GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

Hitchhiker's Modest Take Worrysome?

POSTED BY: BARCLAY
UPDATED: Sunday, May 15, 2005 06:59
SHORT URL:
VIEWED: 2619
PAGE 1 of 1

Sunday, May 8, 2005 9:44 AM

BARCLAY


So after two weekends, Hitchhiker's Guide had made $35 million domestically, and $43M worldwide, with an estimated budget of $50M. Meaning that barring a similar third weekend before Star Wars opens, it's not likely to turn a profit before it reaches the video market (which I think it should prosper in... think Star Trek movies).

So, given this (and this is pure speculation), I don't think we're incredibly likely to see any sequel(s).

So here's my question to you wise people, is this an indicator of possible non-success for Serenity as well? Or is Serenity mainstream enough it will succeed regardless?


NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, May 8, 2005 10:07 AM

SIMONWHO


Well, actually it should still make it into profit at the cinema (the studio should get around 50% of the gross so given the normal gradual descent of income, it'll make it to a bit over $100m).

I think sequels will depend on DVD sales. The Chronicles of Riddick, a genuine flop on release, did huge business on DVD, enough to make a sequel viable. The question is whether the studio thinks the audience for the film is going to grow or not. H2G2 has been around for over 2 decades and most people have heard of it whereas Firefly is pretty new and not in the mainstream to the same extent. So whereas pretty much everybody that was going to see Hitchhikers had already heard of it, there's still a large untapped audience for Serenity.

But then again, I predict a box office that will make the question utterly moot and Universal straight on the phone to Joss, asking for more. Not super smash big but big big.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, May 8, 2005 10:10 AM

SWITCHY


I in no way mean to be a naysayer but I think we should prepare for a slow build for Serenity and not expect too much on opening weekend. If it's grade A sci-fi the people will come through word of mouth but it takes a lot of money and huge name recognition to have a monster opening.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, May 8, 2005 10:11 AM

TRASK43


Its not great news given that there is obvious similarities between the films (hardcore fanbase, sci fi films looking to get the general movie going audience in) but I think one of the decisive factors that could make or break serenity are the reviews.

Generally the reviews for hicthhikers have been very mixed, hopefully serenity gets some good press and good reviews or our shiny sequels could be in trouble.

www.summer-glau.com

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, May 8, 2005 10:15 AM

EMBERS


Quote:

Originally posted by Barclay:
So after two weekends, Hitchhiker's Guide had made $35 million domestically, and $43M worldwide, with an estimated budget of $50M.

So here's my question to you wise people, is this an indicator of possible non-success for Serenity as well? Or is Serenity mainstream enough it will succeed regardless?



from what I can tell Hitchhiker has two huge problems:
1. they lost the sci-fi crowd because the show was too Python-esque...not enough action, so a lot of people were disappointed and felt it was slow.
2. they lost their own fans because of some alternations from the book to the movie (and I don't mean a few fans, evidently majority of the big fans were disappointed).

but this cannot effect 'Serenity'
1. 'Serenity' HAS the action, the great space battle and believable ship with a really interesting sci-fi world.

2. 'Serenity' will be thrilling to the fireflyfans so they will keep the core audience and that audience will continue to spread the word.

But it is true: that second or third week is key.

When I met Joss at WizardWorld he said that the first weekend was Universal's responsibility (their promotion and advertising),
but the SECOND weekend is his (Joss') responsibility, having a story that is exciting enough and involving enough so that word of mouth is good and people return to the theater.

Personally, I think we have that!

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, May 8, 2005 10:31 AM

MISGUIDED BY VOICES


Well, its UK opening was pretty good (and appropriate) at 4.2 million. It has Kingdom of Heaven against it this weekend, but there is probably a long-term market as many of the fans of the book and TV series from the first runs will now be in their 30s and 40s, traditionally not people that hit the opening weekends.

Its tail off of 50% plus is the more worrying figure, although if it can steady out it should hit $75-100 US and definitely $100 worldwide.

"I threw up on your bed"

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, May 8, 2005 11:02 AM

SERGEANTX


I don't quite get the obsessive focus on opening week ticket sales. I rarely go to a movie on opening week. I usually hang back, wait to read a few reviews and then go see it when I can have a little elbow room. I'd think that's true of a large chunk of potential Serenity fans, at least the ones not already familiar with the series.

