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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Friday Estimates by Kladywise

friday estimates serpt 15 2017
What do you say when the second weekend of a movie breaks the month’s former record for the best opening, even in that month? Holy It!

Even The Passion of the Christ didn’t do that. Nor did The Avengers. If you take American Sniper‘s second wide weekend as its second weekend, it accomplished this in January 2015, grossing $64.6 million vs top opener Ride Along, which had opened to $41.5m in 2014.

To be honest, I still personally do not understand why It is such a phenomenon, though I do understand why such a huge opening becomes a social vacuum that sucks in a lot of ticket sales the next weekend. People tend to personalize box office analysis in a way that it isn’t personal. I am happy for WB and for exhibitors and all the fans who are so passionate about this film. And on a personal note, I suspect that the sequel, which will actually be based on the book and not just made up as a cash grab, could be better than the first film of the franchise.

The core principle of great box office success, in this era as in the four decades since Star Wars, is that the will of the ticket buyer overcomes all rules. Star Wars in December, which didn’t come close to Avatar’s first-run total, expanded the idea of an opening weekend in that month. Deadpool created a new front in February. Alice in Wonderland took March a giant leap forward. Spider-Man and later, The Avengers set standards in their day. And now, It.

And even if Kingsman: The Golden Circle opens to $50 million next weekend, which would have set a record for September were it not for It, it will now look small. Falsely, but perception is perception.

The all-time record for September grosses, overall, is $627 million in 2015. It alone is on pace to gross about half of that. (High grosser in 2015 was Hotel Transylvania 2 with $170 million.) With Kingsman and Lego coming, September should smash the old record and probably top the best October ($758 million) as well.

On top of this, this will be the third month of 2017 to record the highest-ever overall grossers, with March and April both the best ever to date. That three best-ever months out of nine months of the year. And February was the third-best February ever, missing the top of that list by $35 million with $783 million in revenue.

So yes, August sucked. It was horrible. And a great big part of that was that the majors released just TWO movies widely in the entire month. It’s a shocking figure and the only real answer to “What happened to August?” There were six wide major studio releases in August 2016. Six in 2015. Eight in 2014.

And what really makes no sense… August 2016 was the highest-grossing August ever (inc holdovers from earlier in the summer). So there was nothing to scare studios out of the month.

If you really think about it, given that the majors released one-third of their normal August output this year, August did pretty well. I know. It’s perverse. But to make up for the lack of product – and this is not an exaggeration – either The Dark Tower or Annabelle: Creation would have had to have been the highest-grossing August release, and by a lot… Say, $500 million domestic. (Guardians of the Galaxy did $333m.) And they still would have needed more help than they got from late-July entries The Emoji Movie, Atomic Blonde and Detroit.

2017 was running roughly 5% behind 2016 at the domestic box office going into this month. That number should be cut in half (or more) by the end of September.

American Assassin will be in the Top 3 all-time of CBS Films (now distributed by Lionsgate) openings. I saw the movie a while ago, to do an interview with Michael Cuesta that never happened. I like Michael Cuesta. He’s a long way from L.I.E. and Twelve these days. He’s become a commercial director. Most famous for launching “Homeland,”this film is an upgraded double episode. Entertaining and expected. Always a pleasure to watch Michael Keaton work (though he needs a big comic role about now… his immature energy is much desired).

It’s an interesting moment to notice that although Summit hasn’t been killing it lately, they are still the stronger part of Lionsgate output. Since Hunger Games ended, one Madea and Power Rangers (output deal) are the only straight LG films to open over $20m while the LG/Summit films have seven such launches. The reasons why can be disputed. But it is.

Of course, American Assassin won’t open to $20m either. The CBS Films experiment only ever had one of those openings… and just barely.

Opening at $3 million and likely falling farther as the weekend progresses, mother! tried to squeeze a studio opening out of a ripe arthouse orange. Paramount made magic with Paranormal Activity, but every advantage that Paramount hoped to have with this film has backfired on them.

Just two years after the end of The Hunger Games, which she eclipsed by sheer star power, Jennifer Lawrence’s future as one of the three top movie stars in the world is under serious reconsideration. Passengers struggled to $300 million worldwide, which still left it bleeding red. Lawrence did X-Men: Apocalypse, having to know that she would have the entire franchise hoisted onto her shoulders… and it, too, wildly underperformed (and probably cost Jim G his Century City job). And Joy, her first of the three post-Hunger outings, was widely seen as a disappointment (and in the red).

Some may scream “SEXISM” about now… but it’s not. The Rule of Three is real and it applies to all genders, races, etc. Tom Cruise has been here. Dwayne Johnson, arguably the biggest star in the world right now, hasn’t been up long enough to fall. Will Smith is still trying to find his mega-movie-star feet since Men in Black III underperformed ($625m worldwide).

I don’t know what advice to offer Jennifer Lawrence. And she certainly isn’t required to be one of the biggest movie stars in the world forever. But the franchise thing keeps turning up. It has saved Tom Cruise. Mission:Impossible III laid him low… but Mission: Impossible IV made him relevant again, and the franchise is now a successful backstop against missteps (American Made, which is probably better than the ads suggest… the next one?).

Red Sparrow is an important film for her now. On a commercial level, Charlize couldn’t pull it off. Taraji Henson is next (January 12, Proud Mary). Red Sparrow has to kick both of those films’ ass. Needs a $30 million launch. Because there is this stat, which I found shocking… J-Law has no $20m openings that aren’t X-Men or Hunger Games. None. Seven $50 million-plus openings in six years is extremely compelling… but the 0-for outside of those two franchises is a real thing and a very real thing to studios getting the $20 million for Lawrence’s work. If you needed an explanation as to why she signed up for Dark Phoenix… that’s it.

If Red Sparrow blows up, Lawrence can make a couple mother!s between episodes and all will be “forgiven.” Or she becomes a really beloved 30something actress who is stuck waiting to relaunch her career as a movie mother. Or she gives up on commercial cinema for a while and makes a run of movies with great indie filmmakers from around the world. Or… who knows? But the ebb and flow of this industry is brutal. And if Red Sparrow does Atomic Blonde business, the “Whither J-Law?” stories will begin.

That brings us to Reese Witherspoon, whose movie career since she won her Oscar for Walk The Line should be closely examined by Team J-Law.

