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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"But you, REALLY got under my skin."
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October 09 2005

Estimates for Saturday's and Sunday's USA box office. Saturday went really well, with only a 40% drop-off from last week. The total gives a drop-off of 51% for the weekend.

Serenity ranks 7 on Saturday beating A history of Violence by a stunning $1,000 (according to estimates, I would not be surprised if this is reversed when the actual numbers come out).

51% isn't really all that least far better than I was expecting.
Hmm. I'm sure people will have a better grasp of what these numbers mean, but it doesn't seem all that bad to me, really. At least not so bad that Serenity would be dropped from theatres and the like.
Don't forget to keep your ticket stubs this weekend and mail them into Universal for their raffle.

[ edited by killinj on 2005-10-09 19:00 ]
This is good news, actually, for a change. Whilst not brilliant (the per screen gross isn't great), these are still reasonably good results overall in terms of drop off.

ETA: for a scifi movie

[ edited by gossi on 2005-10-09 18:59 ]
Looking forward to final numbers -- according to these estimates its headed for about a five million dollar second weekend, which is not the doom and gloom that a lot of people were prophecying. It is, in fact, close to a lot of folks expectations for turnout for what Serenity is (and really you can only bring in comparisons to other genre and cult shows as a guideline, because - let's face it - there really isn't anything else like our Serenity)
I've got a little bit of a smile here. It sounds like good news--is it good news?
It's not great news, but it's certainly a case of 'Oh, it's done pretty good compared to the other days'.
It is a sizable rise from Friday's performance, which bucks the trend from last week. For once, I'm actually pretty happy.
So say the numbers come in a little higher than estimated (not astronomical, but enough to make the weekend-to-weekend drop-off like, 49%), does this keep the film around longer, and look okay to Universal?
Hey, zeitgeist is blue!
The real test is this: did Universal perform exit poll data again? If they did, what percentage were fans this weekend? It was 40% last weekend - if that's down vastly this weekend, it could mean word of mouth has worked a bit.

That is clutching at straws, though.
Serenity is a quality product. If it can avoid getting pulled from the cinemas too early it can develop legs. Blockbuster would have been nice but it's not the only way.
Zeitgeist has ascended.

Or rather the senior partners welcome Zeitgeist as our new moderator :).
Of course I was on the verge of editing the previous box office post to include this info which would get rid of Simon's announcement ;) Appreciate the vote of confidence from the PTB (or Senior Partners, as it were).
I'll take straws. It's better than clutching grenade-filled apples. It's hope, which I need--I wanna see the film a couple more times, and I'd like it to still be there.
Congratulations, zeitgeist!!! Blue becomes you!

I want to see it again (I've seen it 5 times), but I'm so busy and so broke today, I'm not sure I should. I guess it's going to be another day for me.

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2005-10-09 19:16 ]
Drunk with power already, love? Nice. So, my man has ascended to mod status... how hott is that? Guess i'll have to tone down the inappropriate board-flirting and innuendo, now, since he's all official-like, huh? Or perhaps i'll dial it up a bit just to push his buttons. (I like his buttons...)

Congrats, zeitgeist. Couldn't have been a better choice.

[ edited by barest_smidgen on 2005-10-09 19:34 ]
Interesting stat: Saturday to last Saturdays drop is 40%.

Last Fridays figures had a big boost due to all the fans going first day (well, a lot of them).

When you factor out the fan factor here, these results seem fairly good to me. The real bastard is this: now we have to wait ANOTHER weekend to know if this has legs. Assuming it stays in the same number of cinemas (which might be a real issue), it's possible (but not probable) this could swing around slowly. I doubt it, but... straws.
This is good news. Not great, but I never expected a box office explosion for Serenity.

Just back from my third (fourth if you count the preview) viewing in the UGC in Dublin. And in all cases the crowds have been good. It is in one of the biggest screens and I've never seen it half empty. Also the audience were laughing along, and gasping in some cases, which has to be a good thing.
Weekend BO Chart according to Studio estimates, W&G is number 1 at $16.1 mil. Flightplan is #2. Then Serenity at #9.
Any word on the UK B.O. numbers?
Woohoo! Zeitgeist is a Mod now!!! Congrats big man. That's very very kool!

Wow, don't you look all handsome in your new blue. Barest_Smidgen must be loving the colour! Now, this has made me smile. :D
(A Buffy Bot one too)
adam_tvs -- Simon posted a link to gossi's mention of Friday numbers where it was #2 for the UK (by only 40k pounds); haven't seen an updated whole-weekend estimate as of yet. Thanks all for the kind words!

ETA- I knew there was a reason I was compelled to put on my W-esque t-shirt when I got out of the shower this morning :)

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2005-10-09 19:32 ]
How many countries has the film been released in now? Can we start comparing how the movie is faring internationally to the US, or is it still too soon? What about total gross to date?
I've just asked for a copy of the figures, adam_tvs. I am nervous, as I forgot about the Wallace and Gromit nation wide preview screenings this weekend, and the world cup matches, which will both impact Serenity.

ETA: it has opened in Portegual this weekend, also. Trying to get figures for that as well.

[ edited by gossi on 2005-10-09 19:22 ]
As I understand it, anything better than a 50% drop-off is good, esp. for sci-fi, right? So the Saturday drop-off is 40% and the weekend so far drop is 51%. That ain't bad. And we still have Sunday to go this weekend's numbers. Straws. Big straws.

Also: What about the take for the week Monday-Thursday? I don't see those figures. But even not counting that, if it makes 2.5 M$ between Sunday and Thursday (not impossible), it's made half its budget in two weeks. That ain't bad, either.

[ edited by zencat on 2005-10-09 19:25 ]
I would love to be the executioner. Not quite a moderator, because I'm no good at scolding. I'd just be all, "You, my dumbass friend, are hereby BANISHED to the netherregions of the internets."

I wonder if Caroline would send me a black hood.
Allyson, you're no good at scolding?! You are my RantGurl!(tm)
Congrats zeitgeist! (throwing herself on the ground, chorus of hallelujah playing in the background). Did you and SNT have to have fisticuffs? I hope there were at least some blood rituals involved :)

Back to topic, these figures look quite good to me. Can't wait for the UK figures though.
Let's not forget that tomorrow is a holiday, so there's a chance today's overall attendance could be higher than an average Sunday. (Plus, the endless rainy gloom on the east coast might drive further peeps indoors...) *crosses fingers*
More figures.

Serenity finishes 7th for Saturday.

Be warned, those great critics who love to pick over Serenity will be all over these results.
Zencat - Here are the daily numbers. They are confusing though. The Wednesday drop off scared me until I looked at other films and saw they had it as well.
I went to my local mall yesterday, simply to go see Serenity. The mall was PACKED. It was raining all day. The Serenity showing I went to was really full for our little theater (I've seen tons of movies there and been one of five or six people). The only problem was about 15 really loud teenagers were in the back. The good news? The usher checked them out and they had actually bought the tickets. The bad news? They were so obnoxious, I think a lot of people couldn't get into the movie. Maybe they'll try to see it again, sans obnoxious teens? (Hint for teens: if you're going to see a movie, actually watch the movie. Going up and down the stairs and running around the theater? Not so good.)
XanFan32, I'm surprised the theatre didn't kick them out. If they had tried that with me, I would have take 'em out myself.
I think Universal's underpredicting Sunday. They're saying Serenity's going to drop 47.1% between days when it only dropped 30% last week. Don't be surprised if Serenity's drop is under 50% when the actuals come out.
Obnoxious teens give the smarter (and apparently arrogant) teens a bad name. Grr...
Saturday's estimated drop is 39.4%. All in all, it's still not great, but it's not as depressing as previously thought.

I really hope it doesn't drop many theatres next week.
Let's not forget that tomorrow is a holiday.

Who besides Federal employees get Columbus Day off work? I never got off that day when I went to school, state employees here don't get the day off, and the private sector certainly works that day. I don't think it really counts as a holiday weekend like say Labor Day where most people get the day off.
Whoops. Someone already posted this link...

[ edited by MySerenity on 2005-10-09 20:01 ]
I don't know how they predict the Sunday results, as they cannot have taken actual sales into account if they haven't occured yet. The predicted drop-off on Sunday from last week is exactly the average drop-off of Friday and Saturday though. If that is what they base their estimates on than I have good hopes today's results will beat their prediction, since the results on Friday Sept 30. were over-inflated by fans.

BTW: Does anyone know for which day the income from the pre-screenings counted? Because they would be counted towards the opening weekends box-office if I recall correctly. This would imply that the actual drop-off is less than what would be reported.
The crowd we saw it with yesterday was a decent number and they really got it. Good reactions overall (one lady of about 50 laughed so hard we thought she'd choke). I gotta say, 40% from saturday to saturday is really good. 50% is normal for most movies, 60% for genre/niche,(which we are) so 40% is perty darn good I'd say and I don't think that's just due to repeated viewings from Browncoats. I don't think we're enough in number to cause that.

And as far as I can tell, the opening Cameron Diaz and the Pacino/McConaughey movies are doing worse business than Serenity last week. It may not be raking it in as we'd like but to quote someone: "There is no shame in this...";-)

[ edited by EdDantes on 2005-10-09 21:04 ]
Haha, yes EdDantes...someone...
gossi and adam_tvs: Oh, I complained. Trust me. And I want folks to know that I know not all teens are like that. The talking was obnoxious, but the moving around the theater really bugs me. Go to the bathroom *before* the movie. You can't wait two hours? (I know there are some people who can't. That's fine. Most of those people are courteous and sit near the door, not way up in the back so they stomp up and down the stairs.)

Oh, I'm ranting, aren't I? Sorry. But if you're going to pay $9 for a movie, why would you want to miss half of it?!?

Oh, and the kids around here all have the day off tomorrow, BTW.

And Celebithil, that's a really good question! Where *did* the prescreenings get put? That would affect the percentage change, even if only a little bit.
Up here in Canada, it's Thanksgiving Weekend... that might inflate the Canadian contribution to the US pull...
zeitgeist: Conga Rats! (sorry, don't know the smiley for dancing rodents)
I am interested in how Serenity does at the b.o., and I'm hoping for a second wind via word of mouth. Ultimately though, I'm just glad we've got it.

Ah, zeitgeist, congratulations! Joining SNT in the dapper blue. Now we have TWO charming men sporting the cerulean.

When the Senior Partners decide to promote a woman, will we have hot pink? I think I'd kinda dig that.
XanDan32, I'm with 100% and I am a teenager. On Friday there were so many obnoxious kids on their cell phone, like they couldn't wait 2 hours to tell Kelly that Brad thinks she pretty!!! Ugh, I was pretty livid. To make it worse they took up the first three rows and not listening to them or being distracted was impossible. It was a time like that when I wish that the movie was rated R so I could go and the obnoxious 14 year olds could get weeded out. In other news....yay for the numbers :)

ps. Nice to see you back Willowy. You made a slight dissapearing act :)

[ edited by MySerenity on 2005-10-09 20:06 ]
Saturday looks great - crossing my fingers for the Sunday sales! Let's hope we beat that 50% drop-off rate!
Well, I came here bracing myself for more bad news, so I'm pleasantly surprised. This isn't necessarily good, but it's not terrible, so there we have it.
Now I'll be waiting anxiously for the actuals and for word from Joss. If I remember correctly, he said that a 40% drop would be normal, but he thought we could beat that, so I hope he's not too upset.
Who besides Federal employees get Columbus Day off work?

You're right, it's not big Hallmark-y day, but schools & universities are closed 'round here, as are banks, other financial companies (Schwab/Lynch/Amex -- massive presences in my neck of the woods). Plus, post offices, local offices, etc. Was just trying to stay positive and was thinking that that, along with the big rains could work just a bit in our favor.
Haha, yes EdDantes...someone...

I like to play coy with my over-obvious references.;-)

And btw, I think we can safely say we've all been there at one point or another with the teenagers. We saw 'The Grudge', with a big chunk of annoying, rowdy, fart-sounds-producing teenagers and I remember wanting to go all Kill Bill on their collective asses.

