Sex and the City

Release Date: May 30, 2008

Movie of the Day for Tuesday, May 27, 2008
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One of the stars tries to buy back her dignity at an auction.

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
12/21 Jason Lee Frothy fun with compelling characters and lots of drama.
83/98 David Mumpower I curse the day the creators of this series were born.
136/196 Max Braden Boring and too long. And I just couldn't find much compassion for the minor problems of the rich.

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Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte. Either these names ring a bell or they don’t. For six seasons, they headlined the much lauded and lascivious HBO series, Sex and the City (1998-2004), a groundbreaking show (at least for its time) that chronicled the lives and sexual misadventures of four unmarried women in New York City. Four years later, New Line and HBO Films are hoping the DVDs and late-night syndication allowed the audience to grow and more will be paying to see Sex and the City - the movie version.

More often than not, television shows become critical and commercial successes at the cinema (The Fugitive, The Simpsons Movie), but there are the occasional few most would rather forget (McHale’s Navy, The Mod Squad). The potential for Sex and the City falls somewhere in between. On the one hand, the show was a critical success and won numerous awards (most notably for Sarah Jessica Parker, who plays the lead character) and its audience has expanded thanks to DVD rentals and re-runs. On the other hand, the latest trailer for the movie plays like an in-joke for those only familiar with the show, subliminally telling others not to even bother. It makes you feel like you have to be a member of an exclusive club to see and appreciate it.

The movie more or less continues where the show left off - Carrie (Parker) is on the verge of marrying her on again/off again boyfriend, Mr. Big (Chris Noth); Samantha (Kim Cattrall) still struggles with commitment issues; Miranda learns her boyfriend (Dave Eigenberg) has been cheating on her; and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) is pregnant. The characters and premise are being sold as if we're already supposed to know about them, which might not be enticing for those unfamiliar with Sex and the City, thus limiting its potential earnings.

One thing the movie does have is a prime release date - May 30th, that sweet spot of a weekend after Memorial Day. New Line is banking on females who are uninterested in Ironman, Indiana Jones and those crazy kids from Narnia. But Sex and the City doesn't nearly have as broad of an audience. Unlike last year’s sleeper hit, Knocked Up, “Sex” almost has nothing to offer males. Most guys will see it only because their wives and girlfriends will be dragging them along.

An opening of $30 million isn’t out of the question, but the movie could debut as low as $15 million. Splitting the difference gives it about $20 million, but no matter how much it earns, it won't be enough for first place, not with Indiana Jones in its second weekend. It’s unlikely the audience for "Sex" will grow in subsequent weeks, either. TV shows that become movies are cursed for tumbling in their sophomore frames - The X-Files collapsed 55%; Scooby Doo 55%; and The Simpsons Movie 66%. Short legs aren’t great news for a movie with a reported budget north of $50 million. However, with appeal to a female audience, it has a different demographic that might have more staying power over multiple weekends. Good reviews will help and odds are the movie is already destined to show a profit when the DVD and/or Blu-ray come out. (Matthew Huntley/BOP)

May 30, 2008

I am constantly amazed how much the box office landscape may change in a month. Upon the time of this writing, a $20 million opening weekend and a statement that Sex and the City had no chance against Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull seemed like valid comments. Today, the situation is a bit more...fluid. With Fandango and both reporting astounding levels of interest in the theatrical adaptation of the HBO hit series, the question is no longer whether the title will be competitive with Indiana Jones. Instead, it has become "How much will Sex and the City win by?" If you had walked up to any stranger on the street and tried to make such a bet with them, they would have taken it...and I include the cast members of Sex and the City in that.

Sex and the City is no longer a box office curiosity. It is a true heavyweight in every sense of the word. (David Mumpower/BOP)

Vital statistics for Sex and the City
Main Cast Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis
Supporting Cast Cynthia Nixon, Chris Noth, Jennifer Hudson, Lynn Cohen
Director Michael Patrick King
Screenwriter Michael Patrick King
Distributor New Line Cinema
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating R
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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