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October 02 2005

Saturday's box office figures for Serenity are out. It's taken $3.68m on Saturday. Everybody, here's the deal: get into cinemas again. Get your family into cinemas again. Tell people. I've got to be honest: if you want more of the 'verse now, you NEED to get out there. Now. Seriously. Additional estimates for Sunday ($2.55m) and the overall weekend take ($10.1m) at Box Office Mojo.

This link seems to go to Friday's figures...where are you finding the updates for Saturday?
Damn. Those are not encouraging numbers. Guess I'll have to saddle up for round 3.

[ edited by MySerenity on 2005-10-02 18:27 ]
I don't get it.. a good movie with good reviews.. it looks like either the initial numbers were way off, or the prognosticaters have less skill than Miss Cleo. I won't be able to see the movie again the weekend, but plan on seeing it in the middle of the week. Hopefully it will have small dropoff next week and strong DVD sales.
Refresh the page, barest_smidgen. They are updated figures.

It's taken less money than Friday... Sigh. With these sorts of figures, you know, cinemas are going to be looking at what to show next week..

Get into cinemas. Tell people. Spread the love. Free love! Although not actually free, because that would be bad.

[ edited by gossi on 2005-10-02 18:18 ]
Bollocks, that's not good :(
Yep, I only get fridays numbers on that link, also.
ouch...
Now I'm worried.
Wished I could do more, than merely keep insisting to people, friends in the US, go watch "Serenity".
I tried the "refresh" thing but still get Friday's results but I believe you. I still have some hopes that this will be a sleeper hit which is what I thought it would be all along. Critics seem to love it and everyone I know that has seen it loves it as well. Here's hoping the worldwide results will be better.
I see Friday as well after ten minutes of loading.
Damn it, I thought all the word of mouth and the good reviews would give us a real chance of no.1 this weekend.
This is making my tummy ache - I was sure it would have better numbers today and that more people would've seen it on Saturday than Friday night. Ebert & Roeper are airing their review today sometime so maybe that will help in the long run with their two thumbs up.
Even refreshing a couple times I'm still only seeing Friday numbers. Hmm.

Kind of disappointing. But we'll just have to wait and see how it all turns out. There's still good buzz.
People's ISPs are probably caching yesterdays page.

Here's the skinny:

No Title Distributor Scrns Daily Gross Avg Total Gross

1. FLIGHTPLAN BUENA VISTA 3,424 6,630,000 1,936 42,771,000

2. CORPSE BRIDE, THE WARNER BROS. 3,204 4,520,000 1,411 30,758,000

3. SERENITY UNIVERSAL 2,188 3,680,000 1,682 7,625,00

It's NOT over yet - the drop off might be because the numbers were inflated Friday by the fan base - but it'll struggle to get $10m opening weekend which is a real issue in terms of keeping it on next week I suspect (tell me I'm wrong, joss).
rockchalkwatcher- Unfortunately just because it's a good movie with good reviews doesn't mean the masses are going to see it. I think the main problem is there are no big stars. If Vin Diesel was in it, you'd be we'd be getting big numbers.
People getting Friday's numbers try holding down the ctrl key while hitting the refresh button.
Well, it's still taken more than Star Wars, A New Hope did.

But: in todays climate people want big returns very fast. From these estimates, it simply hasn't happened. I'm off to the bath.
Okay, yeah. Yeah, that's discouraging. Can't deny it.

But this has been uphill and against the wind for us every step, and those bastards forgot one thing:

We're too pretty to die, friends. Chiselled jaws, one and all. Just keep fighting. That's what we do best.
The real problem we need to find out is this: what bench do films get dropped from theatres with? Is there one? If this has less screens next week, you know.
man we went again at 11 last night, and no one was around the theater anywhere, and I mean the entire theater. The box office, the lobby, all deserted, (apparently people don't go to movies after 10 much. We didn't know, we always go matinee) but there were still like 50 people for Serenity which was a surprise. However, during the trailers of other movies there was mocking, heckling and fake fart sounds so I thought this would be a crappy viewing. When Serenity started someone mockingly yelled "Woo hoo. Star Wars!" and everyone laughed. So I was already groaning.

But then, once the movie really got going, they reacted really well to it. Laughed at jokes, gasped at the shocks, just like the packed crowd that afternoon in the neighbouring town. It looked so encouraging, I was really optimistic. And now these numbers. I don't get it. Guess our experiences weren't representative...

Well, as we said, any success on this will have to be a slow growth from word-of-mouth and all that. Still, this is dissappointing and surprising..

[ edited by EdDantes on 2005-10-02 18:28 ]
Wait, I don't get it... it's #3, right? Isn't that pretty good considering?
Well, not that lightens my worries. But both flightplan and Corpse's Bride, feature better known names, and are still being shown in more screens. Maybe that'll be taken into consideration.

I hope Universal isn't expecting a 20mi weekend B.O. showing it only in 2188 screens.

Hey, at least we're doing better than ALba in her... hmm.. parka... right?
We are going Numfar. I know people are saying don't blame marketing from Universal for this - and I'm not. Who may be impacting this then, my money is on distribution. Not because they have so few screens but because the chain cinemas have saturated some places while ignoring others. For example, I live in Southrn Ohio within in 40 miles of where I live there are 16 cinemas playing Serenity, 8 of them are the same chain. Each having 4 showtimes within 10 minutes of the rest. We were in the last batch of sneak previews but even I thought we do not have enough people in our area to support that many showings, to prove it I have been buying tickets to all the showings this weekend but have only been to 2 and even then their were less than 50 people in a 200+ seat theatre. Yet I have heard from other friends that the closet cinema showing Serenity to them is over 50 miles away. I do not know who handles screen distrbution once they sell it to the chains but I think someone should seriously have a talk to them.
Those are U.S. figures. Are they looking at other countries? I've seen it twice this weekend and will see it again twice next weekend. But in Canada. Does Universal care?
I don't get it. Of all the reports of sold out theaters on the serenity movie page these numbers seem out of whack. I believe the numbers, it's just that maybe people were overstating their crowd numbers and creating false hope. This does not bode well for a sequel.
Me too, EdDantes. I went to the 7:30pm showing at one of our Enormo-Theatres on Friday night and there were 50 of us watching Serenity and barely 50 more throughout the entire complex. Deserted. Huh.
We were #2 on friday fortunateizzi. The numbers went down. They should've went up on Saturday. They will most likely be even lower for Sunday. It always is on sunday.
I'm upset, too. Could it be that college football and baseball's more important than this? Or is everyone waiting for the DVD release, thinking in the long run that's more economical than spending ten bucks, plus another ten for snacks? Guys, the movie is too damn pretty to die, so let's make sure it keeps flying.
It's interesting Corpse Bride earned more bucks in les screens, maybe because of the kid audience.
(edited to correct typo)

[ edited by impalergeneral on 2005-10-02 19:42 ]
Daily Box Office is predicting $2,548,000 for Sunday btw. Which would give us an estimated $10,141,000 for the weekend.
Corpse Bride has over 1000 more screens than our BDM impaler. Gossi, if those estimates are right at least we can go away with the satisfaction of doubling Into The Blue's numbers.

[ edited by eddy on 2005-10-02 18:37 ]
Okay, now I'm really worried. Are these really the results of the Browncoats coming out in full force?? I'm going to see it again today and hopefully I can convince my friends to come with during the week. Since it's obviously not going to be a box office hit the first weekend, here's hoping it'll do that slow burn thing that Joss was talking about.
I hope to be going again tonight, And am most definitely going Monday afternoon as well. Such a wonderful movie... Toppled by FLIGHTPLAN!? Ugh! Whatever... No "Practically 'Panic Room' On A Plane" for me, Thanks!
impressive per screen numbers and impressive to have bodies in seats in mostly empty multiplexes. seeing saturday numbers for gossi's link now, must have been isp-caching.