And hi Willowy, you missed some lively times on the boards here. There was some frettin', fussin', calculatin', Jossin' and the odd fatality. But it's all good...;-)
Regarding talking teenagers... remember, that according to Book, they are going to the Special Hell for talking at the theatre.
Fatality? I missed a fatality? ;)

Stupid moving.
Some of the box office sites have us in the #8 spot for Saturday, but this one sets us at #7 (so of course I believe THEM!):

You know, we are the only action figure in the top ten (well History of Violence has some action, but can hardly be called anything but a drama) so if theaters keep us around I think we can manage to continue to build an's hoping!
Oh, I know. I was even threatened to yell that...special hell indeed.

[ edited by MySerenity on 2005-10-09 20:26 ]
Hmm, I wonder if Columbus Day is more of a regional holiday because here in Florida its just like any other Monday.
Congrats Zeitgeist!! I'm with Willowy on seeing the hot pink color!!

This news makes me happy!! Hopefully Sunday's numbers will be good too!!

And yes, a very special Hell for those disruptive, rude people!! It wasn't just the teenagers talking the last time I went and also had a couple of people getting up to go to the rest room I assume during the final battle scene!! And people wonder why most would rather stay home and wait for the dvd!!
The review of Box Office Mojo is not very shiny:

They basically describe Serenity as a mere action movie, to the point where it is obnoxious for the audience...
Liars figure and figures lie but I'd say since box office is off for this month percentages could show a more accurate picture than actual $ amount.
Columbus Day is a federal holiday. Independence Day, by contrast is a national holiday.

The difference is that only federal government employees are entitled to a day off with pay on a federal holiday (although any employer may, of course, follow the federal schedule, as is ususally done in the DC area.) On national holidays (Labor Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Christmas, etc.) everybody gets the day off or gets bonus pay (except salaried employees, of course!)

That's my understanding of it, anyway.
Well, I was at one of the last drive-ins in existence (Sacramento) seeing the movie last night. The sound was good (even better if you bring your Walkman radio and tune into the frequency for the soundtrack) and it was a tailgate party without the football game.About 50 people were with us. I will go again at a real theater, then watch my Tivo'd "Desparate Housewives".
Hot Pink? It'll be like a rainbow. Yellow and blue and hot pink.

Congratulations zeitgeist, you definetely deserve it!

And good figures today. Anyone know when the UK ones will come out?
Congrats Zeitgeist!! I'm with Willowy on seeing the hot pink color!!

Me too! Come on, this is a Joss board. There should be more women in charge!;-)

The review of Box Office Mojo is not very shiny:

Yeah I read that a while ago too. One of the few truly crappy reviews out there. But then I've often found myself udnerwhelmed by BOM's review section. Maybe they should stick to numbers...
IG, I wish the drive-in near my town was still open. It closes every autumn... I never even thought about how awesome it would be to watch Serenity on a screen THAT big.
oh please, i think we did pretty well, coming in at about 6 place for the weekend is fine. we debuted at #2 fall down about 4 spots isn't so bad, its a new weekend and we managed to make an extra 5-6 million this weekend. We're half way through budget during our second week and i think thats fine. Saturday numbers were higher than friday which i predicted yesterday becuz friday everyones gonna rush out to see the new stuff and the others movies get cash on saturday. I think the browncoats helped with that. So next weekend we need another round! If we can maintain top 10 for a while then I think we've accomplished much. I'm positive that we may even get a sequel, those DVD sales will convince and our little movie I think in the end will at least make up its budget.
EdDantes cheekily said:

Come on, this is a Joss board. There should be more women in charge!;-)

Ah, but Joss is a feminist and feminism means a belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. That means that when it comes time to decide a new mod, the decision should be made solely on things other than gender. Does anyone really believe that the Senior Partners were checking plumbing when they made their decision? :) Plus let's not forget that the mighty Caroline is in charge here. I know, I know, it was a joke and I posted a long reply. Bad me, no biscuit... off to shop for Scotland trip some more!
Re: Columbus day -- it barely registers here in So.Cal, but I know it's a bigger deal back east -- esp. wherever there are large concentrations of Italian Americans, places like New York and, I guess, Boston and Chicago, perhaps even San Francisco, or at least in the North Beach neighborhood -- though as Buffy fans will note from the Thanksgiving episode, the very existence of Columbus Day is pretty controversial out here. Still, I told one friend of mine who refuses to see movies on weekends that he should try to see it on Monday as it might somehow get counted as part of the weekend figures, and I suppose Canadian Thanksgiving won't hurt that either.

