ALLIGATORS IN A HELICOPTER

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

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Weekend Box Office #141

Oops. This Friday prediction post is late, for the first week in a long while.

Blame it on the holiday weekend. My wife was off from work yesterday, and that made it seem like a Saturday.

Blame it on a weird week too. I've been wrestling with a medical issue for about a month, since a "mass" was discovered in my liver. Mass is a really scary word; so is "biopsy", which I had last Tuesday. They stuck a long needle into my chest, and scraped out some cells.

The news is great -- it's non-cancerous. A load off my back, after 4 uncertain weeks in which I threw myself into my work to distract myself, and didn't write a word of my own stuff.

Now it's time to return to the business of screenwriting.

This weekend (and even though it's Saturday morning, I haven't peeked yet, though I am aware of how things opened on Wednesday).

ICE AGE: DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS (4099 theaters). Opening on a Wednesday will lower the weekend grosses a bit, as will the fact that this skews a lot younger than something like UP. Figure about $48.1 million for the three-day weekend.

PUBLIC ENEMIES (3334 theaters). They haven't done a very good job selling this to me, while reviews have only been okay. Figure about $26.7 million for the weekend.

*******

TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN made $109 million over the three days last weekend.

MY SISTER'S KEEPER did $12.4 million.

26 Comments:

At 2:37 PM, Blogger Grubber said...

Congrats Scott, glad you're okay, that is good news.
cheers
David

 
At 8:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael Mann does it again.

As with Will Smith -- and now Johnny Depp -- in the lead role of a film depicting the drama-filled life of a cultural icon, Mann somehow misses the opportunity.

How do you make movie about Muhammad Ali -- or John Dillinger -- boring despite having two of the most charismatic actors at your disposal?

Technically proficient to be sure, but hollow as can be. There's always something missing from his films. The life is sucked right out of the subject matter leaving nothing but a precisely crafted shell.

 
At 11:31 PM, Blogger E.C. Henry said...

Wow, a "mass" in your liver doesn't sound good. Glad to hear it's non-cancerous. Any word how you get this "mass" out of your liver?

Been VERY busy with that rom-com script, been listening to it in Final Draft for three days straight. Nearing burn-out... Just registered it, going to start printing it out tonight. Hopefully mail it on Sunday. Will e-mail you with an eta. I don't know what it, but when I'm almoast done with a script I get real manical. I can sit line editting something, so focused, for like 12hours in a chair.

"Public Enemys" looks like fun just because Jonny Depps in it, otherwise it looks like a snoozer. But I still gotta see "The Proposal." That's going to be my reward to myself once I mail that rom-com off to you.

Stay well, my prayers are with you.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

 
At 12:48 AM, Blogger Matt said...

Public Enemies is a great film. Don't know how anybody could call it boring, but hey, that's what opinions are for.

I didn't think Ali was boring but it was flawed. Overall I think Mann's films are pretty brilliant. It's true, his characters aren't normally overly emotional, and that's okay. He normally is dealing with men that care more about their "job" then they do about their loved ones.

I'm not at all surprised that EC would rather watch The Proposal over Public Enemies. It's EC.

 
At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow-- Matt's being witty again...

 
At 11:28 AM, Blogger Matt said...

Ummm...I wasn't trying to be witty. But if it happened by accident, good on me. I was merely giving my opinion about Michael Mann's career and EC's taste.

If you have a problem with me, maybe because I ripped you apart regarding Michael Bay's career, just say so. Enough with pretending to be a nice guy. You're not a nice guy. You're a passive aggressive punk.

While you're trying to grow a pair, why don't you start signing in under an actual name? That way there will be no confusing you with the 10 other cowards hiding under anonymity.

 
At 12:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Matt on this one -- he wasn't being witty. And I haven't seen any past examples that indicate that he has that ability.

But I disagree with Matt regarding his "ripping apart" of Bay's career and anon's assessment of the same. Nice guy Matt seems to spew venom then disappear when logic leaves him no answers to give nor argument to make.

Transformers 2 -- 293mil and counting. Maybe 375 domestic alone when the smoke clears? Sheesh, this is bigger than Miami Vice!

p.s. Matt, I never saw an answer to anon's question regarding your own filmmaking experience. Did you give one?

