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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"I saw their production of Giselle in 1890. I cried like a baby. And I was evil!"
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October 01 2005

Joss posts on Browncoats forum. "So, it starts. We've all heard the good and bad about the B.O., but what does it all mean? 3.9, not huge on the richter scale, but it's the aftershocks that count. I talked to the Uni execs and they were very cool." (reg required).

I love my captain.

(ie Joss)
Well, as I said on the BC forum, good to see he's out of the bathtub. Or at least has access to a laptop. :)

And I think it's a bit too early to worry about these numbers. Serenity feels like a slow-burn to me; it's going to be the next couple of weeks that truly tell the tale, not the opening night.
As I said there on BC forum, too:

Serenity has taken in $1,920 per theatre, which is not too bad, and higher than any other film. It has also taken in $4.2 million, just $0.2 million less than leader Flightplan with 1,200 more theatres.

So, not bad. I do think this thing's going to pick up on word of mouth. Also don't forget, people are off on Saturday and Sunday, unlike Friday. I went to a 1:15p showing in Toronto and the cinema was 60% full. I went by later last night and the same cinema was almost sold out 15 mins before screening.

I'm going again (work, work, work . . .) later today.
True. I went to the 12:30 show, right after lunch, and thank god I got there 45 minutes early, coz damn, if I hadn't? I would have had a bit of a problem finding a seat. It was about 70% full in capacity, which pleased me quite a bit.

I'm so going again this weekend.
Out theater, for a 10:20 showing was about 1/3 filled. Mostly with the large group I was with (nearly 30 browncoats). Several had seen it earlier in the day. I kept wishing more people would come in. More did, but, still not full. I'd not been planning to see if tonight again, but that may have to change. (Planning to see it again Monday, but, the weekend BO needs to go up.) It's too important.
I'm slightly frustrated that Serenity isn't out another week here, it feels like the US are on the front line of the battle, and we're the second charge. I know it's still important, but I want to get out there and get people to see the movie, and see it again myself, and actively participate in its sucess. I guess I'll just have to wait another week.
I've seen it twice late at night, which is probably why I've only been at sold out shows. I don't like the sound of these 1/3 full screenings. I'm seeing it again today at 5, so I may find out what that's like. The weekend isn't over yet, people. Go see it again, once, twice, three times. But more importantly, take people. If this movie's going to have legs, it needs word of mouth. If the same 1 million browncoats go see the movie over and over, it's not going to make it past the second weekend. But if each time they see it, they take some people who wouldn't have seen it otherwise, and these people like it, and they tell their friends who wouldn't have seen it, etc....then we could have a sleeper hit.
Ok, question here. Now we've got two different numbers for Friday box office. Which one is right, what sources were ultimately used for each -- meaning, where are the respective websites that have been linked getting THEIR data from to begin with?
I'm going to see it for the first time on Sunday morning.
Do these BO numbers include the Special Advance screening profits or are they the straight numbers from Friday night? Just curious - I'd heard opening weekend would include the Sp. Advance #s but have not seen confirmation.

We saw it in a big-screen theater at 7 last night and the large-capacity theater was about 2/3 full. A nice turn-out. And a delightful crowd.
theonetruebix - they are estimates from a selection of theatres, scaled up to all the screens I believe.
Re: OneTrueBix's question about different numbers. The numbers are just estimates....very very good estimates, but estimates nonetheless. There are a couple of different companies that gather and report box office information, and then the final numbers for the weekend are reported in Variety on Tuesday. Variety's Monday report is just a recap of estimates. Then Variety runs a tally for the whole week on Friday. Box office accounting is more of an ART than actual MATH!!
Well, it has only been out for one full day! I didn't think there would be that many people going to see it opening day... this is a movie that is gonna grow by word of mouth. I know I personally accosted people in the theatre lobby and dragged them in to see the movie, even though they had no idea what they were getting into! I wish I'd caught them after to see what they thought.
Watched it twice here in Aussie since opening day, Joss. Dragged two friends so far to watch it with me, and have a few more lined up! :D I'm definitely going again, and again, and again... Fantastic film! [goes all fan-girly]
Aurra I agree that this will spread by word of mouth. I saw it yesterday and have already convinced several more people to go see it. When we were walking out of the theater yesterday people were saying how great they thought Serenity is. I imagine that those people will be telling others to go see this wonderful film.

[ edited by pesoto74 on 2005-10-01 20:51 ]
Saw a matine mattinee mattine late afternoon showing yesterday, and the theater was maybe about half full? Not bad for an early showing in a small town, I thought. People reacted at the right times, too- one moment in particular, the audience was rather vocal.

But Joss continues to inspire and amuse. If my fervor ever wavered, I'm glad to know Joss would have the words to marshall my spirit again.

(I had friends who were planning to dress up, but had to abandon the idea. I dressed as Joss for the showing. In fairness, it wasn't too far from my normal dress. Okay, there was no difference, I just consciously made the effort.)

[ edited by kishi on 2005-10-01 21:02 ]
Okay, what's the deal with Flightplan? I mean, I haven't seen it, and I don't know anyone who has seen it- and it didn't really look like an interesting movie to me.

Now I have to go see the movie a few more times this weekend, darn you Jodie Foster!
I've attended five times this weekend, and happily report giddy filmgoers leave satisfied at every showing. One youngish boy remarked on his way out yesterday, "Of all the films I've seen this year, that was the best one!" And I heard positive comments from people of various genders, ages and ethnic groups. The film definitely appeals to a wide range of viewers. The theaters weren't full but who cares? Everyone I saw seemed to really like/love it and people clapped at the end of all five showings!!! That rarely happens at the cinema. We are awesome and we are mighty. I love Browncoats. And Joss, too. Universal is up there on my list too.

