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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Happy Klady Day

Friday Estimates 2017-10-14 at 9.55.34 AM

Happy Death Day will open better than any film did last October (as BR49 did) and marks the third Blumhouse original to open well in 2017. It’s the best horror opening in October since 2014’s Annabelle (via Team Wan). Their only sequel is an Amityville at Dimension… we’ll see what the opening there looks like.

It’s worth pointing out that Universal has had a relatively low-key, but kick-ass 2017. The only loser was The Mummy, which did just over $400 million worldwide, making it a huge disappointment, stalling the Universal Monsters effort indefinitely, but still not losing a lot of money for the studio. The three Blumhouse pictures have performed better than anyone could have imagined. The two franchise movies, FF and Despicable, each passed $1 billion worldwide. And the “middle movies,” like Girl Trip, Fifty Shades Darker and A Dog’s Life were all money makers. The only other mark on the studio’s year was the release of The Great Wall, which was for all intents and purposes an output deal.

The Foreigner will be Jackie Chan’s best domestic opening on-camera since 2010’s The Karate Kid. It also has a good chance of being STX’s #3 all-time launch, though the company expects to beat this number twice as this year goes on, with Bad Moms 2 and Molly’s Game. Some might say I am looking at the glass half full, bit I would say the glass here is three-quarters full and people shouldn’t obsess on the empty quarter.

Marshall didn’t find a lot of takers,  heading to around $3,500 per screen for the weekend on 821 screens. Movies about history may be a bigger challenge than anyone expects in the exhausting Trump era, with endless fresh meat thrown into the news cycle.

Even weaker was the launch of Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, a title that can only be described as uninspiring. Bad titles are becoming an Annapurna distribution thing. I haven’t seen the movie. Would have. Fan of the director. Never happened. Nor did the interview that was pitched to me with the director. (Shrug) No idea what they were thinking with this date. Really odd screen count for a non-specialty movie. Feels like a dump, but would Annapurna be dumping its second release as a distributor? (shrug)

The 140-minute Ai Weiwei doc, Human Flow, was Friday’s box office winner in exclusive release, on three screens. Heading to $15k per for the weekend. Great, powerful movie. Just heart and truth and humanity.

Blade Runner 2049 didn’t fall off a cliff… but didn’t hang on the edge like it’s going pull itself back up, either.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle slowed faster after opening than expected. While I found Eggsy’s relationship charming, the lack of a love story probably hurt audience reaction. And the loss of Channing Tatum from the co-star level slot made the movie more complicated, and the lack of Tatum’s goofy charm was evident. Still, $300 million worldwide probably makes a threequel, with Tatum, inevitable.

American Made is another Tom Cruise movie that audiences seem to like more than they liked the ad campaign (aka opening day).

12 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Happy Klady Day”

  1. That Guy says:

    “Still, $300 million worldwide probably makes the threequel, with Tatum, inevitable.”

    God that’s depressing. The Golden Circle was dire, a giant mess. It played like Vaughn was pitching ideas right and left regardless of whether they made any sense, and Jane Goldman had to pull them together somehow.

  2. EtGuild2 says:

    IT continues to hold brilliantly, climbing WB’s all time domestic chart as it’ll pass POTTER 1 this week, SUICIDE SQUAD in a couple weeks and will likely catch BvS. Worldwide, it’s into 8th place on the year with no China, and Italy and Japan still to come. I know DP hates this, but at $650 million worldwide it’ll almost certainly end up as the 4th most profitable movie of the year (pure box office only).

  3. Poet4 says:

    Odd bunch of releases.
    “Marshall” definitely picked the wrong week for a story about a false rape accusation and trial.
    And “Marston”? Why…because Wonder Woman was a hit? Does this mean we can look forward to a Stephen King biopic in a few months?

  4. Michael Bergeron says:

    “Marston” was in development in one way or another for eight years so the release in tandem with WW is more coincidence than purposely

  5. Warren says:

    The success of WW probably fooled them into attempting this weird semi-wide release instead of platforming it, though.

  6. Movieman says:

    Wanted to like “Marston” more than I did. (Especially after having to drive 90 minutes round-trip to see it.)
    The true-life story is juicy; the movie itself felt strangely arid, though.
    Not bad, but definitely no “Kinsey” or “Masters of Sex.”

    Very surprising that “Marshall” didn’t get as wide a release as, say, “Race.”

    And it seems odd that Focus isn’t expanding “V&A” as (relatively) quickly and widely as “Zookeeper’s Wife” this spring. I know some seniors who really want to see it.

    Goodbye “Goodbye Christopher Robin.” We hardly knew ye.
    Another Searchlight awards hopeful bites the dust.

    P.S.= Is that “American Satan” # accurate? If so, hmmm.

