Coraline’s Box Office

A question in e-mail:

Love to get your feedback on the blog if you thought the Coraline box office was any good. Does it bode well for my Gaiman movies in the future? Or stop motion for that matter?

For those of you not aware, Coraline brought in an estimated $16.3 million over the weekend, from 2,300 theaters, for $7,100 per theater.

Those are pretty decent numbers, actually. In the stop-motion sub-genre of animated films, it’s the third best opening, after Chicken Run and The Corpse Bride, slightly edging out Wallace & Gromit’s feature-length adventure. If it has the same sort of legs as Wallace & Gromit, then it should end up in the $50 – $60 million domestic gross area, which is sort of the sweet spot for stop-motion theatrical releases, since Wallace, Corpse Bride and The Nightmare Before Christmas all ended up there in their original domestic releases (Nightmare’s added more through additional limited releases). IMDB says the film cost $35 million to make, which seems reasonable, and it was probably another $25 million or so to market (at least), so if it ends up in the $50/$60 million range, that’s a good sign, since it means the film will likely earn out when it hits international markets and especially home video, while it will likely do well and do well over time.

So: Not a monster hit, but I expect it’ll be a profitable film in the long run.

What does it mean for Gaiman films? Well, if indeed it ends up in the $50/$60 million range, I expect it solidifies Gaiman as someone whose work does sufficiently well domestically and earns out in international and home video markets, since this is the story of his previous big-budget films Stardust and Beowulf as well (he was source material for the first and co-wrote the screenplay for the second). This doesn’t make him the hottest property in Hollywood, but it sure as hell doesn’t suck, either. And it bodes pretty well for the recently-announced film adaptation of The Graveyard Book, which gets an additional bump by the fact that it just won the Newberry Award, which is a nice marketing hook. So, yes, Gaiman’s doing just fine. Expect more film adaptations of his work and/or original film work from him.

(What would punt Gaiman into the stratosphere, as I’m sure he knows, is if there is ever a Sandman movie, since a) Warner Bros would spend $100 million minimum making it, because it’s the sort of comic book franchise tentpole summer spectacular insert-your-own-studio-executive-salivating-description-here that movie studios live on, especially these days, and b) two decades worth of pale spiky-haired, kohl-weaing Sandman fanboys would camp out for weeks to see it. And this is even before any discussion of whether you can actually make a good movie out of it (I say yes, but you’d need filmmakers who really get the property — it’s more than a jackass concept, like, say, Transformers). But I have no idea what the status of anything involving making Sandman into a movie is at the moment.)

As for what it means for stop-motion films: I expect it means it’ll continue to be a niche market, since it doesn’t make huge amounts of money. Which suggests that we’ll more likely see it more out of places like Focus Features (the art-house, boutique arm of Universal Pictures, which produced Coraline) than one of the major studios proper. Inasmuch as they all end up on the same silver screen, it’s all the same to me as a viewer.

One final thought about Coraline, which is that while it’s opening weekend gross was in line with other popular stop-motion films, it was almost certainly seen by fewer people because a) inflation of ticket costs from year to year and b) 70% of the gross, as I understand it, came from 3D showings of the film, and it costs more to see those than regular movies. My cost to see Coraline came to $12.50, as opposed to the standard $8.50 ticket for that particular theater; there was a surcharge both for the 3D nature of the movie and for the 3D glasses.

I hesitate to say the 3D artificially bumped up the gross, since the 3D aspect was always part of the plan. But it does present some special challenges going forward. There are only so many theaters/screens ready to play 3D, and in a couple of weeks Coraline’s going to lose quite a few of those to the Jonas Brother’s 3D concert extravaganza. It will be interesting to see if Coraline will slip into 2D screens at these multiplexes, or simply disappear entirely. Either way, I expect it will have a significant effect on the box office take that weekend, above and beyond the natural weekend-to-weekend declines the film would see. But perhaps by the 27th the film will have made enough for this not to be a real big issue. We’ll see.

Update, 2/15/09: Coraline’s second weekend grosses are in and they are very healthy — the film’s gross slipped less than 10% from the first weekend to the second, which means it’s getting very nice word of mouth and/or repeat viewings. To give context, a 40% dropoff from first weekend grosses is pretty much standard these days, and if you drop off 25% or less from your first weekend, you’re doing well. The film’s gross now stands at $35.5 million in two weeks; it will almost certainly cross $50 million before the end of its run and $70 million is not out of reach. It’s doing nicely, in other words. That said, we’ll have to see how the loss of 3D screens will affect it in a couple of weeks.

