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By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Friday Estimates by Boo! 42: A Box Office Horror Week

Friday Estimates 2017-10-21 at 10.03.52 AM

Well… this is a shit weekend.

There is no other way to describe it. None of the five openers is a great movie underperforming. Only The Brave, which is probably the best of the lot, found the most innocuous, bland, generic title possible for a movie about a real-life event with an ending guaranteed to keep audiences away. Everest at least had a mountain. Josh Brolin was very good in both… but seems drawn to this kind of box-office danger.

Geostorm is Dean Devlin trying to do Roland Emmerich from the director’s chair… to no great effect. Jerry Bruckheimer Films managed to be involved without getting Bruckheimer’s name dragged into it. The greatest lesson of Emmerich disaster films is to have a great commercial, if little else. Geostorm didn’t have that. Dean had one job. And a $120 million budget… that they are admitting to.

The Snowman looked like a thriller that might be good enough to be an awards contender. Universal hinted that it wasn’t by not doing anything to suggest that it was (festivals, etc). As noted before, 9% on Rotten Tomatoes is not an influencer, it is the sign of a movie that audiences can smell from a block away. Thing is, critics are often wrong and 9% suggests overkill. But I haven’t seen the film. Still, when the gentle Pete Howell of the Toronto Star writes, “what we get on the screen is like a snowcone made with horse urine.” it gives me pause (on so many levels).

There is nothing about Same Kind of Different as Me that would get me into a theater… but as many people as went to The Snowman went to the theater to see this Pure Flix release… which opened on almost half as many screens. So they failed better. But the economics of what might have been a direct-to-DVD/VOD movie doing $10 million or so in theaters, covering a small ad budget and up-valuing post-theatrical could actually be a win. But not by much.

Happy Death Day had the normal horror drop. Blade Runner 2049 won’t get to $90 million domestic.

Four is the magic number this weekend for The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Wonderstruck and Jane, all of which will top $10k per screen. The top grosser of the three is only for adults. The other two are great arthouse movies that you should take your kids to see.

Next weekend should have a $20 million launch in Jigsaw… at least, Lionsgate hopes. And the weekend after, Thor and the Bad Moms arrive to save the day.

8 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Boo! 42: A Box Office Horror Week”

  1. PTA Fluffer says:

    What a huge success with BR. It has grossed much more than the original film.

  2. palmtree says:

    LOL…hilarious. Sad that it probably won’t even squeak by $100m. Had such high hopes for it.

  3. Night Owl says:

    I’m utterly fascinated by the disaster that is The Snowman. Strong cast, Scorsese as exec producer…and the director doesn’t/is not given enough time to film 10-15% of the script. And the director admits this in the press. WTF?!? Plus all sympathy to Val Kilmer on his health problems but if you had to dub his performance and didn’t have the time/will to do it properly, he should have been recast. Again, WTF?!?

  4. Nick Rogers says:

    Night Owl: I suspected after seeing it that Kilmer’s health issues may have likely forced the cancellation of 10 to 15% of the script and that the urgent need to film as soon as the money landed (for whatever reason) probably saw them blow through it without the ability to re-cast / dub well. It is nothing short of depressing to watch Kilmer in this.

  5. Movieman says:

    “The Snowman” debacle blows my mind.
    I’d been seeing the trailer for months (and months), and was totally psyched.
    Love a good serial killer procedural, and the cast/director/Scorsese’s imprimatur screamed “class.”
    But when the reviews began streaming in–actually kind of surprised that Universal didn’t just mandate a Tyler Perry-ish press blackout–my hopes were, uh, dashed.
    And when the movie didn’t even open locally on Friday (apparently 1,800 screens isn’t big enough for my podunk market: sigh), I knew that its goose was cooked.
    Sometimes you just never know.
    “Only the Brave” is the first Joseph Kosinski movie I didn’t fall asleep at, so baby steps.
    Strong cast (Taylor Kitsch and Jennifer Connelly in her best screen performance since “Requiem for a Dream” were my standouts), too.
    Not sure why it’s not connecting w/ the red meat/red state crowd. I was expecting at least a “Deepwater Horizon”-sized (minor) hit.
    Maybe it’s suffering from the same disaster fatigue that sunk “Geostorm”?
    When every day brings a new natural calamity–hurricanes, fires, Trump, etc.–it’s tough queuing up for more of the same on the big screen.
    Does anyone know how “Different” wound up w/ Pure Flix? Wasn’t it bouncing around Paramount’s release schedule for the past two years? I bet the story behind that is more interesting than the movie.

  6. leahnz says:

    can someone please stage an intervention for fassy

  7. Js partisan says:

    Fassbender just married a younger woman. He’s currently involved in some sort of discussions about his shit films…. BECAUSE HE CAN’T BRING ALICIA’S CAREER DOWN!

  8. Pete B. says:

    ^ Well that could depend on whether the new Tomb Raider sucks or not.

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“Ten years ago at Telluride, I said on a panel that theatrical distribution was dying. It seemed obvious to me. I was surprised how many in the audience violently objected: ‘People will always want to go to the movies!’ That’s true, but it’s also true that theatrical cinema as we once knew it has died. Theatrical cinema is now Event Cinema, just as theatrical plays and musical performances are Events. No one just goes to a movie. It’s a planned occasion. Four types of Event Cinema remain.
1. Spectacle (IMAX-style blockbusters)
2. Family (cartoon like features)
3. Horror (teen-driven), and
4. Film Club (formerly arthouse but now anything serious).

There are isolated pockets like black cinema, romcom, girl’s-night-out, seniors, teen gross-outs, but it’s primarily those four. Everything else is TV. Now I have to go back to episode five of ‘Looming Tower.'”
~ Paul Schrader

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch