FRIDAY FORECAST: ‘Ass’ vs. crass

Posted by · 12:12 pm · April 16th, 2010

*All historical figures cited are adjusted to today’s dollars.

Ever since it unveiled footage at Comic-Con last year, fanboys and internet hounds have been frothing at the mouth for Matthew Vaughn’s “Kick Ass” and now it has finally arrived. Internet buzz is deafening, but also misleading as it’s never quite clear whether we are looking at a “300” or a “Snakes on a Plane.” Lionsgate doesn’t have a whole lot at stake, picking up distribution rights after the film was nearly complete and only really needs to recoup their marketing costs, which still seem to be a pretty penny.

The R-rating and the lack of a huge studio behind it limits the potential, as does the fact that it celebrates children inflicting violence. Of course that’s also the very thing that makes it so appealing to the target audience. So if you think that above photo is awesome and totally subversive, then you’ve probably already bought your ticket. I think there will be roughly $23 million worth of you.

Fresh off of remaking Eric Rohmer, Chris Rock takes on Frank Oz. That transition is only natural. “Death at a Funeral” only came out two and a half years ago, but that version didn’t have bloated Luke Wilson or bloated Martin Lawrence. For those that do need a sense of continuity, a non-bloated Peter Dinklage returns.

Sony’s Screen Gems arm typically releases one or two films aimed at the African-American audience every year to solid returns. “Obsessed” earned $29.2 million in its April opening weekend last year. On the comedy front, “First Sunday” started with $18.8 million in January of 2008. The star-studded cast should help this one to around $23 million as well, making it another photo finish at the top of the box office.

In limited release, Oscar winner “The Secret in Their Eyes” finally sees the light of day and should eventually earn Sony Classics north of $2 million. The real performer to watch though, is “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” which is already selling out shows in New York and L.A.

Expect “Kick Ass” and “Death at a Funeral” to combine and knock the stuffing out of “Date Night,” which could fall 55% from an already tepid debut. “Clash of the Titans” could also suffer from the comic book sendup, while “How to Train Your Dragon” should experience another solid hold. Really, everyone is just biding their time until “Iron Man 2” opens in three weeks and blows all of our feeble minds.

What are you guys seeing this weekend?

→ 31 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , | Filed in: Box Office · Friday Forecast

31 responses so far

  • 1 4-16-2010 at 1:43 pm

    AmericanRequiem said...

    wait..are you looking forward to iron man chad?

  • 2 4-16-2010 at 1:45 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    no, can’t say that I am. didn’t see the first one.

  • 3 4-16-2010 at 1:45 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    I have to say, the divisive reception towards Kick-Ass has made me rather intrigued.

  • 4 4-16-2010 at 2:28 pm

    Sarah El said...

    Already made plans to see Kick-Ass tomorrow. It’ll be really interesting to see what all the hype has led to.

  • 5 4-16-2010 at 2:54 pm

    tony rock said...

    Is 77% on rottentomatoes really that divisive? I’d say reviews are pretty good…unless you mean the “moral controversy,” in which case who the hell cares about a few conservative nutjobs with no sense of humor?

  • 6 4-16-2010 at 2:55 pm

    tony rock said...

    By the way, saw the movie last night…it’s funny, witty, violent, subversive, and loads of fun. Best film of 2010 so far.

  • 7 4-16-2010 at 2:56 pm

    tony rock said...

    And Chad, I say this without contempt or sarcasm, but are there any mainstream films you do like?

  • 8 4-16-2010 at 2:57 pm

    Brady said...

    I’m seeing Exit Through The Gift Shop. I have a friend who isn’t a film buff, but loves Banksy. We’ll see if it can live up to its hype.

  • 9 4-16-2010 at 3:06 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    Since when did Roger Ebert become a “conservative nutjob?”

  • 10 4-16-2010 at 4:12 pm

    Jim T said...

    Robert, the person who liked Antichrist, The Piano Teacher and wrote Beyond the Valley of the Dolls is obviously conservative ;)

  • 11 4-16-2010 at 5:46 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    tonyrock- Not many to be honest. I didn’t hate Inglourious Basterds. I liked The Princess and the Frog. I really liked The Dark Knight.

  • 12 4-16-2010 at 6:31 pm

    MovieMan said...

    “Death at a Funeral” is kind of terrible really. Just one of the many failed comedies in 2010. Having not seen the British original, I can’t comment on how it updates the story, but I really disliked this version.

