‘The Social Network’ Holds For #1 Again; ‘Life As We Know It’ Comes Close For #2, ‘Secretariat’ Comes Up Lame #3



 

 

SATURDAY PM/SUNDAY AM UPDATE: The following are North American grosses for Friday and weekend and cumes. I won’t bother with a 4-day box office report because Columbus Day in the U.S. and Thanksgiving Day in Canada aren’t statistically significant. (Only 34% of America’s K-12 and 18% of college students are out of school.) Notwithstanding, Sunday will be a strong attendance day and Monday will just be a good day.

1. The Social Network (Sony) Week 2 [2,771 Theaters]
Friday $4.8M, Saturday $6.3M, Weekend $15.5M (-31%), Cume $46.4M

Hollywood could see this was shaping up as a really interesting Columbus Day weekend and a possible 3-way race between Sony’s The Social Network and Warner Bros’ Life As We Know It and Disney’s Secretariat. I was told that if any of these 3 movies could get over $15M, then that pic would win the weekend. But by Friday afternoon, Disney sources already were admitting to me that Secretariat was underperforming, so that pretty much dropped the horse out of the running for No. 1 even if it experienced good expansion Saturday. My box office gurus predicted correctly it should come down to the wire between Life and Social Network, and it did. Life pulled ahead on Date Night because of a higher theater count. But Saturday depended on “how many guys come along” to see Life, one studio exec told me. ”If it’s a modest females-only expansion to $15M, then Social Network has a real shot.” Sony was hoping for less than a -40% drop for Social Network‘s Friday grosses compared to a week ago. Overall, it fell only -31% compared to last weekend. Needless to say, the Culver City execs are jubilant today. ”That’s the best hold for a 2nd weekend (FSS) of any #1 opening this year. Inception was -32%,” a Sony exec gushed to me.

2. Life As We Know It (Warner Bros) NEW [3,150 Theaters]
Friday $5M, Saturday $5.6M, Weekend $14.6M

Life As We Know It was always expected to take some of the younger female audience away from Secretariat. The exit polls seemed to demonstrate that. While rom-coms are growing more lame by the minute, Life proved to satisfy audiences with its “A-” Cinemascore. The film always tested in the 90′s ,which is why Warner Bros felt that its sneaks last weekend would help generate positive word of mouth. That seemed to have happened Friday when the pic won the box office only to come in 2nd place for the weekend. So let’s talk about Greg Berlanti who’s come a long way since he created The WB weblet’s Everwood and Jack & Bobby. He’s the executive producer of ABC’s Brothers And Sisters as well as this season’s No Ordinary Family which is now ABC’s most promising new drama, doing respectable business as a self-starter in one of the most competitive time slots. Berlanti’s TV work may not be considered “cool” but Warner Bros has given him some hot film projects: He’s the writer and producer on the studio’s Green Lantern and sequel, and is doing the story for them on The Flash and Clash Of The Titans 2. That said, Warner Bros and Katherine Heigl usually do better box office with rom-coms. I think the turn-off was the kid.

3. Secretariat (Disney) NEW [3,072 Theaters]
Friday $4M, Saturday $5.1M, Weekend $12.6M

Rarely have I seen so much snark as there’s been this weekend now that Secretariat came up lame at the box office despite its “A” Cinemascore and PG advantage. But Friday night it hit a West Coast wall, leaving only Saturday for Disney to hope to capture some of the family crowds and see hidden strength in the Heartland. It did overperform in Salt Lake City, Denver, Phoenix, Dallas, Seattle. Attendance skewed older (ages 35+ at 58%) and slightly female (55%). Couples comprised the majority at 67% with families second at 27%. Still the pic underperformed despite last Saturday’s sneak previews around the nation as well as an aggressive 6-week screening program with approximately 250 screenings in the Top 50 markets. (Locations included large churches and military bases.) Disney is known for producing “movies that inspire” (Remember The Titans, Miracle, Invincible, The Rookie) especially with a sports focus. But the majority of those films have opened in the $16M-19M range. Problem is, Disney thought Secretariat could perform like The Blind Side and it didn’t. Good thing the production cost was only low-$30sM. 

All weekend, rival studio execs snarked to me about how the Secretariat marketing campaign was “horrid,” in the words of one. “The only audience interested was old females, but the print and the spots made it look like an action movie. Where was The Blind Side‘s spunky female empowerment, the comedy, the romance?” Criticized another, “I think when you take the beautiful Diane Lane and turn her into a frumpy aged-up woman, you’re flirting with danger. Then there’s the whole horse thing, which is probably second only to boxing in moviegoing ‘who cares?’. Plus, Seabiscuit opened in summer when there was a dearth of adult pictures and it really stood out. This one is awash in a sea of adult movies.” Seabiscuit from Universal opened with $20.8M over the weekend of July 25, 2003, and was considered an underperformer. “I know Seabiscuit worked,” a rival exec tells me, “but Seabiscuit was based on a bestselling book with a real underdog story about an underdog horse. The tables are switched with this story because the horse was dominant but the owner was the underdog. Big difference.”

As for Disney marketing, it’s a weak start for the Rich Ross regime which inherited this movie from predecessor Dick Cook. No one’s impressed yet with Ross’ new marketing czarina MT Carney (who comes across as Ross’ Yes Woman, I hear). And it’s nothing short of bizarre that the studio brought in the despised Valerie Van Galder to help on the Pirates Of The Caribbean 4 campaign. 

4. Legends Of The Guardian (Warner Bros) Week 3 [3,225 Theaters]
Friday $1.8M, Saturday $2.9M, Weekend $7M, Cume $39.4M

5. My Soul To Take 3D (Rogue Pictures/Universal) NEW [2,572 Theaters]
Friday $2.7M, Saturday $2.6M, Weekend $6.9M

More single-digit grosses for Relativity/Rogue (which Universal services) despite horror legend Wes Craven’s return to the genre. He not only directed but wrote the screenplay, his first original in more than 16 years and his first 3D venture. Then again, the box office is crowded with horror flicks after last weekend’s releases of Case 39 and Let Me In, which both performed subpar. I hear the production budget was $25M. Exit polling showed the audience was predominantly female (54%) and 48%/52% under/over age 25.

6. The Town (Warner Bros) Week 4 [2,720 theaters]
Friday $1.8M, Saturday $2.7M, Weekend $6.3M, Cume $73.7M

7. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (Fox) Week 3 [2,829 Theaters]
Friday $1.4M, Saturday $2M, Weekend $4.6M, Cume $43.6M

8. Easy A (Screen Gems/Sony) Week 4 [2,847 Theaters]
Friday $1.3M, Saturday $1.8M, Weekend $4.2M, Cume $48.1M

9. Case 39 (Paramount Vantage) Week 2 [2,212 Theaters]
Friday $814K, Saturday $1M, Weekend $2.6M (-50%), Cume $9.6M

10. You Again (Disney) Week 3 [2,332 Theaters]
Friday $750K, Saturday $950K, Weekend $2.4M, Cume $20.7M

Comments (173)

  • Disney did a shit shit shit shit shit job marketing this movie.

    Comment by jayson — Friday October 8, 2010 @ 12:55pm PDT  
    • I so agree. If they had any clue, they would have released this during the Breeder’s Cup or Pacific Classic runnings. Dopes.

      Comment by Mark — Friday October 8, 2010 @ 2:44pm PDT  
    • Maybe the shit job is really people prefer violence instead of something that has meaning. That scares me. Did you even see this movie? It is a great family movie for all ages to actually walk out of the theatre saying that was fantastic. You are clueless.

      Comment by John andrews — Friday October 8, 2010 @ 9:26pm PDT  
      • He wasn’t criticising the movie, just the way it was sold to the public. They’re two separate things.

        Comment by Spacelamb — Saturday October 9, 2010 @ 6:06am PDT  
      • It has nothing to do with violence, the top 3 films are non violent, is just that Secretariat is a boring movie, tell by the numbers with nothing new to offer…

        Comment by JK — Saturday October 9, 2010 @ 2:59pm PDT  
        • Boring? I feel sorry for you that you have let movies without realness effect you. A movie that has good values and inspiration for our youth and you are bored. Did you need some violence and blood and that would have been cool. So sad. I hope one day you learn the importance of not a huge special effects movie but the smaller movie that makes you feel wonderful emotions that we don’t get to feel.

          Comment by John andrews — Saturday October 9, 2010 @ 10:00pm PDT  
          • you realize some/most people go to the movies for escapism, right? just because people might get excited for special effects, or even blood and violence doesnt mean that they and need a movie with ‘good values’ and ‘inspiration’ to help them feel good about themselves. i lead a pretty happy and fulfilling life, yet im not interested in a feel-good, touching story about horse racing. it’s just not my cup o’ tea. does that mean you should add me to the list of people you ‘feel sorry’ for? Come down off of your high horse. (pun intended.)

            Comment by Kevin — Sunday October 10, 2010 @ 2:02pm PDT  
          • “inspiration to our youth” … really? a horse movie is supposed to grab our imagination somehow and make us feel better? it’s a horse movie. we don’t watch horse movies. the only horse movie i seem to recall liking as a kid was with john candy. no, i take that back. the horse movie with viggo morgensen was awesome. but horses were only part of the plot, not a selling point. we don’t want inspirational movies — we want good movies.

            Comment by matt — Sunday October 10, 2010 @ 6:40pm PDT  
      • But nither “The Social Network” nor “Life As We Know It” has any violence. So, uh…

        Comment by kelland — Saturday October 9, 2010 @ 3:47pm PDT  
    • Numbers are VERY anemic this weekend… since when was $15m enough for #1? Remember last year, when offensive trash like Couples Retreat netted $34m? Law Abiding Citizen, a film so brain-dead they forgot the hyphen, even that managed to rake in the green. But this year, it’s been one cable concept after another, and with ticket prices surging, audiences are finally staying away.

      Who wants to spend $15 on Jackass 3-D next weekend? Remember what they used to say about cocaine? “It’s for people with too much money.”

      Comment by No Encore — Saturday October 9, 2010 @ 5:49am PDT  
      • That is true, but “Couple’s Retreat” had zero competition from any other major releases the weekend that it opened. Also, there had not been another romantic comedy for about a month before and after it.

        Comment by Jo — Saturday October 9, 2010 @ 8:12am PDT  
      • I take that back. There was not another romantic comedy released for about three months (!) after it.

        Comment by Jo — Saturday October 9, 2010 @ 8:42am PDT  
        • Good point. But even so, “Life” should be doing better than $15m. It’s the first romantic drama in some time, a perfect cookie-cutter flick for the date crowd, and yet it’s struggling to reach $5m OD? People are just staying away from the theater for whatever reason. Maybe it’ll change in a few weeks when kids are screaming to watch Megamind.

          For the record, I’m not suggesting it’s a box office apocalypse: We saw the same repetitive pattern of ugly returns in fall 2007. The only difference was, nobody insisted The Heartbreak Kid, Good Luck Chuck or 3:10 to Yuma were smash hits.

          Comment by No Encore — Sunday October 10, 2010 @ 6:26am PDT  
          • “It’s the first romantic drama in some time, a perfect cookie-cutter flick for the date crowd, and yet it’s struggling to reach $5m OD?”

            Actually, LIFE is a demographic turn-off across the board. Parents don’t want to see a candy-apple “joy of parenting” flick. Singles don’t want to see a movie in which singles are forced into being spouse and parent. Older audiences aren’t down for cookie-cutter _anything_. And everyone else don’t care or ain’t got the money to waste.

            Comment by deering — Monday October 11, 2010 @ 9:28pm PDT  
      • Heigel’s film did considerably less than some of her previous efforts. If she’s such a big Rom Com star why did she open with $5 million less than The Bounty “Hunter” did opening weekend? Per theater gross “Life As We Know It” is on par with “The Switch.” Seriously, WTF.