 
At 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I fear Matt has a slight superiority complex...

He's not confusing his own tastes with "facts" when he discusses what motivates Bay and Mann and all kinds of other directors. No way! He actually has an inside scoop on their secret, most inner thoughts.

And if you try and tell him different, he'll "rip" ya a new one!

He doesn't answer his own film history since, I'm just guessing, there isn't much there to dissect and to hold discussions about.

But, Michael Bay's arrogance? Well! Matt has time and energy to "rip" you another new one with tales of coke on naked broads and mediocre films that the director and his team just tosses together.

In fact, I think Bay makes his pictures just to piss off Matt personally.

Peter

 
At 4:22 PM, Blogger E.C. Henry said...

Matt,

You SHOULD go see "The Proposal." Best romantic comedy I've seen in years. Ryan Reynolds TOTALLY delivers. # 1 option to open a romantic comedy as the male lead? Well-p, Ryan's got my vote.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

 
At 4:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey E.C.

If you walk out of a film nowadays, with enthusiasm, feeling good, and so on...

Then great...! Who's to judge where you found that...? You found it, discovered charm and energy...

Whether that be from Mann or from a film like The Proposal-- you found it.

And it's all good.

No one has right to make judgment with your connection...

Granted, not my cup o' tea, but then again, neither was Transformers, nor T:S....

But you found it. You believe in what works for this pic and, hopefully, you'll be able to use it as you forge ahead in what appears to be your favorite genre, the rom-com...

 
At 4:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

p.s.

incase Matt is to accuse me of being an anonymous coward, that last post was written by-

Peter

 
At 4:49 PM, Blogger E.C. Henry said...

Annonymous I TRY to write in ALL genres. As I THINK to be a good writer you need to do that. It's just rom-com's make me feel good. I don't ALWAYS have a romantic comedy based story to work on, but when I do, generally, I have a lot of fun with it.

I showed Ryan Renolds "the love" because dude deserves it. Those who elevate the art form should be lauded.

But as for you, thanks for showing me some love. I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy inside...

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

 
At 5:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I asked Matt about his filmmaking experience only because he seems ignorant of how difficult it is to tell even the most simple screen story. Mann, Bay, Ratner and all the other names are gifted, summa cum laude graduates of the basics. Despite the differences in their respective voices, they share this rare talent and skill. So, it's not surprising to me that Spielberg helped launch Ratner career or asks Bay to direct some of his projects -- or that Polanski loves the Rush Hour movies -- or that Scorsese is a Sam Raimi fan. Their DNA is the same. They "get" what a general audience requires or passionate (but ignorant) film enthusiast takes for granted.

Pick up camera and try to tell a compelling story -- then show it to an audience of unsympathetic strangers and watch the reaction. Most of us couldn't write, direct and cut an entertaining and coherent episode of Gilligan's Island. Meeting even basic audience expectations is a Herculean feat.

Before Mann fiddled with handheld HD, he learned basic story structure on Starsky and Hutch.

Before Bay sent CGI space ships after CGI asteroids, he learned basic story structure with Meat Loaf videos.

Mason Reese

 
At 5:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

mason reese is bang on,

Peter Sheldrick...

 
At 9:44 PM, Blogger Matt said...

"I agree with Matt on this one -- he wasn't being witty. And I haven't seen any past examples that indicate that he has that ability."

Is that an example of your wit? Because it's lacking.

"But I disagree with Matt regarding his "ripping apart" of Bay's career and anon's assessment of the same. Nice guy Matt seems to spew venom then disappear when logic leaves him no answers to give nor argument to make."

I made my point. I saw no point in reading more of your nonsense. Of course, you're a bunch of anonymous cowards. Tough to keep it straight who is who.

"Transformers 2 -- 293mil and counting. Maybe 375 domestic alone when the smoke clears? Sheesh, this is bigger than Miami Vice!"

What does that have to do with quality? If Godfather were released now it probably wouldn't do that well. Does that mean Transformers 2 is better than Godfather, or just that people have bad taste? I know the answer.

"p.s. Matt, I never saw an answer to anon's question regarding your own filmmaking experience. Did you give one?"

I don't remember being asked. And although I have a lot of experience, it's not relevant. Most movie critics are not filmmakers. And if you are able to give a positive judgement without having experience, you are also allowed to give negative judgement.

