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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Weekend Estimates by Alien Trouble Klady

Weekend Estimates  2017-05-21 at 9.28.18 AM copy

This is a terrible result for Alien: Covenant. I thought they had found a strong, clear voice for the marketing about a month ago. Problem is… the movie didn’t open while the voice was strong. It opened an entire month later. In today’s movie marketing universe, timing is more important than ever. And when your campaign is “Run. Hide. Pray.,” sitting around waiting for the movie to open in a month and change later is clearly problematic.

I wasn’t sitting in meetings. I’m no expert on the A:C campaign. But you can see this all around.  a few studios now go for a very short marketing window compared to a decade ago, as little as a few weeks. And others, like Sony’s current Emojis campaign, push awareness as much as two months out.

Every time I see a Netflix ad for a show that isn’t on yet, I think of what a waste it is because a service that is based on instant call-to-action is not making its product available when it is calling me to action. There is so much content, the idea of anticipating all but a few shows/movies for more than a month is impossible. I would have watched the Brad Pitt/David Michôd war movie three times by now if it were already on Netflix. But I don’t even notice the ad (or remember the release date) after looking at billboards for a month.

I don’t think there is an easy answer. Star Wars and top-shelf Marvel is about the only stuff that could clearly open with virtually no marketing window. Someone needs to take that risk and do a 10-day campaign for a movie that can actually open. The imagination only lasts that long. It could work. But the irony is that a shorter marketing window might not lower costs, as the audience is so widely dispersed. You can find sports-loving men or pre-teen girls in specific spaces, but for a three- or fourquadrant movie, trying to push awareness and want-to-see in 10 days is an intimidating prospect. I get that.

And the question of whether Alien: Covenant got what it deserved goes back to the wrong-headed idea that opening weekend is about the film itself. It never is. Very, very rarely you can see a Sunday effect… almost never. The sales job for that opening weekend is done by Thursday night (earlier, really) and what is going to happen then is going to happen. (Tracking is wrong often because it is an imperfect art… again, not unlike trying to find every viewer in a short marketing window. Tracking is great for awareness, not so great for likely ticket sales.)

I think that Fox can be comforted by the idea that they did everything they could do to open A:C. The question is, for me at least, whether doing everything is still the most effective way to sell some movies, especially IP-driven films where awareness is not the big problem.

60 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Alien Trouble Klady”

  1. EtGuild2 says:

    On the bright side, ALIEN is inexplicably getting a Chinese release, presumably as a 20-minute short. No idea how the movie will play there, but it’s an interesting test case.

    I’m seeing EMOJI ads as well, and that’s what you’d hope to see from a desperate studio trying to create excitement for something other than an MCU bailout. Sony is going to head into June with its lowest domestic haul since 1994….in raw dollars no less. Astounding.

  2. Stella's Boy says:

    That is a bad opening weekend. Yikes. Hopefully it does well in China.

  3. Sideshow Bill says:

    Yea, that’s a very disappointing number. Even with Ridley being able to get these things in under budget and under schedule (according to him) gotta wonder if Fox will pull the trigger on a third prequel. I hope so. Hope the overseas number bail it out because it’s not even getting to 100 million domestic.

  4. Geoff says:

    Yeah I think that Fox proved this weekend that even when you market the ever-loving shit out of your movie, the Alien brand has weakened….and yes they were stupid to give Ridley Scott free reign to twist this thing into his own weird prequel story in the first place. They dodged a bullet with Prometheus since that made some cash and this one might too….

    But no you can’t pull this kind of weird peripheral sorta-prequel sorta-callback bullshit unless you’re a certain level of IP: Star Wars could get away with a completely inconsequential story like Rogue One as long as they put a few images of AT-AT’s in the marketing materials and promised ONE bad-ass Darth Vader scene, Potter/Wizarding World could get away with a tangent side story like ‘Fantastic Beasts as long as they references the iconic score and had JK Rowling out there promoting it, and Batman can apparently launch a mediocre network crime drama JUST set in the same city featuring side characters like Gotham and still make enough ratings/cash to last more than three seasons at this point.

