Numbers

Neither Kevin Smith‘s Cop Out nor The Crazies are going to make box-office history this weekend, but both will do nicely, reasonably, decently. Ditto Alice in Wonderland (3.5)…actually, this looks like a better-than-decent performer. The film that appears to be in trouble is Paul Greengrass‘s Green Zone, which opens on 3.12 and has only tepid definite interest numbers — 36 and 38 among younger and older males, and 21 and 29 among younger and older females.

63 thoughts on “Numbers

  1. Green Zone and The Ghost Writer are must sees for me. The Bourne-like trailers for Green Zone are a bit puzzling. Seems like there is a cookie-cutter template for all Greengrass films. Someone needs to rock a new trailer asap.

  2. Where can we see these tracking reports online? I’ve tried googling everything I can think of to find them and only end up at Nielsen’s site, where I can’t find the report.

  3. Where can we see these tracking reports online? I’ve tried googling everything I can think of to find them and only end up at Nielsen’s site, where I can’t find the report.

    ========================

    I would like to know too, can Wells post the link ?

  4. Green Zone can go both ways. The public might get over the Iraq issue but i’m not entirely convinced. Plus it has some serious competition from new family drama, Remember Me by Allen Coulter coming out that same week which has Rob Pattinson, Pierce Brosnan, Chris Cooper and Lena Olin. Its tracking huge on the social netwroking sites (twitter/ facebook/ trailer views) particularly with under 25′s and we know that this demograph can seriously pull in some big numbers. The script has been recieving positive notices all year and through word of mouth (a male blogger friend of mine came out raving about it from a recent screening) this is not one to underestimate.

    Unless the PR machine steps up a notch Green Zone will have problems.

  5. The problem is it looks like they threw Body of Lies, Lion for Lambs, and Syriana into a blender and made it into a smoothie they called The Green Zone.

    Is it tracking worse than Remember Me?

  6. Greengrass has been an interesting director in the sense, for non-film fans, he is not known … people do not know who he is … maybe that has something to do with it … some people go to a film because a director.

    just a thought.

  7. I’ve seen hardly any TV promotion for Green Zone at all. The posters on the subway are bland as fuck – just a black and white photo of Damon’s face, showing nothing about the film or even hinting that it might be an action spectacular.

    Universal are really terrible at marketing. Two really good films – Public Enemies and Funny People – both underperformed because of their shoddy marketing.

  8. “The problem is it looks like they threw Body of Lies, Lion for Lambs, and Syriana into a blender…”

    sounds like a great mix to me

  9. “Universal are really terrible at marketing. Two really good films – Public Enemies and Funny People – both underperformed because of their shoddy marketing.”

    Um, I’d argue Public Enemies OVERperformed, even though it lost money. It’s an extremely uncommercial movie (and one with barely anything to engage any audience who came to see a ‘gangster movie with Johnny Depp’), that the very-good and misleading marketing managed to push past 100 million. Seems like a success to me.

  10. That said, yes, they’re totally fucking up the “Green Zone” marketing. I can’t imagine a Greengrass film is as bland as they’re making it look.

  11. “Greengrass has been an interesting director in the sense, for non-film fans, he is not known … people do not know who he is … maybe that has something to do with it … some people go to a film because a director.”

    Hardly anyone goes to see a film for a director. The only well-known bankable names are Scorsese, Spielberg, Cameron, Tarantino, Ridley Scott… maybe Peter Jackson (although Lovely Bones says otherwise).

    I mean, most members of the public wouldn’t even know who Sam Raimi is despite him directing three huge Spider-Man films. Even Chris Nolan is still “The Director of The Dark Knight”. Michael Bay perhaps has some awareness. Judd Apatow is known, but most people think he directed everything starring either Seth Rogen or Paul Rudd.

  12. Eloi Manning, you are problably right. As a film fan I go to films a lot more for the director or screenwriter (and even the movie based on the author’s book because of the author) than the actors so it figures those who do not follow flicks would only choose a film based on maybe the subject, genre, or the stars of the films. Maybe I’m wishing more out of the general public than I should.

