Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
December 20, 2011
David Mumpower: One of the mathematically intriguing aspects of this conversation is that when we make declarations such as "I had expected only $9 million", this ordinarily sounds like a splitting of hairs. For a title exhibited in only 425 locations, however, each million represents $2,350 more per location. In simpler terms, $13.4 million is almost 50% more demand. Ignoring scale, that is a staggering achievement.
With regards to Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, its box office fate is yet to be determined. The IMAX strategy employed here is a clever one due to the impeccable quality of the feature. A release pattern such as this only works if used in the same manner as pre-release sneaks such as has been done with We Bought a Zoo. The premise is the same. The intent is to build a buzz as the early adopters spread the word about how much they enjoy the film. The tactic works even better for IMAX only release in that the consumer is forced to pay the 50-100% price increase for the more expensive ticket if they want to watch the movie at first opportunity. The fourth Mission: Impossible title is in my opinion the best action film since the 1990s, making it a perfect choice for such a strategy. Ignoring The Matrix, a different type of movie, I haven't been this impressed by an action film since The Fugitive in 1993.
Tim Briody: Just when we thought we'd seen it all, along comes a new release tactic that works. Mission: Impossible 3 was solid but topped out at $133 million (as opposed to $215 million for MI2) largely on the idea that Tom Cruise went crazy. He's hasn't really had a huge hit since. The solid reviews and IMAX only hook have perhaps now positioned Ghost Protocol to potentially be the film of the holiday season in terms of box office once it goes wide next weekend. Of course, I'm sure the first nine minutes of The Dark Knight Rises attached to some screenings might have contributed a few bucks to the opening too.
Reagen Sulewski: The biggest risk with this strategy is that we've spent the last 20 years conditioning people to equate box office position with success. Mission: Impossible 4 is going to show up on Monday as the number three film with a number that people associate with bombs. There's always a chance that people won't consider the context and dismiss it as a bomb. The rapturous word-of-mouth should take care of that but this could have been dead on arrival.