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"You know, next to you, I am downright linear."
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November 12 2006

SMG's "The Return" opens in 8th place. Earning 4.8 million dollars this weekend.

So much for star power(and I mean this in general, not just SMG), I mean..I've never even heard of this movie Borat.
I can't get away from Borat. It is everywhere. The TV, the radio, magazines, newspapers...

That being said, I never saw a single bit of promotion for The Return. Nada.
Yeah, I had completely forgotten that The Return was released this weekend. Also if I didn't visit this, I don't think I would have ever heard of the movie, as I haven't seen a single ad or heard anything about it at all.
That's too bad. I thought it was a good movie.
They really should have advertised just a little bit. The movie was pretty good. Sarah looks gorgeous as a brunette.
I have no concept of what constitutes a good opening at the boxoffice, but as the article calls it "weak", I'm guessing it didn't do so well. This saddens me a little, but I hardly blame SMG if the promotion was handled badly. I suppose it hasn't really bombed though, as it at least made it to #8 on the list? As I said, I have no concept.

I'm still planning to see it as soon as it comes out here. Sarah Michelle is enough for me. I even saw Simply Irresistible - twice! And I enjoyed it.
It is a total failure, make no mistake.
"Opening close behind in eighth place was the horror pic The Return with an estimated $4.8M from 1,986 theaters for a weak $2,405 average. For Sarah Michelle Gellar, the PG-13 film's debut represented her second worst opening ever in a lead role after 1999's Simply Irresistible with $2.2M. Focus Features was the distributor."
buffy_kitten, the problem with the #8 spot is that it was beaten in its first week by a bunch of movies in their 2nd/3rd/etc weeks (i.e. their weaker weeks... well, except for Borat, of course). So it's all downhill from here. (FWIW, I did see a couple of promos for the movie, but clearly not enough.)

And it's ok, I kind of enjoyed Simply Irresistible too. Well, I don't really remember anything about it, except SMG looking about as adorable as she ever has.
JA it's not a total failure

As shown by Rogue messing around with the release date they knew that unless they caught some lucky breaks in regards to other movies that it wasn't going to be a huge moneyspiner

And sadly they didn't catch a lucky break as explained here in the HollywoodReporter

The same can't be said for Rogue's "Return." Starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, the horror film got hit by the sheer competition in the marketplace.

" 'Borat' attracted everyone's attention, and 'Fiction' captured the core group we were looking for, young females," said Jack Foley, Focus president of distribution. "It was a tougher battle to fight then we had expected as recently as two to three weeks ago before we knew Borat was expanding this frame. It shows you how quickly the marketplace can change, and become deadly."

[ edited by garda39 on 2006-11-13 05:07 ]
Like I said in the other thread, it suffers from bad promotion(I fully expected a ghosty type movie from the trailers, which had some ghosty-suggestive scenes that weren't even in the movie) and bad direction/editing. And well, a very weak story. And useless characters. And, frankly, I could go on and on.

Also, I have never seen so many people walk out of a movie. 8 by my count. We might have joined them, if not for our morbid curiosity to see if the movie turned itself around at the end(which it sadly did not). I'd really hate to see the scripts SMG gets sent if this was deemed worthy.
I'd really hate to see the scripts SMG gets sent if this was deemed worthy.

She most likely had to audition for it, unless she's higher up the hollywood ladder than I know.

Ultimately, like I said elsewhere, I didn't even know this was opening. If I didn't read Whedonesque, I'd know nothing about the film. That's a marketing failure in every sense of the word. I'll admit, though, that Borat has been dominating all recently (and rightly so, as it's funny and more intelligent than it likes to admit).
I've seen 3 advertisments per day for the past couple weeks and I really don't watch tv much. Sometimes out of coincidence people don't see advertisements they're looking for, but they are there. The Return looks like a really bad ghost story by the promos. One of the ads came on during Bones, and I saw one on aim too.

