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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Weekend Estimate By Boo Klady

Weekend Estimates 2017-10-22 at 10.18.57 AMy

A Weakend, with Madea delivering 25% less for her sequel one year after the Halloween original. Perhaps this is what happens when you take the novelty out of the novelty act. Geostorm is yet another example of what you get when you take Roland Emmerich out of a Roland Emmerich movie. The fire and ice duo of Only The Brave and The Snowman was widely ignored. No wide releases managed $10k per screen, but on 4 each, The Killing of a Sacred Deer and Wonderstruck did, as did Jane on 3.

In two weekends, expect a new record for the first half of November (aka non-holiday). But the boo birds will still be out, whining on about the end of theatrical. People prefer the negative story. Not new. This too shall pass.

Still… another crap weekend.

And… not a surprise.

As usual, it’s the movies.

Marketers are in a space where they say, “it’s so much harder to sell this stuff these days.” But when did Geostorm, Only The Brave, and The Snowman sell?

Geostorm opened a little worse than Into The Storm… but that film focused on tornadoes, which we haven’t seen on big screens in a while (or without sharks).

Only The Brave, on the quality of the film, should have done a bit better. But Everest. I don’t blame Josh Brolin, who is quite good in both films. But two films in nature… with unhappy endings. And on this one, they tried to figure out a title that they could sell, but however this one tested, it is terrible. Almost anytime you need a subtitle to tell people what the movie is, you are screwed. Same as ever.

And The Snowman… we had such high hopes for you. I missed the movie, which I quite wanted to see. But if you ask critics, it sucked. Still, no excuse for not opening the movie better than $3.4 million.

It’s kinda interesting… the serial killer movie has, essentially, did not exist for almost 5 years until Split exploded last January. The last studio release before that was Alex Cross, an attempt to revive the James Patterson/Kiss The Girls franchise. Opened to $11m, which is a lot better than this. But it was seen as a flop and the genre moved to TV to great success.

In theaters, horror/thrillers didn’t go away. They were just reinvented by Blumhouse, first by adding supernatural elements in Paranormal Activity and The Conjuring, then reviving mass paranoia with The Purge.

This year, Blumhouse did 3 originals, 2 of which were revivals of older genres – serial killer (Split) and teen friends marked for death (Happy Death Day) – and one really singular film, a socially-conscious thriller-comedy (Get Out).

Next weekend, another serial killer revival attempt arrives in Jigsaw. The Saw franchise took a 7 year break after weak launches from the 6th and 7th films didn’t pop. Now a Saw fan, I didn’t realize until after TV spots started running that it was a Saw film. But I am not the audience. Will “the kids” make the connection… or care?

My bigger point… the movies, the movies, the movies… it’s always what they are selling and how they are selling it. The domestic theatrical market loses about 3% a year, which given the many forms of competition, it remarkable. The international market keeps growing at about 5% a year. Theatrical is the #1 revenue stream in the film business. And there is no realistic hope of replacing it. So stop whining and stop pushing the mythology of dying theatrical. Being middle aged isn’t that much fun… but stop blaming the movies.

A24 rides their newest star, Yorgos Lanthimos, to a strong per-screen on 4 for The Killing of a Sacred Deer. Solid numbers for Wonderstruck and Jane as well.

21 Responses to “Weekend Estimate By Boo Klady”

  1. Night Owl says:

    Rather than screaming into the void while we wait to see who else in Hollywood will be exposed as a disgusting sex offender (hi James Toback!) let’s talk box office.

    Nothing about this weekend was a surprise except perhaps the ineptitude of professional film makers and studios. There’s a great book to be written on the making of Geostorm and the Snowman though.

    Blade Runner is a heart breaker, but that series is done before it started. Early buzz in China is apparently…not there. It’s likely toast.

