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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by White Panther Klady

Weekend Estimates 2018-03-18 at 10.27.25 AM

This week, as last week, the story is less the performance of the “next #1″ hopeful than the remarkable family hold of Black Panther. The overall drop of 34% is excellent. But the real story is that Saturdays have become Black Panther Day in the weeks since its opening.

Opening weekend, Panther was down on Saturday but mostly because of Thursday grosses, which are now reported as part of Friday grosses, and the big must-see audience that flocked to theaters on Friday. But in the four weeks since, 65% up on Saturday from Friday, 85%, 83%, and 55% this weekend. This weekend’s Saturday bump was more in line with Beauty & The Beast‘s bumps last year… but those 80s… and even that 65 is pretty amazing for something other than animation. For instance, the last Avengers movie – already franchise-established as ki-ffriendly – had Saturday bumps only in weekends three and five,  and only because of big openings ($69m and $55m) that depressed Friday sales.

Besides families, you could also stake a claim that Panther plays male/female stronger than most superhero movies and that it has also had unusual muscle as a Saturday date night choice.

Tomb Raider failed to manage 3x opening Friday, keeping it from the elusive (and so meaningless) weekend crown. While BP leapt 55% on Saturday, Tomb Raider was down… but it wasn’t because Friday was SO HUGE. We haven’t see a Friday number aside from Panther over $10.25 (A Wrinkle In Time) since 50 Shades Ender on February 9 ($18.4m). No… these soft Saturdays are a combination of product that excludes some demos (at least over that first weekend), little-to-no family appeal, and overall limited excitement. Get up over $15 million on Friday and we start to look at the opening day making a Saturday bump a challenge. But at $9m? No.

I would also guess that we will find that women didn’t come out in big numbers for Tomb Raider, as black audiences did not make a special space for Wrinkle (in that case, I think, the less frequent moviegoers used up by Black Panther for a while).

Blaming Black Panther for Tomb Raider not opening better is spin. 100%. If WB had found women who wanted to see a sleeker, less sexualized Tomb Raider, they would have added at least $10 million to this haul. But they didn’t. And as far as I can tell, the pitch to women started way too late to make an impact. Tomb Raider was never going to be Wonder Woman. Vikander shows a charm that she really hasn’t before (much more effective than Man From UNCLE). And more than Angelina Jolie having a natural Lara Croft body in skin-tight, sheer fabrics and lips like a human caricature, Vikander’s Croft is a physical underdog who just works harder and thinks harder (and gets luckier) than everyone else (aka everyone male). The marketing didn’t convince me any more than it seems to have convinced women. (And the film is imperfect.) But seeing the movie did convince me. And that’s not Black Panther‘s fault.

And as much as I like Walton Goggins as an actor, he was never going to put a single butt in a seat as the villain opposite her… and that was a big chunk of the sale. Christoph Waltz can’t be (and shouldn’t be) in every movie, but they couldn’t get a Sam Jackson or Jeff Goldblum or Kurt Russell or Michael Keaton or Jason Schwartzman or Michael Cera or Jamie Foxx or someone who would unterst an audiences? (To be fair, first thought in this notion was Chris Walken as added bait in The Rundown… which also failed to open.)

Now, Jesus as your leading man… also, no guarantees. So when I Can Only Imagine, which is religious, but does not feature Jesus as a character, opens to $17 million, more than 4x any prior Roadside Attractions opening, you know they targeted and found their audience. Following 2014’s dual religious smashes of Son of God and Heaven Is For Real, we have seen eight-figure openings for War Room (2015), Risen, Miracles from Heaven (both 2016), and The Shack (2017), but this is the strongest over that period. There have also been 50+ small distributor misses and a half dozen studio-level releases that opened to under $7 million. In Christian numbers there seems to be a formula that works and a market to be reached with the right pitch and the right amount of money. $17 million is a very strong number here.

Love, Simon is a win on principle for the gay community. At the box office, not so much.  $11.5 million isn’t a rejection. And ultimately, it won’t cost Fox that much to have made the movie. So if it is a breakeven with a purpose that has to count as a win.