Re: Overly mobile audience members. I think the real problem is that most the larger theaters do no monitoring to prevent people from doing what a friend of mine calls "surfing the plex". When one or two individuals discretely sneak in, it's no particular skin off my nose as an audience member, but what really burns me is the large groups of teens or families who step in, take 5 minutes for their eyes to adjust, loudly disccuss the best seating options, noisly take their seats. Then, fifteen minutes later, they're up and ready to repeat the process.

Considering what movies cost and how expensive the overall cost of living is out here, I really don't blame people for doing this. I just wish they'd do it more politely. When these roving groups go to the special hell, I hope they are irritated by people who are taking brief visits from other theaters in the special hell.

[ edited by bobster on 2005-10-09 21:10 ]
You know... I think that, personally, the best-case scenario for Browncoats would go something like this...

By the time "Serenity" has left all theatres, it has broken about even with it's budget. Then, the DVD releases (using the rumoured release date of December 20th...) and "Serenity" pulls in major money. (I really think "Serenity" will kick ass on DVD.) However, not quite enough to merit a sequel. But, enough for Universal to go "Hmm... maybe we should see what we can do to buy the TV right back from Fox..." Seeing as how the next possible release for a Serenity sequel would probably be 2008 (presuming Joss would write/direct)... I think there's quite a lot of time for "Serenity" to make money, probably enough for a sequel. But, personally, I'd rather have a weekly series than a movie every three or four years. But that's just me.
I'd like a series, too, but putting aside whether that's realistic or not, if he starts a new series, yet again Joss will have to do *another* pilot, and introduce everyone all over again. Like he's done twice already. If I were Joss, that would drive me crazy.

I actually think the sequel will be better than this one, if Joss gets the chance, because he's done the character introductions, and now he can just concentrate on doing the story without serving the need to bring people up to speed.
I'd like a series, too, but putting aside whether that's realistic or not, if he starts a new series, yet again Joss will have to do *another* pilot, and introduce everyone all over again.

I think a new series is a non-starter, but to play along for the moment: No, they'd just have to play the existing episodes first, then air the new ones.
Second ChosenOne5376.
That's true. IF he wants to go back and call it Firefly, and they'd have to change the main title. And air the movie after the original eps. For people who didn't see it.
He wouldn't really have to do yet another pilot, just get the Sci.Fi channel (which if Universal were funding it would be the most likely channel to air it) to premiere the movie the week before the series starts, they could have one of their theme weekends out of it, air season one of Firefly, and the movie, then end the weekend with the season 2 premiere.

I don't mind which way I get it, I wants more Firefly/Serenity. Wonder if a sequel was commisioned would Joss do it before or after Goners.
Wonder if a sequel was commisioned would Joss do it before or after Goners.

As much as I'd be impatient, I would vote for letitng him do Wonder Woman and Goners first. Let the moviegoing public see him as not just Firefly/Serenity-guy before heading into filming a sequel.
I have Joss on record saying he doesn't want to do another Firefly series, from the press conference in Edinburgh. Maybe a spin off with different characters in the same 'verse, though.

I spoke to Joss about Goners and such after the London premiere, but that was informal chatter so I'm not posting owt other than to say I'm looking forward to it :)
While I know it's extremely unreliable, iMDB has "Goners" listed for a 2006 release, before even "Wonder Woman". My god, I seriously want to know more about "Goners".
I have Joss on record saying he doesn't want to do another Firefly series, from the press conference in Edinburgh.

Of course, he's also been on record in recent months saying he'd do one if the network involved stayed outo f his way.

