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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"My entire existence was constructed by a sociopath in a sweater-vest. What do you suggest I do?"
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October 15 2006

The Grudge 2 is number 1 at the box office. The Grudge 2, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar (sort of), took in around 22 million dollars this weekend making it number one at the box office.

I didn't realise that it wasn't screened for critics in advance.
Of course it wasn't. Sony never screens its horror films for credits, because they're cheapies with no hope of quality. Sony is the new Dimension. Either way, $22 million is a huge drop from $40 million. Grudge 2 may not make it to $50m if word-of-mouth is as bad as people are saying.
*I should say critical acclaim as opposed to quality.
I think it needed 98% more Sarah Michelle, and I didnít even see it.

The Sitch in Summary: Punster/prankster/pornstar jaynelovesvera, who
(1) was told in January he had a 50% chance of living two years
(2) later found out that the baseball-size tumor on his kidney was stage 1 instead of stage 3, but
(3) was also told it was rare for a tumor that big not to have spread, visits his doctor tomorrow.

Purpose: Scheduling more tests. (Whew!)

Unstoppable signals from across the 'verse go with him.
TDS: I don't think anyone was expecting it to come close to doing as well as the original. The production budget for this was $10 million (ish) and with this opening, it's on track to make a nice profit when all is said and done. The predicted opening weekend figures for the first film were around $15 to $20 million. Had the first film had this kind of opening, it would have been regarded as a monumental success. At it happened, that one surpassed any and all expectations. These numbers are obviously down on that, but still very good going for a film of this type and with this budget.

It was nice to see mentioned in a few places that it wasn't expected to do as well at least in part because Sarah was making a cameo rather than starring as she did in the first... i.e. giving her a lot of the credit for the hugely unexpected success of the first.
Impossible, I find it impossible to disagree with anything you said.

And Pointy, it's former pornstar--I retired to invest in and manage the power-breeding of ravenous dogs to counteract the alarming increase in Satan-spawned kittens in the Seychelles.
Heh heh heh.


[ edited by Pointy on 2006-10-16 02:30 ]
Your "h" key sticking on you there, fella?
The predicted opening weekend figures for the first film were around $15 to $20 million.

And this is a sequel to a $110 million grosser than will end up making less than 50% of its predecessor's overall gross. Regardless of how surprising the first movie's opening was, this should at least be in the same ballpark, and it's not. This is When a Stranger Calls territory. Look at The Ring Two as an example. The first film came out of nowhere ($15 million opening) but pulled in $130 million when all was said and done. Ring Two made $35 million opening weekend and that was called disappointing.

[ edited by The Dark Shape on 2006-10-16 03:18 ]
I'm not surprised that this movie is number one for the week-end, I can't wait to go see it myself. SMG in another role is always a good good thing. The girl is loved.

Word Impossible!
Yay SMG! But, I have to admit, I also sighed a little sigh wishing that the number 1 and the $22 million in this story had all been in a story about Serenity's first weekend. *sighs again* :-(
I am sure the studies would love to be in a position where they could guarantee that every film made the kind of money generated by monster blockbusters like 'Lord Of The Rings'. However, that is not the case, never has been and never will be.

Do any of us really believe the makers of 'The Grudge 2' expected it to take the same kind of money as the first film (which exceeded all expectations at the box office)? It was never going to achieve that and I don't think for one moment that the studio executives are as stupid as they are sometimes claimed to be. If the worldwide gross of this film reaches $80-£100 million, plus the DVD revenue, I would imagine it will be considered to be an acceptable result. It will be, if nothing else, a healthy return on a film with a comparatively small budget.

The artistic merits of the film, or lack of, is an entirely different matter, but it seems to me it will achive what it set out to do in financial terms.
When all is said and done, with a $10m production budget and potentially $50m at the US box office alone - plus a proper worldwide release AND DVD sales, this is going to be a massive financial success for the studio. Normally the rule of thumb is 3 times the production budget on domestic for sequel material, and it's done 5 times.

But yes, it's not a breakout success like the first film. Maybe SMG helped open the first?
Glad to see The Departed holding up very well though.

And could it be that this "disappointing" gross for Grudge 2 is because people are getting bored with these remakes and sequels for them?
$22 million is great. This isn't an LOTR trilogy with fans wanting to see the whole story. Sequels for movies like The Grudge are only expected to get half. The figures are not disappointing at all. That amount is probably a little bit more than what the studies expected.
Andrew Tom, I hope so, but The Departed is a remake of a Korean film called Infernal Affairs.
I'm also excited to see The Departed holding up so well. Finally America is embracing an intelligent film for grown-ups. Hurray!

As for The Grudge 2, I hope this is a sign that the crappy horror remake trend is on the way out. The latest Texas Chainsaw Massacre also opened well below the first, so it looks like people are getting a bit burnt out. I saw the original Grudge in the theater and enjoyed it, but this looks like the exact same movie, and why pay for the same thing twice? It looks like millions of other people agreed with me.
MindPieces - it made more than enough for The Grudge 3 at go into production...
Sequels for movies like The Grudge are only expected to get half.

How the hell did you come up with that idea? Do you think Saw II was designed to open to $8 million?
How the hell did you come up with that idea?

Play nice and don't be so rude to your fellow posters.
Boxofficemojo predicted $24 ,The Hollywood Reporter $20m.