I wonder whether Nancy Meyers would have allowed Reese Witherspoon to recreate the famous Home Alone one-sheet image for the poorly named Home Again. They needed something to break the clutter. As far as I can tell, the story is about a single mother who has sex with or is tempted a lot by college-aged boys to act out their MILF fantasies. (I wonder if Nancy Meyers would have allowed a name change to “MILF.”) That and the Home Alone face on posters may have opened this thing to more than $5 million. I’m kidding… but I’m not. Pretty as the outdoor was for this movie, there was no compelling reason for anyone to be conscious of this film, much less plan to go to the movies, as they did for the crassly named Bad Moms or raunchily-advertised Girls Trip.

Annapurna’s second release, Brad’s Status, opened okay. Just okay.

I saw Brad’s Status a month ago. Liked it. Thought it was imperfect and not really an Oscar play. But it was the kind of movie that could have launched a lot of discussion threads and opened to more than this. But it felt like once it didn’t get into Telluride and just gave up. Do some last-second press in Toronto, out comes the baby, less than a week later.

Brad’s Status was never going to be a huge hit. But it could have done better in the bubble and continued Ben Stiller’s reputation for pushing himself beyond commercial cinema (now six years from a $20m opening). Sometimes, you can feel a movie falling through the cracks. Happens.

63 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Kladywise”

  1. Night Owl says:

    Well down goes mother! even worse than I thought. I thought that marketing would trick the mainstream audience for at least a day or two. Nope! I assume there will be some lip service about; Art! Not for the mainstream! Meant to stimulate discussion….Art!

    Yeah….OK….

    Sure I mean there is nothing studios like more than films that generate unmitigated hatred and no money. I’m sure Paramount (especially Paramount in their sorry state) is just gosh darn thrilled.

  2. HWK says:

    Glad mother! failed. It was completely terrible and the marketing was incredibly misleading as to the movie it was.

  3. EtGuild2 says:

    We were about 7% behind heading into September, but we might get back to three and a half percent behind when all is said and done.

    One indication of how bad August is, is that SPIDERMAN: HOMECOMING will be the first superhero movie to spend more than 10 weeks in the top 10….ever. It’s had a great run, and is outdoing WONDER WOMAN at the week 11 point in its run, but christ. It still may not top SPIDER-MAN 3 in overall gross (though it’ll beat GOTG1 which looked very unlikely a month ago).

  4. David Poland says:

    ET… you don’t have the slightest fucking idea where we might end up down to a half percentage point. That’s just ego. And that’s my point.

    You didn’t see It doing $300 million domestic… because no one did.

    If I have learned anything doing this for all these years is… things change.

    Deep breath…

  5. EtGuild2 says:

    Haha, DP coming with the fire. Half a percentage point=$40 million. At this point, to get to 3%, we’d have to gain $180 million on last year in 15 days. Is that possible? Sure! Is getting to 2%? No….we’re not going to outrun last year by a quarter billion in two weeks unless you think KINGSMAN is going to explode with a 9-figure opening. There is a difference between “nobody knows what will happen” and “expecting batshit things to happen continuously.”

    Do you think I somehow said IT would do 300? What I said, in late July, is that the margin would fly from 4% to 7% by Labor Day and it did, hence my chiming in here :)

    I’m completely wrong about plenty (WW!) and I admit to it.

  6. Lisa says:

    Lawrence’s “stardom” was far too aligned to two franchises as well as O. Russell/Bradley Cooper’s burgeoning success. She literally never proved her box-office mettle as a solo attraction, yet was prematurely being lumped in with megastars like Denzel and DiCaprio. Big mistake. Best thing she can do right now is ignore box-office and just work with 2-3 elite directors in a row. None of this Francis Lawrence stuff; get Spielberg and Tarantino and people of that caliber, or her career will correct itself real quick.

  7. EtGuild2 says:

    It’s funny how a confrontationally uncommercial, critically acclaimed auteur film is evidence she needs a correction just because they didn’t succesffully fool people on opening weekend. I can’t tell you the number of friends I have who wanted to see it and were turned off by the trailer. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea obviously, but I enjoyed it. I’m seeing some parallels between J-Law and Taylor Swift lately. Of course, Swift can hit #1 even making electroclash music and visually disowning her entire career because she basically controls the music industry and is a marketing genius.

    I’m not sure anyone in the movie business can withstand a big fan-backlash and then open something like this, and I’m not sure I’d prefer that to having them do what they want and exploring more difficult fare.

    It’s funny how a year after the heinous PASSENGERS doing $100 million and a couple years from JOY somehow, inexplicably doing $50, we’re having this conversation at all, as well.

  8. thehey says:

    mother! should have been a carefully curated platform spring release (Searchlight is brilliant at this) instead of a wide open before the stink gets out release Paramount is all too familiar with these days.

    The sooner the Redstones sell this studio to someone who gives a damn the better.

  9. Stella's Boy says:

    Basically everyone I know, friends and co-workers, has seen mother. Today alone at a work gathering I talked to six people who have seen it. Male and female, as young as 26 and as old as early 50s. They all passionately hate it. I mean hate it with the fire of a thousand suns. They can’t stop talking about how much they hate it. They talk about Aronofsky like he’s the most detestable person to ever make a feature film. I only want to see it more now.

  10. palmtree says:

    I don’t watch horror movies as a rule, but I made an exception earlier this year for Get Out because of all the hype. And was totally worth it.

    And I could see myself making an exception for IT too. That’s exactly how blackhole-like these box office numbers get.

    But why people would be so interested in this to begin with…no clue.

  11. EtGuild2 says:

    Wow Stella…that’s sad. The whole audience reaction is really sad. The movie is groundbreaking in many ways, though yes, too over the top. But maybe my reaction was tainted by the audience…need to see it again.

    It’s infuriating that Darren Aronofsky, one of probably the five (ten at most) most talented working directors today, has inspired such loathing post-WRESTLER.

  12. Stella's Boy says:

    Yeah I was stunned at both the vitriol directed at Aronofsky and the seething hatred of the movie. They all went out and saw it right away so they obviously really wanted to see it, and I was excited to hear what they thought as I expected a range of opinion. Instead they all loathed it. I need to see it so I can understand why.

  13. EtGuild2 says:

    You’ll definitely understand why. This is not a movie for 95% of the planet. It will offend most, and others will slam the tone.

    Aronofsky is, for me, a director that reeled off 4 straight masterpieces, followed by a very good familial drama, and then a commercial misfire that offended people. He’s up there, for me, with Scorsese, Villaneuve, PT Anderson, Cuaron, Chazelle, McQueen, The Coens, Farhadi, Fukunaga, Haneke, Wong Kar Wai and Haynes in the “see it as soon as you can” director class. It’s depressing to see his name poisoned.