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2005-10-02 18:38 ]
This is discouraging, but I still have hope. Aside from Wallace and Grommit, there isn't really a big movie coming out next week. Everyone will have seen Flightplan and Corpse Bride (including those in areas that it didn't release last week due to the hurricane) and Serenity still has good buzz.

I really, really wish it had been on more screens. We had a hard time going yesterday because our choices of times were so limited. It's not like people going to the theater without having already decided what to see have a good chance of catching a Serenity showtime.

Any words on the Oz numbers?
It has to finish in the top 3 and break 10 million or else it will be on DVD within the next few monthes. Today is the final push people we need to try to increase on that 3.6 million. I don't know where showbizdata gets it's data and I can only hope that the-numbers shows a higher number again. They get their data directly from the studios.
Whats dissapointing to me is that everytime I saw Serenity this weekend (3 times) there was at least one person in the line before me going to see Flightplan. Ugh.
Well, I went again last night at 9:40pm, took my wife and she loved it (that's important enough to mention cause she ALWAYS dislikes movies I like)...when we got there, we were the first seated. About five minutes before the previews started a family of five came in, then a few more straggled in for a total of maybe 20 folks. Everybody seemed to enjoy it but when I spoke with folks afterwards, nobody knew who Joss was and only one guy had seen Firefly...maybe I'm the only Browncoat in Chambersburg?? Once again (as was the case Friday night), the marquee didn't even list the movie; when I asked the cashier, she said, "oh well" and the manager was among the missing. Hard to get folks in the seats when the movie isn't listed on signage.
-Lioness, yes they are U.S. numbers because all international numbers take longer to gather, however most movies don't make as much internationally combined as they do in the States. Exceptions are usually big budget series films like Harry Potter, LOTR, Star Wars etc.
So I'm wondering if I'm the only person here who only has 4 Serenity showtimes per day? 1, 4,7 and 10? I was perplexed by this because Into The Blue had like 8 showings a day.
I might as well say this now, the aim for Serenity is to make more internationally than domestically. That's the target. We'll see if the international marketing campaign proves better or not next weekend when the movie opens in the UK - we had posters with River In Space and such so it might play better.
Nope eddy that tends to be the avg. I have 4 showings at all but 2 cinemas around me - which had a late night showing for Friday and Saturday.
Nope, there were on;y 4 at the theater that I go to also. I was only able to see it twice this weekend because of transportation issues, but I'm definitely going some more next weekend.

And I asked the theater manager if he had any "Serenity" posters. Said he only had the one that was in the frame outside, but that I could have it when they take the movie off. Which I REALLY hope isn't for a while yet.

[ edited by pat32082 on 2005-10-02 18:48 ]
Serenity making more internationally wouldn't be a surprise... Buffy is still a relative unknown here in the States, from everything I have read that isn't the case in much of Europe.
The opening is below expectations, yes.

But we have to see where it goes from here. gossi, I don't think theaters will take it off screens, because the per screen average is very good. The only movie making more money for them per screen is A History of Violence.

Word of mouth. How will the movie do next weekend? If it drops 50% (or more), things are indeed grim. But if HOLDS (say a 25% drop), it'll be an indication that the word is getting out, that people heard how good it was from people who saw it the first weekend.

We're in this for the duration, the battle is not won or lost in one weekend. Hang in there.
Yuhu, Buffy is quite well known in the UK - it aired prime time on one of the biggest stations, averaging around 4 million viewers. If 4 million people turned up in the UK, we'd take more money than the US alone. However, I doubt that'll happen.

Jam2, the average per screen is a very good point.

[ edited by gossi on 2005-10-02 18:52 ]
Obviously disappointing, but look at how low all those numbers are. Everything except Flightplan is projected to seriously underperform this weekend (and given the bad word of mouth on that, I'm shocked that it had less than a 40% dropoff). We're not going to get #1 at the BO this weekend, folks. Time to focus on the long term. I imagine that Wallace and Gromit will take next weekend, but if we can stay in the top 3, that'll be good.
Looking at all the numbers, you simply can't get past the fact that Flightplan had 1/3 more screens than Serenity and Corpse Bride had over 1000 more yet Serenity beats Corpse Bride and has a much higher per screen average than Flightplan...seems like a big mistake to open on so few but I'll admit to being ignorant about the marketing so I guess I'll take a "wait and see" philosophy. Still, a bitter pill to swallow when I want the movie to be successful so badly...
Okay, I'm trying to compare Serenity to a movie I know didn't do all that well at the theater opening weekend but went on to get a sequel - Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo.

Here's it's numbers:

DOMESTIC SUMMARY
Opening Weekend: $12,224,016
(2,154 theaters, $5,675 average)
% of Total Gross: 18.7%

Widest Release: 2,162 theaters

TOTAL LIFETIME GROSSES
Domestic: $65,538,755 70.5%
+ Overseas: $27,400,000 29.5%

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

= Worldwide: $92,938,755

And although not a huge star, Snieder is probably more well known then most of the Serenity cast. From what I understand the movie sucked too. With Serenity getting the reviews it's getting I'm hopeful it will have some legs to stand on. This Bigalow movie wasn't yanked from the theaters so I'm hopeful they'll let Serenity have a chance to build an audience. I'm also hopeful the opening weekend results will be much better internationally.
And Calledon is right about the "per screen" results being impressive for Serenity. I'm sure theaters that are showing the film are aware that it is taking in more money than some of it's other films so why wouldn't they want to keep it around?
The movie dropping on Saturday is really really bad. This usually happens only if the word of mouth is terrible (not the case here) or when the movie is something extremely frontloaded with fans, be it a slasher movie or a cult film. We know it's the latter here, but the problem is Serenity didn't make all that much on Friday to begin with and word of mouth clearly didn't have any second day effect on expanding past many of the fans. A Saturday drop is pretty dire, I gotta say. Methinks a cult film this will remain.
I might as well say this now, the aim for Serenity is to make more internationally than domestically. That's the target. We'll see if the international marketing campaign proves better or not next weekend when the movie opens in the UK - we had posters with River In Space and such so it might play better.

Don't count on it...

In France (where the film is out the 19th of october), there's absolutely no ad yet, and I saw no review in the press (though I am not looking for). Besides, it will only be distributed in 200 or so theaters... ten times less than in the states, but the population is only 5-6 times less.

I am clearly not optimistic on all this... :(

The only "hope" I see now are DVD. This has already happened, and not just once, that DVD sales save a movie, on the financial point of view (they did it for Fight Club, and allowed Pitch Black to have a sequel).
Wow...this has really suprised me. In a i-was-just-about-to-bake-plum-crumble-and-now-i-have-no-appetite kinda way.
I'm lovin' that fighting spirit though. We can do this! Max out those credit cards people!
I can hear Xander in the background "Second wave!".
Those are U.S. figures. Are they looking at other countries? I've seen it twice this weekend and will see it again twice next weekend. But in Canada. Does Universal care?
As far as I know those numbers include Canada. The Canadian market is so close and mirrors the US market so that the Hollywood studios consider Canada to be part of the domestic market.

Also these are estimates and there's a chance that the final numbers will be a bit bigger. I'm not sure if those estimates include the midnight showings, plus there was talk at one time of including the preview screenings money in the opening weekend. So the final number could be up a million or two.

Unfortunately estimates are generally what is reported on Monday in the entertainment news and so Serenity won't get as much attention.
I wouldn't give up hope yet, as someone just mentioned, the movie has done better per screen than Flightplan. So if a theater has only one screen dedicated to Serentity (and that seems to be the case in most theaters around here) and that screen is turning a profit from them, I don't see why they wouldn't keep it around. Unless they could put something else there, but I don't think there's anything big coming out soon.

Of course, I'm using logic, which doesn't always work with Hollywood.
It's worth noting at a maximum the preview screenings earned $250k, without expenses. The figures do indeed include Canada.

I wish there was a positive way to look at this. Really do. But a drop off on Saturday? Man. I'm off to eat junk food.
We're in this for the duration, the battle is not won or lost in one weekend. Hang in there.