    Alien is not nearly as strong as those IP’s bottom line – if Fox was smart, they would have handed the reins to Neil Blomkamp a couple of years ago to do this proper Aliens sequel with Sigourney Weaver and Michael Biehn….given Blomkamp’s spotty track record, there’s no guarantee that would have been good either nor made money but the upside for continuing sequels/stories would have been much higher….maybe make this in Newt’s story, who knows?

    I don’t know what to make of Fox – they REALLY knocked it out of the park relaunching the ‘Apes franchise even ten years after a remake/re-imagining that EVERYBODY hated….but wow did they shit the bed last year trying to bring back Independence Day. Kingsmen looks like a nice continuing R-rated franchise and kudos still have to go to what they pulled off with Logan….but Apocalypse was not the franchise relaunch that it should have been. This Alien disappointment is somewhere in between all of those.

  5. EtGuild2 says:

    In better news, big praise again to Universal for the continued shepherding of GET OUT overseas–this weekend it had a blow the doors off opening in Korea. Among recent movies with a black lead it passed HIDDEN FIGURES globally this weekend and will overtake it overseas this week.

    Among horror movies it’s going to match DON’T BREATHE offshore, and among Blumhouse movies will top all THE PURGEs and will finish above the first and third INSIDIOUS flicks. Great job!

  6. Js partisan says:

    If Fox, makes another one of these pointless fucking movies, when they have a talented director and Sigourney waiting to go. They get what they fucking get.

    Also, what was this movie selling? A sequel to a movie, that people were excited to see, and Sir Ridley gave them a wet fart, in the fucking mouth. The xenomorphs, are best left in the dark. All of this shit with David, is so superfluous, that I keep expecting Scaramanga to stand behind him, with his shirt off. The Alien movies, deserve better, then this second year philosophy class bullshit. There’s no way to sell it, because it’s not what anyone, en masse, seems to want. A pirates movie though? Probably.

    Dave, you still don’t get Netflix. It’s like Hbo. Much like HBO, who have spent months hyping The Wizard of Lies. Netflix, needs to do the same, because they want people to watch this shit, and not have people ignore it. Why spend the money, if no one watches? Also, they need more subscribers, so trailers help… ATTRACT THEM.

    THAT’S A QUALITY POST, GEOFF.

  7. Geoff says:

    You know Ethan, yeah Get Out is a really interesting story to watch – taking race out of it, I just always figured that it would do nothing overseas since it’s SUCH an American-based type of story but maybe I’m wrong….

    And thank you JS….I guess, always figured all of my posts were QUALITY but ok. 😉

    That said, has Netflix NOT been hyping their shows enough? I honestly had the opposite impression….is anybody NOT aware of Stranger Things, House of Cards, even Iron Fist at this point?

    And watch this and tell me that Wonder Woman is NOT going to be pretty huge – this video among others and the early raves tell me a few things:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00muFEop1vs&t=778s

    1) Warner Bros is FINALLY playing the game that Marvel has been playing so well over the past few years….continuously seeking buy-in from their core audience online while always offering them “access.” As heartfelt and genuine as this discussion is, Patty Jenkins is pretty much doing the same thing that James Gunn has been doing over the past few months….and that Zack Snyder never did nor was allowed to do I guess.

    2) If the film connects, then it could be as big a game-changer as the first Avengers….NOT saying it will make nearly as much money, relax JS. 😉 But for a big studio IP BASED around a STRONG female protagonist to make as much cash worldwide ($600 million to $800 million worldwide would be my prediction as of now) as one based around a weak, passive female protagonist (Hunger Games, Twilight)….and directed by a woman no less, that WOULD be a game-changer.

    And before you say The Force Awakens or Beauty & the Beast, no they don’t count – those brands and their history were what were sold those films.

  8. Krazyeyes says:

    I’m not sure why anyone should be surprised by this Alien number. It’s been a badly managed franchise for ages now. There hasn’t been a decent Alien film in over three decades. I thought Prometheus was absolutely horrible and a giant FU to anyone with an interest in the series. I just can’t imagine anyone waiting around to see the continuation of that story.

    I’ve always been a diehard day one Alien fan and even I decided to wait this out for streaming or DVD. I was clearly not the only one.

