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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Klady & The Klady

Friday Estimates 651w 2017-03-18 at 8.47.26 AM copy



Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Furious 7. The Hunger Games. Beauty & The Beast.

These are the four biggest openings outside of the Summer or Holiday periods. Ever.

Which of these things doesn’t go with the others?

Why, that would be the family movie that plays to both young and old. Of course, the traditional box office modeling for a family film gets twisted by the big opening day. So 3x+ opening day, with a massive Saturday compared to Friday, seems unlikely. But we still have to account for that possibility. on the other side of the coin, there was a clear niche for Hunger Games and an age bottom for the other two, so using them as comps seems wrong.

Even using Bill Condon’s biggest opening before this, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, is futile, as that franchise was so intensely niched out. The opening day was actually larger than Beauty‘s… but the weekend couldn’t even double it, much less triple it, as family films often do.

In other words, B&TB will set its own standard as a box office placeholder on opening weekend. Could be $140m… could be $175m. No one knows (although someone at Disney is looking hard at matinees on the east coast right now, wondering if the snow helps or hurts).

Meanwhile, critic schizophrenia is showing up earlier in the year, as many critics gave a pass to the shambolic Kong: Skull Island, which is nothing more than a rancid smorgasbord of action movie cliches held together with indifference, while ripping into Beauty & The Beast for not being original enough and being part of a financial strategy at Disney.

1. Review the movie, not the studio. 2. Be a little consistent. That is all I ask. (And to those of you critics who were… thank you. I didn’t mean you.)

It’s interesting. Beauty will be the seventh different #1 at the box office in the 11 weeks since the first of the year. And critics have been able to feel like they matter, with all six of the other top dogs being “Fresh” with over 75% at RT, including Split and Kong: Skull Island, but also happy surprises like Get Out and Logan. Beauty looks like it will be the lowest ranked among the 7, almost like critics got to the saturation point of being comfortable with being in sync with the public. To be fair, Logan and Get Out were (and are) films that knock the chip off a critic’s shoulder. And Beauty & The Beast is not perfect by any means. It certainly is not loaded with the wildly unexpected. But reading some reviews in major papers, they felt written before even seeing the movie. The Disney machine is a trigger. And I fear that Ghost in the Shell, if it isn’t a delightful surprise, will be slaughtered in a dramatic bloodbath. (Of course, it could deserve a bloody death. The more of the movie that is shown in the ads, the more troubled it looks.) Who knows what’s in store for The Fate of the Furious? (I’m betting it will get a pass.)

Back to box office… I suspect that not only will Beauty be #1 again next weekend, but that the three wide releases will all have the crap kicked out of them, business-wise. “It’s a trap!” I’d be happy to be wrong, especially for Life. But I have a feeling that all three movies are in harms way and that no one is really excited for any of them to arrive (no matter how many billboards Power Rangers has in L.A.).

Kong: Skull Island had a reasonable 1st-Friday-to-2nd-Friday drop and will squeak by $100m this weekend.

Logan is showing signs of age, but will pass the domestic on X-Men Origins: Wolverine this weekend.

Get Out is now chasing only this year’s Split for the top grossing domestic slot in Jason Blum’s career. It will pass Split next weekend.

The Belko Experiment opened.

John Wick 2 hasn’t quite doubled John Wick yet, but it’s coming… as is John Wick 3.

T2: Trainspotting was dumped by Sony and now they will rationalize the choice with this opening of their creation. About $30k per-screen for the weekend, but on just 6 screens. This will get the film to 80+something screens, probably… but not further. Unfortunate.

The new Malick, Song to Song, will do about $11k per screen over the weekend, despite massive star power. Oddly, the film will play better on TV, where you will be able to get distracted for a bit and not really mind, as you will come back to some wonderful moment of art and acting before you get distracted again for a bit. There is so much to love in this film… and so much of this film…

22 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Klady & The Klady”

  1. Bulldog68 says:

    Hunger Games. First time in theatres so not based on a previous movie franchise. The fact that it opened at the level was astounding.

  2. Chris says:

    I’m confused. Where’s “Beauty and the Beast” in the chart? (And that list of the three biggest openings contains four titles?)

  3. Krazy Eyes says:

    I’d go for Hunger Games as well. Great opening for Logan too.

  4. EtGuild2 says:

    If you’d told me Bill Condon would go on to become an all-time top grossing director following GODS & MONSTERS and KINSEY, (not to mention CANDYMAN II) I’d have thought you were certifiable. His filmography–from those to DREAMGIRLS, to TWILIGHT sequels, to the Julian Assange Wikileaks movie, a geriatric Sherlock Holmes movie and now this–is the strangest in Hollywood.

  5. EtGuild2 says:

    I hope you’re wrong on POWER RANGERS, but LIFE seems dead (hah!). Poor Sony can’t catch a break, and neither can Ryan Reynolds when he’s not wearing spandex.

