Season of the Witch Kills Box Office Momentum
By John Hamann
January 9, 2011
Third spot goes to Relativity's Season of the Witch, another in the long line of strange Nic Cage acting choices. Season of the Witch earned $10.7 million (which has to be considered a win for this dog). The film from Dominic Sena (Gone in 60 Seconds) went out 2,816 venues and had a venue average of $3,809. Season of the Witch is the first film for the studio produced in-house and distributed by the company, and it was a fairly safe bet. Season of the Witch cost Relativity $40 million to make, and they smartly sold off foreign rights to reduce their risk.
Season of the Witch is a really bad movie, but these days, when we see Nic Cage's name above the title, we don't even have to visit RottenTomatoes to know that. In the case of Season of the Witch, there is only one positive review so far out of a possible 70. The positive review calls it “frequently idiotic” and says that it's good for a "tipsy Saturday night" so I hope the check is in the mail. I had thought Season of the Witch was going to be awful, so I was quite surprised that the second review posted early at RottenTomatoes was positive – this shows how Hollywood tries to control word-of-mouth leading up to a release. One bad review comes out, and is quickly followed up by a positive one. Then, days go by with no new reviews, and then, in this case, 68 negative reviews, that we could easily call angry. It's never good when your action film is compared to Monty Python's Holy Grail.
For Nic Cage, Season of the Witch is just another in a long line of questionable choices, propped up by a couple of good ones. Prior to Season of the Witch, Cage did the questionable Sorcerer's Apprentice. His two films before that were actually pretty good – Kick-Ass and Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. Prior to that, he had a string of awful titles, including G-Force, Knowing, Bangkok Dangerous, Ghost Rider, Next, the National Treasure sequel, and The Wicker Man, which was 15% fresh. Prior to that, though, he did World Trade Center, which was quite good, and The Weather Man. Audiences never know which Cage will show up. Next up for the crazy one is Drive Angry 3D – I think we all know which Cage will show up for that one.
Finishing fourth is Tron: Legacy, which sees a big drop in its fourth weekend. Tron: Legacy brought in another $9.8 million in its fourth frame, but was down a severe 48%. The $170 million "effort" has yet to reach its production budget in terms of domestic gross, and is looking now like it never will. I find it completely odd that Jeff Bridges is finding success in a small film like True Grit, and not in the film that I thought (in November) was a lock for $300 million domestic. The good news for Disney is that Tron: Legacy has earned over $100 million overseas, so it won't be a complete disaster for the studio. Give it $147.9 million domestic so far.