FRIDAY FORECAST: ‘Shutter’ to sink?

Posted by · 12:02 pm · February 19th, 2010

(from left) Ben Kingsley and Leonardo DiCaprio in Shutter Island*All historical figures cited are adjusted to today’s dollars.

It’s been a long time coming but “Shutter Island” finally hits screens this weekend, with no competition in sight. That’s right, Scorsese gets the weekend all to himself and his genre exercise, which is opening on just under 3,000 screens. The man is viewed as something of a deity, particularly on sites like this, and his fanbase clearly spans over more than one generation. At age 60, his career took a turn towards the populist and there seems to be no looking back. “Shutter Island” should be able to straddle the line between snobs and laymen, men and women and teens and adults. Sounds like a winning combination.

“The Departed” opened to $31 million in 2006 and is Scorsese’s highest grossing film, along with the reason he has an Oscar on his mantle. Picking up a lifetime achievement gong at the Golden Globes last month is just another reason why his profile has never been higher across the country. His last attempt at this type of film was 1991’s “Cape Fear,” which opened with $18.5 million en route to a $143.6 million finish, and that’s certainly not out of reach here, although I’d say it’s unlikely. I’ll say $33 million for the weekend and then it’ll need strong word of mouth to hit $100 million.

“Valentine’s Day” will almost be there by Sunday, even with a steep second weekend drop. Shaving off 60% will still give it $22.5 million and that’s worst case scenario. Well, actually, worst case scenario is already happening as Warners rushes to get the sequel, “New Year’s Eve” out in theaters. Congratulations America, you have demanded to see multi-ethnic celebrity casts prancing around vaguely connected storylines during a holiday and Hollywood will now duly deliver ad nauseam.

“The Wolfman” should also fall 55% or so for $14.2 million, which means it may wind up below even “Hidalgo” and “The Rocketeer” on Joe Johnston’s esteemed filmography. (All kidding aside, “The Rocketeer” is pretty badass.) “Percy Jackson” will hold up best and could have another $20 million weekend.

Then, there’s “Avatar,” which actually went up 3% last week when the actual figures came in and will probably gross at least another $15 million this weekend. James Cameron has now actually been forced to come up with new technology to help count his money.

I suspect almost everyone reading this will be checking out “Shutter Island,” so let us know what you think. Has the master still got it or should he give up filmmaking and become a film professor/historian? You know where I stand.

→ 37 Comments Tags: , , , , , | Filed in: Box Office · Friday Forecast

37 responses so far

  • 1 2-19-2010 at 12:45 pm

    Baxter said...

    I’ll never understand why Scorsese’s “B-movies” don’t do better at the box office, though granted I know nothing about how the box office works. But, Scorsese’s a legend, and not just among the “artsy folks,” as his movies (or Goodfellas, at least) are worshipped by teenage boys everywhere and his movies haven’t been short on stars.

    It just seems to me that something like Shutter Island or The Departed, while the latter did do relatively well at the box office, should do better than they seem to.

  • 2 2-19-2010 at 1:18 pm

    Fitz said...

    I’m doing my part by bringing four/five friends along. Hope this does well.

  • 3 2-19-2010 at 1:48 pm

    FrankieJ said...

    I saw it and actually loved it. In particular, DiCaprio gives an amazing performance. And Clarkson, in her scene, kills it. Naysayers, like Scott in the times, just don’t get what Scorsese’s trying to do here.

  • 4 2-19-2010 at 2:07 pm

    red_wine said...

    Ah well I would hardly say there’s anything artsy about Scorsese’s movies this decade or even the people who go ga-ga over them.

    He’s still a competent director but his glory days are far far behind. He wouldn’t even make a Top 30 for this decade’s best directors.

  • 5 2-19-2010 at 2:10 pm

    Michael said...

    “James Cameron has now actually been forced to come up with new technology to help count his money.”

    I LOLed at that quote. Good show mr. hartigan. Box office reports are usually boring (like at Box Office Mojo) but you make them out to be absolutely hilarious and entertaining.

    And I will definitely be going with a group of like 7 people to see Shutter Island on Sunday night, and I am pretty sure I will love it. I hope it is a huge hit and jumpstarts 2010 to start having some good films since it has been rather slow up to this point.

  • 6 2-19-2010 at 2:35 pm

    Bob McBob said...

    Chad, you think Scorsese should become a film professor/historian? why?

  • 7 2-19-2010 at 3:03 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    I haven’t liked his films in over a decade. I think he’s repeating himself and diminishing his reputation with each new film. I’m pretty sure I’m in the minority in that opinion though. However, his film knowledge and enthusiasm is unparalleled and would be invaluable to developing artists.

  • 8 2-19-2010 at 3:28 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Note: An earlier version of this post said “St. Patrick’s Day” rather than “New Years Eve,” because I honestly thought Chad was making a joke, and “St. Patrick’s Day” was funnier to me. I wasn’t aware that “New Years Eve” was an actual project being rushed into development, so I’m going to go find a gun and shoot myself in the face.