Yeah I keep forgetting that "who's in it" is practically as important to people as "what's it about/what kinda movie is it" to people. If they don't see familiar faces, they generally don't work up any interest. Then there is the 'sci fi' vibe that apparently still puts a lot of people off....it's probably still doing well considering those factors and low screen numbers.

In France (where the film is out the 19th of october), there's absolutely no ad yet, and I saw no review in the press (though I am not looking for).

Well, let's not forget 'internationally' covers a little more ground than just France.

Everything except Flightplan is projected to seriously underperform this weekend (and given the bad word of mouth on that, I'm shocked that it had less than a 40% dropoff).

I know! The reviews were bad, the buzz was bad, everyone says the ending is really dumb and absurd, and I completely expected the drop off to be steep. Is "Oh it's Jodie Foster" really THAT important? She's been in a few stinkers people!

I'm not mainstream. Never have been. Never in my life did I go the box office not knowing what movie I was going to see, and then deciding it staring up at the movie titles while going: "Uhmm, I dunno, I guess that one...." I just can't put myself into that kind of thinking.
"Man. I'm off to eat junk food."

Gossi, it sounds like you might need something stronger. Let's get drunk today!
Perhaps we can take solice from a predecessor to Serenity. Another short lived quirky series that was made into a movie and when on to make 2 sequels. Only 6 episdoes of this show aired, 6 years prior to the movie and well before the DVD revolution.

Release date - movie - opening weekend - total US gross

12/2/1988 The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! $9,331,746 $78,041,829
$10,141,000

That's $5M less than what people predicted as the minimum. Lé sigh.
Ouch!
That's not good numbers, I expect good legs, but... I don't know what to think now.

Maybe there's hope in foreign markets and DVD sales.
Getting hammered sounds like a plan, tonight!
In the UK, I'm seeing the trailer on tv around 5 times a day at the moment. I don't think it's going to be a HUGE hit here or anything, but I think it's going to perform better (relatively speaking) than it has in the US so far. When I've seen the trailer in theaters, there has really been a response when the "from the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer" section comes on. I really think they should have worked that angle more here.

[ edited by Impossible on 2005-10-02 19:14 ]

Well, let's not forget 'internationally' covers a little more ground than just France.


Does it? ;)

I was just giving an insight of how it happens in the country I know. This is only one example, but is it different from other countries? I know that UIP branches are different in different countries, but if UIP France decided not to "bet on" Serenity, why would it be different in every other countries? One must remember that big US movies do generaly quite well here: the french market is a good market for US films; so if Serenity is not present enough on this market, I think this is *one* hint that the news will not be very good.

Of course I keep a little faith, but even Joss' message yesterday was not very joyfull.

And, talking about Joss: do you remember what he used to say concerning the figures on the first week-ends... "the first week-end is Universal's responsability, the second is mine", something like that. So we might not want to criticize Universal's promotion of the movie, but...
I wonder if we'll get the Serenity DVD in December instead of January now. It sure would make a great holiday gift.
Well it all depends on whether Universal holds its nerve and doesn't drastically reduce the number of screenings for the second weekend. There's a number of things going round my head about why the box office take was way off from what we thought at the start of the week (i.e. $15-16 mill) but I'm still processing.
Serenity making more internationally wouldn't be a surprise... Buffy is still a relative unknown here in the States, from everything I have read that isn't the case in much of Europe.

I'm from Europe. BtVS is best known. Everyone I know has heard about or seen it. AtS is a lot less known and Firefly barely. And SMG is the only actress of all actors/actresses of the Jossworld they know by name.
To be honest, I suspect you might be right Succatash. And the good news is, I have a suspision the DVDs are very well put together.

UIP have gone after this in a big way in the UK. It's had more industry screenings than any other film. It's got excellent reviews from pretty much every single publication. It's plastered around nearly every tube station in London.
BTW - this will also impact his ability to get a verse movie as well. Having a hit movie and a #1 box office ranking would have ensured someone picking up a MFTV verse pick like the Spike one everyone was talking about doing. He need to be #2 at least and right now we are neck-n-neck going to the finish line with Corpse Bride for the weekend. We need Sunday to be a final push - so weather you go or not buy a ticket to a showing.

And now to be evil - anyone outside of the US and Canada. Goto fandango or movietickets and see if you can buy a ticket. For movie tickets use 45002 to find a theatre. Anyone who uses fandago give them a zip to pull up theatres selling through that site.
You know, a lot of movies that are now famous classics were bombs at the box office at the time, from Citizen Kane to Blade Runner or the Shawshank Redemption(etc. etc.). Most of them because of such reasons as being too ahead of their times, not having an easy premise or lack of big names.... It's not much of a consolation IF that happens to Serenity, since it still won't get us a sequel, but it's a thought....

I know that UIP branches are different in different countries, but if UIP France decided not to "bet on" Serenity, why would it be different in every other countries

Well, I think because, as you already point out yourself, the UIP branches are different in different countries. This should really be looked at per country.

[ edited by EdDantes on 2005-10-02 19:28 ]
Gah! Maybe it's just a bad weekend... I know a few browncoats (including my parents) who are dying to see the movie, but simply did not have the time to make it out this weekend.

C'est la vie.
This is what Zap2it had to say about Serenity coming in second for the weekend.

Universal Pictures' "Serenity," which brought the cast and crew of the short-lived FOX drama "Firefly" to the big screen, played in more than 1000 fewer locations (2188 in total) that "Flightplan," but averaged a slightly higher $4,616 per screen to earn an estimated $10.1 million. Given the number of devoted fans for the cult series, the true test for "Serenity" will come next weekend. The first week figures were somewhere in line with industry expectations, but don't necessarily indicate that the film has immediately found a crossover audience.

I think Buffy as a 'show' is well known in the US, it's just not well respected. So many people at work ask who that guy on my calendar is(Spike) and when I tell them he's from Buffy, they go, "Oh...that." So people know 'of' it, they just don't 'get' it! And if you don't 'get' it or respect it, you're not going to care what else the creator is doing. And actually, it might be a detriment to Serenity to mention that the creator of Buffy made it. It's something I carefully don't mention when I talk about Serenity, because people will have a preconceived notion about it. It's sad to have to do that, but I know how those people see Buffy because I used to scoff at it too.

BTW, caring this much sucks. I've never been so bummed over a movie. A Friday to Saturday drop off is just bad news, however you cut it. God, I'm just going to be in a bad mood all week. I'll be in my bathtub...
Could it be that college football and basebbal's more important than this?

Hey now, I've managed to watch the Red Sox/Yankees series and still see Serenity three times since opening already. ;)
These are estimates. Sunday isn't over yet. Our per-screen average is good. Preview screenings and midnight showings on Thursday haven't yet been included (I think). And we've already broken $10M. These are good things. The Saturday dropoff, while disappointing, is undoubtedly because almost the entire fanbase went to see it on Friday.

So we buy more tickets tonight, and we wait with bated breath for the actual numbers Monday, we talk it up this week, and we go buy more tickets next Saturday. Going to the full-price show instead of the matinee wouldn't hurt, either. Don't give up now, people. It ain't over until Universal says it's over.
I'm feeling pretty sick right now. I think I caught a cold. So I can't go see Serenity again today. But I think I'm still going to buy a ticket online. Just to keep our BDM flying.

I hope if the movie really is not successful that Joss still gets to do his upcoming projects(wonder woman, tv movies, Goners) and isn't put on the studio leash again.
I try not to mention Buffy when I am recommending Serenity because most people seem to have a pre-conceived notion that it is adolescent rubbish. Of course, they are wrong but there's no telling them. I might as well add that I'm in Vancouver and both times I've been to see Serenity the theatre was packed. Jewel was actually at the same showing as me on Friday night. I think she had her family with her.
Though the overall average is disappointing, I'm impressed with the number of ticket sales in the theaters the film aired. Considering 'Serenity' was shown in only 2200 theaters, these numbers are pretty good. I'm will be curious on sales for this second week. From what I seen, these theaters were a sale out. I'm hoping others will take this as a low key hit and air it as well. Lets cross our fingers.

