Sunday, March 11, 2007

I Didn't Expect THAT

$70 million opening for 300. I mean, I knew it was gonna be big—trust me, I was the only dude at work who had any sort of faith it was gonna do anything—but I capped it at $30-35 million. $70 million is huge. 300 will probably go on to make $300 million global, if not's got no real like-minded competition until Grindhouse in early April.

I like what it means, how it could play out.

Because it means that you can open a movie for adults, for action junkies, for men, without compromising. Because that's who went, men. 75% of the audience. And that 75% was split evenly between young and old. Sure, there were some changes made to the 300 story to accommodate women—namely, the Queen Gorgo plot—but by and large this was a movie for boys. And we don't get too many of those anymore.

The Hollywood fixation on making the four-quadrant film—young men, old men, young women, old women—pretty much eliminates the possibility of a film making it through the system that targets just the one, especially if that film costs what a blockbuster costs nowadays. You simply don't make a $250 million movie like Spider-Man 3 or Superman Returns or Pirates of the Caribbean 3 unless you aim as widely as possible. But 300 came in at $65 million. You can almost take a risk with that kind of budget.

(Inversely, this should also prove that targeting any one or two of those quadrants could prove financially viable. Why there aren't more movies like Something's Gotta Give or The Holiday is beyond me. Women will also turn out in droves, especially if the weekend is all about blood and Spartans, and you can make those movies for dirt cheap.)

I hope that more studios will step up to the plate, point to a specific point in the bleachers, and swing away.


Bill Cunningham said...

If it makes $300M worldwide on screens add another $200M for DVD's initial release with another $50M+ for good measure when the special edition hops out.

I think that GRINDHOUSE is a two quad film - men and boys to be precise - but I think the budget might be less than 300's and longer to boot.

Let's see how it does so we can start making some assumptions...but I don't think it will be too long before this moviemaking methodology will make its way to television...we're already seeing glimpses of it in the revamping of Classic Trek.

Ringwood said...

I'm not so sure on Grindhouse. I assume it's two full-length movies -- plus, so I hear, a "guest director" spot for Rob Zombie -- so we're talking 3-hour screen times. No matter how many people go see it, that still severely cuts down how many times that movie can turn over in a given theatre on a given night.

Plus, goddamn, I am way over Tarantino by now.

marc bernardin said...

I think each film is around 75 minutes, with a wad of trailers stuffed in-between.

Still, that'll make for a shorter running time than Zodiac...

Ringwood said...

Yeah, though I don't think anyone anticipates a 2 hour, 45 minute movie making insane amounts of cash. Lots of time spent working in theatres (and setting up showtimes) drove home the point that, almost more than anything else, turnover matters.