  9. Heather says:

    The problem for me is these movies or the concept of aliens doesn’t need a prequel. It takes a basic premise(mindless animals prey on unsuspecting humans) and makes it convoluted.

  10. I agree with Geoff. You watch an Alien movie because of the monsters. The genre can change (as it happened in the original trilogy) but the monsters were the threat.’Prometheus’ and ‘Alien: Covenant’ didn’t care about that premise, putting an android (playing with the idea of being a God) center stage.

  11. EtGuild2 says:

    Hey now! Katniss was by no means a weak, passive female protagonist. She was an expert assassin and evolved into a political manipulator of Nixonian proportions!

    I’m rooting for WW, for the great Patty Jenkins as much as anything, but I’m not getting my hopes up. “Best of the DCEU” isn’t quite a rave.

  12. Js partisan says:

    Geoff, you made me laugh at loud. That aside, Wondie is projected to open, at about sixty five million. I agree, if it does more than that… It would be a game changer. I’m not sure, that there is an audience big enough after last year, to make that happen. Again… Here’s hoping.

  13. Geoff says:

    Not sure what is so funny JSP – yeah it was projected to open between $65 million and $70 million four weeks before release….just like Logan and Deadpool were as well. Look who knows since it’s pretty much uncharted territory here – we haven’t had a female superhero film in well over a decade and the last ones were crap like Catwoman and Elektra.

    I really have NO idea if the fanboys will turn out en masse for this like they did for mediocre tripe like Doctor Strange…I’m assuming there’s a legit business REASON that Marvel Studios was more comfortable launching Ant-Man or ‘Strange before a stand-alone Black Widow movie or Captain Marvel – if Feige and Perlmutter and crew were 100% certain that the audience was there, they might have done so already.

    Reviews like “Wonder Woman is wonderful….I truly loved it!” or “Action Humor Heart! Gal Gadot and Chris Pine sizzle!” coming from folks like William Bibbiani, Scott Mantz, and Steven Weintraub who just a year ago were savaging all things DC is a BIT more than simply grading on a curve Ethan. 😉

    Look consider me genuinely surprised to be reading stuff like that – I had thought the knives were sharpening again this time around and unlike the last two DCEU movies, I’m actually EXPECTING a good movie this time around. That said, I’m sure there will be tons of backhanded shit thrown towards Zack Snyder in all of the reviews….for some reason, the critical community seems to hate him ALMOST as much as Michael Bay which I just don’t get.

    I’m not a Snyder fan myself – I still think his best film was Dawn of the Dead back in ’04 (and apparently James Gunn wrote that one for him), could never get through 300, didn’t like Watchmen, thought Man of Steel was ok, and I think that in BVS, there about 60 minutes of a really strong movie mixed in with about 80 minutes of wankish imagery more designed for heavy metal album covers than a cohesive movie.

    I just don’t get the hate – everything I have read about Snyder presents him as a genuinely nice and agreeable person…..no stories of Victoria’s Secret model auditions for bit parts like Bay.

    At this point, I would predict about $90 million domestic opening and maybe $700 million worldwide…I know both of my daughters haven’t been this jazzed for a movie since The Force Awakens and their friends too.

    And Etguild, I would have been inclined to agree with you about Katniss….until that third movie where she became more obsessed with finding her beloved lap dog Peta than….you know FIGHTING THE POWER?!? :) That character ended up being such a disappointment – NOBODY is referring to Katniss with the same kind of female-empowerment reverence you hear about Furiosa, Ripley, or Sarah Conner. If that’s the card the source material dealt the filmmakers, I get it but still disappointing.

  14. EtGuild2 says:

    Unfortunately I remember the MoS “early reviews”

    “It’s the best film of the year.” “The Best Comic Book movie of all time” “It’s not nearly as dour and serious as the trailers suggest.” Hah!

    I like Weintraub but he gets caught up…”Thor: The Dark World” is very good and hysterically funny? He called MoS one of the best superhero movies ever made and one of the best movies of 2013. Yikes. Labeling WW “a blast” likely means a MetaScore of 62, but I’ll take it!