  6. David Poland says:

    Sorry about having up the wrong chart… fixed now…

  7. djiggs says:

    It is ironic that you write the sentence “No one really knows” (with regards to box office granted), but in the next paragraph you diagnose many critics who approved of Skull Island and not enthused with Beauty as suffering from professional schizophrenia. To your credit, You do add the caveat at the end about consistency. My question is who are these inconsistent critics (actual names) and can you point to specific reviews since 2017 that demonstrate this incosistency.

  8. Heather says:

    Hunger Games hit at the exact perfect moment..the book had crossed over during the holiday season, everyone had read it(quickest read in the world) and everyone was primed for the movie in March.

  9. Pete B. says:

    Does anyone care about Life?
    It looks like a generic Syfy movie except with a big name cast & better effects.

  10. rabartlett says:

    I think being more lukewarm on B&B might be due to a couple of biases,(More protective towards a classic, a tendency to hold more female-skewing films’ feet to the fire), but studios? As many tinfoil hat/batman shirt-wearing malcontents would tell it, Disney has the critical community on a payroll, with WB at the short end.)

  11. Christian says:

    The most depressing result on the chart appears to be the close-to-DOA box office for a Kore-eda film hailed as a masterpiece in reviews I’ve seen. I wonder if it’ll even make it to me in D.C.

  12. EtGuild2 says:

    It’s a weird weekend when Terence Malick, Hirokazu Koreeda, Francois Ozon and Danny Boyle all have movies overshadowed by a remake of a woman-buffalo musical romance :)

  13. Geoff says:

    Beauty & the Beast has received a 72% Rotten Tomatoes score and almost every positive reviewer seems to be bending over backwards to praise it, so where’s the “schizophrenia?” :)

    At this particular point, the critical community overall seems to still have a prevalent bias in FAVOR of most Disney properties – otherwise, how would films like Finding Dory and Doctor Strange received 90% RT scores and nobody is talking about them two months after release? There was a HUGE uproar when The Lego Movie didn’t get nominated for Best Animated Feature two years ago…..this year with Finding Dory everybody’s pretty much, “Yeah that sounds about right, it was pretty forgettable.”

    And rbartltlett, you don’t need a tin foil hat to observe a simple bias on behalf of industry reporters and critics in favor of a particular studio – over the past couple of years, it has just been Disney’s turn. We saw it for a few years around the turn of the century with Dreamworks, several years with Miramax just before that, and the last studio to get the bulk of industry goodwill BEFORE Disney happened to be Warner Bros. EVERY other industry’s reporters has these sort of bandwagon runs for a particular producer and/or product.

  14. AdamL says:

    Skyfall opened to $88 million in early November. Definitely not a holiday.

  15. Stella's Boy says:

    “Does anyone care about Life?
    It looks like a generic Syfy movie except with a big name cast & better effects.”

    I do, and I am always amused when people say this like it’s automatically a bad thing (and of course they would never stoop so low and watch something fitting that description). I’m not expecting a unique masterpiece, but I am of the opinion that there are not enough R-rated sci-fi/horror movies with a good cast and solid effects.

  16. Dr Wally Rises says:

    Life looks considerably more enjoyable than Alien Covenant, which whiffs of ‘been there, done that’ from the most recent trailer.

  17. Stella's Boy says:

    I can’t really disagree Dr. Wally, but I’m still excited to see xenomorphs on the big screen in something rated R with a great cast and hopefully great effects and not directed by Paul W.S. Anderson or The Strause Brothers.

  18. Sideshow Bill says:

    I’m excited as hell for Alien Covenant. i agree with Stella. Without the Strause’s involved we may actually SEE something. That movie still astounds me for how bad the lighting is. It’s been talked about a lot so it’s not a new observation. But for me it would have been a decent C grade watch if I could fucking see something.

    Life? I’ll see it but probably not theater.

  19. Pete B. says:

    @ Stella

    If you want quality sci-fi, and it actually airs on Syfy, you should watch The Expanse.

    Life looks like a retread of Alien, Event Horizon, and a dozen other “alien on a spaceship” movies. It even (from the trailer) kills/infects the black scientist first.

  20. Stella's Boy says:

    I’ve heard very good things about The Expanse and hope to watch it at some point. Yes Life doesn’t look very original and clearly follows genre tropes but I like the genre so that’s not a deal-breaker for me.

  21. EtGuild2 says:

    “Beauty & the Beast has received a 72% Rotten Tomatoes score and almost every positive reviewer seems to be bending over backwards to praise it, so where’s the “schizophrenia?” :)”

    The film is barely above KING KONG on Metacritic, with many traditional print publications (LA Times, Village Voice, LA Time, Chi Tribune, Boston Globe) seemingly out with the long knives. At least to some.

  22. lockedcut says:

    If the critics are attacking beauty and the beast they massively missed the ball on it as the film is stunning in how good it is. I was floored as I didn’t expect it to work at all but it threads the needle of remake pitfalls and never stumbles. This is likely to be so beloved and long lived in imaginations I expect to see it appear outside the two automatic craft nominations it will get at next years oscars if the studio is willing to do a supportive awards campaign. a movie that everyone likes and no one (other than Dps adorementioned out of touch critics) dislikes can do incredibly well.

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