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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Len Klaywalker

Friday Estimates 2017-12-16 at 10.31.06 AM

What is there to say? The only shocking thing about this opening is that anyone ever thought that the Force Awakens opening was going to be replicated… and how close Last Jedi is to doing that.

The Last Jedi is on track to open to over $175 million domestic… #5 or #6 domestic opening ever… stronger than Rogue One (and done), about 30% off of The Force Awakens… more than double the non-Star Wars December opening record.

There is no big box office story here. This is what Star Wars openings should look like for the foreseeable future. How the audience feels about the movie will be established in the weeks to come. Poor Last Jedi may only do $650 million domestic. Boo-hoo.

Why did Fox put Ferdinand in the way of this thing? And who knew that the idea of the Disney Empire eating the little Fox bull rebel would be so ironic this week?

Lady Bird will become A24’s #3 grosser this weekend, #2 by next Saturday and #1 before the New Year. The Disaster Artist is zooming up the company’s charts as well. The Greta Gerwig/James Franco movie should be shooting any minute (kidding). Huzzah.

11 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Len Klaywalker”

  1. Christian says:

    What are we to make of that 72% dip for “The Disaster Artist”? I’m as surprised by that turnaround as I was by the way the film broke out last weekend.

    It’s a funny movie, with an entertaining performance. I don’t think of Franco as someone whose fan base is front-loaded in terms of box-office, so the only logical explanation would seem to be bad word of mouth, right?

    But that movie’s funny, so I can’t really figure this out.

  2. Bender says:

    Anybody else see Thelma? What a trip. I love going into a movie with no idea what’s gonna happen. Near the third act I thought it was going to go to a Carrie place but it turned a different corner. A great performance from the lead actress. I was terrified in a few scenes. A real find.

  3. David Poland says:

    Disaster is a strong movie with a narrow audience. Not sure why they expanded this weekend. But Star Wars also hits the Disaster audience head on… 30-50 year olds who grew up with Star Wars and enjoy irony.

    I expect there will be some recovery over the holidays… but last weekend was surely the peak.

  4. Doug R says:

    When Star Wars has made its contractual month run in the biggest house in each theater around early January, Warner should release Wonder Woman and Justice League as a double feature both as a back door Awards push and to goose JL’s box office. I can see the TV spots now-lots of WW leaping and jumping and punching in both pictures with a few shots of Flash, Batman, Aquaman, Cyborg AND Superman.

  5. JS Partisan says:

    Wow. JJ Abrams created a Star Wars film, that got people excited for the sequel. I’m sure the crap sandwich sequel, is only going to fester for people over the next two years, but it is what it is. Here’s to Solo making some damn money. That would be swell.

    Now, why did anyone PUT ANYTHING OUT THIS WEEKEND, AND NOT THE FUCKING LAST? Sweet merciful Kylo nipples! It’s just so confusing.

  6. lockedcut says:

    If TLJ is opening at 105 and TFA opened at 120 how is that off by 30%?

  7. Film Fanatic says:

    @Christian I’m not a huge Franco fan by any measure. I watched the film last week and felt the first half was a bit tedious although it became stronger after that.

    David’s right on about the film having a narrow audience. “Mainstream” comedies can clean up here in the U.S., but I felt TDA is more on the art house side of the ledger.

  8. JS Partisan says:

    Hey Ray! Why are the links sending me to indie, and not to the hot blog? Is this happening to anyone else?

  9. Geoff says:

    You can’t say it’s not a big story, Dave – it’s probably going to open over $200 million domestic, last I checked only three other films have done that.

  10. Ray Pride says:

    That’s the page it’s posted on, if you mean the two director tweets. Shouldn’t be redirecting…

  11. Bob Burns says:

    TLJ made $230 million. where did the $175 million number come from?

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The Atlantic: You saw that the Academy Awards recently held up your 2001 acceptance speech as the Platonic ideal of an Oscar speech. Did you have a reaction?

Soderbergh: Shock and dismay. When that popped up and people started texting me about it, I said, “Oh, it’s too bad I’m not there to tell the story of how that took place.” Well. I was not sober at the time. And I had nothing prepared because I knew I wasn’t going to win [Best Director for Traffic]. I figured Ridley, Ang or Daldry would win. So I was hitting the bar pretty hard, having a great night, feeling super-relaxed because I don’t have to get up there. So the combination of a 0.4 blood alcohol level and lack of preparation resulted in me, in my state of drunkenness crossed with adrenaline surge. I was coherent enough to know that [if I tried to thank everyone], that way lies destruction. So I went the other way. There were some people who appreciated that, and there were some people who really wanted to hear their names said, and I had to apologize to them.
~ Steven Soderbergh


“I have made few films in a way. I never made action films. I never made science fiction films. I never made, really, very complicated settings, because I had modest ambitions. I knew they would never trust me to have the budget to do something different, so my mind is more focused on things I know. So they were always mental adventures I wanted to approach and share. Working for cinema with no – not only no money, but also no ambition for money. I was happy and proud [to receive the honorary Oscar] because of that, that [the Academy] could understand what kind of work I have done over 60 years. I stayed faithful to the ideal of sharing emotion, impressions, and mostly because I have so much empathy for other people that I approach people who are not really spoken about. I have 65 years of work in my bag, and when I put the bag down, what comes out? It’s really the desire of finding links and relationships with different kinds of people. I never made a film about the bourgeoisie, about rich people. about nobility. My choices have been to show people that are, in a way, more common and see that each of them has something special and interesting, rare and beautiful. It’s my natural way of looking at people. I didn’t fight my instincts. And maybe that has been appreciated in the famous circle of Hollywood.“

Agnes Varda