        Comment by Mike — Sunday October 10, 2010 @ 6:53am PDT  
        • This film tanked for one reason and one reason only. Single people on a date don’t want to see a movie about them being forced to become a parent to a child that is not biologically there’s. Fatherhood scares the hell out of men to begin with, but to have to watch a movie about raising someone else’s child is a huge buzz kill. Men (in general) are very territorial about their seed. It’s the reason so many women who have children out of wedlock never find another husband until they meet a divorced father. Single men have ZERO desire to raise another man’s kid.

          And young parents don’t want to spend extra money on a sitter to remind them of what they already know– parenting is hard.

          If this movie had been available on demand it’s first weekend I think you would seen huge numbers from exactly that crowd — young parents.

          Comment by Not Katie's Mom...really — Sunday October 10, 2010 @ 8:59am PDT  
          • I hadn’t thought about it that way but that makes a lot of sense. I definitely don’t want to raise another dude’s seed. Now THAT’s a horror movie.

            Comment by Hmm — Sunday October 10, 2010 @ 11:04am PDT  
          • As a single male, I completely agree with you. Just the other night, I was flirting with a very cute girl at a bar. The moment she mentioned her child, the conversation was over and I moved on.

            Comment by TheMateo — Sunday October 10, 2010 @ 2:32pm PDT  
        • You can’t compare it’s averages with the Switch. A movie could open in four theatres and get that average.
          and as long as you’re comparing them, aren’t Jennifer Anniston/Jason Bateman much bigger stars than Heigl/Duhamel? Yes their movie tanked.

          Comment by mick — Sunday October 10, 2010 @ 9:46am PDT  
          • I compare the two because both were rom coms going after essentially the same audience. And both feature a kid. I was under the impression that Heigel was THE it girl when it came to the Rom Com genre whereas we’ve been hearing for years that Aniston can’t cut it as a movie star. My point is, Heigel’s films were doing $25-30 million a couple of years ago and now they are doing Aniston numbers— without all of the bad press.

            The general attitude is that Aniston isn’t Heigel. Well, Heigel isn’t Heigel anymore either. In another year or two Reese Witherspoon won’t be a a Reese Witherspoon at the rate she’s going. Don’t even get me started on Renee Zellwegger or Kate Hudson. Not sure what happened there. Sandra Bullock is the only one who is holding steady in the rom com genre. The rest get a pass. But Aniston is the only one who ever seems to get slammed after opening weekend, for weeks at a time, even though she’s essentially pulling in similar numbers.

            Comment by Marc — Sunday October 10, 2010 @ 1:53pm PDT  
    • Secretariat is bombing because it already came out 7 years ago and it was called Seabiscuit. Replace Diane Lane with Jeff Bridges and you could swap the commercials shot for shot.

      Comment by Josh — Saturday October 9, 2010 @ 5:39pm PDT  
    • I hear they did a SHIT job telling the REAL story, feeling they had to Disney it up for it to be marketable. Secretariat is to horses what Ali is to heavy weight boxing. They both represent the height and decline of their respective sports. There are many people alive who remember the magic of this horse from an era when radio still dutifully gave daily track results. That story needed to be examined and told. I think most people with that memory would rather have something sublime like Coppola’s “Black Stallion” instead of this TYPICAL rendering.

      Comment by Neil — Sunday October 10, 2010 @ 3:49pm PDT  
      • THE BLACK STALLION was the underrated Carroll Ballard’s film.

        Comment by ari — Sunday October 10, 2010 @ 10:35pm PDT  
    • they did a terrible job. it’s about a miracle horse, the greatest racehorse to have ever lived — a true phenom — and they marketed it like it’s the Hallmark channel. It’s such a shame. I thought it was much better than The Blind Side, it’s directed by Wallace!

      Comment by anon — Sunday October 10, 2010 @ 4:55pm PDT  
    • The jockey was a bilingual Canadian (not a southern boy)
      Horses are saddled in the paddock, and an unsaddled in front of the grandstand (not at the barn).
      The groom was one of the wisest most colorful people in eastern racing lore.
      The trainer was a serious stern French Canadian.
      Riva Ridge saved the farm, not Secretariat.
      Keenland does not look like Belmont.

