Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
August 24, 2010
Chomp!Kim Hollis: Piranha 3D opened to $10.1 million this weekend. Were we deluding ourselves into thinking that a project this obscure would do better?
Josh Spiegel: I don't know that I'd say the series is obscure; on the one hand, sure, I haven't seen this movie, but on the other, the previous films were directed by Joe Dante and James Cameron. I think the problem with the movie not doing well lies with Dimension. The movie has, whether it deserves it or not, gotten really great reviews...like Inception or Scott Pilgrim ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. The cast is self-aware and self-mocking, as seen by the recent For Your Consideration ad on Funny Or Die. You have 3D. You have a late-summer horror movie. Why did the studio not market this movie to anyone? Very odd choice, and I'd wager it's the biggest reason why the movie tanked.
Bruce Hall: Again, I have to agree with my esteemed colleague. You go through all the trouble of putting this thing together, you earn widely positive pre-release buzz, and you have Richard Freaking Dreyfuss in the cast. Yet you’re afraid to promote it? Were they afraid none of the kids would recognize the guy from Mister Holland’s Opus? I am sure that were the studio brass to read this, they’d point to the weak opening as proof that they were right in not exerting more effort in pushing the film, but that’s really a chicken or egg argument if you ask me. If there was any weekend this summer where it was worth going for broke with a film featuring Ving Rhames and Matt Hooper versus killer fish feasting on the tender young flesh of half naked college co-eds, this was it.
Dimension = Fail.
Matthew Huntley: This is the second weekend in a row where a poorly marketed critic-pleaser has tanked at the box-office, and if Scott Pilgrim's 50%+ second weekend drop-off is any indication, the positive word-of-mouth isn't doing anything to help or giving them better legs. What a shame.
To answer Kim's question, though: no, I don't think we were deluding ourselves. After all, last summer at this time, The Final Destination (another 3D horror flick) opened to $27 million and showed reasonably strong legs for the genre. How could another horror movie about partying teenagers in the water who get eaten by tiny fish not do the same, or even better? After all, I don't recall The Final Destination having amazing marketing (like that film, Piranha 3D was apparently a huge draw at Comic-Con this year). It just doesn't make sense. Lack of buzz (and lack of faith from the studio) certainly have something to do with it, but I think it's something else. When I first saw the trailer for the movie back in January (the movie was originally supposed to come out in April), the audience was totally into it, so the desire for it was certainly there. If I had to guess, I would cite the overcrowded marketplace as the main culprit. It's a shame this movie didn't have at least one weekend more to itself. Perhaps the studio should have waited until Labor Day, a weekend that traditionally sees horror movies open to kick off the new school year (Jeepers Creepers 2, Halloween, etc.).