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'ZERO DARK THIRTY': Timely or Hasty?


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22 replies to this topic

#1
ShawnMR

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Full article: http://www.boxoffice...n-for-audiences

Let's get the obvious fact out of the way: movies based on current wars, more often than not, are box office poison. Sometimes to no fault of their own.
The recent history of the "genre" has been a fairly ugly one. Green Zone,Body of Lies, Charlie Wilson's War,Lions for Lambs and The Kingdom each saw disappointing box office results relative to their production and marketing budgets. On average, those five films actually lost money for their backing studio - the most "profitable" of the bunch being Charlie Wilson's War, which banked a low 16 percent more than its combined budget. By the time exhibitors were given their share, its unlikely even that film became profitable until long after it hit the home video market.

2005's Jarhead - which holds the second best opening weekend of any recent war movie with $27.7 million - didn't exhibit strong legs at the domestic box office (finishing with less than $63 million) and totaled $96.9 million worldwide against its combined $103 million negative costs.

The cause seems simple: whether or not a film plays well with critics and among the film industry itself, the trend has shown that movies based on current or recent war events (particularly those revolving around Iraq and Afghanistan) aren't piquing the interests of a wide audience. After all, don't most moviegoers visit the theater for escapism? For the past decade, war movies venturing into cinemas have been doing so against the grain of that cardinal rule when it comes to movies.


Edited by ShawnMR, 01 January 2013 - 11:39 AM.

"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

 

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#2
Gopher

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Uh oh.
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#3
ShawnMR

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Updated first post.

"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


#4
Telemachos

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I think it'll have a decent opening, but since it's not a rah-rah Rambo-style thing, I don't think it's going to be embraced by the casual audience. I do think cinephiles will love it, though -- it's a great piece of filmmaking.

Edited by Telemachos, 01 January 2013 - 11:42 AM.

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#5
JackO

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I think it will have mediocre opening but have very strong legs as people catch up on their Oscar playlist. I agree with boxoffice prediction of 15/70ish.

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#6
baumer

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I think it will have a mediocre opening and then it will die.

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#7
Gopher

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^ Biased.

I'm thinking 18/80. It was definitely a smart move to wait until after the Christmas movies have had their time to shine.
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#8
Schumacher FTW

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I'm not sure how the general audience will respond, but maybe a chance to see Osama bite the bullet on screen may entice the sort of people that showed up to Act of Valor last year. I really think if it's a hit it won't travel well though. Not even in Oz and the UK.

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#9
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Vietnam movies did well, albeit after the war finished. My theory is people simply find the look of the Middle East rather dull on the eyes.
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#10
riczhang

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Opening of less than 10, and finish maybe 50 tops I think. It's really not the type of film that would anyhow interest the general public, IMO.

#11
Telemachos

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I'm not sure how the general audience will respond, but maybe a chance to see Osama bite the bullet on screen may entice the sort of people that showed up to Act of Valor last year. I really think if it's a hit it won't travel well though. Not even in Oz and the UK.


If that's the only crowd it attracts, it will get terrible WOM.

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#12
Schumacher FTW

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I'm not saying it's the only crowd it will attract, it's got cinephiles interested too with the great reviews and awards love, but they're the audience that will turn it in to a hit I think.

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#13
Telemachos

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Believe me, I'd love if it does well. I think it's a tremendous film. But it's demanding and, to some degree, unsettling.

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#14
Jake Gittes

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Opening of less than 10, and finish maybe 50 tops I think. It's really not the type of film that would anyhow interest the general public, IMO.

It will open in 2500 theaters one day after the Oscar noms. It would have to do really bad to not make $10m. I'm thinking 12-13, with 15+ not quite out of the question. Over $50m finish.
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#15
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Vietnam movies did well, albeit after the war finished. My theory is people simply find the look of the Middle East rather dull on the eyes.


true,true. Jungle movies = hit. desert movies = miss. With the exception of LoA where Lean filmed the shit out of Sahara and made it look gorgeous.

That said, ZDT is going to triple THL`s boxoffice at least.

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#16
Telemachos

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I've always felt THL was criminally treated during its initial release. It could've easily doubled or tripled its gross with a conventional wide release.

You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.

 

We shall not cease from exploration / And the end of all our exploring / Will be to arrive where we started / And know the place for the first time.

 

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#17
riczhang

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It will open in 2500 theaters one day after the Oscar noms. It would have to do really bad to not make $10m. I'm thinking 12-13, with 15+ not quite out of the question. Over $50m finish.


Oh, I didn't realise this was getting so many theatres. I thought the wide expansion was only going to be 1000-1500 theatres. Yeah, probably 12-13. I'm not sure on legs for the movie though, they could be great, but they could also be absolute crap.

#18
ShawnMR

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Believe me, I'd love if it does well. I think it's a tremendous film. But it's demanding and, to some degree, unsettling.


Interesting. Part of me wonders if it could benefit from that in a similar way as Passion of the Christ did. (Obviously not on the same level.)

"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


#19
Telemachos

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Interesting. Part of me wonders if it could benefit from that in a similar way as Passion of the Christ did. (Obviously not on the same level.)



Hmm, I don't think so, because one just wants you to sit back and observe what the savior suffered (assuming that's the general faith of the audience), but the other is asking you to determine (through classic movie conventions) whether you approve of what was done.

You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.

 

We shall not cease from exploration / And the end of all our exploring / Will be to arrive where we started / And know the place for the first time.

 

Disturbingly, Noctis predicted my son's birthday.


#20
ShawnMR

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Hmm, I don't think so, because one just wants you to sit back and observe what the savior suffered (assuming that's the general faith of the audience), but the other is asking you to determine (through classic movie conventions) whether you approve of what was done.


Gotcha. I haven't seen the film yet, so I'm sure you have a better of idea of the content. I haven't read much about the film but I'm intrigued by the one or two things I've heard.

"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



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