    For the Public Enemies film doing underwell, it is a bit strange since I know so many people who’d love to see Bale or Depp in any film and so one wonders what went wrong there; in other words, why the film underperformed (even though it still was not a failure).

  13. Jeff: Why am I surprised to see that you are a Mac user? For some reason, I imagined you as a Windows man. (You know, you can buy yourself some more real estate on your monitor by clicking on the Dock icon in System Preferences and then activating the ‘Automatically Hide And Show…’ feature.)

    Oh, and I’m also looking forward to seeing ‘Green Zone’ — especially as it reunites Greengrass with DP Barry Ackroyd, who was behind the camera for ‘United 93′ (and, of course, ‘The Hurt Locker’).

  14. Could Green Zone get a post-Oscar boost if The Hurt Locker wins? A kind of, “Look what just won best picture! Well here’s another Iraq action film, except this one has Jason Bourne in it!”

  15. What’s funny is that Green Zone might have been more marketable if they had kept the original title and tone of the book and marketed it as a darkly comic political drama.

  16. They’re marketing it the best way possible – trying to make people think it’s The Bourne Incursion. It just isn’t working, though.

    I’m guessing people see Damon – who has certainly spoken out on liberal issues – and assume they’re going to see two hours of anti-war preaching. And whether or not you agree with the presumed message, it doesn’t exactly seem like a fun time at the movies.

  17. The COP OUT verdict: 17% on the Rotten Tomatoes meter, but Stephanie Zacharek loves it!

    Nell Minow not so much:

    This is the first film Smith has directed without writing, and once again the suits got it backward. Kevin Smith can write, but he has never been much of a director. Remember his first film, “Clerks?” He basically set up the camera in one position and let the characters talk for 92 minutes. And it was that talk — the relishing of banality, the tsunami of TMI — that made the movie successful.

    http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/2010/02/cop-out.html

    Holy shit! She’s 100% right!

  18. “Ditto Alice in Wonderland (3.10)…actually, this looks like a better-than-decent performer.”

    Geez, what a shocker. So you’re telling me that Alice is going to do really well? Coupled with nearly unanimous positive reviews coming out, I guess Wells’ whole “this movie is going to be a disaster” meme is a bust.

    Whichever UK “exhibitor” Wells supposedly talked to about this film should be banned from this industry for life for 1) lying about the quality of the film and 2) using puppet Wells to disseminate his political bullshit. Nice work, Wells.

  19. Folks,

    Can I just say what a terrific time I had last night at a screening of THE CRAZIES? Best American horror film in YEARS. Very, very smart and Timothy Olyphant’s performance really brings it home.

    Great, great stuff.

  20. ” What’s funny is that Green Zone might have been more marketable if they had kept the original title and tone of the book…”

    Have you seen the film, bluetide? I haven’t, but I expect there’s a lot more going on in the picture than Damon just running around. The book, which I’ve read, is very good, but it’s essentially a string of NY Times front-page reports on Iraq. Sticking to the book’s tone would result in something that’s not a movie. Though they should have kept the original title.

  21. Glad to hear it, RMBurnett. If there is a more underrated actor over the last 15 years than Olyphant, I don’ t know who that would be.

  22. Tracking has never been infallible, and most people who have access to it, like myself, don’t really know how to read it. Especially when you get in to those day-to-day, ethnicity-by-ethnicity micro-tracking numbers. If you really want to know how well Repo Men was tracking with Latinos on February 22nd, by God, you have a way to find out! You just have to be in the loop…

  23. Green Zone is being marketed as from the director of Bourne Ultimatum and Bourne Supremacy.

    It visually looks like a Bourne film.

    Matt Damon has the same haircut as Jason Bourne.

    He gets into hand to hand combat like Jason Bourne.

    Perhaps just titling it The Bourne Green Zone would’ve put asses in seats. They’ve got post-production time. Just do some ADR and loop in the name “Jason” whenever referencing his character’s name.

    Boom. Box office right there.

  24. Folks,

    Can I just say what a terrific time I had last night at a screening of THE CRAZIES? Best American horror film in YEARS. Very, very smart and Timothy Olyphant’s performance really brings it home.

    Great, great stuff.”