Sorry you feel down, eddy. Hope you lose that bug soon. Grab some sleep and take care :).

[ edited by Madhatter on 2005-10-02 19:44 ]
BTW, as I understand it, it isn't "pre-screen" numbers being listed in these estimates it's "per-THEATER" numbers.
Usually these things are "per-screen."
I think Buffy as a 'show' is well known in the US, it's just not well respected.

But it is known. And that is the most important part. Serenity has the disadvantage that Firefly is unknown. (Not in my country.)
No they're not. It's per-theater.

And Universal overpredicted. They gave the movie a *very* generous Sunday drop (second best in the top ten). It's probably going to come out at $9 million for the weekend in actuals.

Thank God the flick was cheap.
to eddy

Yeah, you're right. I misread the figures and number of screens. I thought Corpse Bride was on fewer screens, but it must have been another statistic.
Don't forget Galaxy Quest (another SF movie with lots of humor) only made $7 million its opening weekend but went on to gross over $70 million.

Come on people, we are TOO PRETTY TO DIE.

[ edited by chickenbird on 2005-10-02 19:47 ]
To be honest, I think Universal are going to feel like Serenity was released on exactly the right number of screens, and I have to say I'd agree with them. The "per-screen" average is decent, but it doesn't follow that it would have held had the film been shown on more screens. In a lot of places, all that that would have meant is that many screenings would have had fewer people at them. Better coverage as far as the screens were concerned would have helped, but upping the number of screens for the most part tends to end up being in big cities etc. While some places may have had good crowds, for the most part they weren't exactly selling out. So I don't see that there was much need to increase the number of screens.
Eh, I'm not going to let myself be upset, this is our weekend. We got our show that was canceled first season a big screen movie, one that Ebert and Roeper gave two thumbs up. We have already done more than we thought we would.

I'm going to watch the movie as often as I want to and just enjoy it. If we get some more movies, that's just gravy. If we don't I have faith that Joss will tell new and different stories I will like just as much.

I admit I came into this discussion hoping for good news. But I'm not going to give up or be upset. I will say this though, I sincerely doubt this movie will have the drop off next weekend that most movies have. I'll be seeing it again. Just from now on when I see the movie I'll buy two tickets for everyone going. :D
Oh Penis.

Regardless of anything, 'Serenity' is still the highest placed new release, and regardless the film has still made 7,880,000 at the box office. And by Sunday that number should probably around 10 million. So the film has already made back 1/5 of its cost. In coming weeks the movie will continue to make more money, and the overseas gross will put towards the money. Then theres the DVD sales which are going to be massive.

Serenity will make back its money and get a profit. Duece Bigalow did this and got a sequel. Which bodes well for Serenity 2, because it won't just get a profit, it also will have us, and I'm pretty damn sure that we will fight just as hard for a sequel as we did for the first.

So basically, I'm trying to be optimisic. I'm not giving up hope for a sequel yet.
you would think Serenity would get a higher gross than what it had now. People seem to be looking for showtimes at moviefone.com/zap2it.com and it is number 1 in most requested. I'm guessing that the people that watched flightplan were the general public (saw ads, etc). Serenity should really do well next week to get a chance.
Re: per-screen versus per-theater:

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/about/boxoffice.htm

Theaters refers to the number of locations where a movie is playing, but it does not reflect the number of screens. One theater location, for example, may play a movie on several screens—this is a necessary distinction since print and Web references routinely and mistakenly refer to theaters as screens.

Dissapointing as hell. But it is not over yet. We will prevail :)

I guess, most of people don't decide whether to watch a movie on its opening weekend by reading reviews. It is more a quick or even spontaneous decision based on short pieces that they overhear or read. Like "Made from a failed TV show. Probably a crap", or "Another sci-fi. It has been a lot of crappy sci-fi movies lately. No way I gonna watch this", or "They could not afford a single "star" in this movie. Probably a cheap B-movie. I will skip it".

I hope that the word-of-mouth will make a lot of them to change their minds. We just have to be patient.

We can also partially solve the "absence of stars" problem by starting the rumor that SMG (or any other spectator magnet) played a short cameo role in BDM as a Reaver :)))

[ edited by Lince on 2005-10-02 20:14 ]

[ edited by Lince on 2005-10-02 20:33 ]
maybe i'm wrong... but i think that the movie is doing really welL! its kinda crazy to expect it to have such a huge first weekend blow out! I think its more important that it does well past the first two weekends. I'm going to see it next weekend with a friend- and I know how things usually work- if she likes it she'll take people in the next week or two etc. So that's what I'm hoping for! For the movie to keep doing well... and it only has to makea profit to have a sequel right? Plus- new york magazine and the new york times all gave it good reviews- and there are a ton of old artsy people in nyc who go to see movies just because it gets good new york magazine and times reviews! I saw Trainspotting with those people. lol. and those people don't usually go out for the first weekend. soo... i've got hope!
and it only has to makea profit to have a sequel right?

Months ago, Universal was quoted as saying north of $80 million worldwide was required for sequel consideration.
Yes, studios look to make around about two and a half times the cost back for these things. About $80m and they know they'd make a healthy profit long term.
Lince. Paris Hilton as a Reaver. Blatantly.
It's certainly true that it's important for the film to have legs. But the reason that opening weekends are so important for studios these days is that they get a far higher percentage of the takings for a film on the opening weekend. Over the following weeks, the percentage they receive goes down as the percentage kept by the theaters goes up. So as far as Universal are concerned, they'd rather it had an amazing first week followed by lots of so-so weekends rather than have a decent first weekend followed by even more so-so weekends. All that said, while this weekend wasn't as good as we all probably would have hoped, it's certainly not a death-knell.

[ edited by Impossible on 2005-10-02 20:17 ]
BoxOfficeMojo's weekend estimates are at this link. I know opinions differ here, but honestly I think it looks pretty good. "Serenity," a movie with no big stars, beating everybody out except for a wide-release, well-promoted Jodie Foster movie? I think the media's take so far of this being a surprising "Cinderella" story still holds. And the per-screen average is second only to "History of Violence." Also, I'm going to assume that Serenity has longevity compared to the Matrix, which is also an innovative sci-fi film that benefited from positive word-of-mouth. It made 16.2% of its total gross in its opening weekend, and if that holds for Serenity it would total $62.6 million. Not bad, when you take international grosses in too.
Rockchalkwatcher and Lioness. The numbers for Canada are counted in the United States boxoffice stats. Since at least the early eighties, Billboard Magazine used to keep track of the stats for the Edmonton/Calgary and Toronto areas and lump them into the American stats because of the large saturation of theatres in these Canadian areas. There are more theatres per capita in Western Canada than most major cities in the U.S. Most theatres in Canada are now owned by a couple of corporations, so I suspect the stats are all lumped together and are fairly easy for the box office trackers to collect.
Paris Hilton is a reaver? I knew it!
I'm actually quite dissapointed now, I thought for sure that the film would perform better yesterday than it did Friday.

It's just annoying that a genuinely excellent film, seems to be struggling, compared to the utter crap that really pulls in the crowds. You'd think that with all the positive reviews people would go and see it, why aren't they?

I'll be seeing it at least 3 times next weekend, already got my ticket for advance previews on Thursday. I just hope that lots of people that saw it this weekend see it again today, or over the coming weeks.

How much of the money from the 2 books, the comics, the magazine, the action figures, and the soundtrack goes toward Universal, does that all go toward how much the film makes them?

I had become so convinced this film would get a sequel, now I'm just trying to hold on to a tiny bit of hope.
"Never in my life did I go the box office not knowing what movie I was going to see, and then deciding it staring up at the movie titles while going: "Uhmm, I dunno, I guess that one...." I just can't put myself into that kind of thinking.:

I'm with you EdDantes. I've only gone to the movies a few times in my life on opening night. More often, I've gone to one because someone else said it was good or I got interested because I read a good review. Once in awhile I get to the movies on opening night. I usually just go later after I hear good things.

