Box Office Archive for June, 2008

Weekend Estimates by Klady

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Friday Estimates by Klady

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Get Smart opened to a number right along the lines of last summer’s I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, which is a success for WB marketing. My guess – and no one out there is doing anything but guessing at this point – is that the casting picked up viewers from each of the stars – Carell, Hathaway, Dwayne Johnson, and Alan Arkin – each of whom has a very specific constituency. This is the summer that What Stays In Vegas has grossed the quietest $77 million you will ever see, but not hear. Get Smart is The Next Comedy for anyone other than Sandler fans. After two weeks of Hulk, Panda, Zohan, and Night, it seems to have been a chance for everyone who wasn’t into those narrow titles to get out of the hear.
And the next comedies are weeks away with Meet Dave, Momma Mia!, and The Step Bros all into July… so get a laugh while you can. And prepare for the four-quadrant assault of Wall-E and Hancock with a strong boy showing for Wanted.
The Love Guru is a flop for Mike Myers, though his career is so limited, it’s hard to put into career perspective. This opening was worse than Wayne’s World… better than WWII. Very Balls of Fury.
It’s lovely to see a studio try to cash in on their gossip columnist flacks to spin that they spent less to sell the film than normal. But if you were watching the media, Guru was running spots endlessly, as was Smart (including both films with 30s on The Office this week).. but Smart had actual tie-in ads – for which the advertiser, like Sierra Mist Undercover Orange, pays the cost of the ad buy – while Guru had a total of ZERO. Also, the last push by WB, which probably meant nothing at the box office, wasn’t for The Rock, who has been the main focus of ads for the last month, especially in cross- promotionals, but is focused on improvised spots featuring a more familiar Carell. Clearly what WB was getting as feedback was that fans weren’t seeing Carell in the way they like him. So, improv spots with SC as an entertainment journalist interviewing Rock and Hathaway, with Hathaway in front of a CG Kremlin backdrop, etc. An interesting idea – advertise the movie by avoiding the movie – but as I say, probably too late to have much effect, one way or the other.

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Weekend Estimates by Klady

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More to say?
Sandler’s second Zohan weekend was a steep drop in his history. My sense is that the movie is a tweener. Sony did a fine job of launching the film, but while this Sandler movie would likely be pleasing to a wider-than-usual demographic, it’s not quite well enough made to be a crossover film for Sandler. It’s a small shame, since a director one step up on the skill scale could have taken this material to a level that would have made it even more intriguing. But for the Sandler base, it’s got a lot of good silly, but perhaps they were all at The Incredible Hulk or The Happening this weekend… or perhaps they find sex with women over 60 or political subtext or the overall message of acceptance unappealing.
Fox (and Len) estimated the The Happening number to just over the Unbreakable number. Who knows whether that will hold tomorrow? If it does, it will be his third best opening and either his third or fourth best grosser in his six-film primary career. (I really don’t think Wide Awake is relevant, unless you are talking about his ouerve.)
The Incredible Hulk looks like it will be about 13% behind Hulk. It

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Raining

It’s pouring in NYC, so I guess I should be happy to be returning to sunny Calfornia…
The Incredible Hulk now looks to open slightly behind Hulk, with somewhat longer legs to come… but don’t expect much more than $175m… which is a win, even with an alleged $150m budget. Marvel has something good going and needs to be cautious not to convince themselves that there is more to it than there is.
The scary R rating for The Happening, combined with the underestimated box office power of Mark Wahlberg makes the film no Lady in the Water. Still, it ain’t no Signs either. Wait and see…
Here in NY, I’ve had three remarkable theater experiences… two of which I can write about. The first is the Public Theater version of Hamlet, which opens officially in Central Park in a few days. The other, much to my shock, was Boeing – Boeing (which should be Boeing-Boeing-Boeing). Both shows mark the wider debut of lead actors who will soon become part of acting lore and, if only in support, acting fame in the US.
More on both when I get to a real keyboard…

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Klady's Weekend Estimates – 6/8/8

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Adam Sandler’s newest, which got surprisingly pleasant reviews from AO Scott and Ella Taylor, amongst others, has turned out to be right around the middle of the Sander/Sony list of releases. (The final numbers could well be up from the Sunday projection.)
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My personal observation here in Los Angeles was surprise at the number of unexpected Sandler attendees at a sold-out Friday 1:30p performance and one close to sold-out shortly thereafter at 2:40p who were Hassidic and/or female. I don’t really trust observational analyses, especially at Los Angeles theaters. But the idea that this film is reaching this unexpected audience is interesting.
Also, the movie itself has a completely unexpected embrace of what can best be described as The Angry Hillary Voters

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Box Office Hell – June 6

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Tech Challenged Box Office

So… Klady has Sex at 56.1m… a bit of a comedown after the massive Friday… but still well beyond the hopes and dreams of the fired New Line team. Why won’t anyone else report that GeniusJeff Robinov passed on the project? I don’t know.
The real question of whether this film is a cash cow or a moderate success will be determined by next weekend’s numbers and international. As for being “the ultimate chick flick,” there is a very good chance that this film will never earn or net as much as Prada or various Nancy Meyers or Nora Ephron films. Time will tell.
After the second weekend – and that is reality now – Indy remains about $35m ahead of Iron Man, though Indy lost about $6m of that lead second weekend vs second weekend. With a $60m spread between the films, it still seems sure that Indy will pass Iron Man, but they look to be pretty close in the end. The 54% drop would be great after most huge openings, but the 5-day nature of Indy’s launch suggests that the drop is just barely passable.

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Box Office

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“The thought is interrupted by an odd interlude. We are speaking in the side room of Casita, a swish and fairly busy Italian bistro in Aoyama – a district of Tokyo usually so replete with celebrities that they spark minimal fuss. Kojima’s fame, however, exceeds normal limits and adoring staff have worked out who their guest is. He stops mid-sentence and points up towards the speakers, delighted. The soft jazz that had been playing discreetly across the restaurant’s dark, hardwood interior has suddenly been replaced with the theme music from some of Kojima’s hit games. Harry Gregson-Williams’ music is sublime in its context but ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots’ is not, Kojima acknowledges, terribly restauranty. He pauses, adjusting a pair of large, blue-framed glasses of his own design, and returns to the way in which games have not only influenced films, but have also changed the way in which people watch them. “There are stories being told [in cinema] that my generation may find surprising but which the gamer generation doesn’t find weird at all,” he says.
~ Hideo Kojima

“They’re still talking about the ‘cathedral of cinema,’ the ‘communal experience,’ blah blah. The experiences I’ve had recently in the theatre have not been good. There’s commercials, noise, cellphones. I was watching Colette at the Varsity, and halfway through red flashes came up at the bottom of the frame. A woman came out and said, ‘We’re going to have to reboot, so take fifteen minutes and come back.’ Then they rebooted it from the beginning, and she had to ask the audience to tell her how far to go. You tell me, is that a great experience? I generally don’t watch movies in a cinema at all. Netflix is the future. It’s the present. But the whole paradigm of a series, binge-watching, it’s quite different. My first reaction is that it’s more novelistic, because if you have an eight-hour season, you can get into complex, intricate things. You can let it breathe and the audience expectations are such that they will let you, where before they wouldn’t have the patience. I think only the surface has been touched with experimenting with that.”
~ David Cronenberg