Monday Morning Quarterback
By BOP Staff
February 22, 2010
Coming soon: the Shutter Island theme park (at selected locations)Kim Hollis: Shutter Island, the latest joint project from Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio, opened to $41.1 million. What do you take from this result?
Tim Briody: It's more proof that it really doesn't matter when you release something (unless your movie happens to be titled Valentine's Day). People will show up to a known quantity such as DiCaprio and Scorsese.
Josh Spiegel: Well, I don't know that Martin Scorsese is enough of a known quantity, in terms of the box office. As has been noted elsewhere, this is his biggest opening; the same also goes for Leonardo DiCaprio (sure, he was in Titanic, but that didn't even open north of $30 million). Frankly, a big, big part of this result is the nonstop, nearly yearlong marketing. Whatever potential bad buzz could have been garnered from Paramount moving this movie from October to February is gone; even though it's not really something Paramount should be championing, this move paid off. It came to a point where, even though I was highly anticipating this movie, I wanted it to come out just so I'd stop seeing ads. No matter what, congrats are in order; if anything else, this solidifies Scorsese continuing to make movies he wants to.
Michael Lynderey: The real question is what happens next weekend. Will Shutter Island enjoy a typically Scorsese-esque, leggy run, or will it plunge as The Wolfman has? My feeling is that this $41 million may well have been just about evenly split between the middle-aged audience the Scorsese-DiCaprio team usually attracts, and the movement horror fans that gave movies like The Unborn or The Haunting in Connecticut their $20 million-era openings. If that's the case, Shutter Island will get at least half of a 60%+ drop next weekend. Looking at the bigger picture, though, I can't help but think that the number was bumped up by the fact that Shutter Island was the only release this weekend, and came as it did into a year that hasn't seen a particularly heavy load of new titles.
Reagen Sulewski: I'd have to agree that part of it was due to winning the first battle of movie marketing - getting audiences to know you exist. Another big part of it is that even though it didn't have the greatest reviews, it that had the pretense of being a quality film. Although I don't really give too much credence to the idea that certain films do better at certain times, this is the spot where The Silence of the Lambs really took off and eventually won the Oscar. I have to expect that this is what Paramount was thinking of with this date.
Jim Van Nest: To piggyback on what Reagen said, the film kinda looks like Silence of the Lambs...or at least Lecter's prison. And when you throw in DiCaprio and Scorsese and the mysterious premise, the film seemed like it would be review-proof for the opening weekend. with a lot of people saying, "What do the critics know? It looks good to me". The reviews and the word-of-mouth will likely start to kill the film and I'd expect the big drop-off next weekend.