Nov 28, 2020
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Films not named Star Wars scramble to fill movie seats

With Star Wars: The Force Awakens now barnstorming the global box office, you’d think the juggernaut might slow down. It won’t.

The film will take in the bulk of its money stateside in the weeks to come, though exactly where the numbers will end up is the stuff of armchair gamblers’ reveries. What that means for moviegoers who thought to wait out the first-weekend hype is clear — you won’t coast into the empty theatre you might have hoped for. What it means for another group is less certain. Studios and producers behind rival releases might have hoped for a slowdown. The fact that there’s plenty of gas in the tank — and that some might want to take the movie for a second spin — means other movies just won’t do as well as they would in a Star Wars-less galaxy.

Who is most at risk as we head into a very busy set of Christmas Day movie openings and widenings? And who might even pick up a little halo effect? Here’s how it breaks down:
Daddy’s Home: The consensus pick for second-place finisher. The presence of a pair of bankable stars in Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg and an easy comedic hook (two men vie for the affections of their biological/stepchildren) stand in sharp contrast to the grandiosity of The Force Awakens — and mean the movie will perform well relative to it. Some filmgoers will see it after they’ve seen Star Wars. A few will see it — gasp — instead. Tracking numbers bear this out, putting the movie ahead of all other Christmas openers, with as much as a solid $25 million weekend. It’s a battle for third, really. Which leaves . . .

Joy: The David O. Russell film might be one of the shakier propositions to go up against Star Wars. Though it stars Jennifer Lawrence, who’s been hitting the late-night stump in earnest, and though Russell has been on a box-office hot streak with his last few movies, there are some looming questions. The film has been garnering mixed reviews; it isn’t the easily identifiable ensemble comedy that Russell’s predecessor smashes Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle were. (It’s a more straightforward story of empowerment.) The good news: Joy is about a woman and will play to women, while Star Wars is more heavily male — by a ratio of 2:1, according to the site MovieTickets.com.

The Hateful Eight: Even before director Quentin Tarantino became vocal about Disney pushing him out of a flagship theatre, this one was a bit of a Star Wars-ian concern. “Eight” has action elements that play to the male base — particularly a fan base that Venn diagrams nicely with Kylo Ren et al. (I mean, every fan base does, but this one does especially.) Recently, Tarantino grew very upset on Howard Stern’s radio show when he said that he thought Disney was blackballing him out of the ArcLight’s Cinerama Dome.
“It’s vindictive. It’s mean. And it’s extortion,” he said of the company’s practices.

Sure, it’s one theatre, but it underlines the issue, at least symbolically — this is a movie that could see some of its light occupied by Star Wars. The saving grace: The movie opens in limited release on Christmas and could have a little more clearing by the time it widens the following weekend.

The Big Short (opens Wednesday in Toronto): The marketing enigma of the season. It contains strong comedic elements, a cast of Gosling-ian and Bale-ian charm and comes from the director of some major Hollywood hits. Its limited release thus far has been extremely strong. But the movie also is about the inner workings of Wall Street and doesn’t exactly give the audience a big warm hug at the end — more like a chilly this-can-happen-again shower. There’s a reason it, like all the big releases outside Daddy’s Home, is coming in at no more than $15 million in pre-release tracking for Christmas weekend. Where does it eventually land? The male skew hurts it relative to Star Wars. On the other hand, The Big Short could attract a whole more serious (and nonopening-weekend) breed of filmgoer, which is what you get when Paul Krugman is devoting columns to your movie’s virtue.

Concussion: Another hot-button holiday release. Peter Landesman’s movie, starring Will Smith, examines the emergence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, as a debilitating disease for NFL players, brought on by years of football’s repeated hits. In a weird way, the movie shares something in common with Star Wars — it taps into a phenomenon loved by tens of millions of Americans. The difference is that The Force Awakens is an uber-celebration of a phenomenon, while Concussion asks audiences to take a hard look at it. A film whose big-star appeal may be tempered by its sobering subject matter — and the added competitive factor of Force Awakens.

Point Break: A movie that has some of the spectacle of Star Wars — all of its big extreme-sports scenes were shot in locations around the world, giving it an epic feel, especially in 3D. But some early lukewarm word of mouth and built-in skepticism about a remake of a cult classic could hurt it. And the spectacle factor is an unknown one — will Star Wars give audiences their fill of it or prime them for more? “There will be winners this Christmas that aren’t named Star Wars,” said Point Break producer Andrew Kosove. “But if you have one of the competing movies, you’d be naive — no, you’d be crazy — not to be worried.”

