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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Friday Estimates by Lenpac Shaklady

friday estimates 061717 651

 

It’s starting to feel like one of those summers that will only get interesting on the back end.

Transformers, Despicable 3, The House, Spidey, Apes, Dunkirk, Detroit… there’s a lot coming out in the next couple months and Guardians 2, all of six weeks ago, is already ancient history.

Cars is a franchise that the media could not care less about. Reviews are always mixed-to-negative. The grosses are never huge, especially domestically. But it is a merchandising cash machine for Disney, as well as Lasseter’s baby, so on it goes. Only thing interesting (barely) about this opening is that it is almost the same Friday number as the first film in the series.

All Eyez on Me is the niche audience smash of the month. It will be the second biggest musical biopic opening ever, around half of Straight Outta Compton‘s. The Rotten Tomatoes obsession will be dented by the 24 score and the big opening. But the pros know this is a niche moviem and niches don’t pay any attention to RT scores. (I will tackle the whole issue of whether anyone decides based on RT scores in some depth this coming week.)

47 Meters Down is a modest debut success for Byron Allen’s theatrical distribution entity, Entertainment Studios. Mandy Moore is lovely and all, but she’s never opened anything. The distributor spent, but not insanely. And got a result that could not realistically expected to be any better.

Rough Night. ROUGH! Not a surprise. Tracking has not been pretty. But still… ouch. I don’t have a clear idea of how it could have gone any better, considering the movie they released. The film is as disjointed as the advertising. And while, perhaps, you could construct a clear idea with a lot of careful cutting of spots (comparing it to the clearly shaped ideas of The Hangover is insulting to The Hangover), it is a tough assignment when the moments that are fun are the five great actresses riffing. Still… you have to go back almost a decade to find a Scarlett Jo opening quiet this bad. (Zoo was a Christmas eve open… others—not her—in the lead).

I am confused by the Focus dump of The Book of Henry directly after premiering at a film festival. The people at Focus are smart, but this feels like they were looking for cover for the inevitable bomb. Did it need to be an inevitable bomb? In a sane world, it would have been distributed outside of the Universal/Focus family and maybe found a softer berth. As for ramifications… stop it. This movie was, essentially, part of Trevorrow’s pay for Jurassic World and with a $10m budget, would not likely have been made otherwise. Nothing to see here.

In the $10k per-screen exclusive release universe, the doc Hare Krishna! The Mantra, the Movement and the Swami Who Started It All tops the weekend while The Journey, a docudrama about internal conflicts in Northern Ireland politics, will also score.

22 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Lenpac Shaklady”

  1. Geoff says:

    WAY lower than I was expecting for Rough Night and strong opening for All Eyez on Me which I’m sure will fade fast. I was WONDERING if the new post-2013 “Everything Disney All of the Time” branding strategy could power Cars 3 to an inflated opening much higher than the previous ones but alas….this was still just Cars 3. It will do fine and be profitable just based on merchandising of course.

  2. Js partisan says:

    Rough Night would have been a contender, without the dead stripper. Who wants to sit through that shit? Seriously?

    Also, don’t hate on All Eyez on Me. Tupac is important, and if it’s just as engaging as Straight Outta Compton. It could hang around for a while.

    Now, Cars 3, fucked up, If they sold Cruz Martinez, and the connection to Cars. They may have gotten more from this opening. It’s a boys movie, that is secretly a girls movie. They should have sold it to girls, but that’s Disney. Gender shit weird them out.

  3. Bulldog68 says:

    Funny you should say that JS. Disney has basically built its castle on the backs of princesses, so they should be the last studio to be weirded out by this stuff. I agree that the female angle should’ve been promoted more. At least in the marketing I’ve seen, there wasn’t much of an inkling that Cruz had such a pivotal role. So it seems like they have a better movie than they marketed.

  4. palmtree says:

    Yeah, Disney generally has the opposite problem, not enough boys. That’s why they gave Tangled a strong male protagonist.