I am a Focus fan. But what the hell was anyone thinking about putting an Entebbe movie in theaters in 2018? 838 screens tells you pretty much everything you need to know. I can’t think of anyone who would be a much better choice for an Entebbe movie than José Padilha. And it is a Working Title movie, which i assume obliged Universal to release the film domestically. But if ever there was a movie that, just based on the material and how many times we have been here, should have been sold off to HBO… Are there Comcast rules about selling anything off to Netflix? The avenue of overpayment was likely not in play. And politically, Israel is the victim in the Entebbe story and that pushes against today’s dominant social discussion (without prejudice either way by this writer in this context). This is a great idea for a challenging, talk-after-the-movie Padilha arthouse movie.

Also opening in the Top 20, Raid from Eros… which with $5410 per screen on 78 is a hit for the micro-distributor.

Jumanji: Welcome To the Jungle cracks $400m domestic… Nice expansion for The Death of Stalin… nice per-screen for Flower on 3… Keep The Change delivers for Kino.

55 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by White Panther Klady”

  1. JSPartisan says:

    Sony celebrates 400m Jumanji. Looks up at Black Panther, and the execs yell in unison, “OH COME ON!” They go back to eating their pizzas, but oddly bummed out.

  2. Bulldog68 says:

    For sure everyone has be reason to be jealous of BP, but I doubt Sony is bummed out at anything. They spent $90m on Jumanji and got back almost $1b. Marvel spent $200m. There’s every possibility that Sony made more money.

  3. palmtree says:

    The Greatest Showman will become the #3 domestic musical of all-time, #2 if you don’t count the re-release of Grease. And I remember all the naysayers back in December saying what a horrible idea this movie was.

  4. movieman says:

    And “Peter Rabbit” passed $100-million this weekend.
    With Easter on the horizon, it should have no trouble beating “Hop”‘s $108-million domestic cume.
    Like “Welcome to the Jungle,” it’s another un-flashy Sony win.

    I know that it’s not posting “Blockbuster” numbers, but can we all agree that “Game Plan” has shown remarkably sturdy legs for an “R”-rated comedy in this day and age?
    Definitely a WOM-driven film.

    I still don’t get the appeal of “The Greatest Showman,” but all power to it.
    Maybe someone will make a whitewashed “family musical” about Dotard Trump, P.T. Barnum’s successor, in 100 years.
    On second thought, nah.

  5. palmtree says:

    Greatest Showman isn’t a great movie, and it ignores / erases everything about Barnum that was unsavory. But those songs are pretty catchy. I will rue the day we get Dotard the musical.

  6. Stella's Boy says:

    My kids have seen Showman twice. They adore it and sing the songs all the time. Probably explains the legs it’s had.

  7. Big G says:

    Never heard of “Game Plan.”

  8. movieman says:

    Oops, G.
    I meant “Game Night,” lol.
    No wonder it’s flown under the radar despite being a steady earner over four (?!) weekends.

  9. palmtree says:

    SB, yup, and in my experience it’s grown people too, obsessed with the songs and the movie. My guess is a stage show will be on its way.

  10. cadavra says:

    Which is odd, given that there already was a stage musical, simply titled BARNUM. I wondered why they didn’t simply film that rather than starting from scratch, but who can argue with that kind of success?

  11. palmtree says:

    Yes, Barnum the musical was brought up before, and while it’s a pretty good stage show with real-live circus performers, it’s kinda dated and not very filmic. What makes Showman are its songs, which all sound radio ready.

  12. EtGuild2 says:

    WRINKLE IN TIME’s overseas performance means it’s a real money loser if it continues like this, “it’s not that bad and it’s important!” thinkpieces be damned.

    Didn’t realize COCO hadn’t opened in Japan. It’ll pass FINDING NEMO in the next week or so to become Pixar’s all-time #2 offshore behind TOY STORY 3. $800 million is still in reach.

  13. Sideshow Bill says:

    Finally watched COCO last night. My god. It was really really really good. Best Pixar since WALL-E, at least for me.

    TRAGEDY GIRLS was also a lot of fun. had the courage to follow through on it’s premise.

