By David Poland firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday Estimates by Still Hungry Klady
It’s funny how our box office phenoms – and The Hunger Games clearly qualifies – don’t have the kind of impact they used to have. Perhaps it is that The Media doesn’t have the weight it used to have. A cover of Time or Newsweek used to mean something. Now it means that these magazines need to sell more copies and will do anything to draw attention.
Or perhaps it is just that almost everything, no matter how large, feels like it’s in a niche these days. Obviously, 30 million or so people seeing The Hunger Games is a really big niche. But it feels a lot like a cult that you have either joined or rejected. Even from a critical standpoint. I am glad we are having the discussion about the empty death show… but for people who know and care about the books, it isn’t really a serious problem. And the same kind of thing was/is true of the Twilight series. Either you are in or you are out. There there is a boatload of money in “in.”
But look further. Who are Wrath of the Titans, Mirror Mirror, 21 Jump St, The Lorax, John Carter, Salmon Fishing In The Yemen, Act of Valor, and Project X for? These are all niche films. JC hoped to go 4-quadrant, but it suffered crib death. But none of the rest want any of your stinkin’ money if you aren’t geek, kids, hip tweens, kids, geeks, middle-aged women, right wingers, or horny boys.
Obviously, I am simplifying a bit. But on a gut level…
Back to Wrath, this sequel is apparently not suckage… but the opening dropped by more than 50% from the first remake’s surprisingly strong opening. It could make a comeback and get to 50% of the previous remake’s $64m opening. But a rather small victory. How much of this is sequalitis from a movie that is now one of the standard titles used to explain 3D excess and how much is Katniss kicking Zeus in the balls?
Mirror Mirror is, sadly, crappy crappy. It has so many good pieces and so little real energy. Even Relativity, if you’ve seen recent TV spots, has come to realize that the only people they can hope to trick into paying for this are the parents of girls under 10 who either want to be Snow White, laugh at dwarfs, or dig the costumes. Today, they’re hoping for Beauty & The Beast 3D numbers.
And Salmon Fishing in The Yemen shows us, once again, that the desperate effort to keep a movie for over-40s in the theater for long enough for that audience to find it and appreciate it is a brutal task in this distribution era. CBS Films almost doubled their audience from the previous Friday… to $300k. At this pace, the film will successfully gross $6.5 million over the next two months.
On a side note… Emily Blunt should be a movie star. A real one. With her personality defining the work as much as her acting. In an industry desperate for stars, she is one of the rare cases of someone who actually has “It,” but can’t find a project that takes proper advantage of it. If anyone ever wrote a “Pretty Woman” again, Blunt could actually be The Next Julia Roberts. But the rom-coms of the moment are mean in a way that doesn’t fit her. Put her up against Gerry Butler and she would eat the jerks he plays in those movies alive from frame one. Anyway…
ADD, 10:54a – About Bully, Change.org said in an article this week, “Katy’s petition mobilized almost half a million people. If everyone who signed her petition buys a ticket to see this movie, it will be an amazingly successful documentary.”
Fewer than 4000 people went to the film in NY & LA yesterday, reminding us that signatures are cheap.