Archive for the ‘Box Office Analysis’ category

Box Office Analysis — March 1, 2010

March 1, 2010

This was a lackluster week at the box office, due to the lackluster slate of movies being offered out there. “Shutter Island” managed to beat “Cop Out,” surprise surprise. Remember when Kevin Smith was trying to make the jump from revered, hilarious indie film director to revered, hilarious major league director? And then “Zack and Miri Make a Porno” happened? When I learned that Smith was the director of “Cop Out,” and realized that not only was WB not making a big deal out of his attachment but was actually hiding it in their marketing, a little piece of my youth died. Kevin Smith, director for hire…who could have seen that coming?

“The Crazies” is getting crazy-good word of mouth, mostly for being plain, good-old entertainment. The zombie genre is still alive and kicking, if you’ll pardon the very bad pun. Sorry. It’s still early and I haven’t had my coffee yet. Hearing people discuss how fun this movie was made me irritated that I spent several hours of my weekend sitting through “Shutter Island” instead. It goes to show that audiences, especially these days, appreciate a movie that offers pure escapism and enjoyment, even if the subject matter is bone weary. Look for “The Crazies” to stay respectably strong, thanks to word of mouth.

The other performance that stands out to me is “Valentine’s Day,” simply for the fact that ever since Valentine’s Day weekend, the movie’s performance has dropped like a stone. A lot of people will shrug this off as a phenomenon to have been expected, since the title of the movie suggested a three-day expiration date. I think this is a mistake — you can’t gauge the performance of a female-driven film the same way as you could a $150 million blockbuster based on a graphic novel. Everyone doesn’t go see a movie the weekend it opens — they will go see it after a few weeks, or return to see it a second time with a couple of friends. It makes sense that an action movie might drop like a stone the second week at the box office, and not be cause for embarrassment. But with “Valentine’s Day,” I think the fact that it did have such a massive drop was due to some bad word of mouth and overall disappointment. So many stars…so little story.

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Monday Box Office Analysis — February 8, 2010

February 8, 2010

About two years ago, I became a fan of a silly little project based on the latest Nicholas Sparks novel. In the script, a young couple falls head over heels in love over a two week period, then is separated when he must leave to go fight in an undisclosed war in the Middle East. It was unrepentantly sappy, unabashedly romantic, and I correctly predicted that teenage girls were going to go nuts over it.

Sure enough, DEAR JOHN cleaned up at the box office this past weekend, de-throning AVATAR after its seven-week reign. Why did this happen, when everyone was so sure DEAR JOHN was going to top out under 20 million?

I’ll tell you why: it’s because studio executives still have no idea what kind of projects appeal to young women. They especially don’t know how to bridge the divide between teenage girls and adult women, and when they run across this kind of material (such as the TWILIGHT franchise), they’re just kind of happily baffled. They ride the wave of success, but they don’t know how to replicate it. And when they see a project like DEAR JOHN, instead of comparing it rightfully with THE NOTEBOOK, whose model it faithfully follows, they instead compare it with utterly crap “chick lit” projects like WHEN IN ROME or LEAP YEAR.

In another entry, I’ll try to explain the formula that makes for a successful generation-bridging film that appeals to female audiences. For now, though, I’ll stop by saying, HA.

1 Dear John SGem

2 Avatar Fox

3 From Paris with Love LGF

4 Edge of Darkness WB

5 Tooth Fairy Fox

6 When in Rome BV

7 The Book of Eli WB

8 Crazy Heart FoxS

9 Legion (2010) SGem

10 Sherlock Holmes WB

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Monday Box Office Analysis

January 26, 2010

1 Avatar Fox

2 Legion (2010) SGem

3 The Book of Eli WB

4 The Tooth Fairy Fox

5 The Lovely Bones P/DW

6 Sherlock Holmes WB

7 Extraordinary Measures CBS

8 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel Fox

9 It’s Complicated Uni.

10 The Spy Next Door LGF

Avatar continues to kick serious ass at the box office. Did anyone else see James Cameron being interviewed at the Producers Guild Awards on Sunday night? He claimed that he thought the Titanic craze was a once in a lifetime experience and is shocked that it happened again. He’s not a very good liar. I guarantee he expected exactly this reaction to Avatar, and, while happy, is not exactly surprised.

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