Sunday, August 15, 2010
Box Office Insight
Since I’ve taken you along from the beginning on this book-to-movie process, let me share what I’ve pieced together this week about “box office.” Flipped opened in Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Austin last weekend and did “moderately well” at the box office. It averaged around $5,000 at each theater where it was shown, and, to put that in a little perspective, that was slightly better than Angelina Jolie’s Salt did per theater in its opening weekend. Of course, Salt played in a lot more theaters so had a much bigger overall box office, but still. Statistics are for the skewing. Now, if Flipped had had a huge box office, the next phase of this adventure might have been different, but, based on the box office in those three cities, Warner Brothers has decided to release the movie in the following “markets” on August 27th : New York City, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Toronto and Indianapolis. And then, once they see how it performs in those markets, “a decision will be made about further expansion.” The reasoning here seems at odds with the “product” to me. Flipped in not a flashy “big city” film. It’s a heartfelt film, one that I see playing much better in smaller communities than in metropolitan areas. I have to trust that WB knows what it’s doing, but I admit this strategy has me worried. If the film doesn’t connect with city-dwellers, will the rest of the country even get the chance to vote at the box office? There’s not much I can do about it except urge those of you who live in one of those six cities listed above to go see the movie opening weekend (and take all your friends!). Being new to all this, I had no idea how it worked, but now I do…and now you do, too. Meanwhile, I’m focusing on the positive: We’ve got our special Red Carpet Event screening(s) in six days, and I’m really looking forward to doing this for my community and my friends. I have a different long list of things I have to do for each day between now and then. It’s definitely a divide-and-conquer-(or-be-conquered) situation. In addition to hosting both screenings, we have house guests coming Friday, and Sunday we’re having breakfast here for people who have traveled long distances to attend. Which means I have to clean the house! And figure out seating! And get lots of food! And figure out where people are going to sleep! None of which has anything to do with what needs to get done before the Event (which is considerable, given that I never seem to do things the simple way). I am, in short, panicking. So why am spending time writing this blog entry? Because I promised. And because I really appreciate that you check in. I wish all of you could come to our RC Event. Wish me big reserves of energy—I’m gonna need it! It'll all be behind me next Sunday. I’ll let you know how it goes!