    You are aware this is a remake, yes? Just checking, as I sometimes find the genre knowledge — namely horror — on these boards to be a little lacking.

    All of this is not to say that it can’t be a great flick. I’m certainly hoping for the best, and the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive (currently 72% on RT) for this type of movie.

  25. And definitely second the love Chinaski is giving Olyphant, although I’m not sure I’m ready to declare him “the “most underrated of the last 15 years” just quite yet…

  26. I like Olyphant, but I can’t say I’ve seen him displaying much in the way of range. Usually the pissed-off, slightly unhinged anti-hero or calculating villain.

  27. Anyone signed up with Hollywood Stock Exchange (www.hsx.com)? Its keeps track of interest levels in movies and adjusts the ‘stock’ value accordingly which you can buy or sell as if you’re an invester. Its informative and the grown up kid in me kinda finds it fun to play around with.

  28. Welcome to the late 90s, liz.

    Okay, okay…the snarky response there was a little bit unnecessary, but I remember logging onto that site in its infancy in high school so it’s got to be old as dirt.

    But definitely fun, yes, no doubt.

  29. :: narrows eyes ::

    I’ll let that slide…

    But, really its been around for that long? I only just heard about it a couple of months ago. Not that i cared much about film in late 90′s.

  30. GREEN ZONE will underperform…as for Universal’s marketing, it always relied on big white faces on posters to sell their movies — hell, most studios rely on it. You paying Matt Damon xx million dollars for a movie, damn straight his face is going to be on the poster to sell it…it’s not bad marketing, just lazy marketing

    As for directors names who are marketable, I can say Spielberg, and now Burton…even Avatar was advertised as “from the director of…”

  31. arnold: It’s just amazing how boring the poster is. You’d think they’d at least have Damon all army’d-up pointing a gun at something with a massive explosion in the background. But the one they went with is literally just his face. Audiences will have no idea what the movie is about.

  32. Have critics reviewing “The Crazies” been ordered not to mention that Breck Eisner is Michael Eisner’s son? (yes, I realize it’s not his first movie)

  33. “But, really its been around for that long? I only just heard about it a couple of months ago. Not that i cared much about film in late 90′s.”

    It has, 4 realz. I think they got the “patent” for the “movie stock” idea in ’98 or ’99, but the website was around at least three or fours years before that.

    I like the eye-narrowing, btw, very flirty (also vaguely reminiscent of Jeff’s controversial “Jap” post from a few days ago, lol). Let’s talk, Liz, I need a movie geek in my life (other than the creepy PT Anderson idol I keep chained to my bedstand…).

  34. Too many goddamn movies in Feb, March and April.

    This is a stock Lex rant, and I know the B-thrillers, cop movies and horror flicks of this season probably don’t do a lot for Poland, Wells, Kenny, and the others in our sphere, but this stretch of the year is always like manna from the rafters to me. But it’s TOO MUCH of a good thing.

    Cop Out and Crazies on the same weekend? Anyone who wants to see one probably wants to see the other, as they’re both directed at the net-savvy geek guy market; Seems like every weekend in early spring, two, three, or FOUR big movies drop. Compared to the summer season. Everyone in the biz watches the summer flicks like a hawk, but face it, it’s easier for a PAYING MOVIEGOER to keep pace when each weekend there’s only ONE Harry Potter/Transformers-level juggernaut and MAYBE some animated or romcom counterprogramming.

    This stretch of the year, you could spend your whole weekend going to movies; Let’s not forget K-STEW and TELLOW HANDKERCHIEF come out today, too, meaning I have to basically spend my entire weekend in a movie theater. And next weekend is even more brutal, with BROOKLN’S FINEST, Chloe, and Alice all dropping. Can’t they space these out a little?

    I know most people don’t have to see EVERYTHING in a movie theater, but I DO. Meaning instead of just enjoying and processing, say, The Crazies, the split second it’s over I’ve gotta haul ass across town to see K-Stew, then wake up early the next day for Cop Out, and there’s probably two or three other things like Defendor that I wouldn’t mind seeing either.

    I swear I see 50 movies between Jan and May, then May through August I see about 11. Can’t they space some of these out a little better?