It's way too early to be so dismal. This movie has what others lack: Staying power. We'll get the sequels already! It's just too good not to continue. Mainstream reviewers are still under the impression it came from "a failed tv show". It's the type of movie that will still be enjoyed by new viewers a couple/few years from now because someone makes them watch it and they wonder why they nevre bothered earlier. And another DVD sale takes place. DVD sales just went up again this weekend on Amazon. The franchise will make money over time. No need for gloom and doom!

ETA: Also, word-of-mouth advertising doesn't work without a few weeks to get the word around while the movie is actually showing. This weekned I've talked about it alot online and to my boyfriend, but I won't see people at school or work until next week -- at places where people talk about what they did on the weekend. It's way to early for the grim predictions.

[ edited by April on 2005-10-02 21:09 ]
The problem is, yesterday we were saying this is a movie with staying power - and today we've seen a drop off from Friday to Saturday..

The reality is, if Johnny Depp was The Operative, every teenage girl would be in the cinema. This movie always counted on Average Joe going. I hate Average Joe.
I agree it's too early to be pessimistic.

Remember, in the US it's baseball playoff season with some really exciting games happening over the weekend. Add that to the fact Serenity is being shown in many fewer theatres than Flight Plan and Corpse Bride.
"It's just too good not to continue," said April.

I think we all said that about Firefly, too. ;)

(Don't get me wrong, I don't think it's over yet, either, just from these estimates. I just find it funny that Browncoats of all people still somehow make statements like the above, heh.)

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2005-10-02 20:31 ]
I've been to three theatres in the downtown Toronto area and each time I asked how Serenity was doing. The answer is best summed this way: "Serenity is doing really well," with a surprise tone ending the statement. So we're getting bums in the seats; there may just not be enough theatres in some areas of the continent. Toronto is drowning in Serenity screenings, I have to say. It's in all three chains: Famous Players, Odeon Cineplex and Rainbow, all over the city of 4 million, plus suburbs. Be real interesting to see whether it beat Flightplan's Toronto numbers, which won't be published until Friday, I think.

Gossi Thanks for all the dope on film marketing. I don't think I'm going to put any blame on Universal. I'm impressed with what it's done in the Toronto area. And it seems to be working: Serenity signs and advertising are evident, although not at the saturation level you'd get with a Brad Pitt or Adam Sandler (holding nose) film.

I guess from the lack of online alerts, none of the cast got on the Big Talk shows. Those are always a boost, I imagine.

-----------

ETA: I forgot, re sequel. Chris Buchanan keeps dropping hints over on the origial Firefly board, each one focusing on the number two. It's becoming clearer, I think, that he means to say the sequel is a go. But I'm just speculating. Go to this thread and go backward from here

[ edited by Drifter on 2005-10-02 20:41 ]
Buhh, I don't work for Universal, or UIP, or anything Drifter. I do think there were some issues with the marketing - throwing too much on the screen for example. However, for the most part, I think they were at least invested in it - they believe(d?) it could do well, it wasn't Fox Broadcasting Corporation.
I'm a little frustrated the (at least here in nyc) the commercials are so shortened that they don't make sense. My friend thinks its a movie about a girl who kicks ass named Serenity.... sigh. So i think this movie deffinately needs a word of mouth spread! we just have to remember not to sound desperate! I'm gonna try to just be incredibly happy with the fact that this movie exists- and stay in the moment with that. I think most people who see movies based on reviews don't go the first weekend... I don;t usually see a movie the opening weekend.
Feeling helpless here in the UK :( - we will do our best when it opens with previews on 6th. Like Kate says, stick with the happy thought that we got the movie and go on from there.
A bit worrying numbers. But I have faith. To quote Mal, "I'm thinkin' we'll rise again."
I can confirm that Paris Hilton is a Reaver. Apparantly Paris Lastis (the ex-fiance) converted her sometime last June. Now Lindsay Lohan and Tara Reid have also become Reavers, and are currently thinking about making a movie about the process of becoming a Reaver.

Nicole Richie tried to become one but Paris said no and so Miss Richie is currently training as an Operative somewhere in Beverly Hills, also planning to make a film out of it. The resulting movie will apparantly "be a cross between Clueless and The Terminator while incorporating shades of She's All That" according to her agent. Chad Micheal Murray is reportedly co-starring as the rebel without a cause who wins The Operativa's heart.

The Simple Life 4 will now instead become a two hour epic movie in the vein of Alien VS Predator, The Operativa facing Ultimate Party Girl Reaver and her two sidekicks. Expect a cameo from Molly Ringwald.

Why watch Serenity when you've got this to look forward to.

(But really. Watch Serenity. Otherwise I'll set Paris, Lindsay and Tara on you.)
I have seen lots of complaints about how this movie was promoted and I just don't get it. These took a big risk giving an unproven (movies anyway) and unknown (to the mainstream) a $40 and complete control. They knew this film had a core audience and did everything they could to get us on board. They did shell out money for trailers during season premieres, and I guarantee the "Lost" slot wasn't cheap. I also think that the number of theaters is appropriate for Serenity. I can't imagine that this movie won't make a healthy profit when everything is said and done, especailly since we have been proven to be a large DVD crowd.
Mainstream reviewers are still under the impression it came from "a failed tv show". It's the type of movie that will still be enjoyed by new viewers a couple/few years from now because someone makes them watch it and they wonder why they nevre bothered earlier."

Yeah that's what I said too, but while that vindicates the movie in the long run, I doubt it would help bring sequels about.

The problem is, yesterday we were saying this is a movie with staying power - and today we've seen a drop off from Friday to Saturday..

Well I'm fairly sure most of us mean 'staying power' in terms of weekend to weekend. And I doubt Friday to Saturday dropoffs (or increases) are linked to word of mouth much.

I don't see a lot of problems with the promotion. This was a hard thing to sell in trailers. They made a nice bunch of them, I've seen them everywhere on TV, all the other stuff the studio did, Joss & the cast, the fans, the positive reviews...I think it was all pretty decent. In the end though, for the mainstream, it's all "Oh, it was TV show? Huh..." and "Who's in it? Has it got Ashton Kutcher?". Sad but true...

[ edited by EdDantes on 2005-10-02 21:11 ]
ETA: I forgot, re sequel. Chris Buchanan keeps dropping hints over on the origial Firefly board, each one focusing on the number two. It's becoming clearer, I think, that he means to say the sequel is a go

That was my assumption earlier, but I think he clarifies later in the thread he's saying it will get 2 thumbs up from Ebert and Roper.
In addition to buying tickets for ourselves, buy tickets for other moviegoers to spread the word. (Without seeming like a crazy cultmember, of course). I've just bought tickets for someone who was going to wait for the DVD to come out, someone else who was thinking about Jessica Alba instead, and a friend down in San Diego who could persuade a dog to buy fleas and has promised to use her powers for good if she likes the movie. I feel poor, but luckily I like instant ramen.
That was my assumption earlier, but I think he clarifies later in the thread he's saying it will get 2 thumbs up from Ebert and Roper.

Yes. Honestly, I was boggled by the people who thought it was a sequel thing. Not just because Chris' hints, while cryptic, seemed pretty clear to me, but because it was absolute lunacy to think they had gotten a sequel nod already.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2005-10-02 21:14 ]
Kate, please spellcheck your text before posting and employ capitalisation in the proper places.
Yes. Honestly, I was boggled by the people who thought it was a sequel thing. Not just because Chris' hints, while cryptic, seemed pretty clear to me, but because it was absolute lunacy to think they had gotten a sequel nod already.


Well, when you're saying '2' in relation to Serenity, my first thought is 'Serenity 2'. And yeah, it was really early, but who am I to know when these decisions are made? Also, I thought it was an awful lot of build up for just another good review. I thought it was something bigger. And, I should say, I had made that assumption before Chris made it clear he was just talking about '2 thumbs up'.