    DP, I want a mother! review!

  14. Geoff says:

    Dave I honestly don’t see how you could be THAT confounded that IT could blow up like this – yes it’s pretty damn unusual for this time of year and for this genre – you’re still talking about an adaptation of the best-selling and most enduring popular novel from the most prolific and popular fiction writer over the past 40 years…..you and most other industry writers keep talking how dominant having the right IP can be and this was basically a prime example of it.

    I mean it is really any more shocking than a very popular YA novel adaptation like The Hunger Games breaking out to over $400 million domestic launched in March five years ago….or a popular best-seller written by our most recent (alleged) war hero like American Psycho breaking out to over $350 million domestic being launched in the “dumping ground” of January three years ago?? I’m not saying that a $100 million plus domestic opening in September was predicted by ANYBODY because it wasn’t but going back 40 years now, you have had the occasional Stephen King adaptation break out – The Shining, The Green Mile – you just had even more like The Stand and IT (1990) break out as TV miniseries during that time too….King’s most popular novels were always potentially strong launching points, it just happens to be most were handled by the wrong folks at the wrong time and/or just produced as schlock from the get-go.

    And you could debate the quality but that’s kind of a non-starter too – was the first Hunger Games a particularly well directed movie? Was Frozen THAT great? Hey I enjoyed The Force Awakens, even saw it a couple of times but $900 MILLION DOMESTIC? Come on now, I would consider it smack in the middle of all Star Wars films, quality-wise.

    And at the end of the day, it’s ALL about having the right IP, knowing how to market it at the right time, and taking all of the proper steps to balance honoring the source material with turning it into a compelling movie.

  15. Geoff says:

    And I pretty much back up Ethan here – NOBODY who’s not Jennifer Lawrence was going to nab a $20 million domestic opening for mother!, no fucking way…..not even Julia Roberts at peak popularity (ahem….Dying Young or Mary Reilly any one??), not Hanks, Cruise, Denzel, nor Will Smith at the heights of their box office powers.

    Tom Cruise couldn’t even drag Magnolia over $25 million domestic back in ’99 when he was launching blockbusters on a yearly basis….and that movie while equally divisive, had a stronger cast surrounding him and more positive reviews than mother!

    Harrison Ford back in ’87 following three years of ‘Jedi, ‘Temple of Doom, and Witness couldn’t even get The Mosquito Coast over $15 million domestic.

    You could be the biggest box office draw around….but if you’re promoting a basic “fuck you, I’m an ARTIST!” downbeat, grim drama from an Aranovsky, Von Trier, Winding Refn, or any of the other talented directors of the past 30 years who have decided (like Radiohead after OK Computer) to embark on a mission of consistently attempting to piss off the audience whenever they can….you’re not not going to nab a big opening bottom line.

    Look I get as sick of Jennifer Lawrence as any one though I do think she’s a talented actress but I think her biggest issue as a box office star has been basically trying to follow the early path of DiCaprio by playing too many roles which are easily 15 years too old her at an even more ACCELERATED rate…..Joy, Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, even Mystique in this recent incarnation of X-Men who REALLY should be in her ’40’s about now considering her story started in the ’60’s….it catches up to you just as it eventually caught up to Scarlett Johansen – I mean WOW, hasn’t Johannsen basically been playing sassy, wizened WOMEN in their ’30’s (second career, single mom) who have it all figured out for the past ten years now…..even though she just turned 30 a couple of years ago? :)

    Hollywood obviously doesn’t know how to grow its actresses so you can’t really blame Johanssen or Lawrence to trying to jump ahead of the curve. Julia Roberts did not follow this path, she was still playing love interests, ingenue victims, and sassy YOUNG upstarts nine years after Pretty Woman and I GUESS she prolonged her box office strength longer as a result. There’s no right away to be sure of….but nobody should act shocked when audiences stay away when Johannsen tries to turn back the clock with roles like Ghost in the Shell.

    Lawrence is still a draw – she opened Passengers as much as any other actress could have and American Hustle still made $19 million (!) on its first weekend of wide release so let’s be fair. 😉

  16. Popcorn Slayer says:

    “It’s infuriating that Darren Aronofsky, one of probably the five (ten at most) most talented working directors today, has inspired such loathing post-WRESTLER.”

    I suspect that the loathing feels like a rave review to DA – he’ll be fine.

  17. jspartisan says:

    “Star Wars in December, which didn’t come close to Avatar’s first-run total.” That Wired article about Avatar’s over inflated gross aside… WHO IS THE DOMESTIC BOX OFFICE CHAMP? WHO? WHO? WHO? And did Avatar ever sell a billion dollars worth of merch? No? Okay then.

    That aside, IT is really easy to figure out. If you have teenagers/20 somethings in your life. 90s millennials/Gen-Z have never had a prestige horror film. They’ve had a bunch of found footage garbage, a bunch of paranormal found footage movies, and whatever the fuck those Annabelle/Conjuring movies are for horror… and that’s it. Finally, Warners came along, and gave them that prestige horror film, that has a setting that interest them, and isn’t the same boring shit.

    You factor that, then you factor in all the Boomers and Xers, who loved Tim Curry’s IT, but liked the story enough to want something more… and you got yourself a next level fucking horror movie. This thing, checks boxes, like fucking crazy.

    Now, what’s happening next week, is a god damn ridiculous. Stronger and the Battle of the Sexes, should be coming out next month, or in November. Ninjago,should have fucking come out, in FUCKING AUGUST! While Kingsman, is a whole, “Hey! Did people really like this movie?” It made 414m, so overseas should be fine. Here? Eh… I am going with Ninjago, to actually make some solid cash. I want to go with 75, but that seems high. Here’s to 60 something, and Kingsman being 40 something. It’s still nuts, that we have a SEPTEMBER CLUSTERFUCK!

    One… more… thing: Who the fuck is Jennifer Lawrence? She’s a fucking cypher, who became AMERICA’S ACTRESS, because she was brazen and cocky. She tripped. Ha ha ha. So funny. After that, they nominated her again, and the Hunger Games just farted to an end.

    The culture, has moved on from her. She’s a white woman, who doesn’t really say much about what’s happening, and she’s dating someone old enough to be her dad. If you don’t think the last part, doesn’t skeeve out her old fan base, then go find a tumblr or reddit or something. It’s there. Nevertheless, she’s pretty much done for a while. Red Swallow, looks fucking ridiculous, and she’s just drifting out there without a franchise. While Brie Larson, is going to be the face of the MSCU very soon. That’s Jennifer’s problem: Brie, Emma, and every other 20 something actress who eats her lunch.