48 Comments on “Coraline’s Box Office”

  1. The theatre was pretty well filled on Sunday afternoon- a 2D showing. The audience was a mixture of families with kids and adult viewers, and a good time was had by all.

    So yes, let’s hope that we see more stopmotion and more from Neil Gaiman. Plus, I think Coraline would make a cool theme park ride.

  2. Personally, I wish there had been a 2d option at the theater I went to. I enjoyed the movie, but not the headache I had by the end. I think the 3d was a gimmick, and not necessary for enjoyment of the film.

    That said, I am always happy to see well-thought-out, well done fantasy and sci-fi on the big screen, and especially so when there’s a female lead.

  3. Hey, I saw Coraline this weekend; I enjoyed it (I’m a huge Gaiman fan) although my local theater didn’t show it in 3D and I understand that 3D is really the way to see this movie.

    In addition to being a big Gaiman fan generally — his collaboration with Terry Pratchett on “Good Omens” was my first experience with him, though certainly not my last — I am a huge, huge “Sandman” fan.

    But, unfortunately, I have to disagree with you on the possibility that “Sandman” might be converted into a good movie; what did you have in mind, a movie adaptation of the first story arc, where he gets out of the glass prison and regains his power? I dunno . . . maybe.

    The thing about “Sandman” that I always like but have a hard time seeing successfully translated to the screen, is that the whole series was really just a series about stories themselves. The Sandman is the King of Stories, of the things that aren’t real. And one thing you see again and again in the series is the Sandman, after winning a confrontation, refusing to exact any kind of vengeance — just think of his returning Dr. Destiny to Arkham in the first arc. I always thought that Morpheus saw the conflict itself as the story, and — after he had won the conflict — there really wasn’t any need to take vengeance.

    And, somehow, I just don’t see that being very satisfying for most movie goers today.

    I dunno . . . maybe you could change the stories around to make them more film-friendly, but I think you would necessarily lose what made them so great to begin with: the almost self-referential nature of story-telling itself.

    And, not for nothing and speaking of story-telling, I downloaded “Old Man’s War” onto my kindle recently (by far the best Christmas gift I’ve received in years). I haven’t read any science fiction in years, but I’ve been semi-lurking around your site for a little more than half a year now, and thought I’d check it out. I really enjoyed it. I think your sheer story-telling ability is great, as is your fairly matter-of-fact way of dealing with some social issues that are fairly basic to humans — sex, for example, or prejudice, or revulsion to just base slaughter — all of this made it a great read. I’m looking forward to reading the others.

  4. A few years ago, the 3 hottest writers in Hollywood were Shakespeare, Homer, and Philip K. Dick. Better to be hot while still alive.

    The writer of fiction is not blamed if a film adaptation of his/her work does poorly. Example: Dr. G. David Brin, novel = “The Postman”; film (not so bad on re-watching several times) may be considered a prequel to the film with same star-director = Waterworld (after the nuked USA of the first film has caused Global Warming that melted the icecaps).

    The bad news, for someone who sells film and TV options on everything that they publish, is if they do a big budget adaptation that bombs in a way that casts blame on the writer. Or, worse, if you adapt your own work, and it bombs. You might not be paid as much for your next screenplay. John Varley has had tales to tell after Millennium. He kept getting 6-figure fees for writing screenplays, but almost hoped that they wouldn’t produce some of them. Harlan Ellison has much more gory tales of Hollywood, but I’ll let him speak for himself.

    Hollywood is midly satisfied with Gaiman, but frankly baffled that he can be successful in at least a dozen different media. “Your credits are all over the map, Neil. Why don’t you do just one thing, the way most Guild or Union people do?”

    “And can you get this Studio a Meeting with Philip K. Dick? Or that guy who wrote the original property of Beowulf?”

  5. Seems like “because you can see it in 3-D” would be an additional ticky-box on your list of reasons to see a movie in the theater, by the way.

    Unless, as is entirely possible, I am woefully behind the 3-D technology curve, and they’re not using cross-polarization anymore to differentiate the two images.