  7. Christian says:

    With two MUBI releases on the “Also Debuting” chart, I’m just waking up to the fact that the streaming service is in the distribution game. I don’t know how I missed its entry into that portion of the business, but they’ve been at it since last year:

  8. Bender says:

    Not sure what kind of opening your expecting for Blum’s Amityville sequel as its available to watch for free on Googleplay.

    Just saw The Foreigner. I was blown away. I thought it was excellent. It kept me enthralled throughout. Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan quite impressive.
    The theatre had moved it from a medium screen to its largest…bumping BR2049 from its perch in Auditorium #1. The auditorium was about half full, a good crowd for a matinee.

  9. Bender says:

    That American Satan gross has to be a mistake.

  10. YancySkancy says:

    The trailers I’ve seen for MARSHALL seem to be selling it partially as an action movie in which Thurgood kicks ass and takes names, complete with rap on the soundtrack.

  11. Poet says:

    That American Satan distributor must be a mistake.

  12. hcat says:

    Maybe it was just sky high expectations for Mummy, but I think its odd that Edge of Tomorrow was seen as a draw/slight win despite costing 50 million more and grossing less WW while Mummy is seen as a stinker while being profitable. Quality of final product might play into that but I can still see them going forward with Bride and just keeping Crowe and letting Cruise go with time served. Isnt it the Mummy the need for the crossovers to occur?

    And was looking at BOMOJO and found it funny that for all the times Cruise has been able to get a film over 100 domestic (I think he is second only to Hanks) he has never been able to get a Universal title over the line.

The Hot Blog

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What do you make of the criticism directed at the film that the biopic genre or format is intrinsically bourgeois? That’s the most crazy criticism. That’s an excuse for not engaging with the content of the movie. Film critics sometimes, you know, can be very lazy.

Come on, formal criticism is valuable too. But I’m amazed when this is the thing they put in front of the discourse. My situation is that I’m dealing with a highly explosive subject, a taboo subject that nobody wants to deal with.

Karl Marx? Yes, this is the first film ever in the Western world about Marx. And I managed to make an almost mainstream film out of it. You want me at the same time to play the artist and do a risky film about the way my camera moves and the way I edit? No, it’s complicated enough! The artistic challenge — and it took me ten years with Pascal to write this story — was the writing. That was the most difficult part. We were making a film about the evolution of an idea, which is impossible. To be able to have political discourse in a scene, and you can follow it, and it’s not simplified, and it’s historically true. This is the accomplishment. So when someone criticizes the formal aspects without seeing that first, for me, it’s laziness or ignorance. There’s an incapacity to deal with what’s on the table. I make political films about today, I’m not making a biopic to make a biopic. I don’t believe in being an artist just to be an artist. And by the way, this film cost $9 million. I dare anyone in the United States to make this film for $9 million.
Raoul Peck on The Young Karl Marx

“The Motion Picture Academy, at considerable expense and with great efficiency, runs all the nominated pictures at its own theater, showing each picture twice, once in the afternoon, once in the evening. A nominated picture is one in connection with which any kind of work is nominated for an award, not necessarily acting, directing, or writing; it may be a purely technical matter such as set-dressing or sound work. This running of pictures has the object of permitting the voters to look at films which they may happen to have missed or to have partly forgotten. It is an attempt to make them realize that pictures released early in the year, and since overlaid with several thicknesses of battered celluloid, are still in the running and that consideration of only those released a short time before the end of the year is not quite just.

“The effort is largely a waste. The people with votes don’t go to these showings. They send their relatives, friends, or servants. They have had enough of looking at pictures, and the voices of destiny are by no means inaudible in the Hollywood air. They have a brassy tone, but they are more than distinct.”All this is good democracy of a sort. We elect Congressmen and Presidents in much the same way, so why not actors, cameramen, writers, and all rest of the people who have to do with the making of pictures? If we permit noise, ballyhoo, and theater to influence us in the selection of the people who are to run the country, why should we object to the same methods in the selection of meritorious achievements in the film business? If we can huckster a President into the White House, why cannot we huckster the agonized Miss Joan Crawford or the hard and beautiful Miss Olivia de Havilland into possession of one of those golden statuettes which express the motion picture industry’s frantic desire to kiss itself on the back of its neck? The only answer I can think of is that the motion picture is an art. I say this with a very small voice. It is an inconsiderable statement and has a hard time not sounding a little ludicrous. Nevertheless it is a fact, not in the least diminished by the further facts that its ethos is so far pretty low and that its techniques are dominated by some pretty awful people.

“If you think most motion pictures are bad, which they are (including the foreign), find out from some initiate how they are made, and you will be astonished that any of them could be good. Making a fine motion picture is like painting “The Laughing Cavalier” in Macy’s basement, with a floorwalker to mix your colors for you. Of course most motion pictures are bad. Why wouldn’t they be?”
~ Raymond Chandler, “Oscar Night In Hollywood,” 1948