  • 9 2-19-2010 at 3:54 pm

    tony d said...

    I’d still rather watch Scorsese’s genre efforts than the middling movies of Brett Ratner and other directors

  • 10 2-19-2010 at 4:03 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    I’d rather watch neither. But I may actually be seeing Shutter Island with a group this evening. Low expectations could make for a pleasant surprise.

  • 11 2-19-2010 at 4:14 pm

    Brady said...

    Shutter Island was a huge let down. I went to the midnight showing last night and I was really disappointed. The acting was great, but Scorsese was not at his finest. A whole lot of tension for a poorly delivered twist.

  • 12 2-19-2010 at 5:21 pm

    Rogers said...

    I would rate the first half of Shutter Island 10/10 and the second about half 6/10, although that is pretty much everything I was expecting with a Lehane adaptation (i.e. overly complicated and convoluted plot and exposition to explain the twists, etc.) I was gearing up for something amazing, yet in the end all I got was something very, very good.

    My biggest disappointment was at the very end (MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW) I was excited at the opportunity of being somewhat unsure of whether Teddy was actually insane of whether they were tricking him into thinking so, as I thought both possibilities were about equally far-fetched, so it disappointed me when he regressed (or pretended to) right at the end, which seems to mean he was definitely insane. (SPOILERS END)

    It would have been cool to be able to see the whole movie in two completely different ways upon repeat viewings. Yet, as I type this, I’m starting to convince myself this is a minor-masterpiece. I am most certainly glad Martin Scorsese is still making movies.

  • 13 2-19-2010 at 5:34 pm

    Room 237 said...

    He was sane at the end. He made a choice. It’s another Christ retelling.

  • 14 2-19-2010 at 5:57 pm

    Rogers said...

    @Room 237 Yeah I know what you mean, but what I meant was that he was insane throughout and that was confirmed at the very end. I just wish that didn’t happen and it was left wide open.

  • 15 2-19-2010 at 6:39 pm

    Adam M. said...

    I quite liked Shutter Island. It’s much better than Cape Fear, which is the film in the Scorsese oeuvre most are comparing it to.


    And I agree that the ending was a big, fat missed opportunity– even if it stayed true to the novel. (I read the novel last summer, so very little in the film came as a surprise to me.) Daniels’ sanity should have been left ambiguous, allowing the film to be seen from two drastically different viewpoints.

    The flashback/dream/delusion sequences were absolutely stunning. Much more affecting than anything Lars von Trier managed to do in Antichrist, I’d say.

  • 16 2-19-2010 at 7:34 pm

    Adam said...

    Leonardo Dicaprio must get a best actor nomination this year and actually win it. He was beyond superb.

  • 17 2-19-2010 at 8:20 pm

    austin111 said...

    This is a very schizophrenic kind of film. Some things were fantastic (acting, score,certain scenes extremely powerful). Others seemed odd and somehow (maybe) purposefully flat. Still, I can’t get the damned thing out of my mind. I definitely have to see it again. I thought the ending was ambiguous personally. Given the multiple possible realities that the film seemed at times to embrace with open arms vs. odd little subliminal touches — were our minds being toyed with during the film as well. A hand ??mimes putting a glass of water down and then we see an actual glass being set upon a table. Certain mismatched scenes and different POVs (purposely introduced mind you). Were these some kind of clues being introduced to throw us into an alternative world? Hell, I don’t know.
    What I do know is that some critics either didn’t care enough to look at this closely enough or just plain missed the boat. They can rant all they want about others giving Scorsese some kind of pass for a “bad” film but I’m not buying most of their (largely) self-serving arguments.

  • 18 2-19-2010 at 9:05 pm

    JJ said...

    I mentioned this elsewhere. I loved the movie. Saw it tonight with 3 friends. 2 of them loved it, as well as me. The full crowd seemed into it. The film was steeped in atmosphere, it always had me guessing and second guessing, the acting was superb, the editing, tension, production values, etc. Loved the mindfuc*ery of it all. I don’t get how 3-4 out of every 10 critics did not like/get this. A.O. Scott hated Atonement, The Last Station, and this film. I’ve loved all three. He fails for me.

    Kris, have you seen? What’s your opinion?

  • 19 2-19-2010 at 10:38 pm

    Alex said...

    I enjoyed it. I think it’ll improve on its second viewing.

    (As written in Slate,) I would have rather seen Scorsese direct The Ghost Writer and see Polanski direct Shutter Island.

  • 20 2-19-2010 at 10:49 pm

    movieman said...

    “Shutter Island” is a loony house of cards and collapses very, very quickly into its running time. Easily the worst film of Scorsese’s career. Just my two cents.

