By David Poland firstname.lastname@example.org
Again With The Videogames Vs Theatrical BS???
I don’t want to belabor the idiocy of all this… but Financial Times, of all places, is selling this junk about the release of Grand Theft Auto IV damaging Iron Man‘s opening. (Variety added this goof.)
Last September, when Halo 3 was going to destroy the box office, Peter Berg’s The Kingdom opened to $1.4 million less than Peter Berg’s The Rundown did on the same date four years earlier. It is possible that Halo 3 geeks staying home and playing all weekend had some minor effect on that opening. But it’s a lot more likely that the $23 million opening for The Game Plan was a lot more significant. In the end, the total domestic grosses for the two films were almost identical (under $200k).
Could there be a million dollar hit on the Iron Man opening because GTA4 players stay home all weekend and don’t go to see IM until the second weekend? Sure. But with an opening that is likely between $60m and $75m, that million bucks is minor.
And Paramount should be lowering expectations, which have run way out of control based on geek love. The studio knows that their audience is somewhat limited. You can see it in every single ad. That doesn’t mean that they won’t have a huge number by any fair standard. But this idea that it’s a $100 million weekend or bust is just dumb.
I repeat… the best opening for a non-sequel and non-Spider-Man in that slot is still Van Helsing‘s $52 million. Four years later and much better buzz, one can imagine a 50% increase. But a 100% increase?
Anything is possible. But if it does, it will be a shock, not something you should be expecting.