Holmes Kickass

You want some real tracking excitement? Take a look at these Sherlock Holmes numbers. Particularly how total awareness and definite interest numbers are very strong across the board in all sectors. The weakest demo are under-25 females, but even they seem fairly enthusiastic with a 41 definite interest with over-25 females showing a 46 definite interest. Compare that to Avatar‘s 30 for under-25 female definite interest and 31 for over-25 definite interest. Women are interested in Avatar, but they’re significantly more interested in Holmes at this stage.

54 thoughts on “Holmes Kickass

  1. With all my reservations, I’d rather see Avatar over Sherlock Holmes. If I hear from critics whose opinions I respect that it rises above the trailer and proves Guy Ritchie isn’t the one-trick pony that Rocknrolla seemed to verify, I’ll give it a chance.

  2. Given the choice on seeing both on the same day, I think many would only see Avatar because of some sorta loyalty to Cameron. Holmes does look more fun, which is what people like.

  3. Sherlock Holmes is definitely going to open big on Christmas Day. Personally I don’t care for the look of it, but I’ll see it just for Downey Jr who can do no wrong in my book – and I think that’s how most people are feeling for this one.

    I agree with most of what’s been written in a previous post about Avatar. The film is not a franchise movie, or based on something everyone knows. Yes, its a James Cameron film – but did everyone flock to Titanic opening weekend because of that reason? Of course not.

    Avatar will cross over into the mega blockbuster territory if the word of mouth is through the roof. Otherwise its looking at $200 million total.

  4. having seen Sherlock, i can guarantee that it will play BIG to the Eloi crowd. brilliant chemistry, an amenable pace, and a mystery that refuses to reward or encourage the viewer’s intelligence… this thing will be huge, even if it stumbles a bit in its full 2nd hour. mcadams is oddly flat in it, however… she looks tired from laboring so hard to set up the sequel.

  5. I haven’t met a person yet who’s truly excited about Avatar – the general reaction is an “I’ll see it, but only because I feel I should.” While on the other hand, a number of my friends are high on Sherlock.

  6. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Daniel Day-Lewis would have been PERFECT as Holmes (maybe with Philip Seymour Hoffman as Watson). He wouldn’t have brought in the lemmings like Downey, and a different director would still be required, but it could have been something special instead of just a tongue-in-cheek popcorn movie.

  7. @Josh Massey

    my tastes tend to be more Carne than Cameron, but i am beyond excited for Avatar. the 25 minute 3-D reel i saw at comic-con was the most exciting bit of footage i’ve seen in my 5 years of San Diego Julys. i expect the plot to be a bit of bunk, but – like all cameron films – a tremendous experience in spite of itself.

  8. This “loyalty to Cameron” stuff is nuts. “Titanic” was released ten years ago. If someone was a teenager then, they’re possibly married with kids now. And the other “loyalists,” folks (like me) that like Cameron’s earlier films, are firmly in middle age. In other words, those most attuned to Cameron are those well out of the demographics at turn movies into hits.

    On a related note, does anyone under the age of 20 really watch Terminator or T:2, or Aliens? Or have they fallen off the pop culture radar as the generations have shifted?

  9. So Sherlock has more across the board appeal, as expected, but overall it’s first choice (12) is less than Avatar’s was last week (15). RS tracking this week had Avatar at mid-50s and Sherlock at low 40s.

  10. Lazarus – thanks, now I can never possibly like HOLMES (that is said tongue-in-cheek, the trailer was movie-within-movie parody bad). DD Lewis is the perfect choice. Same as Wes Bentley would have been perfect in James Cameron’s SPIDER-MAN had it come to pass.

    Anyone else getting irritated by the general theme of Jeff’s posts about AVATAR, ie the constant negative harping of this or that? I’m not wet-my-pants excited to see it, but it and UP IN THE AIR are the only films opening this month or last I am looking forward to. Seems to be the general consensus of pretty much everyone I have spoken to.

    Guess every year he has to have the film he feels he has to “take down” and this year Cameron’s return after 12 years is the choice.

  11. Someone a few posts ago inquired whether the youth generation have any awareness of the Terminator, T2 or Aliens.

    Lemme tell you this story. I was at a social function recently and I was having a conversation with a young lawyer friend of mine who is about 29 years old. He was telling me about a case he was handling where he thought his client was being completely railroaded. I turned to him and said “It’s Chinatown, Colin, it’s Chinatown.”

    He gave me a blank stare, and then said, oh yeah, I know what you mean and started to describe the plot of Big Trouble in Little China. After awhile, he realized that the plot of BTILC had nothing to do with our conversation, and said, i really don’t know what your talking about. I said Chinatown with Jack Nicholson. Response – Nothing.

