their Oscar win tomorrow night and Open Road will have to remember the glow of winning last year. They’re still here.
The limited/exclusive hit of the weekend is My Life As A Zucchini, which should be over $10k per screen for the weekend. A lovely, very French, stop-motion animation about an orphan who builds a family over time deserves a good audience… the kind of movie you wonder if your kids will like and then find they love it.