[ edited by Rogue Slayer on 2005-10-02 21:35 ]
If you've bought tickets for everyone you know, don't stop there. Buy more tickets and give them away on the street to random people who want them. And don't stop advertising for Serenity in anyway you can! Post about the movie at every forum you can think of. Put up flyers around your town about Serenity. Bring it up in every conversation you have with anyone. We need to keep fighting! You don't have to be pessimistic about Serenity's chances, but don't be too optimistic either. Serenity won't get a sequel unless we make it get one. Let's get to work.
I'm a little disappointed, but all is not lost. If we all keep going to see it again, and word of mouth or good reviews make more people see it, then it can still bring in more money. I think $10 million in one weekend is still pretty impressive. When you think that it should still have a few more weeks in theatres, and the international market.

Say, for example, if it does better in the UK then it could make more people in the US take notice. I'm a little disappointed, but not overly so. A sequel would be nice, but we still have an excellent film, and a DVD to follow, and Joss will still be out there making great films and eventually TV shows again.
How depressing! I am not able to see it because the nearest theater showing it is 40 miles away. If it had been playing locally, I would have gone numerous times. I don't understand why we got "Into the Blue" instead of "Serenity". Grr...

[ edited by supersymetry on 2005-10-02 21:42 ]
Supersymetry, tell me about it! For me, the nearest theater showing Serenity is more than 1000 miles (and 5 days of waiting) away in another country (UK) :) I feel completely useless here.
Grrr. Argh.

This is some bad news to be sure. Man. I am now bummed beyond telling. And we can't do anything about it here in The Netherlands. I feel useless.

Argh. The signs were great. Good reviews, positive buzz, and an incredible movie. But at least we're not giving up. We've come back from a seemingly lost place before, so who's to say that won't happen now. With all these fantastic browncoats out in force promoting the movie and doing repeat viewings, who knows. Our BDM might just have great staying power.

Anyone know how much money movies usually make in DVD sales and overseas movie tickets?
OK! I am going to do my part. I saw twice on Friday, once yesterday and I am out the door right now to see it again today! :)
My boyfriend and I are going to a show later this evening. And I'll make it next weekend too. Next weekend will be the real test of the "word of mouth" campaign, after moviegoers have a full week to hear about what was good last weekend. With all these excited audiences, never fear. Everyone who attends a show next weekend should try to attend the same time and day and theater next weekend. That would make a nice informal barometer.
I don't think I can make it again this weekend, but probably next weekend. And I'll definitely be doing my best to continue spreading the word online and by pointing everyone I know to the Slate and Salon reviews. On the bright side, I know a *lot* of people for whom Serenity is on their radars, and who intend to go see it, just not necessarily on opening weekend. Hopefully they'll see the light once I apply a little bit of pressure/whining.
This is discouraging but for some reason... I'm still not worried. Even if we make ten million the first weekend, our per screen average will keep us in the theater. Our numbers look low but next week we have our allies across the pond being called in for back up and we will hold these numbers till people realize we aren't going anywhere. There are still people like me that couldn't get their friends in the first couple days but have recruited one by one to get 20 people in the seats for today and tomorrow. Our numbers will rise, and lets face it, Joss may be more well known outside the states than in. That only can mean that back up is coming.

And when the dvd hits, thats when we push forward. People wont be able to procrastinate and ignore good film making when we can bring our BDM to them. Dvds are what showed the world that we loved this verse. I'm expecting the circle to be complete when the Big Damn DVD is a huge hit as well. So hold the line... Jessica Alba in a wool parka will not stop us. Jodie Foster (who is getting more handsome by the day) will not stop us! Tim Burtons guide to necrophelia will not stop us. So keep fighting... I know we wanted to be a #1 movie, but my eye is on 80 million. Everything else is just extra credit. Don't let Joss down.
This is how the movie is described in my local newspaper:

Ah, the traumas of teendom: fashion dilemmas, a bossy older brother, invasive mind manipulation by megalomaniacal government scientists. What's a 17-year-old girl with ESP and the ability to chop-and-sock her way through an army of cannibalistic cretins going to do?


If I knew nothing else about the movie, this description would not entice me to see it.

I went to see the movie again today, I bought five tickets even though I was going alone. There are only two theatres in town showing it and each of them are only showing it on one screen. At the AMC, where I went, its shown in their largest theatre. I attended the 1:30 show and it was about 1/3 full. The crowd laughed and gasped at all the right places and generally seemed to enjoy the movie.

Looking at these numbers, it seems the second weekend is going to be more critical than the first.
maybe i'm wrong... but i think that the movie is doing really welL!

I think it is as well, considering there are no big stars in it, it's playing on fewer screens, and where I live I've never seen a single tv commercial for it -and my tv is on A LOT- yet there have been packed theatres for it in places like Hamilton & Ancaster. I'm not bagging on Universal Canada, but I think they could have promoted this film a bit more widely in Ontario. Toronto is a big market sure, but it's comprised of those horrible Average Joes who worship the lowest common denominator (don't pitch a fit at me, i still have a home in toronto and lived there for 24 years solid before buying a house in hamilton & i'm a professional voice actor & singer - i know t.o. from every angle). They really should have made an effort to target the university towns just outside of TO, and the cities where people actually make & spend more money per capita (eg: hamiltonians have the largest bank balances & highest salaries of anyone else in the country).

All in all i'm just freaking thrilled that we got this movie - I will be embarrassingly grateful if we get a 2nd or 3rd, but I am over the moon, like the friendly giant's cow, that we got this one ! I haven't had this much fun at the movies since the first Indiana Jones ! It was a rollicking good time, and I can't let the initial box office numbers bring me down. We'll be heading out to see it again next weekend & taking more noobs with us.

edited to say: killinj - holy crap, what an insanely bad description !

[ edited by t r a c y on 2005-10-02 22:51 ]
killinj are you serious?? That's what it said? That is the worst description of the movie I have seen. Hell that's the worst description of ANY movie I've ever seen. Who on earth wrote that??
I'm totally serious. I don't know who wrote it - there's no names associated with the descriptions for any of the films in their movie listings.
Is $10.1m really that bad? It's slightly less than expected, but not by very much.

Every single showing I've been to was packed (three of 'em, not counting the Browncoats-only pre-screening this past Tuesday), and the audiences have been very receptive. $10m is more than a fifth of Serenity's budget...plus, hey, international receipts! The movie needs time to build and to grow, and hey, if the only serious competition we have for next week is Wallace and Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit, I'd say we're doing very fine and dandy indeed.

Though I myself was planning to go see W&G on Friday and Serenity on Saturday, people I've talked to have generally heard of Firefly more than they have of W&G. In the States, the dude and his cute sassy dog are almost unheard of despite the few that have enjoyed the DVDs and are into animation.

We will triumph over the Allia--er, Fo--er, Hollywood in the coming days...trust me, people...
It would be very hard for a movie theater to drop Serenity entirely after only one week*. If the movie doesn't do well it could be moved to a smaller theater or, at worst, split with another movie in the same theater (although, from reading posts by theater managers over at HSX, this takes some back-and-forth with the distributor). So I think it's safe to say that Serenity will still be showing in 2100+ theaters next weekend. That's our next big test, to make sure that the first to second weekend box office does not drop too drastically.

For a decent take on this weekend's numbers, I would recommend reading the article titled, "Violence, Serenity Hot at the Box Office," over at Box Office Prophets.
Universal and partners spent a small $40 million on Serenity, a good investment for this kind of opening weekend. If it doesn't drop crazily next weekend, a franchise could be born. Ah hell, with this sort of open it's probably a franchise already. A decent follow up weekend probably makes it a trilogy. It worked for Transporter 2, so there's no reason not to do it here.

The great achievements in life are never easy.

* The typical contract between the theater and the distributor is for more than one week. This page has good information on the details of movie distribution.

