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Reality Check: Why Some (Wrongly) Think CATCHING FIRE Underperformed


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#1
ShawnMR

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Lionsgate, the freshly minted seventh major studio whose movies had never posted a domestic opening weekend of more than $41 million until last year, just established one of the best debuts ever with The Hunger Games: Catching Fire's $158.1 million bow.

 

Yet, all many seem able to talk about is how "disappointing" that number is.

 

What?!

 

Sure, if someone's portfolio fell victim to Lionsgate's 10 percent slide in shares yesterday, they may be justifiably disappointed. Don't blame it on the movie, the studio, or audiences though. Blame it on a the fanboy mentality which dictates bigger isn't good enough anymore; a mentality that essentially requires even the most optimistic of expectations to be exceeded, and if they're not, perception dooms healthy performances into classifications such as "non-eventful" and "let down". Unfortunately, that mentality affects the real world, too.

 

Worst of all, indulging in said mentality precedes avoiding the responsibility of being able to step back and say, "the movie's doing great business, the signs were just misread." 

 

That flawed thinking has skewed perceptions of the box office in recent years, inaccurately portraying major financial successes as disappointments, and moderate disappointments as outright flops... (more)

 

Full story: http://www.boxoffice...-underperformed


Edited by ShawnMR, 26 November 2013 - 02:57 PM.

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#2
ECSTASY

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Lionsgate, the freshly minted seventh major studio whose movies had never posted a domestic opening weekend of more than $41 million until last year, just established one of the best debuts ever with The Hunger Games: Catching Fire's $158.1 million bow.

 

Yet, all many seem able to talk about is how "disappointing" that number is.

 

What?!

 

Sure, if someone's portfolio fell victim to Lionsgate's 10 percent slide in shares yesterday, they may be justifiably disappointed. Don't blame it on the movie, the studio, or audiences though. Blame it on a media industry that is adopting the fanboy mentality which dictates bigger isn't good enough anymore; a mentality that essentially requires even the most optimistic of expectations to be exceeded, and if they're not, perception dooms healthy performances into classifications such as "non-eventful" and "let down".

 

Worst of all, indulging in that mentality precedes avoiding the journalistic responsibility of being able to step back and say, "the movie's doing great business, we just got it wrong!"

 

That flawed thinking has skewed perceptions of the box office in recent years, inaccurately portraying major financial successes as disappointments and moderate disappointments as outright flops... (more)

 

Full story: http://www.boxoffice...-underperformed

 

 

 

Really Shawn?  Who's saying that it's disappointing? What media outlets are saying this in particular?


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#3
CloneWars

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Well

 

Really Shawn?  Who's saying that it's disappointing? What media outlets are saying this in particular?

Well, their stocks did fall 10%.


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#4
TLK

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The problem is that LGF isn't exactly a major. They have only one reliably big franchise and it came below Wall Street projections hence the slides in share prices. In purely Box Office terms , the movie didn't underperform but the fact is that LGF share has been on a tear for over  a year and a half mainly because of THG and the movie didn't measure up. LGF needs another big success at this point if they want their stock to stay at the 30 something level.


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#5
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Lionsgate, the freshly minted seventh major studio whose movies had never posted a domestic opening weekend of more than $41 million until last year, just established one of the best debuts ever with The Hunger Games: Catching Fire's $158.1 million bow.

 

Yet, all many seem able to talk about is how "disappointing" that number is.

 

What?!

 

Sure, if someone's portfolio fell victim to Lionsgate's 10 percent slide in shares yesterday, they may be justifiably disappointed. Don't blame it on the movie, the studio, or audiences though. Blame it on a media industry that is adopting the fanboy mentality which dictates bigger isn't good enough anymore; a mentality that essentially requires even the most optimistic of expectations to be exceeded, and if they're not, perception dooms healthy performances into classifications such as "non-eventful" and "let down".

 

Worst of all, indulging in that mentality precedes avoiding the journalistic responsibility of being able to step back and say, "the movie's doing great business, we just got it wrong!"