    JUMANJI on VOD while it’s still a solid earner is very strange to me, but I remember when it was 6-8 months before something hit video, if not longer.I also remember getting an $80 copy of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK on VHS for Christmas in 1986.

  14. MarkVH says:

    Bill, we’ve disagreed in the past, but when you’re right, you’re right. I would’ve loved to see a Best Pic nomination for Coco, which I thought was their best since Up (which is my personal pick for their best ever) and absolutely one of last year’s best movies. I’ve come to hope for but not expect greatness from latter-day Pixar – which most critics usually damn with the “it’s not top-tier Pixar but it’s still better than most family entertainment” faint praise – so I almost skipped it entirely in theater, and I’m so glad I didn’t. A wonderful movie and, to me, one of the four or five best they’ve made.

  15. Doug R says:

    I was wondering about that Entebbe movie. I remember there being two TV movies about it that came out right after the raid, one of them had Peter Finch as the Israeli PM.
    67 million for Wrinkle, Disney’s not going to lose that much money, especially with their genius marketing on video. Maybe Duvernay works on direct to TV for a while or she finds a cinematographer she trusts to go big.
    Didn’t hate Coco when I saw it, but we didn’t really get what the big deal is about it. Having lost my mom in October, I got a bit of feels about it, but my wife was bored.

  16. Stella's Boy says:

    Duvernay is directing a huge DC movie so I don’t think she’s going to work in TV for a while before returning to features. She needs a better script next time. A Wrinkle in Time doesn’t have very good writing.

  17. Geoff says:

    Wow it’s been too long since I’ve been on this blog, glad to see that it’s thriving as usual.

    JS, I highly doubt that Sony is really bitter at all right now – Jumanji is basically the all-out nostalgia-fueled mega-smash they were hoping that Ghostbusters would be but I’m sure they’ll take it regardless. And besides, why would they angry about Black Panther….they’re IN the MCU game now, they’re probably still holding out hope that Venom could break out in October.

    And speaking of Black Panther, yes I will concede to Ethan that I was wrong about the MCU “peaking” six years ago – I don’t even give a shit about the overseas grosses but this movie is on pace to sell more tickets domestic than The Avengers ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION which is just insane! Is it the greatest movie ever or even the best ever for the genre? No…but it’s definitely the best MCU film BY FAR since The Avengers in 2012 so I hope the right messages are sent and received to all involved.

    And I don’t know if there’s been much discussion here about how Paramount dumped Annihilation but yes, I’m fairly confident they could have made some bank with this film – I love the film and it’s probably the best thing I have seen in quite some time. I wasn’t even a huge fan of Ex Machina but Alex Garland is clearly the real fucking deal! And apparently he directed Dredd too….

    Is it a challenging film? Sure but not really any moreso than Interstellar or Arrival which is THE best comparison – Paramount carefully guided the latter film to over $200 million WW, there’s no reason they couldn’t have done the same for Annihilation with better marketing and a better release date. The film probably contains two of the most genuinely terrifying scenes I have seen in any film in recent years – it could have been a buzzy hit along the lines of Get Out with the right TLC and fuck Paramount for not even trying!

  18. Hcat says:

    Not sure if you can call what Paramount did an actual release, it was more of a left the door open and let it walk into traffic.

  19. Sideshow Bill says:

    Yes, Paramount made a huge mistake with ANNIHILATION. It’s done OK but it could have done better. Or maybe there was a better time to open it. Opening in Black Panther’s wake didn’t help.

    They got cold feet and chickened out. Plain and simple. But at the end of the day we still have the film. It’s early but it’s the best thing I’ve seen this year, and I am going to be unhappy if it’s sound design, at the very least, isn’t remembered at awards time. THAT sequence—you know the one— was terrifying.

