Sunday, July 27, 2008

Box-Office Round Up : 7.27.08

1. The Dark Knight $75.6 million
2. Step Brothers $30 million
3. Mamma Mia $17.9 million
4. X-Files: I Want to Believe $10.2 million
5. Journey/Center/Earth $9.4 million

Holy Crap! My personal favourite movie to come out this year, The Dark Knight broke two more records this weekend! It now has the distinction of having the highest second weekend gross ever, and is also the film that reached the $300 million mark the fastest. (The former record was held by Shrek II, which had the benefit of opening over a holiday weekend. In regards to the latter record, no movie has ever reached the $300 million mark in the first ten days.) This picture really deserves all these accolades - if you call backing up the Brink’s truck an accolade - because it satisfies the genre needs for a superhero movie, and is also a real movie with a compelling story that is told well! Pictures that are good stories well told are always my favorites.

Step Brothers doing $30 mil is a good sign! A lot of insiders were wondering if the Will Ferrell/John C. Reilly matchup would cleanup like Talladega Nights. It did not come close to the $47 mil opening of that picture but when the number one movie has broken three records in 10 days, $30 million don’t sound so bad.

The one true disappointment would be for the X-Files: I Want to Believe. Ugh. Even I’m disappointed, I wanted to believe (wink) that this would do well even though it has been TEN YEARS since the first installment! I had heard that it was supposed to be fun! Oh well, it’s the third week in a row that Fox has not done so well. But – at least using traditional opening weekend math, the sequel will make its money back (not including prints and advertising) which is a better fate than Meet Dave.

I would also like to take a second to ponder the way that movies’ box-office receipts are reported is designed to make it into a competition as entertainment for an audience. I happen to agree, and it’s not my favourite. Why do a weekly Box-Office Round Up if I feel that way, you ask? I am attempting to challenge myself to greater understanding of what’s going on in the marketplace aspect of my industry. I am a person who loves, loves, loves this business, and the fact that our business is to attempt to make art. But the fact that our entertainment costs money to produce and we sell tickets (commercial air time, product placement, yada yada) to cover that cost means that I have a responsibility, as an artist, to at least try to understand why people choose to see what they do. Then we can begin to have an inkling of how much to spend and how to best position our ideas in the audience’s mind to cover those costs so we can all come back to do more projects in the future. Best of all, we get to discuss it together!

And that’s the weekend!

© 2008 MD TOTAL all rights reserved.

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