[ edited by cityof on 2006-11-13 11:23 ]
I saw a few uninspired ads on TV so it some *some* promotion. I'm a *little* bit concerned for SMG's career as it seems she's making some poor post-Buffy film choices. She's quite a talented actress (not to mention ridiculously gorgeous) and deserves better than to go down being seen as just another "Scream Queen."
If Sony's being at all honest, and there's some doubt about that, Southland Tales may come out in January. My disappointed heart tells me that it will probably receive the same critical savaging it got at Cannes. But on the bright side, SMG's character, judging from the prequel graphic novels, can't possibly be dismissed as a scream queen. Krysta Now is a porn star, but she's also a psychic, and an operator, and a major player in the apocalypse. Much like old times :).
Well, it depends what demographic you fall into as with regards to if you see adverts for it - for example, I saw many people saying Serenity was never advertised, but I couldn't escape the adverts on that for about a month on TV and online. Same goes for Borat - somebody says above they don't know what it is, but it's been all over the shop for weeks now.
Nothing about this movie says "scream queen role". It just wasn't that type of movie. It actually had quite a bit more substance than that. Nobody walked out of our viewing but there were quite a few breath sucking in moments. It had some moments of surprise and a few hair raising thrills. Still doesn't make it a horror movie.
She is higher up the Holywood ladder than you know Gossi as the director recently said both her and Sam Shepard were offered their roles
I saw a few tv spots for it, but I'm blanking as to which network they aired on. They came across as average. I'm sorry to hear it didn't do better, but I'm not surprised.
According to IMDB Pro, the production budget for this film was $15 million. It made less than $5 million its opening weekend. That's not good.
According to IMDB Pro, the production budget for this film was $15 million. It made less than $5 million its opening weekend. That's not good.

Perhaps not quite as worrying as something like 'Alexander', which had a reported $155million production budget and took $34million at the domestic box office, although the $133million it took oversees might have eased tempers somewhat. I doubt many (if any) people really expected 'The Return' to take a lot of money, or get much support from the critics. Clearly, some marketing mistakes were made, although I don't think Rogue Pictures can be blamed for not putting a hugely expensive marketing campaign behind the film. Maybe the film isn't any good (I'll judge that whan I get to see it), but quite frankly a $15million budget in Hollywood is next to nothing these days and it will all be forgotten about pretty quickly.
Movies like this may earn their money back in DVD. This movie has a chance to break even or even make a little profit in that realm.
I'm puzzled as to why we're ignoring the elephant in the corner. What would a sequel to The Return be called? The Returned? The Returning? The Return 2 just doesn't sound good to me.
Simon: It will be called 'The Return Too; Borat's Version'.
I've already read a couple of reports relating to the box office which mention that this film will certainly make its money back once it hits dvd. At the end of the day, it's not going to make a heck of a lot of difference to Sarah's career taken alone. She's already got a bunch of other films which are completed and another couple lined up. As long as one or two of those do well, she'll continue to be in a nice position.

Discussing the distribution of the film she's currently shooting, Addicted, the following was said (ETA: by Variety; thanks Anne):
"Last week's American Film Market in Santa Monica, Calif., boasted more sellers than ever, but too few offered what buyers wanted most: the go-to, not-quite movie star. Yari Film Group sold the thriller "Addicted" in most major territories thanks to the appeal of Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Buyers know her from the 'Grudge' films and 'Buffy,'" says YFG chief creative officer David Glasser. "She has a great name, so we don't have to go through a song-and-dance about who she is." However, sellers say there aren't enough Gellars."

She's doing just fine. Even in the case of The Return, Focus are getting quite a bit of the blame with regards to their marketing of the film etc.

[ edited by Impossible on 2006-11-13 23:18 ]
The quote Impossible gave is from yesterday's Variety

Great news for Sarah regardless of whatever results The Return had for boxoffice. She's still in demand.