    The OBVIOUS SOLUTION is for the studios to start INVITING ME TO CRITICS’ SCREENINGS, since it’s obvious I should be there instead of at some cubicle marking timecode on pornography.

  35. Re GREEN ZONE marketing–I’ve seen TV ads on the NBCUniversal Ol;ympics slice-and-dice prime-time coverage.

    Re Prager’s remark, Karina Longworth and Betsy Sharkey are two other critics making a positive case for COP OUT.

  36. Gee, color me absolutely STUNNED that Betsy Sharkey, and not Ken Turan, handled reviewing duties on COP OUT.

    Not that we couldn’t all predict Turan’s take on it, and I could always do without the spike in blood pressure that comes with reading any Turan review– Kenny has the same effect on me that Armond White has on everyone else.

    But is there a working major movie critic who actually reviews fewer movies than Ken Turan? If Roger Ebert can make time for every B-picture and teen comedy that screens, why does THE MOST ESTEEMED CRITIC IN THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES, MOVIE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD, get to pick and choose his assignments and thus ignore the 99% of film (an artform he doesn’t even seem to LIKE) that offend his prudish, delicate sensibilities?

    Other than his once-a-year peek out of the Batcave to slather worship on his idol Clint’s new movie via both review and 17 different longform pieces on Eastwood, it’s like Kenneth Turan is semi-retired.

    Plus when you email him to call him on his lazy prose, recycled rants, and absolutely stuffy taste and general whiteness, he never writes back.

    Turan is worse than White, worse than Ben Lyons, worse than Rex Reed, worse than the IMDB comments section.

  37. Haha. Very funny. Not sure sure what you really meant by the JAP comment but In the famous words of Pat Butcher (dont ask) I’m as Jewish as a bacon sandwich. I have to say that the PTA imagery is… interesting. Nice try though.

    Note to self: i need to hang out on Anne Thompson’s blog more.

  38. Pat Butcher?

    You must be from the U.K., then, or at least have a serious Anglophile fetish).

    Bugga.

    A bacon sandwich does sound pretty good, though. At least a little better than those Taco Bell breakfasts I saw some of my co-workers munching down this A.M.

    Ughs.

  39. Re LexG’s comment:

    I should have stressed in my earlier post that Karina and Betsy–two critics with completely opposite sensibilities–found common ground re Mr. Smith’s opus.

  40. Eloi Manning wrote:

    Universal are really terrible at marketing. Two really good films – Public Enemies and Funny People – both underperformed because of their shoddy marketing.

    FUNNY PEOPLE probably suffered 50/50 from Universal marketing as well as Judd Apatow’s “I won’t cut one frame” stubbornness.

    Having said that, I wonder if Apatow kicks himself that he didn’t try harder to convince critics in the tank for him to spin FUNNY PEOPLE (a film I liked, but which should have been no longer than 105 minutes) as a Cameron Crowe-circa-JERRY MAGUIRE not-just-another-Judd-movie movie.

  41. I’m a fan of Invictus and The Informant.

    I’m sure I’ll like Green Zone.

    But if GZ underperforms, that’ll be 3 straight misfires for Damon. I like the dude. Picks great projects. Has his own franchise (Bourne), a trilogy (Ocean’s 11, 12, 13) that’s great to go to when you need to make some $ inbetween passion projects (Syriana).

    He’ll be fine, though.

  42. And before people say that The Informant and Invictus made their cash back and were indie films, you are exactly right. I’m just saying perspective wise, people don’t care about that. They care about the numbers and both of those didn’t light any box office reports on fire.

    Still can’t believe Valentine’s Day will probably make what Invicitus, The Informant, and probably Green Zone will make combined.

    Sad.

  43. “You must be from the U.K., then, or at least have a serious Anglophile fetish”

    Wow. I had no idea the Butcher families legacy had extended across the pond. Or did you have to google that?

  44. What the fuck is the song in the GREEN ZONE trailer, it’s so laughable it should be in some kind of movie starring 50 Cent.

  45. I play my fair share of trivia online, Liz, and a lot of the games just so happen to be run by Brits, so the name’s come up a few times.

    Having said that, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a following over here, but I doubt it’s all that sizable.

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