So, the record doesn't appear to mean much, heh.
I keep hearing suggestions that there are contractual reasons why reviving the TV series is unlikely. Does anyone have specific details on that?
Fox own the rights to the TV series for about 10 years I think (expiring in 2012?), Universal have movie rights, seeing as SciFi aired it it would seem they have rerun rights too. That's how I've heard it anyway, that apparently when Universal went to buy the movie rights Fox wouldn't sell or Universal wouldn't buy the TV show rights.

[ edited by Ghost Spike on 2005-10-09 21:43 ]
IMDB got that figure from I moved it to 2007 on Goners Movie today to be safer, although I'd suggest it's still unknown which will come first, WW or Goners.

Joss has said to me as soon as there's information that can go online about Goners, it'll be coming my way. So I'll make sure it goes here before the rest of the t'interweb gets it.
I think Fox (the network) owns the rights to it for 10 years. Or it might be me, must check down the back of the sofa.
I have heard the 10 year thing was made up by Nathan. I don't know if that's true or not.

Joss' answer on the TV thing tends to change depending on context I think. I don't know what the legal status of the series is, and Joss claims not to either - the reality is, who owns what of Firefly now I really don't know, it's become a bit of a legal mindfield I suspect.

[ edited by gossi on 2005-10-09 21:45 ]
Wonder if a sequel was commisioned would Joss do it before or after Goners.

If there is a sequel, I think Joss said that Tim would do it. Anyways, now that we're on the big screen, I'd be happy with two more because the trasition back to tv would be difficult.
Um, where do I sign up for that Allyson scolding thing? Zowie!
Tim would be the only person Joss would trust with writing it, I believe. There is a quote from a Universal exec in the Hollywood Reporter (which I don't think was actually reported here, come to think of it) saying Universal ideally wanted this as a 10 year franchise, which would suggest 1 picture every 3 years if that was to happen.

It still has to be said, though, unless these results turn around it does look unlikely there will be motion picture sequels.
Yes, what gossi said about the Tim Minear thing. It wasn't a remark about Joss not doing the sequel, it was an answer to a specific question (at Edinburgh, maybe?) about whether there was anyone else he'd trust regarding the 'verse.
One of the few truly crappy reviews out there.

Unfortanetely, EdDantes, we have seen many of these in france (yes, I know, I am taking risks talking about France to EdDantes ;) ).

I am sad to say this, but I don't think Serenity will do as well here as in the UK... that won't prevent me to go to the preview the 14th of october (the BDM is out the 19th in France), but I don't expect France figures to help "save" Serenity (and that's not the few firefly virgins I will invite to the theater that will change something ;) ).
First of all, let me add my congrats to Zeitgeist on his promotion.
As for a long weekend and how it will affect the box office, yes, in Canada it is Thanksgiving tommorrow and too many people I know went home for the weekend and will be expected NOT to sneak out to see a movie when they should be experiencing Family Time. On the other hand, I know some who will be dragging their whole extended family.
And on one minor happy note, a friend in England called me on his mobile a couple of hours ago to say that he had just seen Serenity and enjoyed it a lot. It was not a movie he would have gone to see without my recommendation. I'm happy to have introduced him to the 'verse.
At this point I don't know if a return to TV would be a good idea. What if the show failed to find an audience? Could anyone here really stand endure another premature cancellation? 'Cause I'm pretty sure I couldn't. If there's to be a continuation of the 'verse, I would rather it be in movie form, even if it's straight-to-DVD movie form.

Of course, there's always an ongoing comic book series. Or how about Serenity: The Animated Series? If Buffy can get a cartoon, then maybe anything's possible.

Oh, hang on. I think I see the flaw...
Pitch Black made 23 million in the US, but it found it's market on dvd and became a cult.

Sure cinema takings are very important for quick greenlit sequels, but dvd power isn't to be underestimated. How much money has Blade Runner made on video and dvd? Much more then it made at theatres, that's for sure. Senerity will at least be a cult, and that might work for it.