[ edited by SoupCatcher on 2005-10-02 23:24 ]
I am wondering - does anybody know some account where money can be transferred to buy and (possibly) distribute Serenity tickets in USA? In that case I would not feel so useless being here in Finland :)
SoupCatcher, I posted that link you provided on the front page because I thought it was a great link and deserved to be seen by all.
You can always go online to Fandango and purchase US show tix with a credit or debit card. Just pick a theater and time and hit "purchase". :)
(Although I wouldn't blame anyone outside the US who does not adopt this strategy.)
Thanks, Firefly Flanatic! Reading that article definitely made the sun shine a bit brighter for me this morning but I wasn't sure if it was front page material so I erred on the side of caution.
I know this ain't the best of news, but come on, people! Let's try and keep a smidge of optimism, shall we? My information is that the movie cost $40million, yes? That's the case, then when all of the international grosses and the DVD sales are eventually calculated, I absoultely, positively refuse - re-gorram-fuse to believe that the movie won't make more than that $40m. As long as we keep our end up (so to speak), we're onto a winner here. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy, and as much as we all would have liked a smooth sail to $50million, I don't think any of us thought that a likely scenario on opening weekend, did we?

What we have to do is simple: keep the faith. Oh, and drag every living soul we know to the nearest cinema. Frankly I don't even care if they go in - just make sure they buy a ticket!
Okay, I'm really really upset. It's just not right. The show get's axed and the movie was made. "They tried to kill us, they did kill us, and here we are."-Joss. Why aren't we prevailing, damn it?! I'm not pessamistic, I'm just really sad.
Yes, it's sad. But some are acting like it's all over, and I just don't see that being the case. Not yet anyway. There's still a long way to go before I'll start saying my farewells, thanks very much. Blind optimism? Maybe so. And certainly I'm not usually the non-cynical type, but I'm also not the type who jumps out of the car when he hits a bump. This IS a setback, no doubts about that, but's all is. But if people start throwing in the towel now, then that's all it will ever be. This will be it. Maybe for some that's enough, but me? I want more.
Alright. I'll cry uncle. I'll invite an old "friend" to visit me who has been angling for an invite for some time now. And I'll tell her once she gets here that we are seeing a great movie. That way I'll have brought someone else into the fold and it will be 2 hours I won't actually have to talk to her. Sigh. The things I do for Joss. And us - to get a sequel.
Thanks, April. Fandango is certainly a possibility. Of course, it would be nice to know that I am buying more than just empty seats :)
I'll invite an old "friend" to visit me who has been angling for an invite for some time now. And I'll tell her once she gets here that we are seeing a great movie. That way I'll have brought someone else into the fold and it will be 2 hours I won't actually have to talk to her. Sigh. The things I do for Joss. And us - to get a sequel.


Now, see? That's the spirit! A bit of personal sacrifice... ;)
Ah, that first post feeling…

This all shows how important the second week is going to be. We need to get the word out everywhere we can, and we need to be back in theaters come the weekend. This is where we hold. And we just have to hold on a little longer. Opening Weekend is done, but we just need to work a little harder and a little longer (and pray Uni pulls that 2nd week ad campaign--“Two Thumbs Up” gives our BDM a definite hook for the masses, even without big names). So hang in there everyone! I know I will.

The Second Battle of Serenity is far from over.

[ edited by StakeTheLurk on 2005-10-03 00:08 ]
It's not all over, to stress again. We just need to be there 2nd week. If Serenity has a huge 2nd week drop - or even an 'industry standard' sci-fi drop - it's in a mess. We need to be there in force 2nd week, like on Friday, and things will be great.
After all this, I really hope my fellow Brit Browncoats are ready to go to bat... Looks like we'll be called in from the reserves after all.
In words written by Joss Whedon once:
"Hold the line!"
That's what we've gotta do.
The production budget for the film was $40 million. It'd be interesting to know what Universal have spent on advertising and screenings etc since they'll certainly be adding that to the $40 million before then looking at whether or not they've made enough to go for a sequel.
I haven't seen one Serenity commercial on TV since Friday night... are they readying a Critic-Quote-filled tv spot for the week and next weekend?
After all this, I really hope my fellow Brit Browncoats are ready to go to bat... Looks like we'll be called in from the reserves after all.

I'm definitely ready. Was already planning on taking a large group on friday and going once more that weekend and twice the weekend after. Now I'm going this thursday as well and taking extra people (at least one of whom wouldn't watch Firefly despite being a huge Buffy/Angel fan) for a 3rd showing the weekend after. Must start trying to convince everyone I know rather than just my friends....

[ edited by Paul_Rocks on 2005-10-03 00:29 ]
Thats really depressing. Especially since i´m sitting here in Germany and cant do anything. ( the movie doesnt open here until Nov 24 th) But today we had a special prescreening here because of the Galileo Convention and they did have to open a second cinema because so many people wanted to see it. So i take that as a flicker of hope ..
I'm not surprised if Saturday's numbers dropped off.

You don't expect people to put themselves through that experience again, or recommend their friends ruin their memories of Firefly with Serenity?

I know I'm not seeing it again, and friends who have asked me aren't getting any encouragement from me to see it. Although, if pressed, I do tell them why. Not many happy campers in my neck of the woods.

Joss messed royally.

I'm just amazed that the very real disappointment many people are feeling is having any effect on the numbers. I didn't think it was possible.

I guess there were more of us saying "thanks, but no thanks" to a second (or first) helping of getting kicked in the gut.

I know this isn't the popular view on the various boards. But if it's hurting the success of Serenity, maybe it's time for Joss to apologize to the fans who didn't want to be messed with this way. And for him to make it right.
December 2nd here in Norway.

I guess it's all up to us (and the DVD-people) then. ;) I think they should do a kick-ass DVD. Mountains of bonus-material to jack the price up, and then you could buy one for every member of your family for Christmas. Instead of "a donation has been made in your name to The Human Fund"*, you get them a Serenity-DVD. :)

* Allusion to Seinfeld, as you should know ;)
steelbluerat - Look, because a small minority of fans have problems with the movie, that will have very negliable impact on the box office. It is nothing to do with that, make no mistake: is is much wider issues with the B.O. take from outside the fandom.
Um, colour me confused... Joss can mess with us any way he wants - he's the writer and director. We just get to live in his universe for a few hours every now and then. Joss owes us absolutely nothing and should never feel the need to apologize to any fans he may have upset.

And, also? Personally, I can see no reason to be upset in the first place. Everyone knew that Serenity was not going to be Firefly. Anyone expecting it to be would have to be pretty ignorant of how films and television work. Spoilers...



I respect your opinion on the movie, but to expect Joss to apologize to you because you didn't like the film is absolutely ludicrous.

[ edited by adam_tvs on 2005-10-03 01:38 ]
I respect your opinion Steelbluerat but the majority of fans loved the movie - someone even did a poll on another site and like 93% loved it so your reasoning doesn't make any sense. I think Joss owes no one an apology just because a handful of fans weren't happy with the outcome. And the many, many positive reviews by critics also show that he made a great movie. Unfortunately though, sometimes great movies end up not bringing in the numbers at the box office.

And it's still a little too soon to be judging how successful the movie was. If you look at the numbers per theater intake, Serenity did quite well. If we fans can manage to do the same thing next week and bring in about the same numbers or the drop off isn't too big Serenity will be considered a success.
adam: there's a great big fall out from a bunch of people elsewhere on the internet about Serenity. People burning their browncoats and cursing joss.

I think it's hi-larous, and important that it happens. It serves as peoples introduction to Joss Whedon. A lot of people had exclusively seen Firefly and hadn't experienced the joy and pain that is Joss Whedon - Firefly wasn't on the air long enough to.
It's tough facing off against last year's numbers. A year ago, Shark Tale opened to over $45 million, and was followed by Ladder 49, which grossed over $20 million in its first three days.


That's $65 million for the top 2 films a year ago this weekend compared to $25 million for Flightplan and Serenity combined. Don't know why but you have to factor in that people stayed home.
Hmm, maybe the low box office results have to do with, I don't know, the price of gasoline, all the poor people who were hit with hurricanes and forest fires, maybe a lot of people just don't think they have the money right now to spare.
Or, maybe they simply weren't interested by the films on offer?