    “The Greatest” is actually quite good. I think it’s sappy beyond belief, but the acting is incredible, and the writing ultimately doesn’t condescend.

    “The Joneses” is savvy and intelligent and I really, really enjoyed it. David Duchovny shows why he’s such a gifted actor of sarcasm and biting satire. Best movie of the weekend.

    “Kick-Ass” is flawed and rather meanderingly plotted, but Hit-Girl saves it. In fact, every actor does, and it’s the un-P.C. nature of the film’s violence and satire that ultimately push it through the mediocre storyline.

  • 13 4-17-2010 at 4:41 am

    ninja said...

    According to Nikki, Kick Ass opened with only $7.5 mio from 3,065 theaters. That`s some really crappy PTA that doesn`t bode well for legs. But the movie was cheap to produce so it`s a hit although not a phenomenon Internet hype made it to be. Another Internet movie.

    DATF trails behind with $6 mio, about the same crappy PTA. Still a hit if reported cheap budget is real.

  • 14 4-17-2010 at 8:07 am

    Estefan said...

    “Not many to be honest. I didn’t hate Inglourious Basterds. I liked The Princess and the Frog. I really liked The Dark Knight.” Yet, you’re an article writer for a site that supports an awards show with a penchant for awarding mainstream films.

    Yeah, I’m seriously confused at the moment, but that’s maybe because I’m a major supporter of mainstream entertainment who doesn’t see it as the evil of the world.

  • 15 4-17-2010 at 8:18 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    I wouldn’t say this site necessarily “supports” the Oscars as much as it scrutinizes them.

    In any case, don’t you guys appreciate the fact that IC has three voices that — I think, anyway — are rather distinct from each other? If some of you find Chad’s perspective that confusing/aggravating, why do you continue to read his pieces?

  • 16 4-17-2010 at 8:20 am

    BurmaShave said...

    Chad, why do you bother doing this if you hate mainstream films that much?

  • 17 4-17-2010 at 8:31 am

    red_wine said...

    I find the critical re-action to Kick Ass interesting because some people have expressed moral reservations about the film. That always gets me. Antichrist also got bad reviews because some people thought it was morally repugnant(some of my friends thought it crossed some limits). Its eventually all turning to be about a child killing people. Are there any other movies which got slammed because they were in bad taste.

  • 18 4-17-2010 at 8:33 am

    JJ said...

    Both Kick-Ass and DAAF will do fine; though not as much of a hit as expected. They’ll get their $$ back and then some.

    Clash is still doing pretty well all things considered.

    And I’m very happy for HTTYDragon; though, I wish it made more yet.

  • 19 4-17-2010 at 10:50 am

    Chad Hartigan said...

    I enjoy following the box office. I’ve done it since I was 10 and back then, I did enjoy any and all mainstream films. I get frustrated now by the lack of originality or thought in most films but I’m still enchanted by Tinseltown people. Plus, I err on the side of slight exaggeration with the snark in some cases to try and make the articles more entertaining. Besides, you can hate the Yankees and still cover baseball can’t you?

  • 20 4-17-2010 at 11:43 am

    John said...

    Almost every Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, or Rob Schneider film opens to criticism about mad taste and moral irresponsibility. Critics slap films for being unnecessarily crude every weekend. Why is this any different

  • 21 4-17-2010 at 12:37 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    “If some of you find Chad’s perspective that confusing/aggravating, why do you continue to read his pieces?”

    The answer to that, I think, lies in the movie Private Parts:

    Researcher — The average radio listener listens for eighteen minutes. The average Howard Stern fan listens for – are you ready for this? – an hour and twenty minutes.
    Kenny — How can that be?
    Researcher — Answer most commonly given? “I want to see what he’ll say next.”
    Kenny — Okay, fine. But what about the people who hate Stern?
    Researcher — Good question. The average Stern hater listens for two and a half hours a day.
    Kenny — But, if they hate him, why do they listen?!?
    Researcher — Most common answer? “I want to see what he’ll say next.”

  • 22 4-17-2010 at 3:39 pm

    Ben M. said...

    I thought Kick-Ass was fairly bad, it had its moments (mostly involving Hit Girl) but I felt it had far too many flaws for me to be positive about the movie overall.

    It will be interesting to see how it performs, it should make money with that low cost but with the genre and probably mixed WOM (at least based on the audience I had) it could drop fairly fast.

  • 23 4-17-2010 at 3:44 pm

    tony rock said...

