Monday Morning Quarterback

By BOP Staff

November 2, 2009

Too fast for you!

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Are you gonna wait for your sign, your miracle? Stand up and fight!

Kim Hollis: Michael Jackson's This Is It, the posthumous concert film, earned $23.2 million over three days and $34.4 million over five days domestically and a grand total of $101 million worldwide. Obviously, this was a miss as far as tracking. But how did the film perform compared to your expectations?

Josh Spiegel: Tracking can be notoriously unreliable, and I'd bet that some of the hype about Michael Jackson's This Is It (as I've said elsewhere, I really can't stand this title, but so it goes in Hollywood) was fueled by Sony's wild expectations. Did they pay too much for the footage? Apparently so, as some people prefer to mourn outside a movie theater, or just weren't interested. Still, $100 million worldwide for the first weekend is pretty awesome. Also, This Is It is just about halfway to tying the Hannah Montana concert film as the number-one of the genre. This is maybe disappointing for Sony, but about where I figured things would land (though I did wonder if the film would flop, a la Snakes on a Plane's opening weekend, all hype and no audience).

David Mumpower: We have mentioned the problems with tracking on several occasions. This particular title has highlighted the most glaring issue, one that no one has figured out how to overcome. It is borderline impossible to distinguish between having awareness of a film and having enough motivation to see the film. After the concert tribute mentioned the upcoming movie, a billion people were made aware of it. Some folks mistook that for a direct correlation in sales, assuming awareness would lead to sales conversions. In reality, only the die-hards cared enough to see the concert movie, too.


Pete Kilmer: The marketers of this movie were watching too much of Entertainment Weekly and Access Hollywood and bought into the hype themselves. It made a bit more than I actually expected.

Max Braden: This one was a hard one to gauge, but I think I was expecting less than $20 million.

Jim Van Nest: It exceeded what I expected from it. I'm a huge Mike fan and I'll skip it and get the DVD. I saw no reason to rush out to the theater to see something that I can have in my own home in a couple weeks. And oh by the way, there will be way more stuff on the DVD than in theaters. For the price of a movie ticket these days, I'll be a little more selective. I'm just surprised how many people aren't as selective.

Reagen Sulewski: Obviously this goes to show that if you're looking to cynically cash in on the death of an artist, you need to strike while the iron is hot. I kind of expected the heat from the renewed album sales to carry over into this, but obviously people came to their senses quickly. Or maybe there was a feeling of, when people were asked if they wanted to see this, said yes, but didn't want to be seen actually purchasing a ticket.

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