  6. Georgmi: I believe it was cross-polarization, at least at my theater. Looking through two sets of lenses was black.

    Scalzi: The other reason not to hold the 3D price against them is that it was part of the cost incurred in making the movie – it’s not as though they got 3D for free or something.

    I’ve heard a number of people like Lorin above say that the 3D either didn’t work for them or gave them a headache. I think we’re just going to have to recognize that 3D just doesn’t work for everyone, and that if the last movie didn’t work for you, the next one won’t either. Personally, I loved the way that they used 3D in combination with the set design to change the feel of rooms in the regular and “other” worlds. Great stuff.

  7. Phil Knight (of Nike fame) is the money behind Laika Studios – where his son is a lead animator. Recently, Laika laid off a lot of employees and pretty much put their feature film work on hold until they saw how Coraline performed at the box office. That’s why the $16 million+ number comes as very good news. Projections going into the weekend put Coraline at #3 or #4 of the new releases – it finished #2; and earning $9-$11 million.

    So, unless it drops off the face of the earth next weekend, this performance will most likely be enough to keep Laika and its stop-motion feature films going.

  8. Personally, I’m waiting for the Jonas Brothers thing to come out, hoping it’ll bump Coraline to a 2d screen at my local theater. They’ve never yet made a 3d technology that doesn’t trigger a migraine for me, and as much as I love Gaiman’s stuff, it’s not worth a migraine.

  9. Way back in 1996, Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio (who would later go on to do Pirates of the Carribbean) were hired to do the adaptation of Sandman. It’s quite good:

    I disagree slightly with the ending, but in terms of capturing the tone of the story, they did it very well, and they’re clearly familiar not just with the first two graphic novels (on which the story is taken from) but the entire series. Alas, the film went into development hell, but for those who dream of a Sandman movie–or, as I do, of making a Sandman movie–you could do a lot worse than to base it on the Elliott & Rossio script.

  10. Although I would like to see the 3D, I thought the 2D worked quite well; hopefully it won’t negatively affect the box office.

    (And my ticket was just $11.50! In NYC! Okay, in an outer borough, but…that NEVER happens. Please do mot begrudge me a brief Snoopy dance…)

  11. The 3D tix were $2 more here – $8.50 for a matinee isntead of $6.50.

    I thought it was worth it, definitely. There were a couple of times where I got annoyed because the bridge of my nose got sweaty from the glasses, but other than that most of the time I was having too good of a time to be distracted by the 3d. (Which was really only used a handful of times in that ZOMG Things Are Coming At Me1111!!!! kind of way, and were mostly just used to add depth.)

  12. I think Hollywood really needs to come up with a better set of metrics, that separates straight box-office from films that have merchandising tie-ins (where the real money is). The numbers aren’t even remotely close in some cases.

    The Lion King (1994) pulled in $313 million for the box office, but over $1 billion in pure merchandising (in fact the number is so high, it can’t even be properly quantified). Same would hold true for Cars (2006), which was a commercial disappointment, but also netted close to a billion in merchandise sales. The same will hold true for The Dark Knight I’m guessing.

    I have no idea how well Coraline will fare beyond straight tickets sales alone.

  13. (What would punt Gaiman into the stratosphere, as I’m sure he knows, is if there is ever a Sandman movie, since a) Warner Bros would spend $100 million minimum making it, because it’s the sort of comic book franchise tentpole summer spectacular insert-your-own-studio-executive-salivating-description-here that movies studios live on, especially these days, and b) two decades worth of pale spiky-haired, kohl-weaing Sandman fanboys would camp out for weeks to see it.

    I don’t know about that, John. I just don’t see how you could smooth Gaiman’s masterpiece into something Warner’s could drop a $100 million marketing budget on. (It’s not exactly a story that responds well to Zac Snyder’s fetishistic animated panels sensibility that has comic geeks inexplicably peeing their collective pants.) And if they did, it would make those pancake-clotted, more-eyeliner-than-Jack-Sparrow “Sandman fanboys” go toxic faster than Dark Knight partisans when the Oscar nominations were announced.

    So: Not a monster hit, but I expect it’ll be a profitable film in the long run.