I've never played professional basketball. Does that mean I can't judge a teams performance.

ludicrous.

 
At 9:46 PM, Blogger Matt said...

"I fear Matt has a slight superiority complex..."

Over some, yes. Not over EC though. I give him some shit, but I think he's funny and I like reading his posts.

"He's not confusing his own tastes with "facts" when he discusses what motivates Bay and Mann and all kinds of other directors. No way! He actually has an inside scoop on their secret, most inner thoughts."

Yeah. So?

"And if you try and tell him different, he'll "rip" ya a new one!"

Well how would you have more insight than me?

"He doesn't answer his own film history since, I'm just guessing, there isn't much there to dissect and to hold discussions about."

Not sure what you're talking about, or how it's releveant either.

Seriously, you can do better than this.

 
At 9:47 PM, Blogger Matt said...

EC

Fair enough. I hope you know I'm not really ripping on you. I just have different taste. I'm not a big romantic comedy guy, but I'll probably see that one with my wife.

 
At 9:56 PM, Blogger Matt said...

"because he seems ignorant of how difficult it is to tell even the most simple screen story. "

No, I'm really not.


"Mann, Bay, Ratner and all the other names are gifted, summa cum laude graduates of the basics. "

Fine, they know how to work a camera and can command a set. Doesn't make them good directors.

Don't go assuming you understand anything about my personal tastes. Two of my favorite films this year are Drag me to Hell and The Hangover.

This isn't about artsy versus blockbuster. This is about solid storytelling.

I'm not that familiar with Ratner's work, although I did think the Hannibal Lector film he did was pretty good. Hated Rush Hour 1, hated After The Sunset.

But Bay is not a good storyteller. He can get people that know how to do explosions, and CGI, but that does not make him a good director. Spielberg can do all of the technical stuff and tell a story. So can Fincher.

Fincher could do a big budget action film with his eyes closed.

Michael Bay could not make a small, indie film. Of course, this is my opinion based on seeing almost all of his movies and hearing him talk about film.

Megan Fox criticized his films for not really being about the acting.

His response was to go on about how he made Cage, Affleck, Will Smith, etc into huge movie stars, so Fox must be wrong.

He can't even figure out the difference between quality acting and being a movie star. He seems to think it's one and the same.

As for my experience, I've worked on sets, made a few short films, and have written several screenplays.

But it's not relevant. Roger Ebert wrote one script with Russ Meyer, but is he not qualified to critique Michael Bay's films?

It's a silly argument.

 
At 5:35 AM, Blogger Lisa said...

Scott: glad to hear you are okay. I got the same diagnosis and biopsy fun about five years ago and it too was nothing. But it scared me enough to take advantage of the time I have here and change my career to something I enjoy like writing. It also scared me into purchasing a home theater system...finally. :)

 
At 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Is that an example of your wit? Because it's lacking."

Your retort proves my point.

"I made my point."

With arbitrary assertions and vitriol? You did make one point -- a point of disappearing when you can't answer questions.

Again, if Bay is garden variety or worse, why doesn't every producer just hire a much less expensive option than Bay and his team and get the same box office results? If anyone can do it, why don't they? They don't want hit movies and gobs of money? Absurd.

"I don't remember being asked. And although I have a lot of experience, it's not relevant. Most movie critics are not filmmakers. And if you are able to give a positive judgement without having experience, you are also allowed to give negative judgement."

Like the questions about legacy, why Bay has a knack that others don't, you don't seem to remember being asked questions you can't answer. How convenient? But of course you can give your judgement -- positive or negative -- just as those who read your judgements can make judgements on those judgements. You're awfully sensitive to criticism of your criticism others.

"I've never played professional basketball. Does that mean I can't judge a teams performance."

You sure can. But you too can be judged on your judging. And someone might point out that an NBA coach (Spielberg) might have more insight to a team's performance (Bay's) than the drunk fan sitting up in the rafters shouting "YOU BUM!" -- who lost to his sister in a game of H-O-R-S-E the day before.

"Over some, yes. Not over EC though. I give him some shit, but I think he's funny and I like reading his posts."

"Fair enough. I hope you know I'm not really ripping on you. I just have different taste."

Oooh, I see. We all had it wrong. EC was your pal all along! (or Matt's way of waving the white flag since his smears aren't working).