    Agree to disagree on HG3, though I’m one of the few defenders of that movie, which I enjoyed much more than the Battle Royale remakes. I found it to be a fascinating attempt to translate propaganda, worldview disillusionment and political manipulation for a YA audience, and take Katniss’ clinging to Peta as one the one thing that made her stay sane. (I also don’t know that most younger female audiences have any idea of who Ripley, Furiosa and Sarah Connor are).

  15. Geoff says:

    LOL Ethan – you got me there, Weintraub is one of those for sure, three Aprils in a row of hyperbolic “Best MCU film yet!” posts. 😉 And I didn’t know that about MOS and him – yes there was some hyperbolic overpraise of that film from the get-go but the majority of the reviews were pretty nasty. I can remember David’s diatribe just singling out the casting of Kal-El’s mother and her age….and there was that whole ENDLESS backlash about the destruction of Metropolis as if Superman took a wrecking ball to the city himself! :) Yes guys like Weintraub and Robert Meyer Burnett are fanboys at heart but when these guys suddenly shift towards praise for a DCEU film after spending the last year bashing BVS & Suicide Squad, that’s hard to ignore.

    And you have several real critics praising it too….I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: a lot of these online critics are whores of the highest order and yes, they have been voraciously sucking more Marvel/Disney dick than any other client over the past few years! Could the praise for Wonder Woman be based on its quality, grading on a curve, or just a very effective goodwill tour from Patty Jenkins….I don’t have the answer to that one as of yet, but let’s not dismiss it either. Hell maybe there’s a whole up-with-feminism, Fuck-Trump undercurrent wave that this film will ride the wave of….again not a bad thing either nor to be dismissed.

    And I found HG3 to be a solid film myself, I dug the propaganda angle – honestly after two Battle Royale-themed installments in a row, it made some sense for them to take it in that direction. I just don’t like how passive a character they turned Katniss into…or how they made her more concerned with Peta – President Snow and his goon-squad are bombing the fuck out of every one else she knows and cares for INCLUDING HER LITTLE SISTER…..who gives a fuck about Peta at that point?? :)

    As for younger female audiences, I would HOPE they have an idea of who Furiosa is….that movie came out two years ago.

  16. Js partisan says:

    Geoff, the previous post made me laugh, not the Wondie stuff.

    Tripe like fucking Doctor Strange? Where’s fucking Ghost Rider, to get you the fuck out of here :D?

  17. Triple Option says:

    I’m not a horror guy but I saw Aliens 3 because Aliens so kicked ass. After seeing Prometheus, my mouth dropped so far open when I read they were going to do a sequel for it so quickly. I didn’t think Prome made that much to begin with and it was such a unpleasant movie going experience that I seriously felt a swell of contempt rise up in me towards the Fox execs for having such little regard for the people who go to movies to callously embark on a money grab venture, for measly gains at best, at the paying public’s expense. Like the banks that used federal bailout money to pay executive bonuses, bad. The best marketing The Dark Knight and Spiderman 3 had in breaking boxoffice-opening records were thanks to Batman Begins’ and Spidey II’s repeat-viewing quality. Maybe if Covenant opens last month it cracks $40M but I wouldn’t bet nickels more than that.

    Maybe I’m unfairly blaming Fox execs for the poor quality of Prome but holy crap at least give people some time to wash the bad taste out of their mouth before launching into the next one. A:Cov might be a really good movie but I don’t have $10 and 3 hours to risk getting fooled again. I don’t know what sort of narrative they’re going to run in Fox’ Monday morning QBing session, but if the man-on-the-street phrases of “played out” or “Prometheus suckt” aren’t listed towards the top of the whiteboard, then nothing worthwhile is going to come from that meeting.

  18. Geoff says:

    You know JS, I could have enjoyed Doctor Strange a lot more if they didn’t make Cumberbatch butcher his voice to sound American – he pretty much sounded like a Brit imitating a German imitating an American….i.e. Hans Gruber pretending he’s Bill Clay in Die Hard.

  19. Glamourboy says:

    My own theory…..the opening of a movie that is a sequel has nothing to do with the new movie and everything to do with how good the original (or the most recent in the series) was. Almost everyone I know ran to see Promethus and most of them were extremely disappointed. They get to express that disappointment by not showing up for the sequel….it is a feeling of ‘they got me last time but they aren’t going to fool me again.”

