The above is Steve McQueen‘s final line in Robert Wise‘s The Sand Pebbles (’66). It’s also what Roland Emmerich, Amy Pascal and Sony marketing guys are asking each other this morning with White House Down having underperformed yesterday (earning less than Olympus Has Freakin’ Fallen) but also…choke, cough, sputter…After Earth. Jesus! This means, presumably, that the not-that-hip, not-that-aware popcorn-munchers said to themselves “eff this noise…we just saw this movie with Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart and Morgan Freeman, and that one sucked so why let ourselves in for more punishment?”
That or they said “they’re giving us the same movie but in the form of a genre satire and a half-comedy? That’s what Hollywood Elsewhere said it was and I don’t know why the fuck I want to pay $12 or $13 or $14 bucks to see an absurdist fantasia in air quotes.” I’m kidding. Of course they didn’t think or say that. Well, maybe some did.
So it was Olympus, right? A cheapo-crappo Gerard Butler thriller shot in Shreveport got there first and spoiled the reception for this bigger, better, totally ludicrous, whomp-ass Sony film? in Despite it being a much smarter and at times outrageously funny, bullshit goof-off jizz-whizz with Pixar-level animated CG. And despite Channing Tatum having given his best MOR movie-star performance yet, and with the best look he’s ever had — dyed dark-brown hair and no stupid-ass, dinky-ass beard stubble on his chin.
“White House Down is opening just ahead of April’s Pain and Gain, which has earned nearly $50 million to date,” the Variety story says. “White House Down’s budget is projected at $150 million.”
Nikki Finke’s assessment: “Sony admits White House Down is in a tough slot now after WWZ opened so surprisingly strong last weekend. WHD did $1.35M in Thursday late shows/Friday midnights. Studio claims budget was $150 million which is expensive. (‘If you see the movie, you will see the money on the screen. And compared to other summer fare and budgets, it very reasonable given the film,’ a Sony exec tells me.) No way this pic earns out. Could be big loss depending how it does overseas. Opens day and date in about two dozen small countries this weekend (i.e., Aruba, Ethiopia, Kenya, Iraq). The first major international territory will not open until mid-July.”