  20. Dr Wally Rises says:

    Regarding Annihilation. People never seem to acknowledge this, but I actually don’t think that Natalie Portman is a naturally likeable screen presence. A talented actor, yes, but it’s no coincidence that pretty much everything she’s ever done as an adult outside of Star Wars and Marvel (in both of which she seemed ill at ease) has gone straight in the tank. Even when she tried to play the romcom game and the studio comedy game it didn’t work out. Again, a talented actor. But as a lead, she just always seems to lack the natural warmth or charm of Adams / Hathaway / Stone / Mcadams / Larson / Vikander etc. Audiences just aren’t sold on Natalie Portman. The trail of evidence is just too long to say otherwise.

  21. leahnz says:

    fwiw Geoff garland wrote ‘dredd’, travis directed

    re portman, maybe people never seem to ‘acknowledge’ it because they don’t think it’s the case
    (i’m not sure what ‘straight in the tank’ means but i’m pretty sure ‘black swan’ isn’t in there – plus if you don’t think nat is ‘likeable’ in ‘garden state’ then maybe it’s you, not her)
    she’s the bomb in ‘jackie’ recently and seemingly still growing in complexity as an actress, i find her plenty ‘likeable’, and also unlikeable and strong and vulnerable and lovely and not so lovely. the comparison to other actresses seems pretty baseless and cherry-picked re box office; since when is vikander considered a box-office success due to her warmth and charm.

  22. JSPartisan says:

    If we are discussing best actress winners. It’s Emma Stone and Brie Larson, then everyone else with degrees of coolness. What Portman should have done, is demand her bleepin’ hammer in Thor. The Dr. Jane Foster Thor, is a tremendous spend on the character, and her walking away from the MSCU when it was getting good… still sucks.

    Outside of the MSCU, Portman is just getting better. Unfortunately, this generation can’t stay interested with Jennifer Lawrence. Hard to imagine they want to go for the ride with Portman, when they should. Jackie is just some next level work.

    Geoff, watch Grace Randolph. She had some viewers bring up how Jumanji is Sony’s biggest film, and while it’s huge for them. It doesn’t seem huge compared to what Marvel Studios and other Disney films are doing. It’s a riff on the whole thing, where BP makes 600m in 5 weeks, Jumanji works it ass off to make 400m in 12 weeks. Where both are huge in perspective to their studios. Joke joke. Ha ha.

    Also, you know why your entire “Marvel peaked Six Years Ago,” thing is funny? It thought they would stay the same, and they have adapted so much over the last six years. The benefits of the “failure” of Age of Ultron.

  23. Amblinman says:

    Natalie Portman is likeable. She chooses complex, sometimes weird roles. Clearly follows her muse. If you’re looking at her career wondering why she’s not a popular leading lady, you’re not really looking at her career.

    The second trailer for Sicario 2 killed whatever interest I had in it. It’s “Logan” with a hairier lead. Del Toro’s character is supposed to be a monster, not a superhero. Fuck Hollywood.

  24. Pete B. says:

    I understand what Dr. Wally’s saying. Portman always comes off as slightly reptilian to me too. If they ever do a big budget “V” movie, she’d be perfect for the Jane Badler role.

  25. Sideshow Bill says:

    I agree on Portman. Oddly, that’s what made her perfect for the role, as written, in ANNIHILATION.

    Also agree on the SICARIO 2 trailer. What a disappointment.

  26. Dr Wally Rises says:

    Leah, yes Nat was endearing in Garden State. I’ll give you props for that. But that was a while back and still not a hit. But…… Brothers, Magorium, Your Highness, Hesher, No Strings Attached, Where The Heart Is etc? The knives come out for Jen Lawrence after a rote spy thriller (which by the way has done okay, especially overseas). Portman is perhaps second only to Susan Sarandon to consistently get a pass for making a bunch of movies that nobody much cares for.

  27. Bulldog says:

    Maybe Portman has just soured on the whole big budget thing. Her two experiences didn’t exactly work out critically with her Star Wars movies being viewed as the worst of the lot, and Thor, with the exception of Ragnarok, which she ironically wasn’t in, at the bottom of the critical Marvel pile.

    The way you guys feel about Portman, I feel that way about Jennifer Connelly. I feel like she’s never cracked a smile in her films. I don’t dislike her, but her reservedness comes across as very boring sometimes, and I yearn to see her go blonde and be a happy go lucky person in one of her roles just to fuck with my perception of her.