  • 21 2-20-2010 at 12:58 am

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Huge. Piece. of. Shit.

  • 22 2-20-2010 at 6:08 am

    Charlie said...


    Could Leo possibly pull an Anthony Hopkins (a Best Actor nod/win for a February release?)

  • 23 2-20-2010 at 6:50 am

    Kyle said...

    Oscar talk for Shutter Island can pretty much be flushed down the toilet. What a piece of garbage, with an extremely predictable “twist”.

    Awful script especially.

  • 24 2-20-2010 at 8:12 am

    JJ said...

    WOW. Haha, I honestly don’t understand some of you guys. I thought ‘Shutter Island’ was truly great from nearly every angle; so did my theater. I mean, a little bloated, a little predictable (in spots). But what are you guys looking for? How can you say a film like this is any worse than 80% of the garbage that comes out on a regular basis?

  • 25 2-20-2010 at 8:37 am

    Kyle said...

    Different strokes. I’m glad your theater liked it…mine was full of laughter at how over the top it was, especially the last scene between Leo and Michelle.

  • 26 2-20-2010 at 9:01 am

    average joe said...

    Lazy. Piece. of. Criticism.

  • 27 2-20-2010 at 9:13 am

    SoSueMe said...

    I love you average joe.

  • 28 2-20-2010 at 9:33 am

    Room 237 said...

    Accuracy > complexity

  • 29 2-20-2010 at 9:50 am

    Chad Hartigan said...

    I’ll write more in my Sunday column but lazy is exactly what the film is and deserves. It’s the worst film I’ve seen in the theater in at least four years.

  • 30 2-20-2010 at 10:01 am

    moviefan1 said...

    Does anyone think DiCAprio has a chance for Best Actor?

  • 31 2-20-2010 at 10:39 am

    Maxim said...

    Scorsese’s reputation has little to do with his fimmaking skills or the quality of his films. Seriously, even popular culture doesn’t understand him. I’m sorry but comments like “The man is viewed as something of a deity” and “Great living blah blah blah” are just unnecessary. Especially since they guy isn’t among hitmakers, at least traditionally.

    Besides, Scorsese is FINE. Good director. And I will see Shutter Island, even if it won’t happen on opening weekend.

  • 32 2-20-2010 at 10:48 am

    Maxim said...

    “I’d still rather watch Scorsese’s genre efforts than the middling movies of Brett Ratner and other directors”

    Saying something like this is weak.

    Mentioning (unfairly) Brett Ratner is lame and shows that the person doesn’t even have his own opinion.

  • 33 2-20-2010 at 10:51 am

    moviefan1 said...

    I wish people would stop saying Scorsese genre efforts are gretaer han others, if that was the case then anyone that made Gangs of New York would have got no where near as many Oscar nominations or acclaim. I love the guy, but hes not untouchable, hes made duds just like any other director

  • 34 2-20-2010 at 11:16 am

    Jim T said...

    I love strong reactions. Positive or negative. But Chad is in the minority. Most people think it’s OK. No passion involved. But I think Chad and I have similar tastes. I didn’t like Up In The Air either. Is that enough? I think so. :p

  • 35 2-20-2010 at 12:02 pm

    Andrew F said...

    Chad, I agree with you about Scorsese. His glory days are loooooong over. “Last Temptation of Christ” was his last great film, after which he began to repeat himself something fierce. Yup, that means “Goodfellas”, too.

    Not saying he’s become a poor filmmaker per se, just a merely good one rather than a great one.

  • 36 2-20-2010 at 1:27 pm

    average joe said...

    Well Chad,
    I guess you saw a different film than I did. How anyone can watch this film and think Scorsese is on auto-pilot is beyond me. What floored me about the film was how personal Scorsese ended up making the material. It was a deeply affecting movie about guilt, and with Scorsese being one of the most “Catholic” of directors, it ended up being a perfect marriage of director and material.

    Also, it was interesting to see some of the new things he was doing (new for him, not new in cinema) like the heavy use of centered compositions, purposeful changes in continuity, and the use of modern classical music.

    What else is the climax but essentially a confession by Andrew of his sins? And if you believe that Andrew is faking regression at the end of the film, then this act is a self inflicted penance, much like Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull letting Sugar Ray Robinson beat him to a bloody pulp, or later pounding his fists and head into a concrete wall in a prison cell.


    I would say that this is arguably his most personal film of the new millenium; extremely surprising considering that this appeared to be a straight pulpy, genre film at first glance

    And “worst film of the past four years” is probably the biggest piece of hyperbole I’ve heard since Kris named The New World the worst film of 2005.

  • 37 2-20-2010 at 8:57 pm

    Jesse said...

    I think any talk of “garbage” should be reserved for films like “OLD DOGS”, say what you will about the film, but I found it to be well done, brilliantly acted and if you have seen as many films as I do — garbage would not even come anywhere close to Shutter Island.