      The jockeys on the defeated horses were all right-arming their horses to death so secretariat could win. It was so obvious that non-track people can see one jockey trying and the others cheating so secretariat could be win.

      HEY DIRECTOR: buy twenty $1,500 loser horses and buy one $50,000 horse so that you get the obvious difference between Secretariat and all other horses.

      Comment by live-on-the-track — Sunday October 10, 2010 @ 7:18pm PDT  
  • 2011 Acadamy Awards are going to be the lowest rated EVER! This years movies are a yawn fest. The “A-Team” may sweep the “Oscars”, that’s how crappy a year we’ll have. I’m chalking this year up as a loss.

    Comment by Alex — Friday October 8, 2010 @ 12:59pm PDT  
    • I don’t know about that. Inception will be up for best pic and a lot of technical awards. That film is beloved by the very people the Oscars need to bring back. Gen-Y twenty-somethings. Old people still watch out of habit.

      Comment by bill — Friday October 8, 2010 @ 1:07pm PDT  
    • HAHAHAHA The A-Team won’t win anything but the flop of the year award.

      for it to not make even 100 million overseas after five months is
      pretty bad for such a big budget action movie

      Comment by insider — Friday October 8, 2010 @ 6:07pm PDT  
    • Weird comment Alex.

      Most oscar movies come out in december so making any statement about oscar shows rating already is futile

      Also the ratings are always helped by one blockbuster getting in some major noms (like Titanic, Avatar, lotr movies). This year very possibly Inception will fill that role

      Comment by jake — Saturday October 9, 2010 @ 2:55am PDT  
    • The lowest rated Oscars has been, and always will be, the year of the independents, in the mid 90′s. The only picture you’ve heard of from the 5 nominees is Jerry McGuire, and that record will never be broken, if indeed it’s something to aspire to.

      Comment by Matches Malone — Saturday October 9, 2010 @ 5:11am PDT  
      • Seriously? The other 4 nominees were Fargo, The English Patient, Shine and Secrets & Lies.

        Yeah, no one has heard of those.

        Comment by snicks — Saturday October 9, 2010 @ 9:25am PDT  
        • I happen to know those films (excluding Secrets & Lies), but I’m willing to bet that not a whole hell of a lot of people do.

          Comment by AD — Saturday October 9, 2010 @ 4:38pm PDT  
      • From your blog, Matches:

        “I believe that God has put me on a path to honor him through my work in the entertainment industry.”

        So you’re a devout religious guy but you celebrate box-office and popularity above all else? Because the Best Picture noms that year featured some outstanding films with much more artistic and cultural worth than “Jerry Maguire.”

        Comment by Film Lover — Saturday October 9, 2010 @ 10:10am PDT  
      • I looked it up just because I was curious.

        You should really quit trying to speak for other people. Who in 1996 hadn’t heard of Shine, or The English Patient?

        Or, you know… FARGO. Are you retarded? This is a serious question.

        Comment by Ryan — Sunday October 10, 2010 @ 6:05am PDT  
        • Don’t…the ratings…prove his point? AT THE TIME, a lot of people in America had not heard of those movies, which had no stars in them, two of which were British, none of whom had a huge box office prior to the Oscars (and obviously no DVD sales yet). Not really a controversial concept. This year’s Oscars is guaranteed to do better than that year.

          Comment by Uh — Sunday October 10, 2010 @ 11:10am PDT  
  • Secretariat was way behind in the Kentucky Derby, yet won the race. Perhaps Disney can pull it off as well…uh..then again… Horseracing fans go to the track, not the movies.

    Comment by Micoos — Friday October 8, 2010 @ 1:12pm PDT  
    • Anything but Heigl!

      Comment by Barad Kharami — Friday October 8, 2010 @ 1:19pm PDT  
      • finally someone said it…Heigl is not liked

        Comment by razor — Sunday October 10, 2010 @ 9:34am PDT  
  • Saw Secretariat. I enjoyed it a lot. However 98% audience were seniors. I’m not saying that’s bad but I hope the appeal is broader than that.