    For the record I loved A:C.

  20. Js partisan says:

    Geoff, I loved his voice. Especially, when he was telling off Thor.

  21. Geoff says:

    Ok you’re just making shit up now….when was he telling off Thor?? :)

  22. Bob Burns says:

    Horror genre.

  23. Js partisan says:

    In the scene at the end of the film, where they set up his appearance in Ragnorok.

    That aside, The Wizard of Lies, is some top notch, super best filmmaking.

  24. Pete B says:

    I have been avoiding all Wonder Woman reviews as I don’t want anything spoiled, but I guess I need not bother as I must be a giant fanboy and it won’t matter. Man of Steel WAS my favorite movie of 2013, and I saw the “mediocre tripe” Doctor Strange 5 times in the theater.

    {But being honest Benedict’s accent was the worst part of the film.}

  25. Stella's Boy says:

    I agree JS. The wife and I watched The Wizard of Lies last night and it’s very good (and Michelle Pfeiffer doesn’t look a day over 45).

    Pete you gave me shit for liking Prometheus. And your favorite film of 2013 is Man of Steel. Yeah you shouldn’t give anyone else on the planet grief about their taste in films. Ever. That takes some nerve.

  26. CG says:

    “for some reason, the critical community seems to hate him ALMOST as much as Michael Bay which I just don’t get.”

    He makes terrible, terrible movies, gets defensive over them, and come across in interviews like a skeezy dudebro who’s evading questions from Mike Wallace.

  27. amblinman says:

    I LOVED Dr Strange. At least the ending didn’t involve super beings smashing each other through walls. And Cumberbatch’s American accent sounds like most male Brits’ American accents: Hugh Laurie on House. (No idea why he had to be an American, all the same.)

  28. Pete B says:

    Stella, I gave you shit because you said Prometheus was better than every MCU movie ever made. No way in hell is it better than Captain America: First Avenger – a near perfect movie up til they screwed the ending.

    And I said MoS was my fave of 2013, never said it was the best of 2013.

  29. Stella's Boy says:

    I disagree Pete. I don’t think Captain America: First Avenger is anywhere near that good. Fun fact: Metacritic score for Prometheus = 65; for Captain America: First Avenger, it’s 66.

    And you could have said that the first time in a manner that would have allowed you to avoid being a condescending dick. Fave, best, either way it doesn’t change my point.

  30. Pete B says:

    My initial comment was: Have you actually seen Prometheus?
    And that makes me a “condescending dick”? Wow.

  31. Stella's Boy says:

    Yes that and sending me the Honest Trailer (which I saw and laughed at when it was released in 2015 but the Man of Steel one is much better) struck me as pretty damn condescending Pete in the context of that discussion. I mean they have identical Metacritic scores and you act as if it’s downright impossible and insane for someone to prefer Prometheus. You might have meant no harm, but it struck me as condescending. Some people seem to find it hard to believe that some people don’t like the MCU.

  32. Js partisan says:

    While I don’t like the movie as a whole. Prometheus, has some great design, and rather decent performances. Like Covenant, it just doesnt add up to something, that I want from an Alien film. It’s like, Sir Ridley keeps trying to fit his circle into square shaped hole, and the films show this in spades.

  33. hcat says:

    So Forty million would be a victory but 36 is a failure? This Franchise has never been a Star Wars-Batman type franchise but more of a Die Hard, can make a profit if costs are contained but not a billion dollar world beater. Doesn’t this franchise have a decidedly older fan base, one that doesn’t hit opening weekend as hard? WOM will probably factor in to this gross more than other summer films (just as it kneecapped Prometheus). I cant see Pirates drawing a lot of this potential audience away next weekend so it is likely to chug along over the long weekend and for a few more weeks.

    I’m with Stella on Prometheus and seem to be the only one who enjoyed the journey into the void to scream at an indifferent god aspect of the tale, but as with others I don’t see how this ties into Alien as a larger narrative. Sure the Aliens are the connective tissue narratively but thematically we are going from these origins of the species portentous epics to much leaner films. Is Ripley supposed to be turned into a Job figure forever paying for the sins of the events of these prequels?