I presume they got that figure from a combination of what Sony told them and their own calculations

It would seem that it wasn't expected to make as much as the first movie . I haven't heard of that rule of sequels making half as the first movie but it seems to have held up in this case
I apologize, Simon. I'm using more of my "typical message board" etiquette here. I'll tone it down.

Everybody expected The Grudge 2 to make less than the original. The highest predictions I saw were at $30 million and Lee's Movie Info at $41 million. The point is, when Sony put the film into production, they didn't think it was going to make less money. They fully expected the franchise to pull a 'Saw' and grow, and it didn't.
Everybody expected The Grudge 2 to make less than the original... ... The point is, when Sony put the film into production, they didn't think it was going to make less money...

Isn't that a contradiction?

As a matter of interest, how do you know Sony expected the sequel to make more money than the first film? Isn't it the case that the extent of the box office success of 'The Grudge' was something of a fluke? I recall that Sony allegedly hoped for a $15 million opening weekend, $24 million short of the eventual result. I find it hard to believe that Sony expected the same thing to happen again, especially after the negative reviews the first film received.
I shouldn't have reused the word. By 'everybody' (its first use), I mean those who follow box office. Poor word-of-mouth from the first Grudge and a general decline in Japanese horror sales always pointed towards this fact. But Sony greenlighted The Grudge 2 the Monday after the first film did so well. They gave Grudge 2 a higher budget.

Sony probably knew it wouldn't make $40 million. But they also didn't expect it to drop half its audience to $20,500,000 (which is the weekend actual). They have to have some idea, because they moved Grudge 2's release date up to put more space between it and Saw III.
How do you kmow what Sony expected ? I've been keeping track of predictions and interviews and never got the impression they expected more than the first movie.

If you are saying that it's gossip then I have also heard gossip about various things which turned out to be complete rubbish

Slight side issue but at the start you said that everyone expected it to make less. If everyone doesn't include Sony then it isn't eveybody

ETA it seems that dashboardprophet and I had similiar questions

[ edited by garda39 on 2006-10-16 21:57 ]
...But Sony greenlighted The Grudge 2 the Monday after the first film did so well. They gave Grudge 2 a higher budget...

How do you know all this stuff about Sony's business dealings and decison making? If they made the decison when you indicate, that would be 25 October 2004. As far as I remember the official announcement that Gellar had signed to come back and make a cameo apperance in the sequel was not made until the beginning of December 2005, over a year later. By that time did they realistically think they had a film on their hands that was going to pull in $190 million worldwide? I have no doubt it was hoped that the sequel would make a healthy return against its budget, but I still find it hard to believe Sony expected it to perform as well as (or out-perform) the first film. Even I can work out the extremely unlikely possibility of such a thing happening and I know next to nothing about these things.

But they also didn't expect it to drop half its audience to $20,500,000 (which is the weekend actual). They have to have some idea, because they moved Grudge 2's release date up to put more space between it and Saw III.

I suspect I'm going to start getting on your nerves soon, but isn't this almost a contradiction? How do you know Sony didn't expect a 50% drop against the first film? Do you have access to industry information (internal financial forecasting by sudios, etc)?
Because common sense dictates you don't greenlight a sequel that will cost more and make less than half as much. As for Sony's "business dealings," referring to when it was greenlighted and its budget, that's pretty public knowledge.
TDS: Yes you do when the budget was incredibly small for the first film and it made a HUGE profit. Costing more and making half as much in this case still results in a very nice profit. So only a film industry fool wouldn't have greenlit the sequel even if they had known what would happen. According to the writer of the film and others over the months, the budget for the sequel wasn't significantly bigger. It was in the same ballpark as that of the first.

[ edited by Impossible on 2006-10-16 22:58 ]
From an interview with Stephen Susco in cs weekly email

We were having Grudge 2 meetings in September of 2004, a month before Grudge 1 was released. But it was certainly the $40 million opening weekend that made the whole thing official.

Are you really saying that they had already made a decision on a bigger budget for a sequel when their expectations for the first one was that it would make $15m on its opening.Common sense dictates that its proposed budget at that time would have been the same if not smaller
dashboardprophet, TDS is correct about Ghost House Pictures approving a Grudge sequel within weeks of its surprisngly large numbers. I believe it had grossed about $70 million when I read the announcement, and, at least for public consumption, they were very surprised at the size of the opening and credited the marketing with Gellar''s name above the title. OT but the sequel to Saw, which had a lower budget than Grudge was greenlit even more quickly.

However, I disagree with the rest of TDSs points.
Absolutely... I'm not disputing that the sequel was given the greenlight soon after the release of the first film and that this was a direct result of its unexpected impressive performance at the box office. What I find harder to believe is that they seriously thought the sequel (released two years later after a number of other similar films - 'The Ring 2', 'Dark Water', etc - which would certainly have provided clues to box office potential of 'The Grudge 2') was going to achieve the same kind of result. I'm sure they hoped the film would perform well, but the suggestion that they blindly went in thinking they would achieve another $39 million opening weekend seems to me to be speculation rather than an actual fact.

The first film got bad reviews. The performance of other similar films afterwards suggested a possible decline in interest in films of this type. Cinema attendance generally has suffered some fairly disappointing flat periods over the last two years. I'm just curious where the evidence is to lead us to assume 'The Grudge 2' was going to match the first film. An assumption, based on common sense or not, is still... well, just an assumption.

I'm flogging a dead horse here, so I'll shut up about it now.
dashboardprophet, it's so good to hear from you again. As for Gludge 2, I'm sitting this one out.

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