Box Office Archive for October, 2010

Friday Estimates saw Klady

22. 20. 11.

aka The Last Three Fridays.

A cult series from which new content is rare, now in 3D, which seemed to fit. A sequel to a film that felt like an exciting discovery to audiences. And a dead franchise making a run at resurrection via 3D.

You can’t really blame Lionsgate marketing or any LGF management – though a frustrated Carl Icahn will – for this uninspired opening. The franchise was clearly body-bagged last year, with Saw VI managing about half, domestically, what any of the previous five Saws had done before. The fall-off was less severe overseas, but it was still the lowest international grosser of the series.

Did 3D matter? Yes. The first day was up about 50% from the last Saw. But still, both opening days for 6 & 7 are lower than any of the previous four sequels. 3D is not a savior. And film by film, everyone is figuring that out.

57% is a pretty good Friday-to-Friday hold – welcome to post-millennial box office – for Paranormal Activity 2. It’s hard to compare to the first film, since that one opened tiny and never ended up in as many theaters as this one opened in. But after a $20 million midnight/opening day launch, I think 57% off – which will make for a lower weekend drop – is solid.

Hereafter‘s 50% Friday-to-Friday drop is less encouraging.

Red‘s 25% drop is strong, leading a parade of 20somethings: Secretariat, the shocking Life As We Know It, and The Town.

The big limited opening is The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, which is opening better than the 100+ expansion of Dragon Tattoo, but not as strong as the mid-summer launch of Played With Fire.

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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