Who knows. The reality is, Katrina DIDN'T effect "Transporter 2", which raked it in, during the middle of the crisis. I don't think you can entirely blame it on that.
Wasn't entirely blaming it on all the disasters, just thinking that could factor in.
Oh, yeah, don't get me wrong: they will have had an impact of some degree, just this much I don't think. I do think Flightplans #1 place is due to the boycott the attendents announced.
I respect the opinions of those who don't like the film because of a couple of scenes, but my guess is that Joss is pretty immune to the outcry from fans over such events in his body of work. How many people over the years have said they would never watch Buffy or Angel again for similar reasons. Serenity isn't a perfect film, and I think most of us would have liked to have seen some different choices made here or there -- although I doubt that we would have any agreement of what the here and there should be. But, then, I have the same beef about nearly every film I have ever seen. I can think of only a couple that I would say couldn't have been improved upon. As far as I'm concerned, Joss did an excellent job translating his TV show to film (far better than X-Files, etc.), particularly with such a small budget and a cast of relative unknowns, and everyone I have spoken with enjoyed the film. That's first and foremost what a filmmaker wants, and I think Joss succeeded.
Sorry, the server wouldn't let me in and then double-posted me.

[ edited by palehorse on 2005-10-03 01:56 ]
"I do think Flightplans #1 place is due to the boycott the attendents announced."

It's not like we can call the It's worth a shot.

[ edited by Succatash on 2005-10-03 02:14 ]
They should have opened this in October and created TV promos with the scary parts (you know what I mean) because everyone goes to see scary movies around Halloween.
Some numbers to crunch;

Movie releases from Universal this year in the top 50 openers of the year;
Date Released / Movie / Screens / Box Office / Avg per screen
01/07 WHITE NOISE 2,261 24.1 10,665
04/22 INTERPRETER, THE 2,758 22.8 8,275
08/19 40 YEAR-OLD VIRGIN, THE 2,845 21.4 7,530
05/13 KICKING & SCREAMING 3,455 20.2 5,835
06/03 CINDERELLA MAN 2,812 18.3 6,515
08/12 SKELETON KEY 2,771 16.1 5,795

Highest film opening weekend with less screens than Serenity;
26. 02/25 DIARY OF A MAD BLACK WOMAN LIONS GATE 1,483 21.9 14,771
DoaMBW was horrific...sorry, off topic...
Well, when you're saying '2' in relation to Serenity, my first thought is 'Serenity 2'. And yeah, it was really early, but who am I to know when these decisions are made? Also, I thought it was an awful lot of build up for just another good review. I thought it was something bigger. And, I should say, I had made that assumption before Chris made it clear he was just talking about '2 thumbs up'.


Exactly, rogue slayer. Thanks for reading to the end of that thread and putting my speculation in perspective. That lengthy hint exercise was a little over the top to indicate E & R are onboard.

Moving on: I think the only thing left to greenlight the sequel/prequel (we don't know for sure) is the final meeting to say to Joss "Go" or "No go." All the numbers have been crunched as to contracts and plot. I now think $10 million is good enough. If it had been $2 or 3 million take this weekend, that would have been disastrous. Now Universal knows Serenity has some weight in the market and they just have to see the direction on the second weekend. If it's reasonably within range, I think execs would look at the foreign market and DVD sales to easily give a "Go" for number 2.

Gossi, I know you don't work for Uni and I didn't mean to imply that as my wording might have. cheers
Looking at what White Noise and Diary of a Black Woman's opening weekends were hurts... it shows how much Serenity COULD have made this weekend if people turned out more. Dang it.
Hey guys! I know I've sort of gone missing lately (not that I was expecting anyone to notice...) - I was intensively avoiding spoilers, and I wasn't cool enough for the screenings, so there was sort of a minimum amount of things I could comment on. But I couldn't not post to say Serenity was awesome. Nice going, Joss. You got to make a movie. And that movie made me real happy.

I was kind of surprised that we're so worried about these numbers. I mean, I'm not an analyst or anything, but I didn't think they looked too bad until I started reading the comments. Not that #1 wouldn't have been nice, but...I guess with all we've been through, it's just in our nature to be worried! =)

[ edited by VampiresSuckLOLOLGetIt on 2005-10-03 03:33 ]
Welcome back VS. I think we're all just so nervous because "Serenity" feels like she belongs to all of us and we just want the best possible outcome. If we don't get that trilogy, I'll be able to live with it, but it will be hard because we all know what a great movie Serenity is. And we're not alone in that, the reviews have been wonderful too. Just wish more people would pay attention to those wonderful reviews and go and see the movie!
Ha, yeah. Don't get me wrong, I totally understand. The first thing I thought when I left the theatre was, "Wow, everyone I know has to see this movie. And the ones I don't know, too."

And it's good to be back!
I think, to be honest, a lot of people don't understand the figures. I'm not saying I do totally, either, but from what I know they don't look pretty. The drop between Friday and Saturday, whilst explained by fans not showing up the 2nd day, is still an absolute killer to be honest.

Hopefully Joss will post tomorrow, before he flys to London, to let people know what it means from his point of view. I'll be talking to other people tomorrow to find out what this means from our UK point of view.

Reality is, there's at least another week left in this beast. If the news is bad next weekend, it's all over. If word of mouth stands up, it'll have legs for a while yet.
Someone asked way up the thread if there was any word on the Aussie B.O. - none yet but UIP promises to get the numbers out on Tuesday, so those details are probably another 24 hours away. Not that our B.O. will make a huge difference but any contribution helps.

10 is very disappointing after predictions of 15-17, though Universal itself was probably more realistic. Word of mouth needs time to build. If it could hold or only drop a little bit next week (imagine it takes 7.5 next weekend) then it'll be doing good business.
To jump on the optimist/polyanna wagon, while I hoped for more this weekend, I still think (agree with others) that this film will grow legs and walk over the competition with Word of Mouth. Firefly was the same kind of phenomenon, so it makes sense in a way.

More and more people I know are hearing about Serenity over the last week, with the increased publicity and good reviews. But the TV trailers, which is how many people find out initially about movies they would not normally look for, were IMHO pretty unimpressive (I am NOT referring to the full-length trailers/previews). I saw many more Into the Blue, Oliver Twist, and even Wallace and Grommit ads airing more frequently, and the people I informally surveyed mostly had the same experience. The Serenity TV trailer appeared shorter and was not as compelling as most trailers for movies I don't care for!...it left almost no impression on the non-fans, and seemd to me to be the worst part of the otherwise innovative marketing campaign. I hope they adjust the trailer again now with all the great review taglines.

Also agree with those who think there's a family film issue...unlike Star Wars, Serenity is not seen as (and really isn't) a film for the younger set, although I know a bunch who would love to see it! At one theater I saw a young kid (9 or 10?) begging his mom to take him to see Serenity instead of Corpse Bride. My goddaughter feels the same way, but her parents say she is too young. (Ironically, not too young for LOTR, which was much more violent!) They told her she can see it later on DVD, and go to the sequels. When her very logical "if I don't go there won't BE sequels" argument failed to convince, she promptly started telling her friends to get their older brothers and sisters to go, because she wants there to be a sequel!! 10-year-old guerilla marketing :)
Putting my optimistic eyeglasses on again, I think this coming weekend won't be so bad as some think. FF fans I know at the office couldn't make it this past weekend and are planning to go this week and next. So if they couldn't go, and there's quite a few, then there must be many around the continent who can't make it until this week or next. (Of course, I'll try to make sure they go this coming week for good reason.)

I have to agree with others above who say the hard-sell is maybe counter-productive. I think I failed to convince some folks in the lines and it could be I came across as a little too fanish. Must remember to be low key and humble. Okay, I'll try low key first.
Hmmm - I have a question to ask then within the last day have you seen any more commercials for Serenity? I have not seen any since Friday night.

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