a pro script reader ponders movies, reading, writing and the occasional personal flashback

Friday, May 18, 2007

Weekend Box Office #32

This week, only one movie is opening in more than 27 theaters, and that's SHREK THE THIRD, which is opening in 4122 of them.

Three years ago, the movie opened on Wednesday this same week, and brought in $108 million for the weekend ($129 million for the first 5 days), in what was then a record 4163 theaters.

It went on to gross $441 million in North America, and a total of $920 million worldwide.

It's my belief that opening weekends for sequels generally are linked much more to the quality of the previous film than the current version. The fact that SHREK was a very good movie fed interest in SHREK 2.

The fact that SHREK 2 wasn't quite as good may dampen interest -- slightly -- in SHREK THE THIRD, which doesn't seem to be getting raves (to say the least -- it's currently at 43% on Rotten Tomatoes, with 77 reviews tallied. Shrek got 89% good reviews; Shrek 2, surprisingly, 88%).

Still, there's literally nothing else out there, and I think it'll clean up despite the reviews. Call it $117 million for the first three days. But I doubt it'll make much more than $300 million for its whole run -- not that that's small potatoes.


A reminder -- I'm going to be at the Writers Guild Foundation TV thing tomorrow (which is sold out), sitting in the audience, hopefully soaking up wisdom.

I'll be the guy with glasses and goatee (like 60% of the men there, and 4% of the women) and the no-longer-very-gray hair (Just For Men, thumbs up). I'll be standing in a corner looking shy, unless I get enough caffeine in me to actually introduce myself to people.

There are apparently name badges involved, so if you see me say hello.


At 2:33 PM, Blogger Julie Goes To Hollywood said...

I'll be standing in a corner looking shy, unless I get enough caffeine in me to actually introduce myself to people.

First time around, I thought you said you needed enough "cocaine" in you. Then I thought, oh my, is this what it's all come to?

At 4:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Smuggle in some alcohol. Should take care of that shyness.

At 7:50 PM, Blogger Patrick J. Rodio said...

Shrekker - 122

At 6:51 AM, Blogger Brett said...

I think I am one of the nine people worldwide who did not like SHREK (never even bothered seeing SHREK 2, and in a possibly telling statement the kids have never asked for that one on DVD...), so regardless of how much S3 makes or fails to make, rest assured that mine will not be among whatever pile of dollars it claims.

As for meetings, shyness, etc.,: get over it, man. I know it sucks, as I was (am?) still shy in certain situations. I finally grew tired of watching teh world drift by, and I got angry at my shyness, and I use that anger to drive me forward now.

Tequila also works well.

Damn the torpedos.
sproradicly Farraguttian B

At 8:15 AM, Blogger Emily Blake said...

I think Paris, Je T'aime is going to take all the marbles this weekend. People all over America love modular films with subtitles.

At 11:41 AM, Blogger E.C. Henry said...

Scott, don't be shy dude. You've got style and charisma up the cazzo! Hope you make some GREAT connections over the weekend and come back with a story of how you managed to throw your line out there and real in a really, really big fish.

Never been a Shrek fan. Can't get past, what I see as a poor, lazy man's cartooning. I grew up with the Spiderman cartoons, Starblazers, Scoobie Do, and Tom and Jerry. Cartoons PENNED by people, WITH THEIR OWN HANDS -- not generated by a software package.

I kinda feel like that Bob Seger song, "I like that old time rock-n-roll / That kind of rythm just soothes the soul / I reminism bout the days old / And play the old time rock-n-roll"

(Only in this usage subsitute cartooning for rock-n-roll)

That said, I still think Mike Myers is BRILLIANT. He always makes me laugh.

Let's see I predicted "Spiderman 3 would make $400 gazilion, right Emily? So this time I'll go on record that "Shrek the Third will make $401 gazillion. With the extra 1 thrown in to account for that old Barnamum Baily saying, "there's a sucker born every minute."

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

At 12:50 PM, Anonymous blair said...

E.C,. as someone who does both traditional and digital media, don't assume because there's a computer involved, that it takes no effort. It's like you're saying the guys involved have no talent.

"Unhappily Ever After" proves that computers can make crap in the wrong hands.

Anyone with a piano can write Rhapsody In Blue, but only one guy did. The tool is only as powerful as the user, the results only as good as those behind keyboard.

It's not like when they created Shrek, they went out and bought "Ogre Model #4" for their 3D program. There were traditional artists involved every step of the way.

It's fine to not like CGI animation. It's not everyone's cup of tea. However, assuming it's "lazy man's cartooning" just cheapens many talented artist's accomplishments.

You wouldn't be fine with someone calling screenplays lazy man's novels, or somesuch -- so watch what insults you throw around.

In the end, though, it's the STORY that matters... CGI, cell animation, or cut paper -- in the end, it's the story that's going to bring the people in, and make them want to come back (or as the reviews of Shrek 3 seem to indicate -- not come back).

At 10:01 PM, Blogger Patrick J. Rodio said...

I said: 122 million.
They're estimating: 122 million.

Thank you.