Source: Toronto Star

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Front Page, Headline, Industry News

Films not named Star Wars scramble to fill movie seats

With Star Wars: The Force Awakens now barnstorming the global box office, you’d think the juggernaut might slow down. It won’t.

The film will take in the bulk of its money stateside in the weeks to come, though exactly where the numbers will end up is the stuff of armchair gamblers’ reveries. What that means for moviegoers who thought to wait out the first-weekend hype is clear — you won’t coast into the empty theatre you might have hoped for. What it means for another group is less certain. Studios and producers behind rival releases might have hoped for a slowdown. The fact that there’s plenty of gas in the tank — and that some might want to take the movie for a second spin — means other movies just won’t do as well as they would in a Star Wars-less galaxy.

Who is most at risk as we head into a very busy set of Christmas Day movie openings and widenings? And who might even pick up a little halo effect? Here’s how it breaks down:
Daddy’s Home: The consensus pick for second-place finisher. The presence of a pair of bankable stars in Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg and an easy comedic hook (two men vie for the affections of their biological/stepchildren) stand in sharp contrast to the grandiosity of The Force Awakens — and mean the movie will perform well relative to it. Some filmgoers will see it after they’ve seen Star Wars. A few will see it — gasp — instead. Tracking numbers bear this out, putting the movie ahead of all other Christmas openers, with as much as a solid $25 million weekend. It’s a battle for third, really. Which leaves . . .

Joy: The David O. Russell film might be one of the shakier propositions to go up against Star Wars. Though it stars Jennifer Lawrence, who’s been hitting the late-night stump in earnest, and though Russell has been on a box-office hot streak with his last few movies, there are some looming questions. The film has been garnering mixed reviews; it isn’t the easily identifiable ensemble comedy that Russell’s predecessor smashes Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle were. (It’s a more straightforward story of empowerment.) The good news: Joy is about a woman and will play to women, while Star Wars is more heavily male — by a ratio of 2:1, according to the site MovieTickets.com.

The Hateful Eight: Even before director Quentin Tarantino became vocal about Disney pushing him out of a flagship theatre, this one was a bit of a Star Wars-ian concern. “Eight” has action elements that play to the male base — particularly a fan base that Venn diagrams nicely with Kylo Ren et al. (I mean, every fan base does, but this one does especially.) Recently, Tarantino grew very upset on Howard Stern’s radio show when he said that he thought Disney was blackballing him out of the ArcLight’s Cinerama Dome.
“It’s vindictive. It’s mean. And it’s extortion,” he said of the company’s practices.

Sure, it’s one theatre, but it underlines the issue, at least symbolically — this is a movie that could see some of its light occupied by Star Wars. The saving grace: The movie opens in limited release on Christmas and could have a little more clearing by the time it widens the following weekend.

The Big Short (opens Wednesday in Toronto): The marketing enigma of the season. It contains strong comedic elements, a cast of Gosling-ian and Bale-ian charm and comes from the director of some major Hollywood hits. Its limited release thus far has been extremely strong. But the movie also is about the inner workings of Wall Street and doesn’t exactly give the audience a big warm hug at the end — more like a chilly this-can-happen-again shower. There’s a reason it, like all the big releases outside Daddy’s Home, is coming in at no more than $15 million in pre-release tracking for Christmas weekend. Where does it eventually land? The male skew hurts it relative to Star Wars. On the other hand, The Big Short could attract a whole more serious (and nonopening-weekend) breed of filmgoer, which is what you get when Paul Krugman is devoting columns to your movie’s virtue.

Concussion: Another hot-button holiday release. Peter Landesman’s movie, starring Will Smith, examines the emergence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, as a debilitating disease for NFL players, brought on by years of football’s repeated hits. In a weird way, the movie shares something in common with Star Wars — it taps into a phenomenon loved by tens of millions of Americans. The difference is that The Force Awakens is an uber-celebration of a phenomenon, while Concussion asks audiences to take a hard look at it. A film whose big-star appeal may be tempered by its sobering subject matter — and the added competitive factor of Force Awakens.

Point Break: A movie that has some of the spectacle of Star Wars — all of its big extreme-sports scenes were shot in locations around the world, giving it an epic feel, especially in 3D. But some early lukewarm word of mouth and built-in skepticism about a remake of a cult classic could hurt it. And the spectacle factor is an unknown one — will Star Wars give audiences their fill of it or prime them for more? “There will be winners this Christmas that aren’t named Star Wars,” said Point Break producer Andrew Kosove. “But if you have one of the competing movies, you’d be naive — no, you’d be crazy — not to be worried.”