    And unless Ridley has found the answers that Weyland sought and Ripley accidently found he better get going on these, who hands a multi volume franchise to an 80 year old? I hope he sticks around for a long time, but I also hope he has jotted down where he plans on taking this.

  34. Dr Wally Rises says:

    Coming from someone who kinda liked Covenant, you know who I feel sorry for? Danny McBride, because say what you will, but man, does he give it the college try in that movie.

  35. Pete B. says:

    Stella,
    I provided the link to Honest Trailers as it saved me a bunch of typing. If that was a dick move, mea culpa.

    I can understand not liking the MCU movies, but to dismiss all of them out of hand can seem pretty condescending too. I’m not a fan of some either.

    (If Metacritic is the measurement of all movies, and the basis of film discussion, then there are 9 MCU films ranked higher than Prometheus. And yes, I saw that it was ranked higher than MoS.)

  36. Stella's Boy says:

    I think $36 million is a failure when compared to Prometheus. They gave it an Alien title and sold it as an Alien movie and the opening weekend dropped $15 million. That seems pretty bad.

    As a diehard fan of the Alien films (including Resurrection which is dumb fun with a cool cast), I’ve been mostly happy with the last two, especially A:C. The good easily outweighs the bad.

  37. Sideshow Bill says:

    I fully enjoyed Prometheus and Covenant, flaws and all. That being said I see no need for 4-6 more of these, or whatever Ridley has said. Even if the box office was better. One more film could bridge the gap between A:C and Alien in a satisfactory manner. I hope he gets a chance to do that. But even I don’t think it needs to be stretched out anymore.

    Off-topic: The Zack Snyder news is awful. I feel for his family. Whether you like the man’s work (I’m a fan and defender) or not, seeing anyone go through the suicide of a child is heartbreaking. My best goes out to them. I hope the internet/Twitter takes it easy on him. Probably asking too much but I can hope.

  38. EtGuild2 says:

    Prayers to Zack Snyder. Prayers to those in Manchester. Seems like everything is awful lately.

    In bad news that isn’t really meaningful, I can report that PIRATES 5 and BAYWATCH continue the recent tradition of horrible Memorial Day releases. I’m not sure what I was expecting with the latter, but it’s particularly atrocious, borderline unwatchable. It’s so bad it’ll be an issue when The Rock runs for president.

    And add to that, very poor reviews for WAR MACHINE. Even those who gave it a pass seem to acknowledge it’s deeply flawed. Netflix subscribers would seem to be more inclined to read reviews. We’ll see….or we won’t given the shroud of secrecy over there.

  39. Js partisan says:

    Ethan, they may be terrible, but they are going to pull fucking bank. Especially Baywatch, because it has the Rock, good looking Efron, and good looking women. Fifty million… Easy.

  40. leahnz says:

    one big problem with ‘prometheus’ and to a lesser extent A:C compared to the OG ‘alien’ is they are BADLY WRITTEN, overstuffed and silly at times, while the original is so clean and spare and seamless and clever in how it builds anxiety, with such clarity of design and artistic execution.
    the prequels now circling round to join up with the original story are incongruous to that original aesthetic, that annoys me. i’ll probably end up just blocking out these prequels and pretending they don’t exist like i do with everything else not ‘alien/aliens’, one of the all-time great one/two punches in cinema (the list is pretty short, godfather/II…)

  41. Bulldog68 says:

    And now Joss Whedon steps in for Snyder. Didn’t see that coming.

  42. hcat says:

    Sad that we lose a Bond, when there seems to be so many Bond villains left in the world.

  43. EtGuild2 says:

    Indeed hcat.

    I’m not as sure on BAYWATCH. Other than Borat, does anyone outside of the states know what it is? Other than possibly DOOM, it’s the worst thing The Rock’s ever been in, so an interesting test of his muscle.

  44. hcat says:

    Everyone outside the states knows about Baywatch, that was televisions biggest export for the time it was on, which was one of the reasons it was used in Borat. They made more money syndicating that elsewhere than they did in the states. It was bigger than frickin Dynasty.

  45. Stella's Boy says:

    It’s worse than The Tooth Fairy? Last I saw Baywatch is tracking for about $40 million over four days.

  46. David Poland says:

    hcat… opening to less than Prometheus is a problem.