    Regarding Sicaro 2, fuck em for dropping Emily Blunt from the movie she was the lead in and now making it into a swinging dick fest with another girl that needs to be saved. Love that Del Toro is chewing scenery and deserves more lead roles, but why couldn’t they have advanced the Emily Blunt character story line along with Del Toro? Say what you will about Tom Cruise, he never phones in his performances, and when Emily Blunt basically steals Live, Die, Repeat from him, that’s an actress you don’t drop from her own sequel.

  28. Monco says:

    She may not have many hits but for my money she gave a top 5 performance of the last decade in the best movie of the last decade with Black Swan. Also the prequels are excellent but I don’t want to provoke another Star Wars debate on this blog.

  29. JSPartisan says:

    Why is Sicaro even getting a freaking sequel? Why?

    The prequels look better and better compared to the nonsense, that Disney has been putting out.

    Portman, has never left me cold. The same with Connelly. The both of them, just got to that age where they both became mothers, and decided to do quirky stuff. Quirky doesn’t always connect.

  30. Bulldog says:

    “Why is Sicaro even getting a freaking sequel? Why?”
    Because it was well reviewed, Academy nominated movie that made about $84m WW from a $30m budget, and if the keep the budget for the sequel at that level they can still make some coin. Not Marvel coin, but coin nonetheless.

  31. Triple Option says:

    JSPartisan wrote: What Portman should have done, is demand her bleepin’ hammer in Thor.”

    That actually would’ve been the coolest thing in the world. I can’t even remember what happened in Thor 2 but that would’ve been a great direction. The Portman sequel I would wanted to see would be The Professional 2. 30 yr old Portman assuming the role as the hitman.

    Sicario would’ve been my vote Best Pic when it came out. I wasn’t too thrilled by the sequel news, seeing the trailer did nothing to sway my opinion.

    Thoroughbreds and Entebbe are the two films I’m curious to know if they are any good. Seem like they could both be pretty good but have an air of disappointment about them. Thoro’s hyping itself as the next Heathers is a kin to giving yourself your own nickname.

  32. JSPartisan says:

    BD, I know it was successful, but the first movie was a well told and self contained story. Continuing it, is like some 90s level action movie nonsense, which is just weird.

    And those of you who know, “YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!”

  33. leahnz says:

    sheridan and DVil’s ‘sicario’ should have been left to stand alone as one of the better crime thrillers of the new millennium, but if they absolutely had to fuck with everything and sequel-ise it, then the follow-up should have premised on the fallout in kate’s life (blunt blunt blunt) after she’s been set up, played for a patsy and basically forced to compromise her own moral compass to stay alive, while kaluuya’s excellent reggie remains her partner/support as she struggles to put the pieces together and get her career back on track, meanwhile alejandro/sicario’s fixation on her won’t rest and he’s compelled to insert himself into proceedings somehow to some horrible effect, yada yada yada, and this time she blows his head off at the end.

    ETA also, if there’s any aesthetic purity in cinema someone will do a sister/brother flick with bree larson and JG-levitt, because damn

  34. JSPartisan says:

    Seeing as I am still sore, that this goof got work from things he learned on this blog. Scott Mendelson, really showed his ass today, and my god, is it glorious. If Forbes wanted to hire someone worth two shits. They would have hired Ethan. What did they do? They hired David Poland without a soul, and a lot less suaveness. His article is a testament to his bad takes, and why they are just the worst. Like they’ve always been.

  35. Dick says:

    What the hell has happened to this blog.

    Nothing on Barber and MGM?

    What does Poland do nowadays?

    Why is this blog not on WordPress or Medium?

  36. palmtree says:

    There was a super embarrassing Forbes article that wondered ,after BP opened to $200m+, whether it could get to $400m. I mean, it started talking about multiples as if a horrible DCEU multiple was realistic for BP. Don’t remember if it was Scott, but whoever that was needs to be fired.

