Wednesday, April 11, 2007
GRINDHOUSE TANKS AT THE BOX OFFICE
Looks like the bloom is off the rose (Rose McGowan, that is); despite lots of good reviews, GRINDHOUSE got a serious shellacking at the box office during its opening weekend and will probably continue to decline for a few legitimate reasons:
1. Unless it's a flick about Hobbits hauling their asses to a volcano, the majority of the American moviegoing public are not willing to sit through a three hors-plus movie.
2. Add the well-deserved "hard R" rating to the running time, and you automatically shear off a percentage of the audience.
3. Why release a carnage-loaded thrill ride during a holiday weekend traditionally associated with Jesus, going to church, and dressing up in foofy Easter duds?
I was discussing this with my pal Chris Weston (he's in England and the film is not yet scheduled for release over there) and he suggested that due to it's failure in the US, GRINDHOUSE would most likely be split into two separate features for its European release; I pooh-poohed that idea on the grounds that the film is constructed as an "experience" rather than two disparate efforts, but just this morning Chris sent me the following, cribbed from somewhere on the internet:
"After its disastrous opening weekend, many have begun the manic speculation as to why "Grindhouse" failed to click with US audiences.
The film's extended 192 minute runtime, lack of audience awareness of the 'Grindhouse' concept, and generally bad counterprogramming move to release the film at Easter is being cited as the most likely reason.
Harvey Weinstein told DeadlineHollywoodDaily.com that "I'm incredibly disappointed. We tried to do something new and obviously we didn't do it that well" and adds that according to research, it was that runtime that was "the single biggest deterrent".
The fate of the films now is in question and there's already one idea - splitting the movie in two like it will be in European territories. With what is said to be a near $70 million budget, and an at least admitted $30 million marketing cost, the company is in definite need to try and recoup its money.
"We could split the movies in a couple of weeks. Make Tarantino's a full-length film, and Rodriguez's too. We'll be adding those 'two missing reels' that's talked about in the movie" says Weinstein.
Whilst non-English speaking territories have already been set for the dual-film release, there's now also talk that the planned single releases for the UK and Australia will be turned into dual-release films as well."
Pfooey, sez the Bunche. Oh, well, It'll probably go over nicely on DVD where the viewer has control over the running time and can take breaks as neccessary. In the meantime, here's some GRINDHOUSE-related spank material:
If the producers really wanted to recoup their losses, they'd release this cover as a big-assed poster! 'Scuse me, but I have to go be alone for a while...
Posted by Bunche (pop culture ronin) at Wednesday, April 11, 2007