    Speaking of China, last week’s column talked about $300 million WW likely being enough for a third Kingsman? Well with its opening in China it hit $344 million WW; with Japan still to come. Final number will be more like $400 million. Third movie guaranteed and I wouldn’t rule out a fourth. I’m happy to see the series continue as long as they realize and fix the multitude of mistakes made in this one and maybe hire a screenwriter to reign in Vaughn. The movie had at least 3 too many characters and was at least 20-25 minutes too long.

  2. PTA Fluffer says:

    Damn, BLADE RUNNER is doing so poorly that it’s dropped from 2049 to 2046!

  3. PcChongor says:

    Props to A24 for proving that there’s still hope for gonzo breaths of fresh air like “The Killing of a Sacred Deer.” Definitely helps make up for their recent stinkers like “It Comes At Night” and “The Bad Batch.”

  4. EtGuild2 says:

    IT, if you exclude China where it’s banned, is now the 7th biggest overseas movie of 2017, ahead of WONDER WOMAN, TRANSFORMERS, DUNKIRK and more. Unbelievable.

    Worldwide it’s closing in on tentpoles like MoS, INTERSTELLAR, and DOCTOR STRANGE.

  5. Ray Pride says:

    BATCH arrived via Annapurna, VICE and NEON.

  6. PcChongor says:

    ^^^
    Thanks for the correction! Makes A24 that much smarter, I guess!

  7. Stella Boy says:

    It Comes at Night is fantastic. Can’t wait to see Killing of a Sacred Deer.

  8. Movieman says:

    Shouldn’t “Wonderstruck” have opened substantially better?
    I thought Haynes had a pretty sizable fanbase–esp. in cities like NYC and LA.
    Damn. If I lived anywhere near one of the (four) theaters showing it, I would have been first in line.
    Are people unclear whether it’s a movie for grown-ups or a movie for kids?
    If so, that’s a marketing challenge Roadside needs to address if it’s going to have any awards season traction.

  9. leahnz says:

    ‘it comes at night’ makes good use of the unreliable narrator
    —— spoilers ————- ambiguous endings can be frustrating but i like the way it made me question the viewpoint we’re shown and what actually (likely) occurred, and try to piece it together (and then watching it a second time you notice other stuff that bolsters your theory, or not, and it makes you question it)
    is travis the son’s awareness of the monster in the woods and the dog’s demise as his own undoing just a metaphor for his fear of the outside world, the plague and his own infection, or is it possibly the other way around and he’s just the only one who actually sees/senses the lurking thing who ‘comes at night’ – hence the title. i like monsters so i want it to be that – a more literal interpretation i suppose – even tho viewing travis’ delusions and likely unreliable viewpoint as a metaphor makes more sense.

  10. Sideshow Bill says:

    Is SACRED DEER expanding next week? I have a rare Saturday off so it’s nearby I’m gonna check it out. I know it’s the “hip” thing to say but A24 really is something special. They’re on a nice roll, quality-wise. Until Harvey A24 Jr. gets exposed as a sexual predator anyway, or whoever runs the company.

    I hope JIGSAW bombs. Hate that series. Not nice to root against movies, I know, but as a hardcore horror fan I gave up after SAW 3. The original I watched with my daughter about a year ago because she wanted to see it and it was laughably bad.

    Really want to watch 78/52 this week. Expect I’ll do it alone. It seems like a movie geek only sorta thing. I don’t think my girlfriend will care. Who’s seen it?

  11. Michael Bergeron says:

    I don’t live in a world where a person can’t appreciate Au Husard Balthazar and Geostorm both on the same day …. my favorite A24 release this year is Free Fire

  12. PatHobby says:

    Fassbender couldn’t open an envelope.

  13. Michael Bergeron says:

    is that a ref to Fassbinder in GEOSTORM? who is Fassbender, is that an a ref to Snowman? ok

  14. LBB says:

    Not that trailers are the be-all-end-all, but BRAVE, GEO, and SNOWMAN all played before our screening of BLADE RUNNER and it was almost like each one was geared to drive an audience away from the movie for various reasons (respectively: noble boredom, stupidity overkill, and “I feel like I’ve seen this before and didn’t like it that time either.”)