    (Edit: Found it. It was Mark Hughes at Forbes who wrote “If it opens to at least $190+ million, that suggests a moderate final domestic cume would be about $410-420 million in North America, or a slightly better total of around $450+ million. ” Have you read anything so stupid before?)

  37. JSPartisan says:

    Palm, this may make me come across as a mark. I’ve just feel David has done a public service for anyone wanting to learn box office with this blog. This doesn’t always mean his takes are always on point, but the guy really understands it more than most people. How those two goofs at freaking Forbes still get paid, is a testament to the shittiness of Forbes. I remember that article, and it was some next level stupid.

    Now to respond to this Dick fellow.

    1) What’s happened to this blog? Well, I can’t speak for everyone, but it seems like we are all getting along well now, and we have a lot more post interaction. This may be due to fewer actual post on the blog, but we seem to discuss things more. That’s cool.

    2) It’s MGM, and it’s 2018.

    3) Probably interviews for YouTube, and he’s really active on twitter. Ray Pride is pretty swell.

    4) I’ve been on this blog from day one. Guess what? It took Dave SIX YEARS to move the blog to this current platform, and to give me an edit button. SIX YEARS! Seeing as we have been here for eight years. I’m shocked he didn’t turn the place into a Google Hangout!

    I do agree, that the ol’gal could use some upgrading. She’s a Ford Cutlass, that really wants to be a wicked Ford Focus with… A SPOILER!

  38. Ray Pride says:

    Thanks JS.

  39. PcChongor says:

    Forbes box office articles are always excruciating to read. Are they legitimately inept, or is there a more nefarious reason as to why they build such ridiculous industry narratives with those articles?

  40. Hcat says:

    MGM is really a curious beast now. All but dead since 1970 resurrected by wearing UA’s skin only to do a slooow decline into oblivion, an attempted jumpstart in 95 only to disappear again and morph into a holding company renting out their IP.

    It is almost miraculous that they are heading back into production and distribution propping themselves up with Bond and Rocky for the umpteenth time. I am curious to see where they go with this. Their television side looks strong after glomming on to Burnett and then really striving for quality for their cable properties (Vikings, Fargo, Handmaid). But if they are going to feed that Epix albatross they need to really start ramping up production to make sure there will be content on there in a years or two time.

    If you look at Barber’s history at Spyglass and (ugh) Morgan Creek, his idea of scale would work to get them back in the swing of things but he had some real sloppy ideas regarding quality. They need to poach a prolific producer and let them run wild with a lot of small productions build up a warchest and then move into tentpoles once things get established. Sher and Shamberg could probably be wooed over.

    There might be enough of a vacuum right now with paramount and Sony having smaller slates that MGM can regain a foothold. But it can certainly happen. But they need to do more than simply mine the library.

  41. Pete B says:

    ATTN: Sideshow Bill
    Hopefully you see this today (3/22) as I know you’re a huge fan of The Witch.

    My Little Black Phillip tee shirt at

  42. brack says:

    Am I the only one here who likes Mendelson? Seems pretty smart to me.

  43. JSPartisan says:

    There is no doubt, that he is a very smart guy. He just has terrible instincts about everything box office. I am not sure if you were here at the time, brack. He would always come with the weakest sauce imaginable. Sure. He had moments, but most of the time Ethan or Dave would school him, then he would keep stirring that sauce like it would make it thicker.

    Let me put it another way: my dopey ass saw Black Panther coming, but the FORBES BOX OFFICE REPORTER MISSED IT. HE ALSO GOT HIS JOB, FROM POSTING ON THIS BLOG. I mean, really, he should really have never posted that Black Panther article. A article, that does all the typical Mendelson tricks, of misconstruing what’s happening with box office. Pacific Rim isn’t a tentpole. Neither is A Wrinkle in Time. What they are, are movies that look to make a certain amount of money to be profitable, and maybe keep their stories going. Not a one of them, is supposed to be a DCEU grosser. Let alone a MSCU grossing film. Yet, he goes on about Black Panther ruining it for movies, that were never going to be tentpole level. Again, terrible instincts for what’s really happening, and making stuff up to crap over one of 2018’s defining moments.