    Well, exactly. And I’ve never gotten the obsession with opening weekend grosses in North America (where 95% of the human race doesn’t actually live). Sure, it was impressive that ‘The Dark Knight’ opened big in the US (even though I actually think it’s a seriously over-rated, unpleasantly sadistic and self-indulgently over-long pix). But wasn’t it more important that it did well globally, got great reviews and word of mouth, and people seemed to want to see it long after it opened.

  14. Christian:

    “Same would hold true for Cars (2006), which was a commercial disappointment”

    No. The film was the third highest-grossing film at the domestic box office for 2006, and made over $460 million worldwide. Its only sin was not making as much as some other Pixar films, although it made more than the two which followed it, neither of which are considered disappointments, either.

    Or let’s put it another way: If Cars was a financial disappointment at the box office, there are a lot of movie producers who would be delighted to be disappointed that way.

    I doubt Coraline will see such a marketing benefit in any event — although it will no doubt be great for sales of the book.

  15. I remember Gaiman saying at a Q&A a few years back that all the scripts he’d seen (I’m assumuing the Pirates guys were included in this) disgusted him. He remarked about one treatment that he considered laughably bad, and went on to put the entire audience into stitches describing how it mangled the story and the plot elements. The MC at the convention stepped in to say that Gaiman was actually giving it a very good treatment.

    Gaiman did however say that he would like to take a turn at directing a theoretical Sandman movie himself, which could be a double-edged sword, as good writers are not always good directors (granted, experience with visual media like comic books could give him a leg-up in this department) and secondly, he now doesn’t seem to interested in having much to do with Sandman.

    Frankly, I’d expect Neverwhere to get produced before Sandman.

  16. The Neverwhere TV production actually preceded the novel. But I believe Gaiman has said he was rather disappointed with it overall, and would like to see it done well, so I do expect a movie treatment at some point.

  17. Why did they go with 3D for Coraline in the first place? Up to now, it’s been purely a marketing ploy to hype up the bad movies. I can’t remember the last time it’s been tried with an honestly good movie.

  18. Sandman was such a cerebral comic that I wonder very much how well it would translate to the big screen. Probably it would require a huge budget for SFX alone, do poorly in domestic release — not enough tits, violence, and explosions, way too much talking and symbolism — and go on to eventual cult status and critical acclaim. Provided the directing and acting were good.

    Really, in some ways I think Sandman should not be live-action, but instead completely animated. Get good voice talent and keep as much of the original look and feel alive as possible.

    I thought the televisionization of The Maxx was carried out excellently in terms of bringing a comic to the screen, and Sandman could be the same, in the right hands. But would the overall public buy and enjoy it enough to warrant the expense?

    Certainly The Maxx didn’t blow up MTV’s ratings enough that they were beating down Sam Keith’s door to do more — even though The Maxx is probably the ‘story’ pinnacle of MTV’s fling with animation that began with Liquid Television and birthed not only Beavis n’ Butthead, but MTV’s other big serious animated SF product: Æon Flux.

  19. There is a British version of Neverwhere, which should be available from netflix and is quite good, in a very English sort of way. I think (but don’t know) that it was a tv mini-series rather than a movie, but it’s well worth watching.

    Personally, I think the likelihood of Sandman getting made could be tied to the success of Watchmen as much as anything. The two appeal to similar demographics, would be roughly equally hard to make, and come from the same time period. They are also similar in that both creators seem to have doubts about the viability of making a movie. We’ll see, I guess.

  20. And I guess it’s a known unknowable (as Donald Rumsfeld used to say in his enchantingly surreal manner), but I wonder of Coraline benefited from the happy coincidence of Gaiman getting a lot of press off the back of his Newbury win for The Graveyard Book. I’m saying this without a hint of snark, but he must be a publicist’s wet dream — he gives great talking head, and if he doesn’t really enjoy doing things like cons and press tours he’s an Oscar-calibre actor. You certainly can’t fault the man for being anything less than absolutely supportive of adaptations of his work, which isn’t always the case.

  21. I can’t imagine Sandman being made in any way other than CGI, and I can’t imagine being happy with the results until the technology gets a little better. Here’s to hoping that a) nobody screws it up in the meantime and b) the world still cares by the time the tech catches up with our dreams.