  15. Sergio says:

    Am I alone in thinking Joe Kosinski is suffering from teetering in between the commercial/auteur edge that Nolan has so cleverly walked? It’s tough to market auteurship of new directors especially in big budget stuff but here’s a guy who I feel would benefit from being “branded” more, or rather, his films would find better traction if he embraced a more upfront role in the marketing. You know a Kosinski film within minutes, BRAVE is his best film yet and one can clearly see a progression in his craft movie to movie yet the audience is fleeting in spite excellent word of mouth. I know we all like to blame the movies when the numbers don’t add up, but when two of the best young directors (+ Villeneuve) struggle to find an audience in spite of fantastic films with household name cast, shouldn’t we look at the marketing??
    I know, “it’s a great movie, who cares about numbers?” but we all know that a 100 million write off can stall anyone’s career, regardless of how fast your star is rising. I know I know. Both Villeneuve and Kosinski will direct again. BR2049 and BRAVE will make their money back with other platforms, etc, but just made me think how often the limits of a great director’s audience is often dictated by factors entirely out of a filmmaker’s control.

  16. Triple Option says:

    @LBB – Yeah, I had seen the Snowman and Geostorm trailers before and all I could think is this 1996? Clue-leaving serial killers and heavy cg disaster films?? Imma leave my money in my wallet but you know where to find me when you make that jump to the 21st century.

    Did anyone notice the slight alteration in the Snowman trailer? I guess most major releases have multiple trailers but the first one I saw had a quick shot of a snowman before the lady gets pelted on the back of her shoulder. It made me wonder was it a killer snowman. More like Chucky or Annabelle. By the end, I didn’t know if I was watching a promo for a suspense film or horror flick.

  17. Bulldog68 says:

    “but when two of the best young directors (+ Villeneuve) struggle to find an audience in spite of fantastic films with household name cast, shouldn’t we look at the marketing??”

    I’d argue BR2049 didn’t struggle to find an audience. Its a sequel to a box office failure that achieved cult classic status that people with over inflated egos and IP induced unrealistic dreams decided they would throw money at. Its failure is due to its insane budget.

    I can totally understand the large spend for sequel failures like Independence Day and Terminator. Those films were still movie culture touchstones. But nothing in the original Blade Runner signaled that this budget was justified, and that they would receive a return on their investment.

    BR2049 could have been a tight $75m film with the purpose of generating new fans and then spend a little more on the next installment. I’m sure every penny spent is on the screen, but $90m domestic and $300m WW seems about right for an R Rated sci fi. The first one made $83m adjusted for inflation.

  18. Dr Wally Rises says:

    I still want to see Kosinski’s mooted remake of The Black Hole – whatever happened to that project? I’m guessing Disney didn’t want a conflict of interest with a certain other sci-fi property they had just paid $4 billion for, but those of us of a certain age still get misty eyed over the original. “Way to go, old BoB!” Zombie robots walking with a limp! John freaking Barry! The rolling asteroid rock three years before Spielberg did the same thing in Raiders and everyone went hog-wild! Vincent facing down Maximilian! Yeah!

  19. Monco says:

    I always wanted Kosinski to direct Episode VII when the inital rumors had him and Brad Bird being on the shortlist.

  20. David Poland says:

    Brad Bird would have been a great choice for Episode VII, as he would have changed the visual look enough to create a next look while not trashing the original style.

  21. JS Partisan says:

    Rian is changing up the visual style, that seemed to be the point of this whole fucking thing. Disney/Bob Iger, thought a very successful fucking prequel trilogy, sucked, and Star Wars had to be sent back to a similar beginning. Now Rian, gets to mix it up, and here’s to JJ getting nutty with IX. FINGERS CROSSED!

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