  12. Unaided awareness is the percentage of people who can mention a movie off the top of their head with no prompting, essentially. If I ask you, “Tell me some movies that are coming out in the next few weeks,” and you say Avatar, Sherlock Holmes, and It’s Complicated, then those are marked as unaided awareness.

    Typically, total awareness includes people who say they are aware of a movie after being prompted with a movie’s title and stars.

  13. Um, look, I love ‘Chinatown’ and all, but there’s a big difference between ‘Chinatown’ and ‘Aliens’, and it’s that kids like aliens.

  14. If by “kids” you mean 30-year olds, then sure. The last movie our 17-year old babysitter recommended was “Boondock Saints,” which “I just had to see.”

    Reminds me of an interview with Avril Lavigne, where the interviewer was aghast she didn’t grow up listening to Bowie and the Sex Pistols. Her response was basically, “I’m 16-years old; those guys were putting out records 20-years before I was born.” Not that there’s any excuse not to watch classic films, but I can only assume that the current generation has its own “Aliens,” and I just don’t know what that movie is. But I have a hunch there aren’t a bunch of high school kids quoting Bill Paxton these days.

  15. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Daniel Day-Lewis would have been PERFECT as Holmes…it could have been something special instead of just a tongue-in-cheek popcorn movie.

    He would certainly be closer to the literary character, but do you really think that would’ve been a good fit (or even necessary) for this particular movie?

    It doesn’t seem to be making any excuses for wanting to be a tongue-in-cheek popcorn movie. Or for trying to make Holmes accessible to mainstream audiences. (In that respect, it is somewhat noteworthy, as that hasn’t really happened since the hugely popular Basil Rathbone series.)

    This “loyalty to Cameron” stuff is nuts. “Titanic” was released ten years ago. If someone was a teenager then, they’re possibly married with kids now. And the other “loyalists,” folks (like me) that like Cameron’s earlier films, are firmly in middle age.

    It’s a bit like calling up an old friend from high school- one you haven’t seen in 10 years or partied with in 15- and expecting the magic to still be the same.

    I grew up with Cameron and love his early work. However, I’m also getting tired of watching all my childhood heroes held up as gods, because inevitably they must be cast down when the Second Coming doesn’t arrive.

  16. This is why tracking is such fucking bullshit. Holmes shaping up to take in more cash than Avatar, you say?

    No way.

    No. Way.

    “I haven’t met a person yet who’s truly excited about Avatar”

    Hi, Josh. Nice to meet you. Now you can stop lying about this.

    “This ‘loyalty to Cameron’ stuff is nuts. “Titanic” was released ten years ago. If someone was a teenager then, they’re possibly married with kids now.”

    And in their 20s, which means they never go to movies anymore, right? Riiiiiiiiiiight. It looks pretty kid-friendly, btw, so I don’t even know what on earth your point is here.

    drbob — Depressing story, no doubt. I’m the same age as that lawyer, and I wouldn’t have suppressed the urge to slap him across the face if I knew he wouldn’t attempt to press charges.

    Having said that, I think Gordon’s point is that you prefaced your story by rhetorically asking if 20-somethings have any awareness of Cameron’s early classics (blockbusters, early-mid 80s), and then proceeded to cite an example of a dude who didn’t know a critically-acclaimed movie from 10 years earlier than THAT.

    Not defending him by any means (based on that blank look alone, his cultural awareness is in the shitter), but not knowing Chinatown is not exactly the same thing as not knowing Terminator, either.

  17. Idlewild, that’s why I said the film would have needed a different director as well. I’m aware that the people behind this film know exactly what they’re doing and for what reasons, but my point was that a SERIOUS Holmes film may have been a success as well. The characters name is very, very well known, even by people who have never read a Doyle story or seen an old film adaptation.

    I think there are plenty of Holmes stories that are exciting enough on their own, and wouldn’t have even needed the sexing up treatment that this one seems to have gone overboard with.

  18. “Now you can stop lying about this.”

    What does that mean? Perhaps unlike you, I don’t spend my days walking up to strangers asking about Avatar. But when the subject of movies has recently come up – at bars, at tailgates, at work – not one person has been jazzed by anything related to the film. It’s been a constant stream of “Well, you know, 3D, so I have to see it in theaters I guess.”

  19. The last trailer looked like Sherlock was trying to team up with The Dark Knight. But I have fewer reservations about it than Avatar.