    Comment by Curtis Scoon — Friday October 8, 2010 @ 1:19pm PDT  
    • we just checked out trailers before Secrtariat – empty theatre, but amongst those there – two walkers and one cane. is over 70 one of those four quadrants dinsey was aiming for?

      Comment by bob i — Friday October 8, 2010 @ 2:28pm PDT  
      • My parents took our daughters to see Secretariat. The kids got bored early on so they switched to the Owl movie. Hollywood is going to really suffer if this is all they have to offer. We are in a RECESSION. Ticket prices are high but many people are staying home and waiting for these films to come on cable or DVD.

        Harry Potter isn’t doing 3D so that may affect some of its box office. The indie movies that award people love don’t bring big money. Basically Hollywood needs fresh ideas. They need to reconnect with the audience.

        Comment by Mina — Saturday October 9, 2010 @ 9:28am PDT  
      • oh for crying out loud — why the hate for older people? Their money’s just as green.

        And even if they’re not Disney’s target audience, it makes sense that this movie would interest older folks who remember Secretariat. Why badmouth seniors who feel like going to the movies when there’s FINALLY something that might interest them, and why badmouth Disney because of it?

        Maybe Bob I. wants to live in a world where “Transformers 2″ and “Battleship” are the only movies to choose from — yay, smart studios should only market movies to 13 year old boys.

        Or maybe Bob I. doesn’t have parents or grandparents or know anyone over the age 40 or thinks society should ignore everyone or 40 or doesn’t realize if he’s lucky and watches what he eats and exercises he’ll be lucky to make it to the theater when he’s over 70.

        Comment by supersned — Sunday October 10, 2010 @ 10:52am PDT  
  • First of all… the title. Yes, I realize it’s the name of the horse. But considering the majority of the young filmgoers these days don’t know who “Secretariat” was, it leaves them wondering… is it about an office? Is it political? It’s not remotely engaging. Secondly, the trailers were dull. They basically said, if you’re not interested in horses, this movie is not for you.

    Comment by Reality Bites — Friday October 8, 2010 @ 1:25pm PDT  
    • The same argument could have been made for “Seabiscuit.” However, Tobey Maguire vs. Diane Lane. It’s the cast and appeal, not the concept this time. Maybe if Richard Gere was in this flick…

      Comment by Micoos — Friday October 8, 2010 @ 2:58pm PDT  
      • Actually “Seabiscuit” is a very intriguing name. I actually do think “Secretariat” is very confusing. I actually just saw the poster last week and was surprised why there was a horse on it.

        Comment by Henry — Friday October 8, 2010 @ 10:00pm PDT  
        • I couldn’t pronounce it until I saw the trailer and heard the name. With that being said, there is a big difference in Spiderman opening a movie than Diane Lane. It’s really that simple.

          Comment by Teddy — Saturday October 9, 2010 @ 3:49am PDT  
          • You couldn’t pronounce “Secretariat”?

            Comment by lannard — Saturday October 9, 2010 @ 3:52pm PDT  
    • I completely agree about that title. terrible.

      Comment by cookmeyer1970 — Saturday October 9, 2010 @ 8:45am PDT  
      • Also agree with the title. I mean, yeah, it’s the name of the horse, but younger people these days DO judge a book by its cover. If it sounds lame, or they can’t even make out the name, they won’t bother. Sad but true.

        Comment by AD — Saturday October 9, 2010 @ 4:44pm PDT  
        • I agree that it’s a terrible title. Sometimes a bad title is damaging, but sometimes it isn’t. Look at Inception.

          Comment by hobbled — Monday October 11, 2010 @ 3:24pm PDT  
    • Also, Seabiscuit was couched as a real under-dog story – the horse, the jockey, the trainer were all underdogs.
      This looked more like “bored rich housewife takes up a hobby” – and there wasn’t enough testosterone to get guys who usually wouldn’t want to see a horse movie.
      But how could Disney expect another Blind Side? Blind Side got an African American audience – I doubt you will see any black folks at Secretariat. also, Blind Side is contemporary and has Football which is much more relatable to Americans – AND, it has a strong Christian message.