 

That flawed thinking has skewed perceptions of the box office in recent years, inaccurately portraying major financial successes as disappointments and moderate disappointments as outright flops... (more)

 

Full story: http://www.boxoffice...-underperformed

 

 

 

NBC local news was the only place I saw a headline citing Catching Fire's number was disappointing, then I saw 158M down from 160M and was thinking, "What are they smoking to think that much $$$ is a disappointment, in 1 weekend no less??"..

 

facepalmns.jpg


Edited by BREAKING BKB, 26 November 2013 - 02:48 PM.

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#6
ShawnMR

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Really Shawn?  Who's saying that it's disappointing? What media outlets are saying this in particular?

 

I'm still refining the story so I may take out the direct reference to the media (it's not as large of a point in the article as I originally was going to make), but they're out there if you dig around. Some have already tried to change their tunes since the weekend passed. This is really meant to address general perceptions, media or not.


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"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly, one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts." - Sherlock Holmes


"Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen." - Conan O'Brien


#7
ECSTASY

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I'm still refining the story so I may take out the direct reference to the media (it's not as large of a point in the article as I originally was going to make), but they're out there if you dig around. Some have already tried to change their tunes since the weekend passed. This is really meant to address general perceptions, media or not.

 

 

Okay that's fair. I think that outrageous tracking played a big part in it. And even though the estimate was only 3 million or so off it was significant. If that 161m stood then two beloved records would have been broken. So the weekend was hyped up to look like some heavy duty achievements were in store. When they didn't materialize with the actuals, it took the wind out of everyone's sails.  So in my opinion, the opening weekend in of itself wasn't the disappointment. It was the promise of something greater not happening that let people down.


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#8
JJ321

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at least CF is better than TDK 

 

quality > money


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#9
ECSTASY

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at least CF is better than TDK 

 

quality > money

 

Save it for another time. I'll let you know when, lol.

 

But now is not the time. You don't want to troll this thread.


Edited by ECSTASY, 26 November 2013 - 03:10 PM.

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#10
#ED

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Shawn's articles are the only reason i even go to the actual site.

 

:ph34r:


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#11
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at least CF is better than TDK 

 

quality > money

 

You know I've been on your side this whole time.  If that's your opinio, you are entitled to it.  I happen to disagree with it but that's besides the point.  Do you have anything to add to the conversation besides the same tune in every post?  Because if all you do is post the same thing over and over again, eventually you'll get a point increase for being a troll.  


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#12
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Lionsgate is major now!? :o



#13
babz06

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Since Lionsgate acquired Summit, and THG franchise they have become the biggest 'mini major'. Last year was the first year that they stepped into the big leagues with over 1 billion dollars at the box office, finishing ahead some of the 'big five'.  But they do need another franchise after THG to keep the their investors happy.  Thats why its critical for Divergent or another YA adaption to become a hit. The downside is that those YA adaptations are perhaps riskier than comic-book/superhero movies. You never know what is going to catch on for the general audience.


Edited by babz06, 26 November 2013 - 03:27 PM.

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#14
k1stpierre

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Lionsgate, the freshly minted seventh major studio whose movies had never posted a domestic opening weekend of more than $41 million until last year, just established one of the best debuts ever with The Hunger Games: Catching Fire's $158.1 million bow.

 

Yet, all many seem able to talk about is how "disappointing" that number is.

 

What?!

 

Sure, if someone's portfolio fell victim to Lionsgate's 10 percent slide in shares yesterday, they may be justifiably disappointed. Don't blame it on the movie, the studio, or audiences though. Blame it on a the fanboy mentality which dictates bigger isn't good enough anymore; a mentality that essentially requires even the most optimistic of expectations to be exceeded, and if they're not, perception dooms healthy performances into classifications such as "non-eventful" and "let down". Unfortunately, that mentality affects the real world, too.

 

Worst of all, indulging in said mentality precedes avoiding the responsibility of being able to step back and say, "the movie's doing great business, the signs were just misread." 