  18. brack says:

    Anyone really expect mother! to open? That’s comical.

  19. Saul says:

    mother! is a masterpiece and Aronofsky’s best film by a healthy margin. Jennifer Lawrence will not regret making this in 20 years when it’s looked back on as a classic. Good for her. Amazing accomplishment by the two of them. Very funny, too. One of the year’s best films if not THE best.

  20. GdB says:

    Sounds like Aronofsky’s passive pretension in his filmmaking has now become an active and in your face pretension. If so, the general reactions are understandable.

    Where is this film critically lauded? I have seen nothing but pans.

    Still, Aronofsky will be fine. Nobody has a body of work that has a perfect track record of success. Nobody. Everybody that is and remains a success has a bomb or two somewhere along the way.

  21. EtGuild2 says:

    People on this thread seem to really, really hate X-MEN….like 4 people now have claimed Lawrence doesn’t have a franchise.

    And JS, Larson has three artistically limp, commercial misfires this year alone with GLASS CASTLE, FREE FIRE and UNICORN STORE. Not sure how you can term that “eating her lunch” unless you count gorging on McDonalds.

    @GdB, the LA Times, virtually every Brit publication there is, IndieWire, Vox, The Verge…..to be fair, distinguished tastemakers Rex Reed and Armond White have trashed it.

  22. jspartisan says:

    Ethan, is she in the next X-Men? No. She’s not. The last X-men movie, not named Logan, was a piece of shit, that bombed out it’s ass. She doesn’t have a franchise. Also, Brie Larson can make those movies, because she’s Brie Larson. Free Fire, made a couple of bucks abroad, and you know she was one of the main leads in fucking Kong. Seriously, she eats fucking Lawrence’s lunch. When Lawrence is a mom to a 50 year olds kids. Her kids, will see Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, and ask, “Mom. Why isnt that you?” LUNCH, ETHAN! LUNCH!

    Saul, they said that shit about the Cable Guy. Guess what? The narrative about mother!, was written this weekend, and it will be carried. Also, no one is going to care about this movie in 20 years, because there probably won’t be a delivery system worth a damn… for anyone to fucking watch it.

  23. Movieman says:

    The inability of “mother!” to find an opening weekend audience speaks to the continued impotence of Paramount’s marketing department, and the timidity and infantilization of American audiences weaned on Marvel comic book movies and other cookie-cutter franchises.
    I bet it would’ve caused a sensation back in the ’70s when American auds were more open to new, different, challenging, provocative and daring films (hey there, “A Clockwork Orange”!).
    50 years hence, people will still be talking (and arguing) about “mother!” long after “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and “It” have been forgotten.

  24. Warren says:

    Jennifer Lawrence is in the next X-men movie: X-men: Dark Phoenix.

  25. jspartisan says:

    Here comes the baby boomer, a member of the worst generation in the history of civilization, going on about “infantilization,” and, “Marvel Movies.” Oh baby boomer, you still do not understand, that Marvel is just carrying on the tradition, that started with Beowulf. Do you know Beowulf? The first story of humanity, is a superhero story. Please, keep on with your nonsensical hot takes, because every time you, or anyone else your age, brings up such nonsense. It demonstrates, that you still think the world revolves around you, because that’s the default view of a boomer.

    If you want to go on about the seventies, then please keep you patriarchal, male power fantasies to yourself. If I wanted to watch, “WHITE MALE PRIVILEGE… THE MOVIE!” There are so many choices! Mother!, would have been lost in the shuffle, and forgotten in the 70s as well. It’s a movie about a woman, and the 70s critics would make it about the men. Please: dream about another decade, where there is some actual inclusion.

    Finally, I want to ask all of you this: what’s your favorite film from the last decade? Now, go see if you can find it on some platform to watch it, without having to buy it from Google or Apple. People going on about mother! being a discovered film in 20 years, simply do not look at their cable guides enough. They also are missing, how many quality films from just the LAST DECADE aren’t getting HD transfers, and are just quietly fading from existence. If mother! is going to be found, then it will need a platform in which people already pay, for people to find it. Seeing as paramount is run by an infantile senior, and his bumbling family. I’d put money down, that mother! is the HELLBOY 2, of IT’s time in the theatre.

    And that’s how little the X-Men movies matter: no one even knows, that Jennifer Lawrence is in it! I’ll give a shit about the X-Men, when Kevin gets to fix them. Until then, she doesn’t have a franchise, and a fucking MODEL… A FUCKING SUPER MODEL… did better in that role. LUNCH, ETHAN! LUNCH!

  26. David Poland says:

    I find it interesting how people take to their broader ideas about the industry and Jennifer Lawrence just from having the question asked. I kind of feel like the arguments on both sides of the J-Law issue are overlooking parts of what I wrote to explore an issue.

    I didn’t think mother! was opening better than this. This was signaled the moment they moved the movie into September.

    But the fact remains, Ms. Lawrence – who I think is wonderful and has a natural charm that is on the highest order – hasn’t shown that she can open movies at the highest level based on her name. Vanilla Sky was unopenable and opened to $25 million. The Pursuit of Happyness was unopenable and opened to $27 million. THAT is the power of the top line movie star.

    Do we have one right now? No. Pitt couldn’t open Allied. Cruise won’t open American Made to $20m. Etc.

    But the reality of where Jennifer Lawrence is, on that scale, is a legitimate discussion, whichever side of it you are on.

  27. Night Owl says:

    If J-Law is sticking with X-men as her franchise hopefully in the next one she can act like she actually wants to be there. Although in fairnness Apocalypse was a piece of garbage. It’s quite the movie that can make me actively dislike Oscar Isaac and question whether he can act. That takes a special kind of awful movie.

    Captain Marvel? I hope it’s great but no it will not suddenly make Larson top draw. Unless someone can look at me with a straight face and say Gal Gadot is a big opener now. I adored her…but, come on. She will get the chance to be bigger, absolutely but the Marvel crew can’t open a phone book away from their characters, with tiny exceptions. Yes that includes RDJ. Some made smarter choices than others in hooking the right side projects but people aren’t going in any great numbers to non-Marvel movies just for them. Content will determine success. Same as for J-Law. The difference is (for now) J-Law’s name sells. Larson’s choices away from Marvel will determine any greater success.

    I’ll never quite be able to wrap my head around Avatar’s world wide number. For all J.S.’s domestic love (an amazing record that will hold for quite a while…but with inflation probably less time than we are imagining), it never even came close to overtaking Avatar world wide. Didn’t even threaten. It takes the domestic record by $176 million and misses the world wide record by $700 (!!!!) million. Am I looking forward to Avatar 2? No. Am I betting against it? Hell no.