Besides, a movie with as many characters as Serenity, and (I'm assuming) the depth and subtlety of a Joss Whedon script, will take a little longer to get it's due. I'd expect reviews to be quite good for the movie and those have a pretty big effect on the non-opening week sales.

I don't keep up with the box-office sportscasting stuff, but didn't the first Matrix movie take a while to catch on? I'd look for something like that for Serenity.

SergeantX

"Dream a little dream or you can live a little dream. I'd rather live it, cause dreamers always chase but never get it." Aesop Rock

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, May 8, 2005 11:29 AM

EMBERS


Quote:

Originally posted by SergeantX:
I don't quite get the obsessive focus on opening week ticket sales. I rarely go to a movie on opening week.


and I'm guessing you miss a lot of films,
because they have disappeared from the theater,
and you figure...no big loss...couldn't have been very good.

THAT is the problem:
if 'Serenity' does not have good first week numbers then it will be immediately replaced w/another film the next week.
First week numbers is what keeps the movie running so that people who 'hang back' can catch it later...
In fact a really good first week means that many theaters that didn't even get it that first week may get it the following week.

Really bad first week numbers can mean a film disappears and ends up being shown on airplanes,
and on to DVD. Which is NOT the desired result for Serenity

but again, I don't think we need to feel that 'Hitchhiker's' problems are in any way analogous to what the reaction to our BDM might be.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, May 8, 2005 11:36 AM

WHOISRIVER


This post is probably going to irk some people here, given it's from me... But...

I have to be honest. I don't expect great reviews across the board for Serenity.

For a start, most professional film reviewers will last recognise Joss's name from Alien 4 (he wrote it) -- and that was a mess of a movie. They will also likely see the publicity blurb from Universal, which mentions he's the creator of Buffy. Buffy has a huge stigma of cheesy teenage crap attached to it, unfortunately.

Which this taken into account, I expect a lot of reviewers to go in with bad expectations. Some will be turned around by the style of dialog, but the problem is not everybody gets Joss's style of writing. Cracking a joke whilst badness is happening? That makes films very cheesy to a lot of people.

So, honestly? I think it's going to get a critical panning from a lot of reviewers.

*BUT*

So did Star Wars. There's actually many examples of films getting a critical example, but still taking a LOT of money.

What really matters here is two things: marketing and word of mouth. Word of mouth is going to make or break Serenity - it really, really is.

Serenity could well have a very slow opening weekend, but then pick up the following weeks. The problem is if the open weekend looks bad, cinemas will take it off.

Really... Serenity needs *YOU* to promote it. And Universal.

If it gets a fairly good chunk of opening weekend money, with word of mouth it could well be a box office smash the 2nd week. But that really is counting a lot of chickens - the moutain to get to that stage is *HUGE*.

We might appreciate Joss Whedon's scripts, but a lot of people don't.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, May 8, 2005 12:00 PM

SERGEANTX


Quote:

Originally posted by embers:
Quote:

Originally posted by SergeantX:
I don't quite get the obsessive focus on opening week ticket sales. I rarely go to a movie on opening week.


and I'm guessing you miss a lot of films,
because they have disappeared from the theater,
and you figure...no big loss...couldn't have been very good.

THAT is the problem:
if 'Serenity' does not have good first week numbers then it will be immediately replaced w/another film the next week.
First week numbers is what keeps the movie running so that people who 'hang back' can catch it later...
In fact a really good first week means that many theaters that didn't even get it that first week may get it the following week.

Really bad first week numbers can mean a film disappears and ends up being shown on airplanes,
and on to DVD. Which is NOT the desired result for Serenity

but again, I don't think we need to feel that 'Hitchhiker's' problems are in any way analogous to what the reaction to our BDM might be.



Yeah, you're right. I don't go to see many movies at the theater. Two or three a year at most. But, jeez, if all they care about is opening weekend how did sleeper hits like the Matrix ever make it? All initial receipts will reflect is how appealing the movie is to audiences who know nothing about it. And the thing is, at it's heart, Serenity is a very different kind of movie. It'll take awhile for word of mouth and thoughtful reviews to catch up with it.

It may be the case that that won't happen before theaters start getting nervous and replace it with the latest Adam Sandler movie, but that's a pretty pathetic scenario. The movie is almost certain to stick around for two weeks at most theaters regardless of how badly it opens, and I predict that's when things will start kicking in.

