The interesting thing isn’t Newscorp’s Rupert Murdoch telling shareholders that Ridley Scott‘s A Good Year is a “flop” (which is sadly and unfairly true). The interesting thing is the implied, old-fogey view of the Guardian staffer who wrote the story that Murdoch was speaking too soon. Murdoch called the film a failure “despite it only being released in the U.S. last Friday,” the staffer wrote. As if a couple of weeks more could change the basic picture? Exhibitors and distributors have been saying for decades that you can tell from Friday-afternoon numbers whether or not a brand-new film is a success. These days, of course, the picture is pretty much laid out in the opening-week tracking reports (but not — repeat, not — in the tracking reports that are two or three weeks out). Yes, word-of-mouth sometimes accumulates and gradually turns a weak or modest opener into a surprise hit (The Illusionist), but rarely.