  28. Hcat says:

    Not the biggest fan of Avatar myself, but think that as soon as that first trailer for the sequel drops and we see what Cameron has been percolating for all this time you will see people change their tunes on it being unwanted.

    As for Lawrence, Passengers opening and hitting 100 million while getting weak reviews is a fine argument for her star power. mother! is hardly a blockbuster property, this was a platform release if there ever was one. Add to that Paramount has lost money on EVERYTHING this year, kids movies, horror movies, comic book adaptions, low brow comedy….everything that is almost a sure thing in today’s marketplace they have been able to fumble. So while they get kudo’s for making films like mother and silence and downsizing, its a shame they cant seem to even get a small crossover audience for them.

  29. EtGuild2 says:

    “Ethan, is she in the next X-Men? No. She’s not”

    Translation: she needs to pass my personal sniff test of what I’ll deem a “franchise” she’s starring in or it doesn’t count.

    Or maybe she needs two franchises or three? Why not just star in nothing except franchises. Meanwhile, she’s somehow envious of Brie Larson, who has been crapping out messes the entire year.

    “But the reality of where Jennifer Lawrence is, on that scale, is a legitimate discussion, whichever side of it you are on.”

    The fact you even think there is a scale in relation to this anymore, DP, is adorable.

  30. jspartisan says:

    Ethan, what movie would you want to see again? Free Fire or mother!? Which one? Come on. Seriously. Larson, is a part of the biggest franchise in cinema history. Lawrence, is just a non woke white lady, that thought hanging out with Amy Schumer was a good idea, and also is doing another X-men movie. I am just shocked, that she is. That’s where my response originates… with shock she’s doing another one.

    Oh yeah. Stop giving Passengers to Lawrence. Pratt, is in that movie, and people really seem to like him. He, helped with that gross, as much as she did.

    Night owl, a couple of things. 1) there is an article from wired, about Avatar’s gross. It is over inflated, and about as real a record as Barry Bonds’ home run record. The real mark, is with TFA. Avatar, will forever have an mathematically certified… asterisk. That’s all I got for box office, but again… 700m in foreign box office, or a BILLION IN MERCHANDISE? Always add an extra BILLION, to any Star Wars movie. A Star Wars Story movie? No. Add like 15 bucks :D! 2) Captain Marvel, is going to lead the MSCU. Look at her movie. It’s basically, a CAPTAIN AMERICA-esque origin story, but this time it’s about a woman… who fights Skrulls in space. Larson, is going to be the face of that franchise, because Kevin and Co. have that much faith in her. Again, it’s not about what Captain Marvel does against Wonder Woman. It’s who is the face of a franchise. If you have read about what Warners is taking from Wondie’s success. It sure as shit, isn’t going to be Gal.

    Hcat, no one gives a shit, about Avatar. If he could have gotten his fucking cats with your tails, sci fi bullshit out before Star Wars. I would have agreed with your sentiment. What did he do? Went to the bottom of a trench, which is super cool, but he also missed his window to make Avatar a BIG DEAL. If those sequels ever come out. They will be a novelty, because who the fuck goes to 3D movies anymore? Cameron missed his moment, and Avatar will suffer for it. They will still probably be billion dollar films, because the Chinese love some cinematic spectacle, and no one does that better than Cameron.

  31. EtGuild2 says:

    mother! in a heartbeat. If I want to watch 3rd rate Tarrantino I’ll pop in a Rodriguez or Ritchie movie. Lawrence has made one movie I could never watch again in the last 5 years (SERENA) while Larson has managed to make two in the last 5 months, with a 3rd on deck (Unicorn Store’s best reviews are in the: “its not quite as terrible as you may think” range) and possibly a 4th.

    And it seems like people use every excuse to discount Lawrence’s BO. Pratt for Pasengers! O’Russell for Joy and SLP (!?!??!). Everyone but her for Hustle! It’s really unbecoming. People I respect should be better than this.

    Where’s the “shock” for Fassbender and McAvoy?

  32. jspartisan says:

    Her box office, that’s based on HER, is Hunger Games. It made fucking money. Everything else, she’s be in recently is an ensemble, or a co-star. Passengers? Her and Pratt. O’Russell? Bradley, Bale, Adams, SCIENCE MACHINE, Madsen, and Madsen. Where’s the shock for Fassbender? He did Steve Jobs. He gets a pass for life. McAvoy, is McAvoy. There you go! Ethan, seriously, she’s the most unwoke lady out there. Where was she last year, when her voice may have mattered? She slunk away, like Taylor, and now she is paying for it.

    Also, Free Fire! isn’t fucking Tarantino. If anything, it’s a 70s movie, where the white male privilege is turned on it’s head. Now, you go watch mother! and remember, that it’s going to be really popular in 2037 :D!

  33. Night Owl says:

    J.S. I can’t see an article on Wired anywhere on this? But hey whatever keeps your blood pressure down. On the record books Force Awakens is #3 (whatever Wired has decided). I don’t see Star Wars getting higher. China is not interested (one characteristic review described FA as having the action of a low budget TV show) and without it Star Wars has their ceiling. Luckily it’s a HELL of a ceiling. If Rogue One is the rule for the “Stories” they can be thrilled with that too. Disney will be more than happy with the “Story” movies outgrossing 99.9% of superhero movies. If Rogue One was the exception and the other stand alones can’t match it? Then that could get interesting.

    As for merchandise? Whatever. Then add $2 billion (per year) to the box office of every one of those godawful Cars movies. Ugh. As a box office watcher personally I’m more impressed with films that made it over a billion without being able to mass market to my four year old. Just seems a more impressive feat to me to make that impact without four quadrant. Titanic is a good example, Dark Knight, Skyfall, and yes (god help me), the Furious movies.

  34. Pete B says:

    I doubt the average filmgoer could tell the difference between Brie Larson & Alison Brie.

  35. Hcat says:

    JS, I would also get pissed if someone said the genre of films I liked represented an infantilization of the movie going audience, but the best arguement against that is not to throw a tantrum and point to how many more toys these franchises sell.

    Who the fuck cares what the merchandising is? It is difficult enough to pretend that Disney still makes movies and not two hour infomercials for their toy lines without you bringing it up as somehow a net positive.

    And Night Owl, don’t bring up Titanic JS spent quite a bit of breath a few years ago claiming that Dark Knight was actually the highest grossing domestic film because we shouldn’t count all those repeat viewings made by teenage girls.