SergeantX

"Dream a little dream or you can live a little dream. I'd rather live it, cause dreamers always chase but never get it." Aesop Rock

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, May 8, 2005 12:06 PM

JOESWEDEN


Another fact to take into a account is that the science fiction film everbody is waiting for at the moment is Episode III. How's the competition looking in sept (US) Oct (U.K) and Nov(europe)?

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, May 8, 2005 12:24 PM

WHOISRIVER


Quote:

Originally posted by JoeSweden:
Another fact to take into a account is that the science fiction film everbody is waiting for at the moment is Episode III. How's the competition looking in sept (US) Oct (U.K) and Nov(europe)?



It's stayed pretty clear. I think there's a Tim Burton film, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Johnny Depp) which are big name films surrounding.

April would have proved risky (at the time they were making the call) -- September is likely a better shot for the film.

Serg, there's nothing to say Serenity will last two weeks. If it tanks the first few days, it'll disappear completely.

I'm not hopeless, though. For a start, if the public has any intelligence (that's debatable, to be honest -- Adam Sandler has a movie career after all) they'll like the film. It's a story in it's own world with a bang.

Ironically a lot of the 'fall out' from the US test screening won't happen with non-browncoats. They don't know the characters and back story.

I truly hope Serenity is successful, because otherwise, there's no money, and we're not flyin'. Simple as that. Having said that, having seen the movie I can say regardless I'd still be glad I took the journey this far -- it's been one hell of a fan ride.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, May 8, 2005 1:22 PM

KAYLEE4SIMON


I think another problem with HHG was that the characters were slightly annoying. I also think they didn't do a good job explaining the characters well enough. If you bring in real people, not some guy with two heads that eats puffs, then the audience will get attached.


Keep shiny!

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, May 8, 2005 2:00 PM

SERGEANTX


Quote:

Originally posted by WhoIsRiver:
Serg, there's nothing to say Serenity will last two weeks. If it tanks the first few days, it'll disappear completely.



Is it really that bad? Not saying it isn't, I really don't follow entertainment news but it seems like they'd keep it out there for a litte while. Wouldn't they take into account a movie's potential? I mean, I can see borderline B movies being dropped after a bad premiere, but a big budget feature from Universal?

Anyway, I'll take your word for it. But that's a hell of a system.

SergeantX

"Dream a little dream or you can live a little dream. I'd rather live it, cause dreamers always chase but never get it." Aesop Rock

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, May 8, 2005 2:21 PM

WHOISRIVER


Well, I can only speak from experience in the UK.. "Cursed" appeared here about a week ago I think it was, and it's disappeared now. I went to see it - empty cinema. Terrible reviews.

I'm not saying this will happen to Serenity, of course (aside from anything else you're going to get all the browncoats the opening day one suspects).

It's worth noting that a lot of people won't realise this is a big budget Universal production. They'll see a film called Serenity with a cast of unknown that's Sci-fi... There's a lot of things against the movie, perception wise from Joe Public's point of view. Sci-fi space romp? The last thing some may have seen is "Wing Commander". You get the picture.

The trick is to turn this perception around and make people realise 'Actually, this is a pretty smart, well made movie'.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, May 8, 2005 2:51 PM

RISKEVERYTHING


Quote:

Originally posted by WhoIsRiver:
The trick is to turn this perception around and make people realise 'Actually, this is a pretty smart, well made movie'.



Which is exactly what HHG is NOT. I was in the middle of reading the book for the first time (actually, "The Hitchhikers Ultimate Guide") when I saw the movie, so I knew slightly what to expect. The movie still sucked. It sucked so bad I put the book down for a week and almost didn't pick it back up. The only thing I liked about the movie was the love story in it- which is NOT in the book. Why did I like the love story? Because it was the only part of the movie that had an actual plot to it. Everything else was just wierd, and not in a good way.

I went on opening day, and the theater was pretty full. When the movie was over, everyone just sat there like "what the hell did I just waste my money on?" The word "stupid" floated on the air all the way out into the parking lot. Good marketing- stupid movie. The Serenity trailer was good- the best part of that evening in fact -and if Universal does a decent job of advertising it the movie will be a success. An excellent way to advertise this movie would be to show the TV episodes on SCI-FI for a few weeks before the movie opens in theaters.

Hell, I'd pay to see the Firefly pilot (both parts, naturally) in a theater. I'd pay and even buy popcorn.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, May 8, 2005 3:08 PM

SERGEANTX


Quote:

Originally posted by RiskEverything:
An excellent way to advertise this movie would be to show the TV episodes on SCI-FI for a few weeks before the movie opens in theaters.