  44. Hcat says:

    You would think writing for Forbes someone around there might be able to speak to him about competition in the marketplace. As if there could be a bad thing about a monster blockbuster that is absolutely beloved. Anytime someone has a positive experience like that in the theater is going to end up buying more tickets down the line. Instead of hurting the industry Black Panther is a giant PR exercise for the theatrical experience.

    Mendelson’s a nice guy, I remember interacting with him when he would post here, but there are times when he writes things that belong more in a comments section than being an actual published article.

    As for Uprising being a tentpole? There is a reason its budget is smaller than the original and is opening in March rather than July. Like the Great Wall the US domestic audience is not the target market for this property, just another territory.

  45. Bulldog says:

    Disagree with you JS about Mendelson. I think he’s actually more accurate than DP when it comes to Box Office. I read him everyday.

    If he is the “Forbes Reporter” you’re speaking of who missed Black Panther, then you’re right on that, and no one else got it right either in that no one would predict a $600m+ domestic gross.

    He got dinged for his hyperbolic language like “BP has become Hollywood’s worst nightmare”. I saw on twitter lots of black people said they were “offended”. As a black guy I say bullshit. Because these same people don’t read everyday that Mendelson champions diversity in film, and not just recently when it became fashionable. Hell he has celebrated Boyega being the lead on Pacific Rim since it was announced. Where are those retweets? Ever since he’s been at Forbes numerous articles have been about, and made reference to, the disparity of looking for the next Tom Cruise instead of the next Will Smith. That white actors get several kicks at the can despite big box office failures while actors of color don’t get as many chances. He celebrated a Wrinkle in Time for its Director and Cast, and has gone on and on almost to the point of ad nausea about why Hollywood is taking so long to learn the lessons of the diversity of the F&TFurious series. People pounce on what they deemed a racist statement without knowing or considering that he was championing BP since it was announced.

    Here is the end of his review of BP ” Like Chris Nolan, Ryan Coogler has followed up an acclaimed indie and a solid studio programmer with a terrific superhero blockbuster that, yes, deserves comparison to Batman Begins. As a piece of pop art, Black Panther is a real marvel.” Why isn’t that retweeted?

    Box Office can always be argued. Would those other movies that failed still fail if BP wasn’t the massive four quadrant hit it became. I’d argue they would have each done a little better as BP became the de facto date night movie for weeks on end. Enough to make the fortunes of those movies significantly different? He never said that. His argument was that movies like Wrinkle and Tomb Raider are would be event movies hoping to launch a franchise. Wrinkle has four book sequels. I’m sure Disney wanted to wring every last dollar out of that. Raider if successful would definitely get a sequel. So BP did hurt them, not because it was a movie about blacks, but because it brought everybody in. Calling Mendelson a racist is just lazy and wrong when you haven’t read the guy and know that he consistently writes about diversity in film, in front of and behind the camera.

  46. JS Partisan says:

    I never called Mendelson a racist. He’s just… HC summed it up well. Again, I enjoy interacting with you guys, but many of you seem to have missed how there are portions of social media that do not stand for such stupidity anymore. He wrote a stupid article, that really came across as being rather out of touch with the realities of the situation. He does this a lot, and that’s why I’ve never enjoyed his box office takes. They are very much myopic to big trends, or situation.

  47. palmtree says:

    Thank you, Bulldog, for standing up for Scott. I don’t like him being made an example of, and I don’t consider what he said to be racist. Those looking for their Bari Weiss tempest-in-a-teapot found it.

    But you have to admit Scott’s argument could have been written much much better, with an understanding of how the readership would receive it. I mean, his article isn’t even really about Black Panther, so the hyperbole is basically just clickbait.

  48. Bulldog says:

    In case I wasn’t clear JS, I wasn’t accusing you of calling him a racist. But I have gotten a lot more impatient with the echo chamber of the offended and the uninformed, who can’t separate hyperbole from racism. Or do a little digging and research before they jump on a soabpox for their Churchill moment.

