Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I Spit on Your Box Office!

Tomorrow, Claire's brother is coming over and we're going to watch the film Grindhouse. Beforehand, though, I'll be showing him Humanoids from the Deep and a bunch of old exploitation film trailers, and maybe Basket Case, time permitting. Anyway, one of the stories that has intrigued me in the past few days is this news item about Grindhouse being a flop. I saw this story on the day after the film debuted. Apparently, it ultimately brought in $11 million over the weekend, instead of $20 million, as had been expected. But, to be honest, I can't fathom the economics of a film "tanking" on the first day or weekend of release, especially since there are still all of the foreign markets, DVDs, etc. etc. to come. Does anyone know how in the world they determine whether or not a film is successful?

4 comments:

The Pagan Temple said...

It's all about the opening week. The better it does, the more fuel it provides for larger and longer range success. Generally speaking, if it doesn't do so well, it's not going to do well enough overall to make a profit, due to the extravagant cost of movie making these days.

Even a so-called cheap indie film is kind of expensive, and I think this film is supposed to be a major studio release.

From what I've seen, I don't think I would particularly like this film.

Rufus said...

It looks to me like a movie that would be more fun to watch at home, with friends and booze, than in a theater. So I figure the DVD should do well. But, yeah, I think the problem must be the price tag involved in film making. The sad thing is this means they will be taking a lot less chances in the movies they make.

gregvw said...

There have been loads of counter-examples. Movies which did little or nothing in initial returns because they were not adequately or properly promoted for example. I think the Shawshank Redemption might be a classic example of something which wallowed and was only sucessful after release on video (and hugely so). One may reasonably presume that if it had been promoted enought before hitting theatres, that it would have been a commercial success.

Rufus said...

I think they need could stand to release them for longer too. I can think of a number of movies from the 70s that were out for weeks before the word of mouth built up. Halloween would have been a flop if judged by its first month I think.