Source: Toronto Star

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Front Page, Headline, Industry News

Films not named Star Wars scramble to fill movie seats

With Star Wars: The Force Awakens now barnstorming the global box office, you’d think the juggernaut might slow down. It won’t.

The film will take in the bulk of its money stateside in the weeks to come, though exactly where the numbers will end up is the stuff of armchair gamblers’ reveries. What that means for moviegoers who thought to wait out the first-weekend hype is clear — you won’t coast into the empty theatre you might have hoped for. What it means for another group is less certain. Studios and producers behind rival releases might have hoped for a slowdown. The fact that there’s plenty of gas in the tank — and that some might want to take the movie for a second spin — means other movies just won’t do as well as they would in a Star Wars-less galaxy.

Who is most at risk as we head into a very busy set of Christmas Day movie openings and widenings? And who might even pick up a little halo effect? Here’s how it breaks down:
Daddy’s Home: The consensus pick for second-place finisher. The presence of a pair of bankable stars in Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg and an easy comedic hook (two men vie for the affections of their biological/stepchildren) stand in sharp contrast to the grandiosity of The Force Awakens — and mean the movie will perform well relative to it. Some filmgoers will see it after they’ve seen Star Wars. A few will see it — gasp — instead. Tracking numbers bear this out, putting the movie ahead of all other Christmas openers, with as much as a solid $25 million weekend. It’s a battle for third, really. Which leaves . . .

Joy: The David O. Russell film might be one of the shakier propositions to go up against Star Wars. Though it stars Jennifer Lawrence, who’s been hitting the late-night stump in earnest, and though Russell has been on a box-office hot streak with his last few movies, there are some looming questions. The film has been garnering mixed reviews; it isn’t the easily identifiable ensemble comedy that Russell’s predecessor smashes Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle were. (It’s a more straightforward story of empowerment.) The good news: Joy is about a woman and will play to women, while Star Wars is more heavily male — by a ratio of 2:1, according to the site MovieTickets.com.

The Hateful Eight: Even before director Quentin Tarantino became vocal about Disney pushing him out of a flagship theatre, this one was a bit of a Star Wars-ian concern. “Eight” has action elements that play to the male base — particularly a fan base that Venn diagrams nicely with Kylo Ren et al. (I mean, every fan base does, but this one does especially.) Recently, Tarantino grew very upset on Howard Stern’s radio show when he said that he thought Disney was blackballing him out of the ArcLight’s Cinerama Dome.
“It’s vindictive. It’s mean. And it’s extortion,” he said of the company’s practices.

Sure, it’s one theatre, but it underlines the issue, at least symbolically — this is a movie that could see some of its light occupied by Star Wars. The saving grace: The movie opens in limited release on Christmas and could have a little more clearing by the time it widens the following weekend.

The Big Short (opens Wednesday in Toronto): The marketing enigma of the season. It contains strong comedic elements, a cast of Gosling-ian and Bale-ian charm and comes from the director of some major Hollywood hits. Its limited release thus far has been extremely strong. But the movie also is about the inner workings of Wall Street and doesn’t exactly give the audience a big warm hug at the end — more like a chilly this-can-happen-again shower. There’s a reason it, like all the big releases outside Daddy’s Home, is coming in at no more than $15 million in pre-release tracking for Christmas weekend. Where does it eventually land? The male skew hurts it relative to Star Wars. On the other hand, The Big Short could attract a whole more serious (and nonopening-weekend) breed of filmgoer, which is what you get when Paul Krugman is devoting columns to your movie’s virtue.

Concussion: Another hot-button holiday release. Peter Landesman’s movie, starring Will Smith, examines the emergence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, as a debilitating disease for NFL players, brought on by years of football’s repeated hits. In a weird way, the movie shares something in common with Star Wars — it taps into a phenomenon loved by tens of millions of Americans. The difference is that The Force Awakens is an uber-celebration of a phenomenon, while Concussion asks audiences to take a hard look at it. A film whose big-star appeal may be tempered by its sobering subject matter — and the added competitive factor of Force Awakens.

Point Break: A movie that has some of the spectacle of Star Wars — all of its big extreme-sports scenes were shot in locations around the world, giving it an epic feel, especially in 3D. But some early lukewarm word of mouth and built-in skepticism about a remake of a cult classic could hurt it. And the spectacle factor is an unknown one — will Star Wars give audiences their fill of it or prime them for more? “There will be winners this Christmas that aren’t named Star Wars,” said Point Break producer Andrew Kosove. “But if you have one of the competing movies, you’d be naive — no, you’d be crazy — not to be worried.”

Source: Toronto Star

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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