  20. I’m a high school math teacher so to answer your question about whether “old” Cameron movies register with the youth: in my classes, T2 is still held in high regard. Most of my students have seen and like T2, True Lies, and Titanic. T2 is the one they like the most, followed by Titanic. I usually tell them I did a presentation on T2′s groundbreaking FX when I was in high school which they could now do on their home computers. T2 really does hold up after almost 20 years in release. Only a handful have seen Terminator and Aliens; if they’ve seen Aliens you know it because they quote Paxton almost immediately upon mention of that film (gogocrank, you hit that right on the head). I wrote a paper about James Cameron when I myself was in high school (around the time True Lies came out) about his FX achievements, and so I was curious about what the kids thought of him 15 years after I wrote that paper. Most of them didn’t know who he was until I started listing his credits like the Avatar trailers do (and as if to confirm that decision of the trailer editors, none of my students had seen “The Abyss”), and in every one my classes someone had to explain that his Avatar is not the Shyamalan adaptation of The Last Airbender.

    I have 156 kids this year at a school where the teens have a lot of disposable “income” and almost all of them said they planned on seeing Avatar over holiday break or on opening weekend. I think the teen audience will show up because it’s the big huge movie that weekend and things seem to blow up. Obviously, word of mouth will decide whether repeat viewings are in order.

    PS: In my years of teaching, the two films of my generation that it seems everyone still watches are “Goonies” and “Breakfast Club.” (and “A Christmas Story” but when it plays as a 24-hour marathon, it’s kind of hard to miss).

  21. Given the choice on seeing both on the same day, I think many would only see Avatar because of some sorta loyalty to Cameron. Holmes does look more fun, which is what people like.

  22. I posted a while back that I had not talked to anyone who was interested in seeing Avatar. Still holds. On the other hand I have been really surprised by the people I talk to who are interested in seeing this new Sherlock Holmes movie. People who I would call “film snobs” were talking about going. It could be big. Obviously if it gets good reviews it will help alot. Are they any reviews floating around yet? I know it had a few SAG screenings.

  23. Josh, I know you frequent these boards, and there are a lot of people here that are really excited to see this. I don’t know if you’re just selectively ignoring these posts, or you just don’t count them as “people you’ve met” — which is fair enough, actually — but I grow a bit weary of the following over-exaggerated tendencies:

    “Nobody seems excited to see it.”

    “Everybody seems excited to see it.”

    Inevitably, someone somewhere is always excited to see something, so I’m not sure what good these personal, anecdotal claims are supposed to be.

    It just struck me as either a naive or disingenuous thing to say, that’s all.

    “I posted a while back that I had not talked to anyone who was interested in seeing Avatar. Still holds.”

    Regardless of how much it makes, it appears Avatar should at least break the record for highest opening weekend gross for a movie absolutely “no one” was interesting in seeing. Amazing.

  24. I am not saying that no one wants to see Avatar. Of course there are a load of people who are going to see it and it will probably break some kind of record. But I do wonder about it having much hold at the box office after the fans who have been waiting for it have seen it. Like they say some movies have big drops after the first weekend. I would not be surprised if it had a big first weekend but then dropped big. But that is just a guess.

  25. “Holmes shaping up to take in more cash than Avatar, you say?”

    Kaned – I could see ‘Holmes’ opening at #1, and then Avatar re-taking it a week later when ‘Holmes’ drops 40% [the Christmas-break equivalent of dropping 60%].

  26. “Like they say some movies have big drops after the first weekend. I would not be surprised if it had a big first weekend but then dropped big.”

    There’s kind of a precedent for movies released wide right around Christmas to have better legs than summer movies, because people don’t immediately rush out but do go out at some point over the holiday week.

  27. I have NEVER understood who the fuck GOES TO THE MOVIES on CHRISTMAS NIGHT.

    When/where did this start? Isn’t everyone all groggy from turkey, stuffed with gravy, wearing a bad sweater, and hanging out with Grandma? I can’t IMAGINE my or any family breaking up the YULETIDE FESTIVITIES to load up the minivan and go watch Sherlock Holmes in a sleepy stupor. I can’t believe the theaters aren’t a fucking DESERT except for maybe some Asian families on 12/25.

    Christ, who wants to go the movies with THEIR FAMILY?

  28. Lex – there’s three different things

    1) Jews and other religions, because there’s not much else to do on Christmas

    2) early shows, you get families with nothing to do — they get up in the morning and open presents, and will likely be having a later dinner or party with the extended family, but there’s time in between and, again, not much to do

    3) young people who finish with their families early and then see their close friends; especially freshmen home from college

  29. my point was that a SERIOUS Holmes film may have been a success as well.

    Actually, I thought Holmes was getting such a treatment when I first heard rumblings about this project. However, while your idea is closer to the film I personally wanted to see, I’m not sure it would’ve enjoyed the same level of mainstream appeal.

