District 9 managed to be the little film that could. The Goods managed to be like most every other little film.
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
The Time Traveler’s Wife
Julie & Julia
The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The Ugly Truth
(500) Days of Summer
This just in: Funny People must have turned people off with the irony of its title. After two weeks, it is out of the top ten. Out. And will be wrapping up domestic shortly somewhere over $50 Million.
The film that it is easiest to draw parallels with District 9 is Cloverfield. Both had people talking about the budget beforehand as a little picture. Both cheated their verite approaches. Both didn’t let you know where the film was headed. But where Cloverfield opened and died, District 9 has a good shot at breaking $100 Million. And though Cloverfield has its boosters, it seems the filmmakers approached the film from a budget standpoint first, whereas District 9 is a complete story that was done on a small budget. At the end of Cloverfield, you get how it could be so cheap, at the end of District 9, you wonder how it could be so cheap. Of course, cheap here is a relative term. Production budgets are listed, and not necessarily real. And here there wasn’t a lot of upfront money. But regardless, people saw it, and the response seems to be better than that of Cloverfield, so I think it’s going to keep playing, and Blomkamp will have a little more heat on him. On some level District 9 is the most satisfying summer movie I saw this year, so I could see it doing Taken business as well. The problem for Cloverfield was that a lot of people were excited by the marketing, but fucking pissed off at the film. I don’t think that’s the case here.
Both G.I. Joe and G-Force are on the verge of crossing the $100 Million mark. That means very little these days, doesn’t it? Joe then is going to try and get close to $150, and G-Force will probably start wrapping up, though could get close to $120. Paramount was repping their international numbers on this one, so perhaps the film will end up with a successful global total, and though DVD numbers are sagging, there’s still back end. Considering how ugly it could have been, this is good news for the picture. G-Force was given a thumbs up by Kristen Bell, so I’m going to hold judgement on it, but the film has an audience and it played to it.
If Funny People had been a hit, you could argue this was the summer of Eric Bana. A $19 Million opening for a smaller picture based on a popular book suggests that the film could play for a bit, and these numbers seem solid. Now, they aren’t Ugly Truth opening weekend numbers, but Time Traveller’s Wife could play long into September. Just as Julie and Julia might be playing for a while too. It dropped less than 40%, and I’m sure it’s going to do bang up weekday business. The Ugly Truth is wrapping up itself, but Katherine Heigl has shown to be smart about choosing material, and she’s obviously got a following, so if she can keep her cost down, there’s a small industry to be made for the next five years on Heigl movies.
Paramount Vantage is dead to the world, so a $5 Million dollar opening on The Goods is a good side/bad side thing. The last film Jeremy Piven headed up was PCU, so you could argue it did better than that, and if the company was dead, than the advertising and selling was likely half-cocked. You could argue that this was not a good summer for comedy, but then The Hangover stares you in the face, and suggests that maybe the “every year/every Six months” factory that some comedians get in is ultimately wearying for audiences, so eventually there are going to be off films. And this is definitely from the McKay factory, but without much Will Ferrell. Still, funny is funny, and McKay has threatened on twitter to set up a phone line so people can call him and complain if they didn’t think it was funny. A film like this might find an audience on cable, though, and it’s not dead yet. But it’s close to dead.
I don’t think Disney puts alot of effort into their Miyazaki releases. For a while it may have been that the internet made it easy to get Japanese films that were released on DVD already, or it could be the animation style, or something, but Miyazaki seems like he should be a bigger deal. Regardless, Ponyo opened and will surely net a best animated feature nomination.
(500) Days of Summer is playing strong for what it is. Hopefully a grand total of $20 is good enough, though the ideal pattern for films like this is for word to spread and for it to keep playing. That’s been working okay so far, but with pictures like this it’s harder to tell when they’ve plateaued.
Next week brings Quentin Tarantino. And I – for one – am giddy. ]]>