Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Box Office: Grindhouse, FTL

While I think there was plenty of hype regarding Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez' Grindhouse, which opened last Friday, it only grossed $11.6 mil - as opposed to the $20 million projected by producer Harvey Weinstein.

This should probably not come as much of a surprise seeing as it was Easter weekend. You know, bunnies and hidden eggs and candy and Jesus rising from the dead. You know, a traditionally family-gets-together kind of weekend. I question the choice of release date, as you can tell, but whether or not that was the sole cause of Grindhouse's box office futility is yet to be seen.

I've yet to see the movie, though I'm definitely intrigued. It's a bit difficult to set aside over three hours of your day for a movie, and while I think the days of the double feature are long gone, I really like the idea of putting these two films (Planet Terror and Death Proof, respectively) and these two directors together. Sometimes I suspect that the cultural act of seeing a movie has become something of an afterthought, like it's just something you'd put in with a laundry list of other activities, but this idea of an old fashioned double billing seems to attempt to make the movie itself the experience. The whole shebang. It would, literally, be your entire evening or afternoon. If nothing else, that I can appreciate.

The thing that caught my eye was a few initial quotes from Mr. Weinstein (probably way out of context) that made him come off as a bit arrogant and looking down upon the general movie public. One such quote from a report by Reuters:

"'What Robert and Quentin did was a very noble attempt to re-educate American cinema-goers as to what's good and what was great about seeing those old double bills,' Weinstein said. 'They tried and the story's not written in one week when you do something this bold.'"

Re-educate American cinema-goers? I'll agree wholeheartedly that audiences aren't exactly conditioned to sit in theaters for extended periods of time, seeing vintage-style movies that, while I'm sure they're very well done, probably rely heavily on nostalgia and camp. But then again, there's a reason those kinds of movies aren't actually produced anymore. And I doubt Mr. Weinstein has anyone but the lowliest intern reading those 180-page scripts that come into his office.

Anyway, like he said, the end result is yet to be seen. There has been some speculation that the films will be re-released individually. In which case, I'd expect the ticket sales to soar. But, again, we'll see.

The rest of the weekend shaped up like this:

1. Blades of Glory - $22.5 million
2. Meet the Robinsons - $16.7 million
3. Are We Done Yet - $14.2 million
4. Grindhouse - $11.6 million
5. The Reaping - $10 million

6-10, respectively: 300, Wild Hogs, Shooter, TMNT, and Firehouse Dog

Write on...