Re Flightplan: I dunno what's up with Flightplan, but I heard on the radio news that three flight attendants associations are calling for a boycott because it portrays them in an unkind light. Sheesh.

[ edited by April on 2005-10-01 21:11 ]
gossi said: "they are estimates from a selection of theatres, scaled up to all the screens I believe"

FWIW, I ask this next question not because I think there's some sort of fault in the data, but because I'm trying to understand how this works: Do we know how they select the theaters they use for the sample? What's the mix of markets, etc?
Re Flight Plan: Jodie Foster. I was seriously thinking of going to see it, but only because of her. Now.. Not a chance, though, Serenity gets extra viewings. ;)
Went to a matinee today and the theater had about 50 people in it. Many of those were fans I believe, although given some of the reactions I would think at least some folks were seeing it for the first time.
I saw it twice yesterday - once early afternoon at our new theatre complex downtown, where it is on two screens. It was maybe a quarter full - not bad for a Friday afternoon matinee and I don't know what the earlier theatre had. People seemed to laugh at all the right places and most didn't appear to me to be Browncoats. Then gorramit and I went to a suburb multiplex where we met over 100 members of our meetup group and their friends. The theatre was almost full - most of us had bought tickets in advance, which is why Aurra and I and a couple of other members of our group were accosting people in the lobby, selling or giving away our extra tickets!

When we came out of the movie, there was already a line up for the next show and we passed out buttons, trading cards and posters to people in the lineup, most of whom did not seem to be fans - yet :)

That was my fifth time seeing "Serenity" and I'm going again tomorrow, next week and next weekend. There is something new everytime.
non sequitur, you could do as someone suggested on another thread--buy a ticket for Serenity and then go see Flight Plan. Sneaky yes, but still. The BDM needs all the support it can get!

Oh wait. What's that? Serenity's ten times better than Flight Plan? Alright, just go see Serenity then. ;)
We just got back from seeing it with an afternoon crowd in Burbank. We were surprised to see it was pretty much packed.)about 85-90% full) I'm sure there were some fans in there too, but it was mostly 'normal' (you know what I mean) folk as far as we could tell. And since we were sort of used to seeing it with Browncoats (we saw 2 pre screenings)we were worried about the crowd's reaction being less than what we'd like. (Hell Browncoats cheer at the mere mention of Joss' name onscreen)

I'm happy to say we were wrong. The crowd reacted very well to the movie. They seemed to really get it. There were really good laugh reactions at the funny moments throughout the movie. (Not to mention a few 'gasp' moments) And there was even some nice applause at the end, and it wasn't 'we-loved-it-before-we-saw-it' fan applause either.

If it was even slightly indicative, it was pretty positive (thinking of word-of-mouth here)

[ edited by EdDantes on 2005-10-02 04:55 ]
EdDantes, that is very, very encouraging. We had fewer people (aboug 65 - 70% full), but the same reaction -- they all seemed to 'get' the movie and react appropriately, and some people came in late who at first didn't get it (looks like they made a last-minute decision), and were fidgety, but after about fifteen minutes they really started to react and laugh very loudly.
but after about fifteen minutes they really started to react and laugh very loudly.

You too huh? That's great to hear! I've always said it, the humor is one of the key elements. Even if the blend of genres or the unconventional aspects might be a little too different for people, the humor will get them. I if you like Buffy or not, or like Buffy but not Firefly, or never watched either, those funny moments in the movie should funny to the majority of people. And from experiences like yours and ours, they seem to be.
Bad news in New Jersey. I took my mother and son to the 5:00 showing this evening and there were maybe 10-15 people there. It was a quiet crowd group who only twittered a couple times though there was an audible gasp near the end. Boy what a different experience than it was at the preview. The energy was missing.

The good news was that it did not make any difference to my mom or my son, neither of whom knew Firefly very well, though they both had seen it. My mother just said it was amazing and that I was right that Joss was only at the beginning of his career. She was blown away.

My son, who was really too young to see it, but I let him come anyway, also liked it. What I find interesting is that he was able to follow what was going on perfectly even with his hands and my hands over his eyes through much of the film. Admittedly, he is a smart kid, but he is still a young kid. If he got the basics, I can only figure that the reviewers who could not understand what was going on were not trying very hard. Thankfully there were not too many of them.

The people in the theater were mostly older, with only one or two pairs of teenage boys in the audience. The rest of us, except my son, were middle aged and above. We were the ones who stayed for the credits...the older audience members that is. All along I have worried that they missed the demographic that would most appreciate this movie, 30 and above. I wouldn't be surprised if that is one reason the main stream reviewers gave it such good reviews, it speaks to them more than it speaks to the younger audience. Just a thought. I know the older audience is not valued, but it still puts money in the till and butts in the seats.
so i saw it tonight. only one who clapped and "wooed" when it started. only one who cried. it did get a lot of laughs from most people though. not a lot of people in the theatres (but enough for them to hear me sobbing and turn around and stare).
I usually just lurk around whedonesque and the browncoat page but after seeing Serenity tonight I just found myself driving home with a stupid smile on my face and just aching to get online so I could put my 2 cents in about what a fabulous job Joss Whedon did with this movie.

I saw this at an early evening showing in Denver and the theater was about half? full. The audience was great though; really getting into the rhythm of the movie, laughing and gasping. I just left wanting more. Guess I'll be seeing it again tomorrow. too.
I just saw the 7:00pm showing in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Loved it. Theatre was about 3/4 full. My wife and I were impressed. She brought up the point that this movie is going to be a success do to worlwide sales and DVD sales, regardless of BO takes here in the states.

But if you ask me 4 million dollars on opening night in September is pretty damn good. Would have been twice that, easy, in a month and a half.

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