By David Poland firstname.lastname@example.org
Heading To CinemaCon (nee’ ShoWest)
I had a chat with our Len Klady over the weekend and he wondered what spin would be put on the 1st Quarter box office this year.
I’m not even going to start defending the issue, aside to say for the millionth time, “it’s the movies, stupid.”
But here is what I would ask people who think something is afoot… why now?
I know there are a good half-dozen reasons people like to spew… but why did they magically take effect in the last four months?
Why were people willing to pay the 3D bump just a year ago, pushing Alice in Wonderland to over $330 million domestic?
Why is Rango making less than the 1st quarter DreamWorks Animation 3D films… since people are so tired of 3D that they are now revolting?
How did last year’s top two Q1 comedies for $178 million, when this year, it’s been only $171 million (to date)?
It must have been obvious that The Book of Eli and The Green Hornet would do about the same amount, right?
And of course, Shutter Island being delay from October ’09 to February ’10 means nothing. There must be a film from some pair like Scorsese and DiCaprio, right? I mean, Limitless, The Adjustment Bureau, or Battle: LA could have been expected to do the same kind of business… right?
Oddly, I won’t be agreeing that there is a shift in the theatrical business when Thor opens to $38 million and not Iron Man 2‘s $128 million. But I will be concerned if Pirates 4 doesn’t open to $100 million or Hangover 2 or Panda 2 don’t do over $200 million domestic each. X-Men: Full Prequel doesn’t open to $80 million or better… call me and we can discuss the sea change happening.
Hop only opens to $40m? Don’t need to hear about it. If the lunacy of opening Arthur and Your Highness in the same weekend ends up meaning two openings in the high teens, not worrying about The Industry. Rio opens to the low 40s? Great! What’s the problem?
Ohhhhhh… the box office in this weekend last year was higher! Great stat! Thank goodness the studios release the same kind of picture with the same level of marketing support and equally attractive elements on the same weekends every single year. That makes it a really smart stat!
Perhaps if costs were tripling or quintupling and the business was up 10% or so, theatrical would be seen as a can’t miss Wall Street home run. Ha.
See you in Vegas.