  36. jspartisan says:

    Pete B, that is so fucking ridiculous. You love to post, the most ridiculous shit. This is so fucking sexist, that it borders on distasteful, to both actresses, and who are both amazing. The average moviegoer, doesn’t exist anymore. Let’s stop being amazed at people, who unlike voters in this country. Actually look at their phones, read reviews (or summaries), and judge their viewing on these apps.

    Hcat, how is that a tantrum? I am a grown ass man, so you know… remember that in the future. Now. Let me type this out in caps, so you grasp the point with BOTH HANDS THIS TIME! Ahem. MERCHANDISE SHOWS HOW POPULAR A FUCKING MOVIE IS! If I see the movie, then want the action figure from that movie. Guess what? I LOVED THAT FUCKING MOVIE! Avatar, for all of it’s splendor (Night Owl, I will try to find it, but I did share it in this blog. Search old stuff, and enjoy my nuttiness), doesn’t mean jack and shit, but like I stated above… 2-6… probably billion dollar movies. Thanks to our friends in Asia.

    I point this out to you, and there are other articles that bare it out as well, that Disney does not view these movies as MARKETING AND TOY SELLING OPPORTUNITIES! These movies, are about something more to them, and that you post such an asinine comment about these films being infomercials for kids, that it’s just baffling someone really feels that way. Sure. They make toys, but it’s not like that shit sells.

    Dude, they have had more success with Marvel and Cars toys, then Star Wars. If they did view things, in your cold and disdainful way. They wouldn’t have completely botched the toys for TFA, by letting JJ obscure Rey, and not making her the focal point of the campaign.

    Seriously. Read this. https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2014/12/18/avatar-became-the-highest-grossing-film-of-all-time-while-leaving-no-pop-culture-footprint/#3f7f9c0b6159 Avatar can have all of that money, but who cares? It doesn’t matter. You think people will go back to Pandora, when they can go to a Galaxy Far Far Away? Hang out with Wondie? Spidey? BATS? I can go on and on, but merchandising matters. Why? People know who the fuck Rey is, and guess what? More people know Zoe from Guardians, then a cat who fucks with her tails.

    One last thing, asshole, and I mean that in the most loving way possible. The whole TDK/Titanic argument, was about time of year and release. I don’t care what the movie is, even if it’s Star Wars, Xmas releasing for box office shouldn’t count, in the same way releasing a film in the heart of a year does. It should get split it up, because it’s just so cheap.

    It’s a fucking cheap way to inflate shit, and that was the point. Also, TDK had actual shit in the theatres, that other people wanted to see. While no one gave a shit about seeing anything in fucking 1997… until another Leo movie.

    Guess what though? I get the fucking importance of god damn Titanic, but that shit is still cheap. It’s even cheap when Star Wars does it. If you want to go big, then do it during the Summer. Do what Wondie did. Do what Homecoming did. Do what Avengers did. Don’t fucking come out in December, and use the holidays to inflate your shit. Personal pet peeve, but not like this shit matters. Fun to have a lively discussion about; but I am not seeing those dollars. So who really cares? Bob fucking Iger, that’s who. HE’S COMING FOR YOU, JAMES. HE’S COMING FOR YOU!

  37. leahnz says:

    er, is this the right place to talk about ‘mother!’ (past blaming/or not blaming j-law for its predictable sad-trombone box office). the results of a self-administered colon/rectal exam that a lot of dudes seem insistent should be called ‘art!’ warrants some kind of discussion it would seem

  38. Pete B says:

    “You love to post, the most ridiculous shit.”

    Hi Pot, meet Kettle.

  39. Anon says:

    Entertaining discussion. I like both Larson and Lawrence. But currently there is no comparison in who can better launch a movie. Mother! Has stunk up the box office because of the reviews and proximity to a box office sensation. No more no less. Lawrence will be fine if she starts picking decent scripts again. Passengers was another movie unfairly pre-judged by the critics who had their knives out for it based on the ‘twist’, which really wasn’t half as offensive as they all implied. If they’d got off their moral high horses for a few minutes they might have actually enjoyed the ride.

  40. Movieman says:

    Oh, partisan guy: Hey, I love you, too.

  41. EtGuild2 says:

    And the miracle mop is responsible for JOY’s performance. Seriously, these Lawrence arguments make people sound like circus monkeys, senselessly clanging symbols in some weird ceremony to degrade an actress like she’s personally offended them.

    @leah that’s interesting, as the only people saying that here that I’ve met are women and gay men. More evidence NZ is an upside down version of the rest of the world :)

  42. hcat says:

    “These movies, are about something more to them, and that you post such an asinine comment about these films being infomercials for kids, that it’s just baffling someone really feels that way. Sure. They make toys, but it’s not like that shit sells.”

    I think exhibit A will be the love hamsters that will be appearing in Jedi. Do you think those were designed without the intention of having them fly off the shelves? That droids went from clunky clanky R2D2 to a cutesy soccer ball that upped the awwwwwww factor?

    “I am a grown ass man…….If I see the movie, then want the action figure from that movie”

    Remember you are stating that these films are not infantilizing the audience.

    And yes Pratt contributed to Passenger’s opening and gross, but it is a little more difficult to gauge his stature since he has yet to put out a movie like Joy that relies heavily on his star power. He has been, for lack of a better term, second banana to either the IP of Marvel and Dinosaurs, or of Lawrence and Washington. He hasn’t had something like Rush or Blackhat like Hemsworth has to test how he does when his star power has to do ALL of the heavy lifting. Don’t get me wrong, I love the guy and give him props with sticking with a supporting role on a low rated sitcom even when he hit it big in films, but we are having this conversation about Lawrence because she is willing to take non commercial roles with interesting directors.

    If I recall correctly awhile ago David wrote about the “producer problem” and it seems to me that mother! is an example of that. Not that I would want anyone tweaking with what Aronofsky’s vision was, but who reads that script and spends $30 million on it? It has what four main speaking parts and one location?

  43. jspartisan says:

    Hcat, people who are fucking nuclear physicist buy toys. You need to realize, that an action figure is a completely different from a doll. Now, if your moms called action figures, “dolls,” then you know… that’s improper nomenclature.

    The Porgs are in Rebels, or a version of them. The whole thing with the porgs, ties back to Ezra, and is about a visual representation of the force. The porgs, aren’t going to like Rey at first, but once she finds balance like Ezra did. They will. Sure. Cute as hell, will sell toys. However, they serve a purpose in the story. Now, that fucking BB-9E is a cash grab. There’s no denying that shit.

