Martin Scorsese's fun-looking gangster drama "The Departed" opens Friday. A smart producer or studio executive would always downplay expectations. But what does Marty's producer Graham King tell the Daily News? That he expects the movie to open at $30 million, that more than $40 million would make him very happy and that he'd cry if it made $25 million or less. How stupid is he? Scorsese's top-grossing movie of all time is "The Aviator," which made $102 million. The weekend it went wide, the movie grossed $8.6 million. His other relatively big openings -- "Gangs of New York," "Casino," and "Cape Fear" -- all made between $9 million and $10 million. King has set the bar so high, he wants this movie to make more money on its opening weekend than 12 of his movies have made in their entire run. If he was smart, King would have said he hopes the movie makes more on its opening weekend than Scorsese's last few movies made when they went wide; in other words, looking for a personal best of $12-15 million. Then, when "The Departed" made more, everyone could crow about how much better it did. At it's very best, "The Departed" will only (barely) reach the level King has announced as the measure of success. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
NOTE: The Departed opened at $26.8 mil -- easily a career-best for Scorsese -- and went on to gross $133 million in the US, $290 million worldwide (incl US) and $140 million on DVD in the US alone, all records for Scorsese.
EDITOR'S NOTE: I have changed the figures in my article about the opening weekend gross of The Aviator and hence the references to Scorsese's personal best opening weekend. I based my original figures on Variety but failed to note they were giving me the grosses for the entire week rather than the opening weekend. Thus my figures were wrong as pointed out to me by someone who left a comment. This makes the point of the article even greater: King idiotically called for an opening weekend gross 3 to 4 times bigger than any other Scorsese film.