 

That flawed thinking has skewed perceptions of the box office in recent years, inaccurately portraying major financial successes as disappointments, and moderate disappointments as outright flops... (more)

 

Full story: http://www.boxoffice...-underperformed

 

 

applause-gif-tumblr-47_original.gif


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#15
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Since Lionsgate acquired Summit, and THG franchise they have become the biggest 'mini major'. Last year was the first year that they stepped into the big leagues with over 1 billion dollars at the box office, finishing ahead some of the 'big five'.  But they do need another franchise after THG to keep the their investors happy.  Thats why its critical for Divergent or another YA adaption to become a hit. 

 

Yeah, they need something else. It is pretty obvious that THG's ceiling isn't that much higher than Twilight and it will be finished in two more years. If Divergent bombs then their stock is in trouble even though studio will continue to be profitable for a while.



#16
baumer

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I'm going to sound like a broken record AGAIN but oh well.  

 

For anyone to say that the opening is disappointing, honestly doesn't know anything about box office.  They don't follow trends, don't read boxofficemojo.com and they don't pay attention to history.  All they did was make stupid forecasts and investments based on some magic thing called tracking.  Tracking is unreliable and it is imperfect.  For every movie they get right, they get many more wrong.  80% the posters here could have told you it would open to under 180, about half the posters would tell you under 170 and maybe a quarter of us knew it would open to less than 160.  Does that make us smarter than investors or those in the industry?  IMO, you're damn right it does.  

 

We follow this stuff and break it all down to the last penny.  But forget us for just one second and look at it like this.

 

A) No film that opened to more than 100 million dollars had it's sequel increase by more than 15% without the aid of 3D (Spiderman 2 did 88 mill so it doesn't count).

 

B) No film that opened to more than 140 mill had its sequel increase by more than a couple of million, so in this sense, THG CF bucked the trend by opening 6 mill higher.

 

There is simply too much data to prove that CF was never going to open any higher than 160 million.  And I'm not using revisionist history here, I've been saying this since June.  

 

I don't get everything right in terms of box office, in fact, I have been more wrong than right, but imho, this opening weekend was very easy to call.  Just because a bunch of analysts who don't know a thing about box office, thought it would open to 180 mill doesn't mean 158 is a disappointment.  


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#17
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This is about expectation. Apple can generate billions in quarterly profits and its stock can slide if it fails to meet market expectations. LGF's shares were trading at $15 18 months ago. They were at $33 last week and THG is their only active franchise that is worth anything so market wanted THG to do better. Basically, their stock price is inflated and that's the main issue.


Edited by TLK, 26 November 2013 - 04:11 PM.

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#18
Lordmandeep

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CF opening is like IM2. 

 

 

However unlike IM2 cf seems a betterfilm. 


Edited by Lordmandeep, 26 November 2013 - 03:43 PM.

THE DARK PRINCE

 

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#19
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The major issue I saw was that Lionsgate issued the Press release with numbers which anyone with even a little understanding of box office knew were wrong.

 

If CF had broken the 2D record by 10M, it would not have mattered, even 5M. But the fact that everyone knew that it would come under the record, and then LG put out a number which was a laughable 250k more than record was the major issue. They made a couple of mistakes - Let the expectations get out of hand, and then provided a clearly fudged estimate.


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#20
baumer

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The major issue I saw was that Lionsgate issued the Press release with numbers which anyone with even a little understanding of box office knew were wrong.

 

If CF had broken the 2D record by 10M, it would not have mattered, even 5M. But the fact that everyone knew that it would come under the record, and then LG put out a number which was a laughable 250k more than record was the major issue. They made a couple of mistakes - Let the expectations get out of hand, and then provided a clearly fudged estimate.

 

Yea, but their Sunday projection was a 30% drop.  The average drop for a film in that release date was about 31-32%.  So they really didn't go that low.  The Sunday drop was a bit off % wise, but not astronomically.


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