    We are also having this conversation about Lawrence, because she seems to be flailing. Pratt, like it or not, is this generations Harrison Ford. He doesn’t have to slum it, because he’s Harrison Ford. We have no idea, what the fuck Lawrence is right now. Compared to her peers, who seem a lot more interesting than her. She’s just sorta there. Pratt, he could be the future of Indiana Jones, or who knows what. They are two different types of movie stars.

  44. hcat says:

    JS, not sure what you are referring to by slumming it. I don’t think Hemsworth was slumming when working with Howard or Mann (even though they lost tons of money) and I wouldn’t say Lawrence doing something gonzo like mother! or Joy is slumming.

    I would be perfectly willing to accept Pratt as the new Ford, but “Can I Get a Witnesss.”

    “We have no idea, what the fuck Lawrence is right now.”

    “Pratt, he could be the future of Indiana Jones, or who knows what”

    So that’s the thing, they are both established names, we don’t know the future for either of them but you are not willing to give the Oscar winner the benefit of the doubt.

  45. EtGuild2 says:

    Pratt’s only acted as a lead in one thing outside of wrasslin’ dinos and guarding the galaxy, THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, where he boosted Denzel less than notorious box office juggernaut Ryan Reynolds.

    In fact, people were less interested in seeing this generation’s Harrison Ford team up with the most consistent BO performer of the last 25 years, than they were seeing than a moral drama where Denzel’s an airplane flying alcoholic.

  46. hcat says:

    ” people who are fucking nuclear physicists buy toys. You need to realize, that an action figure is a completely different from a doll.”

    While I do believe people should be allowed to love whomever they want without judgement, an old fashioned part of me doesn’t believe that someone who is as accomplished as a nuclear physicist should be fucking people that buy toys.

    and isn’t it a wee bit sexist to say it is alright for an adult to buy an action figure but not a doll? Have a cup of coffee you need to be a little more woke.

  47. Bulldog68 says:

    “The whole TDK/Titanic argument, was about time of year and release. I don’t care what the movie is, even if it’s Star Wars, Xmas releasing for box office shouldn’t count, in the same way releasing a film in the heart of a year does. It should get split it up, because it’s just so cheap.

    It’s a fucking cheap way to inflate shit, and that was the point. Also, TDK had actual shit in the theatres, that other people wanted to see. While no one gave a shit about seeing anything in fucking 1997… until another Leo movie.

    Guess what though? I get the fucking importance of god damn Titanic, but that shit is still cheap. It’s even cheap when Star Wars does it. If you want to go big, then do it during the Summer. Do what Wondie did. Do what Homecoming did. Do what Avengers did. Don’t fucking come out in December, and use the holidays to inflate your shit. Personal pet peeve, but not like this shit matters. Fun to have a lively discussion about; but I am not seeing those dollars. So who really cares? Bob fucking Iger, that’s who. HE’S COMING FOR YOU, JAMES. HE’S COMING FOR YOU!”

    This is so wrong on so many levels. Avatar did only half of it’s box office in December, and Titanic did a third. The rest came in the dead month of January. JS you seem to forget that these films were not fantastic blockbuster openers but made their money due to the legs, like Wondie. Tomorrow Never Dies opened just $3m below Titanic on the same weekend and maxed out at $125m.

    So just because a stat doesn’t fit your argument, that does not negate the fact.

    “If you want to go big, then do it during the Summer. Do what Wondie did. Do what Homecoming did. Do what Avengers did. Don’t fucking come out in December, and use the holidays to inflate your shit.”

    What does that even mean? Didn’t hear any complaints when Cpt America 2 opened in April. Or GotG opened in Aug and beat the previous record by $25m. Or even Deadpool in February. In fact you were recently singing the praises of It, and it’s boffo $123m opening in September.

    What these movies are proving more and more is that the calendar matters less and less. Give people something they want see and they will come out to see it. People don’t as a collective decide that they’re not going to a movie on Labour Day weekend. No studio schedules anything there because they perceive it to be a dead weekend.

    And if I have movie that I will think will benefit from Christmas legs the same as summer benefits from kids being off from school, well who are you to tell anyone not to take advantage of the calendar. It’s all fair game.

  48. jspartisan says:

    Bulldog, I am not even responding to all of that nonsense. You don’t even get my fucking tone, then respond to me… IGNORING I FIND IT FUCKING HOKEY, BUT ACCEPT IT! SEEING AS, YOU KNOW, I AM NOT GETTING PAID FROM IT! Bob Iger though, is gunning for Avatar. Now, I don’t care where Avatar made its grosses, because Avatar doesn’t matter. Who cares? I don’t.

    Hcat, no, action figures are action figures, but Barbie is a doll. It’s not sexist. Writing out and posting, that Alison Brie and Brie Larson are indistinguishable, is sexist. You’re just like 60, and don’t understand toys, or probably pokemon. It’s whatever, but they are action figures. Here’s the thing though: There are dolls that are also ACTION FIGURES! It’s called HOT TOYS! Look at those SRPs, hcat, then tell me who buys though. Seriously, you and movie, are living in a weird present :D!

    Ethan, Flight had a much better trailer. Come on. It’s not that hard, and Magnificent Seven is an R-rated movie, in a genre, that is now TWO GENERATIONS from being important. Millennials and Zers, just don’t get that cowboys can be superheros. C’est la vie. That aside, when Red Swallow bombs, and it will. What are you going to say then? When Jurassic World II goes nuts, you just going to believe the dinosaurs did it? World, was sold on him and it was sold on Bryce Dallas. This one will be as will, and with some new dinosaur. WOO!!!!!!!!!!!! Like who you like, but come on. She’s fucking treading water. If she actually does something interesting again. Shit can change on a dime. Until then, she and Taylor Swift are just rowing upstream together, in the same boat.

  49. Pete B says:

    JS, I was going to let it go with my previous post but you’ve pissed me off. I never said Larson and Brie were “indistinguishable”. I said the “average filmgoer” didn’t know the difference. Maybe you live in some magical place where all the folks who attend movies are geniuses and knew IT would make over $100 million opening weekend. I live in a place where I’m out having dinner with my wife, and the family at the next table is discussing how good Chris Evans was in Wonder Woman. Guess I should have told them they were sexist?

