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October 04 2005

USA today's Box Office Guru on Serenity. The main points are right at the head of the chat with just little (but crucial) add-on at the end.

The weird part at the end is this: "What's most troubling for Universal studios is the film's mediocre $4,600 per-screen average, which means the movie wasn't selling out in most theaters."

What's the context for his calling this "mediocre"? Of the to ten films this past weekend, only A History of Violence had a higher per-theater than Serenity. Everything else was lower. Does this mean he considers first-place Flightplan's lower per-theater average "mediocre" also?
Yeah, I didn't get that either, and Unitas, your next link could maybe not be a downer, right? :)
Yeah, didn't USA Today give Serenity a particularly asinine review? Maybe they feel the need to be pessimistic to justify being in the vast minority amongst legitimate reviewers.
I suspect the per-screen average is considered "mediocre" in terms of how much you could get if the screens were filled, and how much you get on a weekend when lots of people choose to get out to the movies: lots of the write-up have been comparing this weekend's overall take with this time last year, when Shark Tale opened.

There is also the issue of the audience being 61% male. Is this the marketing? Joss's work in general, and Serenity in particular, is very female-friendly, but women who aren't already fans don't seem to be going.
It's not like the USA Today hates Serenity...just that particular reviewer. Bianco and Matheson, who also work for the USA Today, loved the film. I guess they just picked the wrong person for the review.
This guy seems to be taking the exact opposite stance of everything else I've read- Lousy per-screen take and it opened on plenty of screens. Definitely a minority view from what else I've read.
I suspect the per-screen average is considered "mediocre" in terms of how much you could get if the screens were filled, and how much you get on a weekend when lots of people choose to get out to the movies...

Yeah, well, then his comment shoujld have been about how crappy turnout was at the movies in general, not an answer that calls Serenity's per-theater average "mediocre" without putting it into context.
Is that picture of that guy real?
Ok Kiddo, I will tell you my non scifi-fan female opinion: scifi is only ok for guys. Girls dont' want to be called geeks because it makes them unattractive. Scifi has ugly metallic spaceships which resemble the toys boys are given to play with as children so that tells girls it's not meant for them. It's written by men so it always shows hurtful female stereotypes. Scifi has a 95% male cast who are always shown as highly intelligent and aggressive. The focus is on a war. It usually has 1 girl who is helpless and has bigger breasts and a tinier waist than normal women and is perfect in everyway. Even when there is a normal woman and she's given a gun, she's secondary or her brain is twaddled by love. I think that is why mostly men see it because women just don't want to.

Serenity isn't like that at all though, obviously.

[ edited by charisma on 2005-10-04 09:23 ]
Happy to be a hot sexy female geek. Just saying.
Is it getting hot in here or is it just me? *adjusts collar*

I do have to say, having gone to the Q+A/Advance Screening with Joss in Melbourne, Australia.... Australian Browncoats are a damn attractive bunch :).

And fans of the man are without a doubt equally distributed amongst genders.

[ edited by gooball on 2005-10-04 09:57 ]
charisma, I think that was kind of sweeping. I've always liked SciFi and boys' toys and I look pretty girly. And I sure wouldn't mind resembling the new Starbuck. That stereotype might only exist in your head if you let it. It's just not true. Loads of females love scifi. Even blonde, tan females who have an affinity for pink.

You're right about boys always having the cooler toys. I thought so and always had boy playmates as a child. Why not? They had the fun stuff and cool books and movies. I don't think other female scifi fans are too unlike me. Everything was all late 70s "girls can do anything" when I was growing up so I never knew I was supposed to be any other way.
SciFi litterature has a pretty big female audience (readience?). But we tend not to identify with SciFi fan groups, or buy our books at genre stores. So I think we are less visible.

I would have hoped we had been more targeted as an audience for these kind of films. But as a flan group, Browncoats and Whedonesquers ( really meaning Joss of course) have attracted us females to join in a way others have not. So please don't underestimate your female friends and coworkers as potential happy viewers.

Go get them ( us)!
I think charisma's comments can be taken as a reflection of the bias that certain people will and do have. Unfortunately, I have felt from the beginning that the posters for this movie played to the stereotype that only 15 to 30 year old boys/men will go to this movie so lets only market to them. I am grateful to Universal for lots of stuff about this movie, but I have disagreed on the image they have been giving the movie from the beginning. It is not a cheap sensationalized pycho-killer-chick Scifi slasher movie, but that is what I get from the posters.

I feel better now.
zeitgeist, I swear I am not trying to be a downer. It's just everything I've come across is, well, kind of a downer.
One article tells me to take my head out of the oven and this article makes me feel like putting it back in. Oh, and proud girl geek!
Firefly appealed to a lot of women, but the advertising for Serenity was not a draw to the "average" female moviegoer. SciFi adverts are aimed at men for good reason: it's mostly men who like and go to scifi movies. Of course there are lots of exceptions, I'm one of them, but it's true overall. I'm not knocking Universal for the advertising; I don't think there was a way to advertize Serenity to appeal to the wider audience of women. The movie is not heavy on emotional connections and there's spaceships and battle scenes. There were no children, no adultery, and no one dying of lingering diseases or going insane. (Sorry for the bias; I hate "women's" movies.) The average woman just won't be interested if she wasn't already hooked by Firefly.
"Serenity" is not only an SF film, it's also a Western. If you follow the usual stereotypes, it's a miracle there are any women allowed in the theater! Fortunately, we know better. Actually, lots of classic Westerns have great female characters, and LOTS of written science fiction and fantasy is highly gynocentric (is that a word) and written by women.

Its' just that most of the stuff that's been filmed up to now has been pretty much boy stuff.

Of course, these ideas are all a lot of balderdash. People don't like Westerns, musicals, "chick flicks" (hate that term!) or what have you because they've never seen a really good one. Fortunately, "Serenity" is a "really good one." It just a matter of realizing it.

Even if the movie, heaven forbid, significantly drops-off this weekend, I'm absolutely convinced the movie will do very well on DVD and I'll be very surprised if there's not at theatrical sequel. I think this guy is seriously underestimating the appeal of this franchise, as well as the crying need out there for some decent mass entertainment.

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