Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
December 19, 2012
The difficult question…
Kim Hollis: What impact, if any, do you think Friday's tragic events in Newtown, CT had on the box office for The Hobbit?
Jason Barney: I am not sure. This tragedy feels different than the events that hit the Batman premier several months ago. That event was directly tied to the opening of that film and happened at the movie theater. That tempered people's enthusiasm for going out to the movies. As awful as this event was, it is not directly associated with the movie industry. It probably had some impact, pushing the numbers down a bit, but how much I just don't know.
Edwin Davies: It seems incredibly hard to quantify, but I think it probably had some impact. Despite not having the same undeniable connection to either The Hobbit or cinema in general that the Aurora shooting had to The Dark Knight Rises, it's such an awful, unavoidable story that I can easily imagine people deciding that they don't feel like going to see a fantasy movie right now. Maybe not in significant enough numbers to derail The Hobbit, but perhaps it might have earned closer to $100 million this weekend if there was not such a tragic cloud hanging over everything.
Matthew Huntley: As a movie-going country, when any type of adverse condition--be it a thunderstorm, heatwave or economic recession--hits us, we usually flock to the movies to escape. I think that was different this time around (as Edwin alluded to) because the event in question was so horrible. Perhaps people thought it would be disrespectful to go see a fantasy adventure when, for the victims and their families, life is so far from that right now. By how much, it's too hard to say without issuing a survey of some sort, but I think the numbers would be great enough to surprise us.
Reagen Sulewski: I'm reluctant to ascribe much connection between the two things. For every person who was put off of going to the movies, there was probably another person who just wanted an escape.
Felix Quinonez: I'm going to have to echo Reagan on this one. Unlike the Aurora shootings this had no direct connections to the movies and if someone was put off going to the movies then it's just as likely someone else decided to go to the movies as a way to escape.
Kim Hollis: While I agree that ascribing a direct connection to the Aurora shootings/Dark Knight Rises is more certain, I have a pretty strong feeling that there was some impact on The Hobbit’s weekend performance. This is an incident that has made a lot of people (including me) feel pretty morose. I don’t even have children, so I can’t begin to imagine the emotional impact for parents. I do think that this is a weekend where people wanted to be close to their families, and I wonder if there isn’t some residual feeling that even our movie theaters aren’t safe because of Aurora. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that a lot of people decided to stay home. I might have, too, but I was at the theater getting ready to watch The Hobbit before the story broke on the news. I had no idea what had happened until after 3 p.m.