Sunday, December 18, 2005

Box Office

King Kong made $50.2 million over the weekend, $66 million since Wednesday, which so far makes it a less impressive performer than Narnia. That is not bad for an ordinary movie but pretty lame for an incredibly expensive movie that has been hyped beyond all reason.

It's possible that a lot of people share my lack of interest in ape stories, or that, as the performance of Godzilla suggested, the public is less interested in seeing rampaging giant beasts in New York than some people seem to believe.

There is still a chance that, since the movie is supposedly good, word of mouth will make it the new Titanic. But never mind that for now. Here is the interesting part:

Peter Jackson's remake of "King Kong" did out-gross the opening weekend of his "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," the first of his J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy trilogy that debuted with $47.2 million. But factoring in a 12% rise in admission prices since that 2001 film's release, "King Kong" sold about 7.9 million tickets, 450,000 fewer than "Fellowship of the Ring."

Movie ticket prices have gone up 12% in the last four years? 12% since the first Lord of the Rings? Has inflation gone up 12%? Have wages gone up 12%? And they seriously wonder why fewer people are willing to shell out for bad movies?


Zack said...

I like how this story is about the preliminary sales estimate being different than the pre-preliminary sales estimate. I like how they can use the past tense to describe things that haven't really happened yet, and then declare it news.

Tom, Lisa and I saw King Kong yesterday. Thumbs down from both of them, but thumbs up from me.

If you like that thing Peter Jackson does where he keeps the camera on a person's frozen, anguished face for five seconds -- and apparently I do -- you'll find plenty to love in Kng Kong. If you want to see the most awesome gorilla vs. t-rex vs. t-rex vs. t-rex fight ever put to film, you're gonna need to see this movie. If you want to know why this sentence contains the words "Burnout: Brontosaur Edition," you're gonna need to see this movie.

The action is gratuitous, but it's ... gratuitous for a reason, if that makes sense. I didn't have any problem suspending my disbelief, but I usually don't. Tom will probably be along shortly to tell you why the movie sucked.

Simon said...

I've yet to see the big ape. I have, however, heard the exact same reaction from 3 different groups of people:

In every group of people that sees this film, 1 or 2 like it a lot, and 1 or 2 really don't like it very much. Every group seems to divide in half over it. Really quite strange.

Tommaso Sciortino said...

The probalem was that I just wasn't able to suspend my disbelief enough. Fine, you can make your getaway from Kong by grabbing onto a giant bat. You can even do so by grabbing on to (thus incapacitating) it's wing. But if you do all that while holding onto a another person, well, I just have to feel manipulated at that point. I've always had problems suspending disbelief so this film just pushed all my buttons. Also, the natives of skull island were just kind of offensive. It wasn't racist exactly, but it was more just a compendium of every stereotype of primitives ever. The natives didn't have to be nice, but they did have to be believable.

Kenny said...

I think the trouble with the natives is that they're an important part of the Kong story, but there's no way to portray crazy savages who want to sacrifice people without it being somehow offensive. I read that apparently they got people from all different races and painted them to be this made-up ethnicity, so they definitely made an effort to be PC while retaining the primitive savages plot point.

Steve said...

Did you see my review, based on not having seen it?

I find that lately, not only am I able to predict a movie's quality without actually seeing it, I'm also able to predict the reviews. And these two things are completely uncorrellated.

Kenny said...

Steve, what happened to:

"So my 5-second movie review technique fails with respect to King Kong, and I'm going to have to see it to render a decision. I'm not expecting it to be good, but I'm uncertain enough to not make bold assertions."