    But since Cars is such a boy-friendly franchise, they should have erred in the other direction to attract women. I’m guessing it would have played pretty well on the heels of Wonder Woman.

  5. Arisp says:

    In what imaginary world is Tupac important?

    Also Rough Night got what it deserved. No one is clamoring for another Bridesmaids or Hangover. They were perfect in their own ways, and audiences Weren’t fooled.

  6. David Poland says:

    Palmy… Disney actually girl-ified Tangled late in the process. The male protagonist was too dominant… and it was really the first movie to figure out that the girl market was quite valuable.

  7. Stella's Boy says:

    Isn’t Tupac important to like millions of people? I am not well-versed in rap/hip-hop culture, but it seems like Tupac has a lot of meaning for a lot of people. Doesn’t the box office reflect that?

    I really liked 47 Meters Down. The characters are paper thin and the dialogue is pretty awful, and the first 15-20 are pretty hokey and lame. But once that cage goes into the water, it’s very freaky and effective. It probably helps to be terrified of oceans and sharks, but I was tense as hell every time they are floating or swimming in murky water, not knowing when a shark is going to suddenly appear. It exploits the situation quite well. I know it’s drawn criticism for having characters do stupid shit, but they are inexperienced divers overcome by fear and panic. I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. I prefer it to The Shallows because of how much takes place underwater. Makes it much more unsettling.

  8. Bulldog68 says:

    Don’t know your background Arisp, but in the music world, Tupac is important. And not just the hip hop world. And to millions of forty plus year olds like myself Tupac represented the yang to Biggie Smalls yang. Akin to the Kobe Bryant/ LeBron James who is better conversation, Tupac was the poet of the hip hop world who provided an oasis of deeper lyrics and artistic prose that stood out from the mysoginistic rap filled with a constant bevy of bitches and whores, and proved a counterpoint to Notorious BIG and Puffy Daddy who were the small town guys who made it big and showed it. They were the glamour of hip hop, Tupac was its heart, and that will never be forgotten.

    You know that you have transcended your genre when kids who look like Opie Taylor and grew up on Mayberry know your lyrics and could recite them just as good as a black kid from the Bronx.

    And till this day Dear Mama is the best ode to mothers ever written.

  9. Sideshow Bill says:

    Yeah, I’m not a hip hop fan at all but Tupac is still incredibly relevant to millions of people, especially those over 40 like me. Guys at my job were just talking about him the other day like he’s still alive. That movie will do well for itself. Not surprised by the opening even though the movie doesn’t sound too special.

    Shame about Rough Night. A lot of talent wasted. I expected it to do better, too.

    Finally seeing Wonder Woman today so later on I, too, will be relevant again. For a few hours anyway!

  10. Night Owl says:

    I don’t see All Eyez on Me hanging around. Not because Tupac isn’t relevant (he is, and I say that as a non-fan of rap and hip hop) but because it’s not a good movie. Good opening is one thing but legs? Nah. This isn’t Straight Outta Compton, this is (as I saw in one review) a Lifetime biopic at best. Very underwhelming. Shame because it is a fascinating story.

    Bad year for Scarlett Johansson. Really bad year. And nothing in the pipe until Avengers where she may or may not get some good moments.

  11. Geoff says:

    I was never diminishing the importance of Tupac just the strength of the movie – if box office was proportional to the importance of a musical artist, then Get On Up would have made WAY more than Straight Outta Compton.

    And out of fairness to Scarlett Johannson but when’s the last time ANY one from the Avengers crew has made significant money outside of that universe…..even Downey at this point? Both Chris’ have been in some great films (Snowpiercer, Rush) but none of them really made bank. You have Scarlett in Lucy, Ruffalo’s Now You See Me movies, and that’s about it.

  12. Sideshow Bill says:

    Finally saw Wonder Woman. It wasn’t perfect but it was a hell of a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to Justice League even more now. Gadot justified her casting, and Chris Pine was great. Maybe they’ll iron out the kinks in the sequel but it’s a rousing movie nonetheless.