"Yeah. So?"
"how would you have more insight than me?"
"Not sure what you're talking about,"
"Seriously, you can do better than this."
"No, I'm really not."

The witty wordsmith in top form.

"Fine, they know how to work a camera and can command a set."

Is that all they do? Do you know what you're talking about? And, btw, these directors rarely "work a camera" now -- but you know that, right? Right. Maybe a wedding videographer could make Transformers 3.

"Don't go assuming you understand anything about my personal tastes."

But we have your comments -- and your blogger profile. Your favorite movies -- as well as your interest in porno splicing into children's films -- gives us at least some idea of your perspective on things.

 
At 12:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Michael Bay could not make a small, indie film. Of course, this is my opinion based on seeing almost all of his movies and hearing him talk about film."

Interesting. You've seen almost of all of Bay's movies, huh? How did he manage to take up your time like that -- with all those horrible movies? Very telling. I only saw the The Rock, Armageddon and the first Transformers -- none of them at a theater. You seem like a fan of sorts -- or are you in the the balcony next to Ebert and his flashlight and pad? Or were you sitting in the front row with a jumbo popcorn next to your old(new) pal EC?

"Megan Fox criticized his films for not really being about the acting."

They aren't about the acting. But why does she do them? And why is Megan Fox's opinion of Bay important while Spielberg's isn't?

"His response was to go on about how he made Cage, Affleck, Will Smith, etc into huge movie stars, "

Why did those other actors sign up to do a movie with that horrible director? Isn't the director and script the primary reasons that an actor accepts a role? I don't know the hiring history of each film, but in each case -- once Bay was attached, why not say no?

"But it's not relevant. Roger Ebert wrote one script with Russ Meyer, but is he not qualified to critique Michael Bay's films? It's a silly argument."

An argument that no one but you has brought up. I was just curious as to where you were coming from -- more so when you didn't answer right away. As for Roger Ebert, the list of directors and actors who critique the critic based on his lack of background is long and illustrious -- and includes your favorites, btw. Even so, are you saying that you're just a critic like Ebert? He attempts to provide a reasoned argument for his views on a film. I've never heard pearls like these...

"Transformers is the movie equivalent of being kicked in the scrotum repeatedly. Nothing good about it."

"McG and Ratner bang all the chicks and have all the cash they could ever need, and they really dont' care about a legacy."

"Because Ratner is only motivated by greed. He doesn't seem to care about leaving any kind of legacy, he'll make shit films that are of somebody elses design just to get more ladies and cash."

"Spielberg always found a way to balance art and commerce. It's a let down to me that he's teamed up with such a talentless jerk."

"If Ratner is concerned about a legacy, I've got some bad fucking news for him. "

...from real film critics.

They're slightly more thoughtful than that.

 
At 4:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was a serious dressing down... Seriously... Good job!

 
At 9:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting article on the "Big 3" -- meaning the three most nightmarish directors on set:

Cameron, Bay... and Michael Mann.

Apparently one of them isn't worth the trouble.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-06-30/public-enemies-true-crimes/

 
At 10:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll speak for Matt and say he emphatically disagrees with this article on the grounds that the reporter is a douche who doesn't know what she's talking about.

He will immediately draft a comment to said reporter and "rip" her a new one.

He will also forward the comment to all of her so-called sources that spoke ill of Mr. Mann and add a post script: Matt will correct their misguided beliefs and values and re-direct them on the golden, yet scuzzy and talentless path of Mr. Bay.

He will also claim victory in so far as Mr. Bay was indeed part of the "big 3."

Furthermore, and forever after, Matt will ignore all other criticism hurled at Cameron, but especially Mann, within the article, wipe it clean from his memory where it will remain, buried and dead, never to resurface. Ever.

 
At 5:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Two of my favorite films this year are Drag me to Hell and The Hangover."

Geez Matt, The Hangover is a favorite?! But that's a box office smash! Don't you even care about your legacy as a critic?? You and Mann know damn well it takes much more talent to make a boring dud than a commercial hit. You know audiences only turn out for crap.

What happened to your artistic integrity?

p.s. Transformers 2 -- 14 days -- 305mill

 
At 6:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn these comment sections have become nasty, pointless dreck.

 

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