    It wasn’t a stupid article, maybe a stupid headline, but the article had reasoning behind it. I didn’t agree with everything but that’s what opinions are for. He could’ve/would’ve written the same article if it was Thor Ragnarok instead of BP sucking up all the box office dollars. And yes, the product was way weaker this year than last in Feb/March. There is no way that Raider/Rim could match Logan/Kong. Wrinkle can’t match up to Beauty & The Beast, and no way Gnome matches up with Boss Baby. I think Wrinkle is the obvious biggest disappointment of the lot as it looked Disney enough to possibly do $150m . Even Disney wasn’t expecting the behemoth that BP became and it did take away some of the Wrinkle audience. Coming so soon after the diversity of BP, Wrinkle looked like an afterthought. There are just some things you can’t plan for, even success.

    That being said, I’m actually surprised that the Infinity War trailers don’t feature speaking parts by BP more. Wakanda the location is featured, but no so much it’s hero. Any early predictions on what IW will do Opening Weekend and eventual final gross?

  49. JS Partisan says:

    Those trailers feature very little speaking, because they seem to want keep everything a super duper secret. What will it do opening weekend? I am still feeling 260 to 280, but if people want to spend another 45 minutes to an hour in Wakanda with a lot of the MSCU cast. Well… 300m. It’s bound to happen someday, so that would make it the quickest to 400m, 500m, 600m and so on. I still feel it will find it’s own slot for domestic all time, and that’s 800m. Like Palm and I have discussed before: if the movie sucks, then it goes all out the window.

    Palmtree is dead on about the article. Also, Disney and Marvel Studios saw this coming. They were bragging about this film all last year to the right people. Again, go read the SW threads. I kept bringing up the king for a reason. He was on his way, and nothing was going to stop him. Nothing. They did try to use the BP heat for A Wrinkle in Time, but A Wrinkle in Time always felt off. Pacific Rim 2 looks like one of those surprising movies, but it was never for US. It was for International box office.

  50. Hcat says:

    Not sure he could have made the same argument about Thor as plenty of films performed well in its wake. While I don’t agree that Panther hobbled any of the competition, I do agree about his core thesis of Hollywood’s idea of an endless summer with giant releases every weekend (except apparently August of last year) is shortsighted.

  51. palmtree says:

    The endless summer idea can also be supported by Black Panther. It shows that you can have summer-sized grosses in February, although of course Deadpool paved the way first. But the magnitude of BP only points to people who will try to replicate it. It’s an argument that goes both ways.

    End of March typically gets some big movies, such as the 90s Ninja Turtles movies which stayed on March release dates despite becoming a huge (edit: for an indie movie of its time) franchise.

    And a while back I said summers were beginning to creep into April with the last weekend in April releases of Fast and Furious movies. I was told that no, May was the first weekend of summer. But of course, that last weekend in April has only gotten hotter and hotter as studios try to get summer movies out before there is competition. And of course, this year we get the ultimate box office movie coming out the last weekend in April. I wonder if this is the year DP can finally say the end of April is the true beginning of summer.

  52. Poet says:

    ” The endless summer idea can also be supported by Black Panther. ”

    It’s not summer. No movie could stay at number 1 for five weeks in the summer.

  53. palmtree says:

    Black Panther is not a”summer” movie in every way obviously…just “summer” in the sense of putting out expensive tentpoles to rake in huge record-breaking grosses. The peculiarities of box office in the winter/spring season are definitely not what I meant by “summer.”

  54. Hcat says:

    Sorry I didnt mean endless summer as summer grosses in spring but I thought Scott meant budget wise, having Panther and Wrinkle and the still expensive Tomb Raider followed by the 150 million Rimmer in quick succesion wouldnt feel out of place in June. Of course my problem with the article is that it seems to think it would not have the same exact results. That Wrinkle and Raider would have made more coin if Panther topped out at 350. Panther did Panther money and Wrinkle did Wrinkle money and if they were released three weeks or three months apart you can not qualitativly prove it otherwise.

  55. JS Partisan says:

    Hcat, that’s pretty much how I feel. A movie is going to make what it makes to slight varying degrees. Also, Jurassic World was #1 for a month, and that’s why Jurassic World money is good money to make.

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