I read one review where the critic suggested that Sarah should fire whoever choose The Return as a movie. I had to laugh. That was done months ago. This is the one and only project the William Morris Agency got her signed to. Not only was David Wirtschaffter's agency insulting they were incompetent. She seems much happier with her new agency and has been signing projects non-stop.

The Air I Breathe has a stellar cast and frontrunning Oscar nominee, Forest Whitaker, has been praising the film while doing press for The Last King of Scotland.

For what it was worth, I went into The Return expecting a mess. The film has its flaws. I rather enjoyed it and was pleasantly surprised by how compelling it was. Sarah was solid as Joanna and sucked me right into her point of view. My eleven year old understood the reincarnation concept.

I've been trying for years to get the links to work lol
[ edited by Anne 5_by_5 on 2006-11-13 23:05 ]

[ edited by Anne 5_by_5 on 2006-11-13 23:08 ]
Simon, obviously the sequel would be "Return Again." Or maybe "Return More Often" or Return Too Soon".

Haven't seen the movie yet and I'm still not sure if I'll see it in the theater. Maybe I'll wait for a second-run showing.
Isn't releasing a quasi-horror/ghost movie (that IS how it was marketed) the week AFTER Halloween sort of a marketing gaffe in and of itself?

I'm reminded of what the commodities broker told Homer Simpson: "Homer, you knuckle-beak, I told you a hundred times: you've got to sell your pumpkin futures before Hallowe'en! Before!"
"I'm reminded of what the commodities broker told Homer Simpson: "Homer, you knuckle-beak, I told you a hundred times: you've got to sell your pumpkin futures before Hallowe'en! Before!"

And then The Simpsons Halloween special aired on November 6th. Just saying...

I think a sequel could be entitled "The Return, Returns". Or how about "The Return: This Time Its Personal--But in that Hindu, Reincarnation Sort of Way".

I was hoping that this movie would do better than it did, but you know, I liked the movie and I think its much better than alot of Sarah's other movies. I like the kinds of movies she has coming up, The Air I Breathe and Alice are movies I cant wait for (im such a nerd but I love the video game), and thus I really think Sarah will be ok. Who knows...
Isn't releasing a quasi-horror/ghost movie (that IS how it was marketed) the week AFTER Halloween sort of a marketing gaffe in and of itself?

A coworker of mine actually said that was a major reason he wasn't going to see it: the release timing indicated to him that it wasn't a very good horror movie if they weren't even releasing it around Halloween.
Simon- quite clearly the sequel should be called "Back to the Future".

What? It's not like it's ever been done before!

Really? now has the actuals for the weekend and The Return has fallen to 9th with $4,479,621 for the weekend.
I went back to see it again and am more impressed than before with both the movie and with Sarah Michelle Gellar's performance.

But more importantly to the 'verse and The Black, the word on jaynelovesvera, straight from the much admired Vera's mouth, is: "NO recurrence of that pesky cancer stuff."

Light a candle/incense stick/flashbomb of thanksgiving!!!
On second viewing, I'm more blown away by Sarah Michelle Gellar's performance.

There have to be more than 100 close-ups in this movie, many of them repeating camera set-ups, but in each shot she manages, usually wordlessly, to convey the particular emotions, moods and even the thought processes that the character is experiencing at the specific moment in the story. IOW, even though there are 100+ closeups, they're all different. That woman's face is an entire orchestra.

And what complex emotions and thought processes she has to convey, given what the character is going through, the contradictory desire to know and not to know, the battle between determination and fear, the combination of resignation and will.

Some standout scenes:

I suspect that one of the reasons she doesn't get all the respect she deserves boils down to that dreaded four-letter word, cute. There is something very disarming about her appearance. It's possible to overlook the beauty and just see the pretty. And she makes her art perfectly invisible -- you won't catch her acting, since she's always in the moment. She's so great that it's easy not to notice.

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