  50. Bulldog68 says:

    ‘Bulldog, I am not even responding to all of that nonsense. You don’t even get my fucking tone, then respond to me… IGNORING I FIND IT FUCKING HOKEY, BUT ACCEPT IT! SEEING AS, YOU KNOW, I AM NOT GETTING PAID FROM IT! Bob Iger though, is gunning for Avatar. Now, I don’t care where Avatar made its grosses, because Avatar doesn’t matter. Who cares? I don’t.”

    This word soup brought to you courtesy the love child of Trump and Palin.

    I’m not responding to your “tone” because I’m responding to what you wrote. Remove the fucking emotion and respond to me on the data, or take your ball and go home you petulant little man baby. You’re not responding because you actually have no fact based response, only the bubble you live in and how you perceive that your world view is how everyone views it. J-Law doesn’t matter to you, so of course she doesn’t matter to anyone else.

    I haven’t seen Mother, but you were actually right about it a few weeks ago and that it would bomb. But it didn’t bomb because J-Law doesn’t matter. It bombed because the general public didn’t like the movie, and J-Laws presence made it a bigger more high profile stink. If it was Brie Larson, it would have just been another artsy movie that failed. This type of movie screamed platform release to even get a shot at getting in front what has turned out to be an obvious crowd displeaser.

    How long will it take before people understand the obvious, and it actually doesn’t matter which actor, just match the right actor with the right role, and people accept it. Easier said than done for sure, but it’s probably one of the few remaining ironclad rules in Hollywood.

  51. leahnz says:

    “@leah that’s interesting, as the only people saying that here that I’ve met are women and gay men. More evidence NZ is an upside down version of the rest of the world :)”

    oh, no i only saw it yesterday and haven’t talked to anyone/or read anything about it here locally (except for the people i saw it with), the reaction i’m referring to is purely what i’ve seen on twitter/movie sites/reviews in the US (a couple in the UK i think) since i like to go into movies as cold as possible and only read about it after the fact – definitely not just women and gay dudes (still dudes…) riding in to defend DA’s honor that i’ve seen

    ETA i mean just the MCN page alone i’ve only seen positive notices for ‘mother!’, which seems a bit weird given there is plenty of negative critical reaction out there, and for good reason

  52. jspartisan says:

    Pete, I don’t care if you are pissed off. If those people don’t know the difference between EVANS, a socially conscious actor, that goes on twitter, and THE NEW CAPTAIN KIRK! Well, you know, that’s an honest mistake, because my mom never gets anyone’s name right. I don’t know about your moms, but my moms has always been this way. Or… they are just ignorant, and that’s just tacky.

    Whatever the case, your stupid fucking analogy, is fucking stupid, sorry, but it’s stupid, because BRIE JUST DID GLOW! People, would know her from GLOW! Brie Larson, won a fucking Oscar, was in Kong, and is FUCKING CAPTAIN MARVEL! I am sorry, but most average moviegoers, are not as willfully ignorant, as the voting populace. They don’t vote, and that’s a problem… they are usually not that willfully ignorant about the actresses in the movies they are watching.

    You know what’s funny, Pete? You could have made this funny, and made a Gennifer Goodwin/Jennifer Morrison joke. You didn’t, and now you are all pissed off. Sorry. Now onto the next one.

  53. jspartisan says:

    I could get into a whole fucking argument with you bulldog, but I am not a petulant man baby. I am really over this bullshit, so I am just going to fixate on the part of the post, that I liked.

    “How long will it take before people understand the obvious, and it actually doesn’t matter which actor, just match the right actor with the right role, and people accept it. Easier said than done for sure, but it’s probably one of the few remaining ironclad rules in Hollywood.”

    See? If you just posted this, then we wouldn’t have all of this other stupid shit above, that we should really be past. I am not apologizing, for being wildly sarcastic in that previous post. It was, me being playful, and you shit all over it. Thanks.

    Aside from that, I agree with the sentiment, but that’s very much how the studio system worked. Here’s Jimmy Stewart. Put him in the right role, and people will show up. That’s great, but it sort of denies the talent any fucking agency. Jennifer Lawrence, has agency, and she made Mother! what it is, and helped to make what it made. Sure, she’s popular, but let’s not ignore her popularity has waned.

  54. Pete B says:

    So confusing Chris(s) is understandable, and Gennifer/Jennifer is a funny joke, but 2 Brie(s) is sexist & detestable? You make no sense.

  55. palmtree says:

    No one knows what will happen in 20 years ago. For example, would you have believed back in September 1997 that we’d still be talking about Titanic in September 2017? Because at that point, it seemed like a massive Waterworld-esque failure in the making (as I recall).

  56. EtGuild2 says:

    “Ethan, Flight had a much better trailer. Come on”

    And why did it underperform The Equalizer? Or Safe House? Why was Pratt unable to help get M7 to as high a gross as COWBOYS AND ALIENS, or barely half as much as TRUE GRIT?

    Seems like Pratt is an OVERRATED BO performer who clings to big franchises and A-list wattage because he’s too WEAK to stand on his own :)

    And wait, Taylor Swift knocking off the biggest song in American history from its #1 perch shows she’s treading water? Damnnn you have some high standards.

    RED SPARROW doesn’t look great, I’ll give you that, but will you deem it a failure if it opens to as much as Larson’s four post-Kong movies opened to combined?

  57. hcat says:

    “For example, would you have believed back in September 1997 that we’d still be talking about Titanic in September 2017″

    Well I knew we wouldn’t be talking about The Edge, which is a shame I always thought that was a tight little film and an interesting take on the action genre. Shame they changed the title from Bookworm which had more flair, but I still pop that widescreen VHS in the player every other year or so.

  58. Stella's Boy says:

    “What one man can do another can do!” The Edge is a family favorite. My wife & I and her parents watch it on a regular basis. Great flick pre-crazy Mamet. I second your motion hcat.

  59. hcat says:

    “Why was Pratt unable to help get M7 to ……. barely half as much as TRUE GRIT?”

    Obviously because Grit was one of those cheating December releases that games the system by continuing their release into the new year. If it had been released any other time than the wide open end of the year where competition (especially for Oscar hopefuls) is at a low tide Grit would have certainly not done as well. Plus Damon has never played a superhero so that film doesn’t actually exist.

  60. Bulldog68 says:

    Too funny hcat.

  61. Mostly Lurking says:

    Regarding Red Sparrow, the trailer is underwhelming to be sure but I hope you guys are wrong. The book it’s based on is excellent, although this certainly wouldn’t be the first crappy transition from page to screen.

  62. leahnz says:

    lee tamahori

  63. Hcat says:

    Overall I remember97 being a bleak year. Which is somewhat out of sync since I find the second half of any decade superior to the first half

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