  22. I absolutely love Neil’s work and it is absolutely brilliant to see this fantastic story done proper justice as a film.
    It would be incredible to see a Sandman film series, though with hollywood’s current track record for cheap, silly and severely lacking in substance movies id suggest taking it somewhere else lest it be butchered beyond recognition. Though im sure if Mr Gaiman were ever to agree to a film he would do all he could to prevent that from happening. I hope.

    I have only recently been introduced to your work and was very excited to hear of your participation in the new Stargate series. I am looking forward to a massive new collection of books of yours to get through, unfortunately my library takes at least 5 weeks to get anything in so i seem to constantly find myself waiting ever so patiently. It will make the reading all the more satisfying when they get here.
    Thanks for keeping up this wonderful blog of yours, it is always a very interesting and entertaining visit.

  23. Though im sure if Mr Gaiman were ever to agree to a film he would do all he could to prevent that from happening. I hope.

    @MEg 29: I think Gaiman’s agreement to a film adaptation of ‘Sandman’ is in the ‘nice but not compulsory’ category. As far as I’m aware, Gaiman no more holds the film rights to The Sandman that Alan Moore does over the work he did DC like Watchmen, V for Vendetta and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Worse luck, because quality to crap ratio of Moore adaptations is even worse than Stephen King’s.

  24. Okay, I added Coraline to my list of favorite movies on my Facebook page, this 5th year anniversary of that social networking system. Just as I have “anything by John Scalzi” on my list of Favorite Books.

    As to my (to some) oblique reference, let me give this link:

    How Many Dimensions In The Holographic Universe?

    I correct myself from another thread where I said I was sending to Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine a 21,250 word 74-page story “Feynman Solves Murders in the Rue Morgue.” That snailmailed to Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. It’s over the word limit for AHMM, so went to EQMM. AHMM will get, when I polish it, “Norbert Wiener: Wolfe in Sheep’s Clothing”, which postulates that the famous prodigy (Ph.D. from Harvard at age 18!) Father of Cybernetics Norbert Wiener, who physically resembled both Nero Wolfe and Wendell Urth, was secretly, in emulation of the other N.W., the world’s greatest detective. In my world where magic and science coexist.

    When my Directed Teaching kicks in, late March to mid-June, I won’t have time to continue writing fiction at the current rate (over 50,000 words, 250 pages, to editors since Christmas). Nonfiction: I’m pleased that even though I can’t afford to fly to Shanghai later this month to present to Quantum Cosmology paper on which my wife is another coauthor, Springer has agreed to include it in their printed Proceedings.

    I can’t give good Hugo recommendations, because I’ve been busier than usual, and haven’t read enough of the books with loud buzz.

  25. Sandman would work best onscreen in a format similar to the original, e.g., a 75+ part HBO or Showtime series. Each issue dramtized with different writers, different directors, even different actors playing Dream. Do some in different styles of live action (filmed, video, staged) and some animated (stop motion, CGI, cel).

    If it must become a movie series, I think it would work best with the general public by NOT producing the story arcs in order. Start with Season of Mists. You have the whole family involved from the get-go. You have that great stew of gods, and your antagonist is Lucifer. Gold. Then do the rest in order…

  26. I’m still hoping for a film version of Good Omens. I understand Gaiman sold the rights to Terry Gilliam for a groat. (Literally! Gilliam had to go to a coin shop to find one.)

  27. So does that groat allow Terry Gilliam to make a film of Good Omens, or just the half that Gaiman wrote? Will he have to find another groat for Terry Pratchett’s half? Given that Pratchett is now Sir Terry of Pratchett, it may be best to offer two …

  28. The domestic (US) gross of 16M on a 70M film, regardless of format/genre is poor-to-midly. You can easily project a domestic gross of 40M-60M. @ 60M, with 50% back to Distributor, that barely covers their P&A. No money for Production.

    It’s all about International Sales or co-production funding for larger independent projects of this nature. Coraline will only be a success if it has a great run in Europe and some Asian markets. Otherwise, no one will risk this type of money for an indy film for a very long time. Domestic TV (even a 3D network deal) don’t legitimate a $70M budget unless their domestic box office exceeds $120-150M.

    It was a stupid financial move to fully fund this from Nike’s side pocket, but they have the resources to do so.

  29. Congratulations to beenaround for providing the “half glass empty” version of what I wrote. That said, I’d want to know where you got the 70M production cost figure, because that’s double of what I’ve seen (unless you’re folding marketing costs in there).