NO kidding. Re-airing the series would put more butts in the theater than anything I can think of. But I'm betting Fox is hanging on to that option with a clenched fist.

I dunno though, maybe as hype for the movie builds, they'll see it as a way to recoup some of their investment. Not that they deserve to recoup a damn thing, but it would be a great run-up to the movie.

SergeantX

"Dream a little dream or you can live a little dream. I'd rather live it, cause dreamers always chase but never get it." Aesop Rock

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, May 8, 2005 3:45 PM

BAYBREEZE1


Well, just got back from seeing Hitchhikers with my daughter. Personally, we loved it! Read the books (some) before and laughed ourselves silly during the movie. However, yes, it was a very small audience on the second weekend. I've got to say though, that Serenity and Hitchhikers are VERY different movies. I agree with the comment earlier that Hitchhikers is Pythonesq. And not a lot of people appreciate that humor. Serenity on the other hand should appeal to a wider variety. But it is the first and second weekend box office sales that will make or break it. So my daughter and I have planned to go see it the moment it comes out(something I have never done) and see it again that same weekend. The next weekend we have friends who have promised to go with us. All we can do, as fans, is see it often, drag others along, and, when at a movie that shows the trailer, clap and cheer, and go nuts and get everyone in the theater wondering and curious. That's what we'll be doing!

And no, unfortunately, the theater we saw Hitchhikers at did not show the Serenity trailer. Rats!

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, May 8, 2005 3:49 PM

JADEHAND


Quote:

.It's worth noting that a lot of people won't realise this is a big budget Universal production. They'll see a film called Serenity with a cast of unknown that's Sci-fi... There's a lot of things against the movie, perception wise from Joe Public's point of view. Sci-fi space romp? The last thing some may have seen is "Wing Commander". You get the picture.

..



I wouldn't worry too much about this, NOBODY saw Wing Commader.

In all seriousness, Fan reviews of The Guide have been horrible, thus the movie isn't doing well. More than 95% of the reviews I've seen from Firefly fans have said Serenity was fantastic and they plan to go back several times when it's released. That's a very different reaction. There has been a very small number of people who were upset by something, But I think they'll get over it. If not, the rest of us will make up for it.

Visit WWW.Marillion.Com for a better way to live

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, May 8, 2005 4:53 PM

SHINYMOM


I just saw Hitchhiker's Guide for the fifth time since it came out. I liked it from the first and more each time. I think the hardcore fans must not know their author as well as they think because, according to the guy at WonderCon, this was Douglas Adams' movie right off of his computer for the most part. He was always re-inventing his own work, and this is how he wanted it. So I think it's too bad that people are griping about how it wasn't like the book, and failing to realize that it was the movie Douglas Adams envisioned. Besides, the book is always better than the movie, no matter what book it is.

For a pretty balanced article go to: http://www.zompist.com/rants05.html


"Look at the pretties!"

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, May 9, 2005 3:00 AM

WHOISRIVER


I, too, quite liked Hitchhikers (but then, I'm british, so bound to be weird).

However, I thought it had slight problem: it didn't make me laugh much.

It *WAS* well advertised, though, and I hope Universal do the same for Serenity (in terms of volumes of advertisements).

You've got to remember a lot of people already knew what Hitchhikers was - it's been around for 20 odd years. Not a lot of people know what Firefly is, and even less will know what Serenity is right now.

And that, my friends, is both our and Universal's responsibility. If the movie tanks the first week, either ourselves or Universal (or both) will be to blame. If it tanks the 2nd week, the movie is to blame.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Saturday, May 14, 2005 9:44 AM

YT

the movie is not the Series. Only the facts have been changed, to irritate the innocent; the names of the actors and characters remain the same


Quote:

Originally posted by RiskEverything:
Hell, I'd pay to see the Firefly pilot (both parts, naturally) in a theater.


Now there's a gorram great idea. What would it take? Would four line-doublers in series do the trick (that would be cheap)? Or would that get too weird on action shots? Might call for new software = expensive, but once you've solved it, can't stop the signal. The Dome is installing digital projection for Ep III, & that's a monster screen, but I'm sure the detail is available in the source. Still, worth asking about. This could become a new paradigm.

Keep the Shiny Side Up . . . (wutzon) Jerry Garcia Band, "Tangled Up in Blue", eponymous

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Saturday, May 14, 2005 3:22 PM

PIZMOBEACH

... fully loaded, safety off...


