Monday Morning Quarterback Part II

By BOP Staff

October 5, 2010

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There were two horror movies this weekend, and no one knew.

Kim Hollis: Case 39, the relatively unheralded Paramount release starring Renee Zellweger and Bradley Cooper, opened to $5.4 million. What do you think of this result?

Brett Beach: It's about two million more than I was expecting. This will be out of theaters before the end of the month and I doubt it will inspire much in the way of DVD business down the line (unless Zellweger and Cooper remain an item and their most ardent fans seek it out). This was on the shelf for a long time, has already played on an international scale, received almost no publicity, got dreadful reviews, and still managed to pull ahead of a rapturously reviewed competitor in the same genre. Paramount Vantage has nothing to be proud of per se, but somebody there obviously did something "right."

My question: Does this indicate horror fans are holding out for the goods at the end of the month, or is this indicative of a lukewarm October in the making?


Josh Spiegel: Brett, I'm guessing we're looking at a lukewarm October. There won't be a lack of horror movies coming out, but my wife was the one to audibly groan at the ad for the billionth Saw film - and she LIKES horror movies. And I'll go you one better: Case 39 made about $5.3 million more than I expected. I know that Let Me In was a unique sell to begin with, as the cast isn't made up of huge stars and the concept's still a little odder than Twilight, but as you said, there was NO marketing for this movie. How does Case 39 get nearly, what, a million tickets sold in a weekend? Honestly, this is a head-scratcher.

Matthew Huntley: Am I the only one on this thread who thought Case 39 had a decent trailer? It made the movie look formulaic, sure, but also creepy, and I liked that it garnered an R rating, so at least it wouldn't skimp on gore. Because I thought the trailer was effective, and because it's a horror movie being released in October, I guess I assumed other people besides me would be swayed to see it. I thought a $10 million+ was in the cards for sure (if Devil could do it, certainly Case 39 could). I agree with Josh that this is a head-scratcher, but not because it made $5.4 million, but because it only made $5.4 million. I was expecting more. Horror movies get awful reviews all the time but still manage to make money. Why was Case 39 an exception?

Reagen Sulewski: The story on this one is a little more complicated than the usual movie release. It's a four (!) year old movie from the indie wing of Paramount that probably wouldn't have seen the light of day in the U.S. were it not for doing well in Mexico and Spain. Because studio executives are, as the Simpsons so wisely put, often just chimps in suits, they decided this meant they needed to target Spanish-speaking people (Mexicans love Renee Zellweger, apparently). Do you see the logic? Neither do I.

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