  30. It was a stupid financial move to fully fund this from Nike’s side pocket, but they have the resources to do so.

    Nike’s side-pocket? I thought the film was basically fully funded out of the change down the sides of Phil Knight’s many many couches. Why the hell do you care if he’s spending it on something other than hookers, blow and private jets?

    Then again, back in 1964 if you’d said Knight and Bill Bowerman would become obscenely rich turning running shoes into a semi-luxury lifestyle ‘brand’ you’d probably be sent off for a drug test.

  31. I agree that Sandman would probably best be told by the small screen (HBO, Hello!)

    However, I am quite surprised that no one has mention “American Gods”. I think it’d be much easier to create and market to a more general audience.

  32. I was going to suggest that Sandman would work best as an HBO animated series, somewhat like their take on Spawn or the children’s animation shows they used to air when I was a kid.

    But like three people beat me to it. :D

  33. beenaround@36,

    Stupid for who? If for Knight, hey, a man should pay for his pleasures. I don’t see how its stupid for the studios- having an angel to fund the film means less of their own money at risk if things go badly.

  34. Coraline is demonstrating strong legs after its third week estimates and is headed toward $80-$100+ million in domestic boxoffice with the potential to do an equal amount in international markets. That makes it a bona fide commercial and critical success. The real question is how precipitous the drop will be now that this original delight has to give up the 3D theatres to the (groan) Jonas Brothers concert movie. Prediction: the Jonas Brothers hand will be completely played out after two weekends and Coraline will reappear on the 3D screens for some new life blood and extended boxoffice. Laika lives to tell another tale.

  35. I enjoyed this movie in 3D but my son and I ended up with migraines. We’re both prone to headaches but surprisingly saw Bolt in 3D without a problem. We were at the 1 PM showing and my son went right to bed after arriving home, getting up only for a bit of dinner – the 3D ruined his whole day, and we paid extra for this! We’ll obviously be very wary of 3D showings in the future.

  36. Looks like Coraline’s got legs and’ll break into the $65-70m domestic gross range. Three more weeks of $6m, $4m and $2m would do it. Since they got $11m last weekend, those figures are conservative.

  37. I don’t know what you’ve been drinking, but for a movie to even break even, it has to pay back the advertising budget (which is not included in the budget figure) combined with the production budget. That means that a film has to make double the reported budget. (Most moves under-report the budget in order to look like they’re making money). To be profitable, a movie has to make more than double the reported budget figure. Gaiman’s movies have not been profitable by any stretch of the imagination. Coraline has only just broken even and it will be years before a profit is made. No studio is going to look at a Neil Gaiman property as a money maker, in fact he has a proven track record of breaking even at best. That’s not how studios make money. Harry Potter was profitable, Coraline is just breakeven. Gaiman’s work is weird and marginal and shows no sign of building a wider audience, that’s the reality.

  38. Lemmie:

    “I don’t know what you’ve been drinking”

    Apparently not the stuff that makes someone feel they can be an asshole by way of their first comment on a site. Can you tell me what you’re drinking? Because then I will know.

    As for the rest of it, as I’ve been following the film industry in a professional capacity since 1991, I can tell you studios are generally delighted to have a movie break even in theatrical, since that means that all the ancillary revenue streams are then profit, such as DVD (sales and rentals, both of which have seen Coraline doing well), TV showings and so on and so forth. You also may or may not have remembered there is the rest of the world out there; worldwide Coraline’s grossed $120 million in theaters. So I expect it’s making a nice sum of money for Focus already.

    As for Gaiman’s work being “weird and marginal,” yes, well, that’s why The Graveyard Book won the Newberry Award, has been on the New York Times Best seller list for almost an entire year, and has been optioned by Neil Jordan to be made into a movie. It’s also why BookScan lists Gaiman having sold millions of books over his career, why the last three movies based on his work or which he was a screenwriter for have grossed $450 million worldwide, and why IMDB Pro notes he’s either the original writer or screenwriter for seven film projects between now and 2012.

    We should all have such “weird and marginal” writing careers, inside or outside the film industry.

    Also: really, what are you drinking?

  39. We know what Scalzi’s been drinking.

    Coke Zero. Straight, no chaser. Cause Ohio’s keeping him down.

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