I plan on buying 5 extra tickets opening weekend (about the price of the DVDs). I feel like that's one thing I can do to help get sequels made. If everyone of us bought one or more extra tickets that weekend...

Scifi movie music 24 hours a day - http://www.scifiradio.net

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Saturday, May 14, 2005 8:11 PM

ROCKETJOCK


I see four potential paths for Serenity.

1. It tanks bad, Ishtar bad, Heaven's Gate bad, and the series potential vanishes forever.

Analysis: Not too likely. What little we know of the finished film shows it to be of too high a quality to become a byword for failure. Nor has it gone wildly over budget -- a prerequisite for this kind of ultimate failure.

2. It performs too poorly for an immediate sequel, but becomes an instant cult hit, (RE: The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai.)

Analysis: There are worse fates; Banzai still has rabid followers after 20+ years, and has come close to a sequel/sequel series several times.

3. It performs moderately well, not world-class, but well enough for an odd, quirky little medium-budget Sci-Fi film.

Analysis: Given the pre-existing Browncoat devotion, this level of success would probably be sufficient to ensure at least one sequel -- perhaps only direct-to-video, or "A Sci-Fi Channel Original Presentation", but something!

4. Serenity succeeds beyond anyone's wildest dreams, becoming the new paradigm of the Science-Fiction blockbuster. Sequels and spin-offs beyond measure guaranteed.

Analysis: A long shot maybe, but it's happened before. An odd, quirky little medium-budget Sci-Fi film called Star Wars.

You may have heard of it. Which goes to show that you can't second-guess a lightning strike. The performance of any other film has nothing to do with Serenity. She'll blaze her own trail.

"Do you know what the definition of a hero is? It's somebody who gets somebody else killed." -- Zoƫ Warren

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Saturday, May 14, 2005 9:38 PM

QUICKSAND


I don't follow you.

What does Serenity have in common with "Hitchhikers?" Other than the fact that they're both set in space?

Whedon values character-driven action, stunning visuals and witty dialogue.

"Hitchhikers" the movie had stunning visuals and... uh... stunning visuals. Let's not worry.

Cuz, you know.... you REALLY can't stop the signal.


NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, May 15, 2005 2:22 AM

SLOWSMURF


Sci Fi, universal, previous work, same budget.

That's quite a bit, though obviously one is a comedy(mostly) and one is a drama/action movie(mostly)

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, May 15, 2005 6:59 AM

MISGUIDED BY VOICES


Quote:

Originally posted by Barclay:
So after two weekends, Hitchhiker's Guide had made $35 million domestically, and $43M worldwide, with an estimated budget of $50M.
So here's my question to you wise people, is this an indicator of possible non-success for Serenity as well? Or is Serenity mainstream enough it will succeed regardless?




They just reported that Alexander just made its $165 million budget back worldwide in the last few days, so that gives you an idea of what Hitchhikers will make (and frankly I think HHGTTG has a real chance of doing well in the DVD market).



"I threw up on your bed"

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

YOUR OPTIONS

NEW POSTS TODAY

USERPOST DATE

OTHER TOPICS

DISCUSSIONS
76th Independent Battalion Part 48
Sun, May 31, 2020 14:07 - 2113 posts
To any new folk, I apologize for there being incels on this board.
Wed, May 20, 2020 06:02 - 29 posts
Emoji Museum
Tue, May 19, 2020 01:16 - 69 posts
Escape From Tarkov, new hotfixes to patch 0.12.4: here are the various changes
Mon, March 30, 2020 21:12 - 1 posts
Host a CSTS 2020 Event! Registration is now Open!
Sun, March 15, 2020 13:40 - 1 posts
War Of The Worlds on Epix
Fri, March 13, 2020 10:58 - 26 posts
Real Estate...Vampire...Brides. Uh, ok?
Wed, March 4, 2020 14:46 - 1 posts
Thread of GIFs
Sun, March 1, 2020 15:27 - 8 posts
Thread of Font Colors
Sun, February 9, 2020 14:50 - 24 posts
Prodigal Son
Tue, February 4, 2020 03:50 - 5 posts
Has the FDA been complicit in intentionally mutating us??
Mon, February 3, 2020 20:11 - 33 posts
Suprise
Tue, January 28, 2020 15:40 - 2 posts

FFF.NET SOCIAL