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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Still Fate Less Furious Klady

Friday Estimates 651w 2017-04-22 at 9.21.02 AM copy


A blah weekend as we head into the Guardians explosion, which will be the second $100 million-plus opening of the year after Furious Fate opened to only $98.8m.

Speaking of The Fate of the Furious, it is now on track to land between the grosses of Fast 5 and Furious 6, nowhere near 7. The weekend drop will be closer to 60%, which isn’t embarrassing for such a big opener.

Beauty is in a space without comparisons. Already past a billion worldwide, where it finally lands is coming closer, but has a lot of give. Regardless, Beast.

The newcomers didn’t land.

I have spent no effort trying to figure out why Unforgettable outdoor had no WB markings. But it escaped more than it was released.

The Promise is one of those horrible cases of a lot of talent with a ton of good intentions making a terrible, unsellable movie. The Armenian genocide is a worthy subject for a great film. But it has yet to happen.

The latest in Disney’s now sidebarred nature series opened to almost exactly what the last film in the series grossed on its opening Friday.

On the indie side, not pretty. The two most hopeful releases, Forgotten Phoenix (trying the Paranormal angle but without building up enough heat) and Free Fire, which is the second widest launch in A24’s history and will generate one-eighth of the opening of the widest release, The Witch.

9 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Still Fate Less Furious Klady”

  1. EtGuild2 says:

    I didn’t hate THE PROMISE. But yeah, what in the world were they thinking with the soapy love story? Did no one learn anything from RED CLIFF? You can make a great movie about a widely unknown historical event WITH the event.

    GUARDIANS is tracking at $150. If it opens at $170+ (IRON MAN 3 was tracking at $150 at this point) and does $400+ does that mean the MCU has replaced RDJ as the top-liner on their marquee?

    BEAUTY has comps….it’s been running $10 million ahead of FINDING DORY consistently for weeks domestically. Worldwide is tougher, but the goal is to pass CIVIL WAR and MINIONS for #11 all time, which would take an on-par with MALEFICENT performance in Japan.

  2. EtGuild2 says:

    For all my love of A24, gotta be honest–they’ve had a rough 2017 so far, minimum exposure regardless. The long BLACKCOAT’S DAUGHTER delay didn’t help, I didn’t even realize TRESSPASS AGAINST US came out, and now this.

    Two of their next three movies are in-house productions (their second and third ever)–THE LOVERS (which premiers today at Tribeca) and Trey Shults’ KRISHA follow-up. So a lot riding….hoping for the best!

  3. Ray Pride says:

    Remember some of these are output deals with AT&T-DirecTV. Trespass: here. Blackcoat’s: here.

  4. EtGuild2 says:

    Aha Ray, thanks!

  5. Geoff says:

    “GUARDIANS is tracking at $150. If it opens at $170+ (IRON MAN 3 was tracking at $150 at this point) and does $400+ does that mean the MCU has replaced RDJ as the top-liner on their marquee?”

    You said it Etguild and I said this a year ago: THIS movie is the test-case since on MCU film WITHOUT RDJ has exceeded $800 million worldwide no matter HOW much they spend on them – the first ‘Guardians ended up costing over $230 million and I’m sure they spent significantly more on this one so I think $1 billion IS the expectation at this point. There is nobody rooting against that from happening MORE than RDJ’s agent because Spiderman Homecoming is not likely to reach that level no matter HOW much they push it as Iron Man 4….featuring SpiderMan.

    Not sure if it will have the legs to do $400 million domestic as the buzz and early reviews have been saying that this is “fun but more of the same” a la Iron Man 2….and once again, you have Disney cannibalizing themselves a bit as they have now down for the two previous May’s: Tomorrowland got demolished in the wake of ‘Ultron as did Alice 2 in the wake of ‘Civil War – the REAL price three of those four films paid was overseas. This time, I have a feeling that ‘Pirates 5 could still do gangbusters overseas and iffy domestically but Disney’s is spending enough on both films that they are likely $1 billion from BOTH which is NOT going to happen.

    I’m wondering if they’re going to actually heed this lesson in time for next year when they will be pulling the same release strategy by opening Avengers Part Infinity and Young Han Solo three weeks apart.

  6. Js partisan says:

    Geoff, all of the early Guardian reviews, are about how exceptional it is, and step up. Iron Man 2, is not exactly a step up on one. Guardians, seems like they cranked that shit up, and people love this shit. It’s going good to kick Beast in the nards, then The Last Jedi takes them out. Right now? Guardians is opening better, than expected.

    That aside, Fate and the Furious… A profitable fuck up. I really wish, they left this series alone, after Paul’s death. Here’s to the series, now focusing on Statham and The Rock. That movie, at least seems interesting.

  7. Geoff says:

    JS with the exception of a few of the standard folks who just seem to cut and paste their MCU review and/or tweets every six months for the next movie, “THIS time the MCU takes it to a new level…..lots of fun…..the stakes are higher this time… MCU film ever!” most of the early Twitter reviews have been that it’s OK but not as good as the first one. Don’t you worry, it will STILL get that Disney-sanctioned 90% on Rotten Tomatoes that Finding Dory and Doctor Strange received for being JUST good enough to most critics.

    Yeah it will probably open big, fade relatively fast, and still clear $1 billion but if it does…..that means that Disney isn’t getting the billion it wants from Pirates 5, hence my point.

  8. Js partisan says:

    Geoff, when Thor beats the JL, you just remember that relatively fast comment. It seems to give you consternation, that the marvel studios movies, matter to people. These things happen.

    Also, Pirates 5, isn’t making one billion dollars, in this dimension. It will make some bucks, but it’s not being cannibalized, by Guardians. May, is a long ass month, and there is a difference between the beginning, and end of the month.

    Seriously. Maybe those movies get those reviews… Because they earn them? Hmmmmmmmm?

  9. Geoff says:

    “Seriously. Maybe those movies get those reviews… Because they earn them? Hmmmmmmmm?”

    Yeah JS….just like I’m sure you would concur that Avatar and The Dark Knight Rises EARNED their high RT scores as well. It’s an AGGREGATE score and aggregate scores reflect TRENDS just like approval ratings or the DJIA… no, that’s not a measurement of quality.

    And yeah I’m watching some of the hot-off-the-press reviews all over YouTube for ‘Guardians right now….and the consensus is that it’s an overstuffed film that’s not as effective as the previous one and tries too hard to wring constant laughs more than developing the story. Guys like Kristian Harloff and Jeremy Jahns who have been delivering flat-out raves to pretty much every MCU film over the past couple of years both gave it negative reviews.

    And dude, YES these films matter to people…as did the Harry Potter films….as do Star Wars films….as do the Fast & Furious films….as did the Twilight films as you were so eager to remind us a few years back. That doesn’t mean you have to give them all passes JUST because they “matter” – I love the James Bond franchise, probably my favorite film franchise ever. And I’ll gladly admit than at least half of them are truly mediocre…and that SPECTRE was pretty much lackluster….and I’ll get super-jazzed when a Casino Royale or Skyfall hits it out of the park.

    And whether I vote with my dollars or Facebook comments or blogs or YouTube views or whatever else, I want my favorite characters to be in BETTER films! 😉 I don’t think it was a bad thing for future Star Wars films that Rogue One received such a mixed reception….MAYBE some of the folks at Lucasfilm might try to make a more unique, less fan-servicey film the next time around. Same goes for any Marvel or DC film…..if you want Superman to be better, then why not DEMAND that he be better?? :)

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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