At 11:01 PM, Anonymous blair said...

Somebody by Patrick a beer!

Saw it tonight. It was good enough. I don't feel like I didn't get my money's worth. Yes, 2 was better, yes 1 was best. Not enough of the hearty-belly-laugh, or laugh-to-tears moments. Lots of story potential with so-so to no follow-through.

I will say the performances (voice and character) were better than most of the performances in Spidey 3. Those characters can emote.

At 8:27 AM, Blogger ScreenwriterJ said...

I can't make it because I resent the fact that those four percent of women can't shave their goatees.

At 4:33 PM, Anonymous Frank said...


No need to project your sordid desires upon others.

Keep your head and your nose out of the gutter.

At 4:54 PM, Blogger E.C. Henry said...

Blair, I'm pretty cool with critism of my work, it's art. Critism comes with territory.

Sure their are a lot of tallented people in the movies doing CGI animation. Too bad all their hard work is in technology that makes then end product look like shit. You're right Blair CGI animation isn't my cup of tea. I won't pay to see it, and I would never write a script that I knew was slated to be CGI animated -- and that has nothing to do with the people in the industry working in that medium.

That said, I open to changing my opinion on CGI cartoon, but before I do its quality needs to improve.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

At 6:37 PM, Blogger Patrick J. Rodio said...

I'll take a free beer!

At 12:22 AM, Anonymous blair said...

I don't know how you can call Shrek, or anything Pixar comes up with "shit", as far as final quality. Have you bothered to watch any those movies, or do you just dismiss them at the trailer? Those characters can emote just as well as, and in some cases, better than some human actors.

And those examples you came up with, the old Hanna Barbera stuff of yesteryear -- that was BAD animation. I have friends from art school who went on to animation, and there's always been this joke about making stuff (for TV) that has the success of Hanna Barbera, but with much better art quality.

They had very good design people behind the scenes (Alex Toth, for one), but went for minimal quality in actual animation, because it was cheap, and they didn't bother covering it up; miscolored characters, overused animation loops (Spider-man of the 60s in particular was 60% swinging cycles -- granted, not HB, but how much of Scooby Doo was running? Lots of it.), etc.

But you know why they lasted so long? STORY. Maybe not the best, but endearing, fun stories (though, you've gotta be high on Scooby Snacks to sit through more than one episode of it nowadays -- it didn't age well at all).

Good hand animation was the 40s Fleischer Superman cartoons (talk about realistic movement), early Disney animated features, the Bruce Timm DC animated series, certain anime feature films (Akira, Steamboy, Ninja Scroll, etc.), etc.

And I wasn't talking about criticizing your work based on reading it, and so on, I was talking about someone dismissing your work, sight unseen, just because it is a screenplay, as you dismissed all CGI as crap. I don't think you'd appreciate that, and that's a little unfair.

It's still fine that you don't like CGI stuff, but you still seem to be blanket dismissing it, looking for some form of quality that doesn't exisit (what do you want -- photorealism?), in a field that has some VERY different takes on style.

But worry not -- I don't think anyone will ask for a CGI feature from you, yah? ;)

At 12:35 AM, Anonymous blair said...

Addendum to my last post E.C. -- the last line isn't a dig at you, personally. I reread it, and it could be viewed that way. What I was trying to say is no one just writes for animated features, y'know? That's near impossible -- unless you're doing it indie, or a short, those big features are usually written by committee/studio/the director, so unless that's what you were trying for, it most likely won't just end up on your desk as an assignment. Hope that clears it up.

BTW -- you liked Spidey 3 -- that thing is so CGI filled -- how come you're okay with that? Many people would rather see stunts, rather than CGI Tobey Maguire.

At 9:35 AM, Anonymous frank said...

Hanna Barbera rocks dude.

Get with it.

At 10:36 AM, Anonymous blair said...

Whatever man. Just noddin' and smilin' at you Frank. Just noddin' and smilin'.

At 12:08 AM, Blogger E.C. Henry said...

Whoa Nelly, Blair! CGI animation appears to be your HOT button.

I'm not a fan of CGI animated cartoons, Blair. Shrek, Monster House, Toy Story... I have actually watched a couple CGI feature cartoons: Toy Story and The Incredibles. But once again the cartoon quality made me cringe, AND it definatlely TOOK AWAY from the movie experience for me.

Dude, I don't wanna argue with you. Liking or disliking CGI cartoons is matter of taste. I wasn't a big fan of the CGI special affects in Spiderman 3 either. King Kong had a lot of CGI, didn't it? If so, they were awesome. Jurassic Park, awesome.

I don't discriminate against techonology. I'm all for it, but when it results in what I precieve to be bad art shown on film, don't expect me to stand up and applaud.

All that said, I hope we meet someday, Blair, I'd like to buy you a beer, but if you're not of age would you settle for a sarsaparilla?

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

At 9:22 AM, Anonymous blair said...

Fair enough Eric (and yes, I'm of age by a few years).

I have no hot button issue (save for the current president), but I do take issues as they come.

We'll leave it at that, because I'm sure you have better things to do as well.


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