    Scarlett could open a Black Widow movie, I think, if it were modestly budgeted. The success of WW should make that a no brainer for Marvel. Girls like their super heroes too.

  13. palmtree says:

    DP, didn’t know that but makes sense…especially given how the more recent princess movies are not romances but about women finding themselves (Frozen, Moana).

    Also, Tupac is one of the more misunderstood figures in hip-hop, mostly because the right-wing used him as an example of some immoral rapper when he was anything but. He was truly an activist, community-minded, and thoughtful in the way his music would spread a positive and truthful message.

    And to bring it back home to the film world, Tupac was a very talented actor, one who had a huge movie career ahead of him if he had lived.

  14. Js partisan says:

    Arisp, that’s some lame shit. Tupac, is, was, and will forever be a genius. Hating on him in anyway, is incredibly ignorant, to the facts at hand.

    That aside, Disney has been really weird with gender though, and Cars 3 screams it. Cruz, is the crux of the entire finale, but they dont even sell it that way. It’s a man movie, about serious man sports things, and ladies get the Bill the Cat! Which again, is such a weird way to sell a movie, that’s about finding a female protégé, and enjoying her success.

  15. leahnz says:

    WW has WOM

  16. Triple Option says:

    Arisp wrote:
    In what imaginary world is Tupac important?”

    I believe the word you’re looking for is marginalized. It’s kind of a strange place where an artist can sell the same number of records as Nirvana but people outside of it still question its legitimacy. Pretty ironic because if you were “woke” you’d be able to see it.

    When I saw the trailer for Rough Night, I just thought it went on and on and that I was seeing the whole movie there with no need to go to the theater. More so than The Hangover, I was thinking of that Peter Berg directed film, Very Bad Things. Both set during a Vegas retreat, a worker in the sex field dies and then comes the cover up. I wonder if Queen Latifah’s Girls Night has that same story spine?

    I haven’t seen a lot of marketing for Cars 3. I mean, I seen e-banners and hard posters all over but not much telling what the story is about or who all is in it. Just that it looks like a near fatal crash. BTW, props for making the animation look nearly indistinguishable from real life. But given Wonder Woman’s opening and praise of its empowering themes, I’m surprised Disney didn’t try to milk the wave of attention and push the female star angle. Eisner would’ve shamelessly pursued such tactics.

  17. Js partisan says:

    Disney didn’t want the “girl”, to ruin their “boy” franchise. Which is just fucking weird, because Cruz could be used to keep the Cars franchise going, and gear it towards boys and girls, and this would… SELL MORE TOYS!

  18. Pete B says:

    Speaking as an old disgruntled metalhead:
    In what imaginary world is Nirvana important?

    (You can thank me later Arisp for taking the heat off you.)

  19. Night Owl says:

    On this Book of Henry fiasco, I agree that he is not being fired but I can’t say I’m not pleased to know that this will encourage Lucasfilm to put him on the shortest leash possible. He’s a mediocre filmmaker with some noticeable problems (consciously or unconsciously) with women and girls who apparently says he now realizes female heroes are important because his daughter saw Wonder Woman. Okay? But hey his co-writer was the writer of Monster Trucks and Kong: Skull Island! So…yeah.

    Shorten that leash Lucasfilm.

  20. EtGuild2 says:

    Yeah, can a movie biopic of the man many would consider to be the greatest rapper of all time really be considered niche? I think that’s a loony thing to say and assume, theater count and trash quality be damned…hip hop heads are seeking this out, and even the aggressively bad response by artists like 50 and others may not even matter as people want to be part of the conversation.

    “In what imaginary world is Nirvana important?”

    I’m interested whether you all think there actually is a mustical artist of import.

  21. JacksAngryBowels says:

    I think everyone knows there’s only one artist worthy of a big screen bio-pic.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXdCGMqwiX4

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