      Comment by Mick — Sunday October 10, 2010 @ 9:51am PDT  
      • It’s a true story! She’s not a bored housewife.
        Secretariat is the greatest racehorse to have ever lived.
        His legendary win, was won by 31 lengths. It’s unheard of.
        They did a poor, poor job marketing.

        Comment by secfan — Sunday October 10, 2010 @ 5:00pm PDT  
    • I wonder if it will be retitled for overseas release. Secretariat may mean something to those of you in the USA, but it’s pretty meaningless to those of us outside the USA. I thought it may have been a new Steve Carell vehicle :)

      Comment by BigKev — Sunday October 10, 2010 @ 6:47pm PDT  
  • The Blind Side was a slow build and came out of the pack over time just like the horse named Secretariat. It defied Hollywood’s pre- conceived notions of movie going habits. Secretariat has been marketed in a similar way… to Red State, working class people in the middle of America. To women. To people who love sports. To people who don’t go to movies the opening weekend.

    Disney got off to a late start with the right marketing for this film. Definitely their bad. We will see if they can make it up in the stretch.

    Somehow Hollywood thinks hope has gone out of fashion. In dark times people need to see stories about underdogs. Particularly true stories. We can all be super cynical but movies like Erin Brockovich, Jerry Maguire, Slum Dog, The Blind Side but they touch a chord in people. And those people buy tickets to be given that shot of hope.

    I want to ask Hollywood if they just making movies for their own personal entertainment (which seems so cynical and limited and dark) and the entertainment of 13 year old boys? Because it feels like that is all that is out there. Either overly hip, cynical films or Transformers.
    Every time Hollywood makes a movie that a variety of people go to the industry experts say it is a fluke. There are quite a few 100-300 million dollar making flukes out there that weren’t that expensive to make and market.
    Why is there only one Blind Side and one Secretariat a year? Why not try and make more of those films? Mamma Mia bright in a BUNDLE to Universal and yet they have no musicals in quick development over there.
    WB rags on the Sex and the City franchise like the homophobic misogynists they are there and are laughing all the way to the bank.
    What gives? Does Hollywood like shooting itself in the foot?
    You can do a million marketing studies but there studio execs take no creative risks and they seem cut off from reality.

    Comment by Paul Revere — Friday October 8, 2010 @ 1:45pm PDT  
    • It seems sort of misplaced to end a long rant defending paint by numbers films like Blind Side and Secretariat with a complaint that studios “don’t take risks”.

      Comment by Pete — Friday October 8, 2010 @ 2:31pm PDT  
      • Uhhh hello! Paint by numbers is all the studios do these days. You can thank Big Gov for screwing up the distribution/theater system.

        Comment by Mark — Friday October 8, 2010 @ 2:46pm PDT  
        • Um, surely you’re not complaining about the 50 year old court decision that eliminated vertical integration in the film industry and busted up the studio system?

          Explain to us how Inception was “paint by numbers”. How about 127 Hours? Assassination of Jesse James?

          Comment by Pete — Friday October 8, 2010 @ 2:55pm PDT  
    • Blind Side was NOT a slow build. It was strong right on opening weekend, when it made $35 million when most experts were expecting it to make $15 – $20 million, and on the same weekend New Moon came out, no less. Then the movie had extraordinary legs.

      Secretariat was never going to be a huge Friday date night movie. Family matinees are where it should be strong. Don’t know why Nikki is trying to call this so early.

      Comment by Anon — Friday October 8, 2010 @ 7:36pm PDT  
    • The Blindside was the perfect combination of the American big 3: Racism, religion, and football. THAT’S why it did so well with the Bible belt, mid-west, church groups and both coasts. Now everyone thinks every “feel good” movie is like the Blindside, it’s not. This is a movie about horse racing for crying out loud, no social ills whatsoever.

      Comment by Darren — Saturday October 9, 2010 @ 6:05am PDT  
      • Darren:

        Where the hell is the racism in that movie… Name it! You can’t!