    There’s a difference between knowing the brand and actually having an interest in it. Much like the recent Star Trek, they’re (apparently) making this seem very accessible to non-fans. I’m not suggesting it’s a better approach, just that I can understand the reasoning behind it.

  30. I’ve been watching the Avatar trailers over and over again. Trying to convince myself it’ll be better than it looks. I mean, I’ve been waiting for this movie. But the second the Smurfs appear, my heart sinks.

  31. Kane: “No way.”

    It’ll take in more dough, just on its lower budget alone. So, yes way.

    “Now you can stop lying about this.”

    I think he means “met in person”.

    “And in their 20s, which means they never go to movies anymore, right?”

    Well, they don’t always go to the same movies they might’ve caught when they were teens, anyway. And even if they did, they’re usually not movies of the geek variety.

    “but not knowing Chinatown is not exactly the same thing as not knowing Terminator, either.”

    Considering The Pianist came out before Avatar, and Polanski’s been in the news a lot lately, I’d say it’s about the same.

    “it appears Avatar should at least break the record for highest opening weekend gross for a movie absolutely “no one” was interesting in seeing.”

    Except it won’t, because not enough people are talking about it to justify that take. If that South Park parody won’t build awareness, nothing will.

    tagliere: Well, kids with disposable income aren’t the same as other kids.

    Gordon: “and then Avatar re-taking it a week later when ‘Holmes’ drops 40% [the Christmas-break equivalent of dropping 60%].”

    Doubt it. Holmes might drop, but It’s Complicated, Youth in Revolt, and Leap Year will soak up all the demos vital to maintaining interest in Avatar.

  32. “It’ll take in more dough, just on its lower budget alone.”

    This statement is absolutely hilarious because it illustrates EXACTLY how you don’t understand the difference between a movie’s gross and its profit. Example: if SH and Avatar somehow make exactly the same amount of money at the B.O. (won’t EVER happen, but hypothetical), their grosses are exactly the same. BUDGETS HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH GROSSES, GET IT?? To imply that a movie’s gross (“taking in more dough”) is somehow bolstered by having a lower-budget is a complete and utter fundamental misunderstanding of how the movie business works.

    “I think he means ‘met in person.’ ”

    Yes, I think I cleared that up in my response to him. Do you actually read, or just start copying and pasting as soon as you see a post?

    “Well, they don’t always go to the same movies they might’ve caught when they were teens, anyway. And even if they did, they’re usually not movies of the geek variety.”

    I beg to differ. The audience for G.I. Joe and Transformers was comprised of a large number (I’m tempted to say majority but I have no concrete proof so I’ll back off of that word) 20-somethings. Seeing movies like that together with groups of other 20-something friends was savvy marketing — capitalizing on the late Gen-X nostalgia — and really helped to build the BO of those otherwise subpar (at best) pictures. LotR and superhero movies are also huge draws for this demographic, so when you say 20-somethings don’t show up for movies of the geek variety, I really couldn’t disagree with you more stridently.

    “Considering The Pianist came out before Avatar, and Polanski’s been in the news a lot lately, I’d say it’s about the same.”

    No, it’s not. Not knowing The Pianist is about the same as not knowing Chinatown. There’s the comparison. Cameron movies tend to be mass-marketed blockbusters, Polanski films — even the “popular” ones — tend to float on by the Eloi, and are only really remembered and treasured by the film buff/critic/historian/director types.

    “Except it won’t, because not enough people are talking about it to justify that take. If that South Park parody won’t build awareness, nothing will.”

    Why even copy and paste my comments when your “responses” are so random and unrelated? You are like the Andy Rooney of HE, only you’re not nearly old enough to claim senility as an excuse.

    “tagliere: Well, kids with disposable income aren’t the same as other kids.”

    What about kids like you with disposable ADHD complexes?

    “Doubt it. Holmes might drop, but It’s Complicated, Youth in Revolt, and Leap Year will soak up all the demos vital to maintaining interest in Avatar.”

    You wanna talk about no awareness…can you even tell me the plot of any of those movies without running to imdb? I can’t, and I follow film pretty closely.

    Let’s play the Price is Right. How about you give me an estimate on when you think Avatar will be completely out of first-run U.S. Theaters (3-D and non-3-D)? I’ll bid first: March 12th. Your turn.

  33. After reading Dr. Bob’s story, my first thought was that his lawyer friend was either:

    A) confused because Dr. Bob had used the “Chinatown” metaphor incorrectly because he didn’t understand it; or,

    B) that he was insulted, because he was assuming that Dr. Bob had used it *correctly*.

    Now, I don’t know which is more cause for dismay – that a 29 year old lawyer didn’t recognize the line or film, or that an older fan of the film didn’t even grok the central metaphor of the film of which he’s a huge fan…..

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