    @Robert….I wasn’t necessarily referring to Roger Ebert, but in my opinion anyone who rails on the film for the specific reason of condemning its “morality” is at the very least acting like a conservative nutjob.

  • 24 4-17-2010 at 3:51 pm

    tony rock said...

    A film’s PTA doesn’t really forecast how its legs will turn out and, I could be wrong, but I think WOM is at least pretty good. Audience I had was cheering and clapping. Of course, it was filled with the film’s primary target aud of 18-35.

  • 25 4-17-2010 at 3:55 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    Tony, that’s just silly. I’m sorry, but it is. It’s not just Roger Ebert, but several critics who have moral problems with the Hit-Girl character, and most of them are anything but conservative or nutty. Now, you reasonably could say that they’re wrong or that they need to “lighten up” or whatever, but to paint them in broad brushstrokes with a label as extreme as “conservative nutjob”…I, I just don’t get that.

  • 26 4-17-2010 at 4:31 pm

    ninja said...

    @ Tony “I think WOM is at least pretty good. Audience I had was cheering and clapping. Of course, it was filled with the film’s primary target aud of 18-35.”

    And Cinemascore is just a B. So if only primary target audience saw the movie on Friday, where did B come from? One would expect A+ or at least A-. But not even B+? From target audience? Ouch.

  • 27 4-18-2010 at 12:43 am

    tony rock said...

    @Robert…when I say “conservative,” I’m not speaking in political terms. Keep that in mind. I still find any moral qualms from a professional critic to be ridiculous. If you’re a critic you don’t let your own moral beliefs cloud judgement on a film.

    @ninja…I don’t put much stock in Cinemascore. There have been many films in the past that received scores in the C range and they ended up with great legs. Plus, a B aint that bad.

  • 28 4-18-2010 at 11:03 am

    Adam Smith said...

    Looks like it’s Snakes on a Plane after all. Dragon topped the box office–Kick-Ass didn’t even break $20 mil. Ouch.

  • 29 4-18-2010 at 12:20 pm

    ninja said...

    So, Harry`s open letter to Ebert couldn`t put Kick Ass on number 1. Lololololol. Gotta love it when self-absorbed whatevers think they have power to make or break a movie. I love Kick Ass but I`m loving the failure of some head geeks to establish themselves as trend-setters, opinion leaders, sources of influence etc even more.

  • 30 4-21-2010 at 5:11 pm

    Dean Treadway said...

    I love how Chad dismisses all of the box office performers, I really do. He’s wonderfully cynical.

  • 31 7-28-2010 at 10:09 am

    Comic Book Fanboys Need To Check Themselves said...

    “If you’re a critic you don’t let your own moral
    beliefs cloud judgement on a film.”

    You do if you’re a good one—the best critics (Roger Ebert certainly among them) articulate their own highly personal reactions to pictures, while at the same time acknowledging qualities that the target audience will likely appreciate more than they do. Ebert’s review of Tony Scott’s THE LAST BOY SCOUT is a great example. He ultimately gave it three stars, in spite of serious misgivings about its content, because he felt that it *did* manage to deliver the goods for its target audience. “To give it a negative review would be dishonest, because it’s such a skillful and well-crafted movie. To give it a positive one would seem to endorse its sickness about women. I’ll give it three stars. As for my thumb, I’ll use it and my fore finger to hold my nose”. *That’s* what a good film critic does.

    You on the other hand, Tony, seem to think that critics only exist to validate your own juvenile horseshit tastes. Having emotional reactions to films is the whole fucking point of their existence in the first place…you can’t whinge like a cunt about “conservative nutjobs” because actual grown-ups didn’t happen to share the same masturbatory adolescent experience you did, and nor dismiss a critical opinion entirely out of hand because it actually bothers to mention an element of the film that they feel is “morally” questionable (read: they’re actually paying attention to what they’re watching and, crucially, *thinking* about it…something which “Kick-Ass” supporters, for their pretentions of comic books being art, seem alarmingly quick to suggest we DON’T do. “It’s only entertainment!”, etc.).

    Oh, and spare me the whole “You didn’t get it, ’cause you didn’t read the comic!” defence. If that’s true, and that is a prerequisite to appreciating the film, then the film is a complete and utter fucking failure. If it cannot make a case for itself without the benefit of preaching solely to the converted, then it’s a piece of shit. Fanboys, based on their evident tastes, wouldn’t have it any other way, I’m sure…