        Comment by Chauncy Garnder — Saturday October 9, 2010 @ 10:30pm PDT  
        • Darren did you sleep through the Blindside? One of the major themes was the racism and fear of Michael because he is a big black man. One of the best scenes is where Bullock tells off the snotty housewives for their bigotry.

          Comment by Anonymei — Sunday October 10, 2010 @ 3:03pm PDT  
    • are you an idiot?

      Comment by steve — Saturday October 9, 2010 @ 11:51am PDT  
  • “2011 Acadamy Awards are going to be the lowest rated EVER! This years movies are a yawn fest.”

    Could not disagree more.

    The Social Network is great.

    The Fighter is great.

    Black Swan is great.

    The Way Back is great.

    127 Hours is great.

    And True Grit looks great.

    Very good year for movies. They’re all just being released now.

    Comment by Chris — Friday October 8, 2010 @ 1:48pm PDT  
    • Hey Chris,

      Let’s assume you are correct and these are all great films. The problem is that very few people will actually see these films.

      Oscar ratings equal a film which large audiences support, and hence, they watch the show to see their favorites win.

      Proof:

      The last three highest rated Academy Awards had Titanic, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, and this year although it did not win Best Picture…Avatar drove the ratings.

      The ratings are almost exactly proportionate to the nomination of films that people actually see and have an investment in their winning.

      And, if the Academy has its way and moves the Oscars to the end of January or early February, this is only to help the declining ratings which no longer support the huge ad costs.

      The only thing currently holding this move from happening is the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl dates.

      Comment by Tom — Friday October 8, 2010 @ 4:58pm PDT  
    • It seems to be shaping up as an okay year for film – but it was in actuality a lousy, lousy year for movies.

      Comment by Anonymous — Friday October 8, 2010 @ 7:05pm PDT  
      • Unfortunately, everyone in Hollywood is clueless right now. On one hand you have people who want to make entertainment but are so dismissive of their audience that that they cluelessly buy something like The Family Circus. Then there are the serious film makers that think that people somehow want to see movies about obscure English royalty or a guy who cuts his arm off.

        NO ONE WANTS TO SEE THESE FILMS!!!!

        Comment by bill — Saturday October 9, 2010 @ 9:52am PDT  
    • True Grit?? They’re re-making True Grit?? BLASPHEMERS!!!

      Comment by BigKev — Sunday October 10, 2010 @ 6:41pm PDT  
  • Whoa. Does the early early returns mean that “Secretariat” won’t reach the 16m it was projected to do for the weekend. Humm. I saw the movie and liked it very much and thought it was uplifting, the horse racing sequences were exciting, and the music score and the songs used were great. Diane Lane and John Malkovich were excellent as well. Like some previous poster already stated many in the audience were seniors but great word of mouth coming out which should hopefully entice young ones to come out for the pic. We will see.

    Comment by filmgoer10 — Friday October 8, 2010 @ 2:17pm PDT  
    • The problem is that the actual story of Secretariat is relatively drama-free. The horse was considered a legit Triple Crown threat as a two year old, and won all three races without any challenge. The owner’s story isn’t really that dramatic either. A rich woman of privilige inherits a horse farm and the greatest horse of the modern era.

      Not exactly Seabiscuit here. Hell, not even the Black Stallion.

      Comment by Pete — Friday October 8, 2010 @ 2:58pm PDT  
    • Maybe the film will perform just like the horse — hang back and topple the competition in the end!

      Comment by secfan — Sunday October 10, 2010 @ 5:02pm PDT  
  • Yes, the year usually starts in October. But please spare me the Academy Awards speculations. It usually reads like a wishing-list of a third-grader: you know what you want for a present and decide in advance that it is everything you wished for.

    Comment by Helgi — Friday October 8, 2010 @ 2:20pm PDT  
  • Not that I care anything about Secretariat, but isn’t 12:48pm (3:48 ET) REALLY early to call the weekend? Anybody who is going to see that movie is STILL AT WORK!

    Comment by Ney — Friday October 8, 2010 @ 2:23pm PDT  
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