  47. Bulldog68 says:

    But The Rock’s opening sweet spot is the $30m-$40m range, with the Furious movies and Moana being their own thing in my mind. San Andreas is the only one that opened north of $40m, and GI Joe Retaliation opening dead on $40m. So is it realistic to expect a lot more? 21 Jump Street opened to $36m and the sequel exploded to $57m.

  48. Dr Wally Rises says:

    One point worth noting is that Prometheus was very heavily touted as a major 3D experience back in 2012 (back when the 3D ‘thing’ had yet to become an afterthought) and probably had a bigger bump from that than the non-3D Covenant has had from another five years of ticket inflation.

  49. EtGuild2 says:

    I need to brush up on my David Hasselhoff/Pamela Anderson international syndication knowledge:( That’s interesting though. This is one of those rare movies that’s such garbage though, it may kill the trajectory within days.

    Yeah, it’s worse than TOOTH FAIRY.

  50. hcat says:

    I only remember that because press releases always gave that as justification for its horrid existence. But putting an international star like the Johnson in this worldwide known property does make it seem primed to move, I think worldwide will surprise us. The reason its comedy is so LCD might be an appeal to the worldwide audience as well. Even though these are Hollywood Studios, America is just another Niche audience nowadays.

  51. Stella's Boy says:

    “Yeah, it’s worse than TOOTH FAIRY.”

    Yikes. It must be really wretched. Time for Seth Gordon to visit director jail. When he gets out, do some sitcoms or something.

  52. Bulldog68 says:

    Pirates isn’t exactly setting the tomato score on fire either. Only marginally better than the much maligned Stranger Tides. It’s going to be an interesting weekend box office wise.

  53. Sideshow Bill says:

    Pish posh to Baywatch and Pirates 5. Give me The Beguiled, The Killing of a Sacred Deer and How To Talk To Girls At Parties right now. I hate being a pleb who has to wait for great fest stuff to get a proper release. Someday I’m going to TIFF. Someday…

  54. hcat says:

    Hey Bill, have you seen the Lovers? I was wondering on what peoples take on that is.

  55. Sideshow Bill says:

    Not yet. It’s not playing in my area at all. But I’m always excited to see Debra Winger.

  56. Ray Pride says:

    It’s terrific, daft AND deft. A24 is adding markets slowly over the next few weeks.

  57. EtGuild2 says:

    PIRATES has actually now sunk below ON STRANGER TIDES on RT and Metacritic. That’s a bit of an overreaction. As much as this one feels like a tired attempt to get back to the original trilogy (which fails mostly due to the fact Brenton Thwaits and what’s her name are so anemic they make me appreciate Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom), it’s a welcome shift from the “All Captain Jack All The Time!” approach of the Rob Marshall pic.

    This summer so far is following the same thesis of recent ones: the superhero craze isn’t going to end anytime soon if 90% of other studio films suck in comparison.

  58. hcat says:

    Its just for A24 it looked a little staid, sort of SPCy film (not that I don’t quite enjoy SPC’s slate). One of things I find most impressive about A24 is that they are managing to exist nearly exclusively on the hip film crowd and no one has been able to do that before. The eighties indy industry was built on Merchant Ivory, Miramax was built on Left Foots and Pianos, even Amazon got right down to business with Love and Friendship, but A24 seems to be able to live almost solely on Gonzo. I would never begrudge someone releasing an intimate film featuring older actors, I just wondered how Lovers fits alongside all their other films.

  59. EtGuild2 says:

    Theory on that: THE LOVERS is the company’s first solo production, and second overall production after MOONLIGHT, so the thing may have been made with the intent of helping get their feet wet after what on paper (Moonlight) was a huge risk.

    Thankfully, it isn’t a sign they’re going soft, as their next two productions are IT COMES AT NIGHT and KILLING OF A SACRED DEER.

  60. Ray Pride says:

    I’d hope the word-of-mouth on the comedy and performances of THE LOVERS would be good… And MOONLIGHT is”the company’s first original production.” An entertaining oral history of starts and false starts and good fortune here. Plus! The purchase and distribution and awareness made of KRISHA was more about taking on Shults’ second movie, and putting that out.

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