Alot of big films have flopped that have cost 100 million etc, at least Senerity isn't a big risk with 40 million, still big, but not huge, it'll get in profit eventually, and dvds should do the rest of the work. That's the hope!

[ edited by SeanValen on 2005-10-09 23:23 ]
Pitch Black also took £7m (about $12m) in the UK alone. It did big numbers abroad.

However, conversely Universals "The Chronicles of Riddick", the Pitch Black sequel, has never had a sequel. It didn't get enough money domestically, and STILL hasn't made enough on DVD, after 3 different releases of the DVDs. They had already written 2 more films, but haven't been allowed to make them.
Congrats zeitgeist!

I'm sure people have speculated on this already, but if Joss has signed our BDH for 2 more films, I suspect he has a pretty clear idea of where he wants to take them and the stories he wants to tell. I just know if he needs to, he'll find a way to tell them. Right?
ETA: gossi and I must have been posting at the same time. Brought me down there!

[ edited by lone fashionable wolf on 2005-10-09 23:27 ]
Apologies, lfw
No worries, gossi. I'm going to retreat into my happy land where Serenity 2 will be coming out soon, along with season 6 of Angel and a Faith movie. Oh, and look, I've won the lottery!

But I do believe in Joss, and us, still.
I know, I know, it was a joke and I posted a long reply.

Uh yeah, it really was just a wee jokey. Guess I'm gonna have to be careful making those with the new sherrif in town....;-)

(yes, I know, I am taking risks talking about France to EdDantes ;) ).

Oy I really gotta be careful with what I say, don't I? I never said anything bad about France. You once said that if France went a certain way, other countries would likely be the same and I just pointed out that there's no reason to assume that because every country is different. Case in point, the UK seems to be going well, and according to you, France probably not so much. So I'd say those differences are a good thing right now. Any idea why it's not catching on so much in France? Is it too 'cowboy' style?

Does anyone know what the actual money intake was in the UK? At BOM all I saw was 'Australia' under the overseas markets so far.

And yeah, Joss saying 'if he had to pick someone else to do a sequel it would be Tim', isn't quite the same as him saying 'if there are any sequels, it WILL be Tim because I most assuredly won't be making them'. I think this is how rumors start on the internet communities.
EdDantes, I will have exact figures tomorrow. I haven't heard back from my contact about them today, which doesn't seem good. Although maybe they just, you know, have a life ;)

ETA: I was the person who asked the Tim Minear question at the Edinburgh screening at the Q&A, if anybody wants to pelt me with stones.

[ edited by gossi on 2005-10-10 00:07 ]
Alright, someone help me, I'm going insane. I thought Jayne says, "It's as noble as a grave the way you look after your sister."

Hubby thinks he says "noble as a grape", which is just preposterous.

But there it is, in the official companion..."noble as a grape"....please someone tell me it's a misspelling. He couldn't have said "noble as a grape"!!
Didn't Tim reply to a question about Serenity somewhere by saying that Joss had better not screw it up because he wanted to direct the sequel? Obviously this was a jokey response, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was a possibility.
Rouge Slayer - maybe the grape is to Serenity what the cheese was to Buffy. Not meant to make sense to anyone but Joss, and we are left to wonder and debate the meaning of it.
Well if there is a sequel (which is very touch and go at the moment), there's a lot of very good directors out there. Like Uwe Boll Paul Greengrass for example.
Nope--noble as a grape. Remember how Jayne isn't so smart? I'm sure metaphors aren't his forte.
I'm pretty sure Tim posted on at one point saying a Serenity sequel had come up over lunch, or something. Which spurred on my "Tim Minear for Serenity 2(tm)!" campaign. (Which, thinking about it, comes under the category of premature ejaculation).

[ edited by gossi on 2005-10-10 00:18 ]
Actually there is a term 'noble grape' and a term 'noble wine' used amongst vintners. And thanks, Simon, for making me spit water all over my keys at mention of Uwe Boll.
Hmmm, scoldings, prostrations, executions, button-pushing, flirting, and the topper, "clutching at straws."

I'm so glad for the anonymity of a nickname ;-)

ETA: Off to the cinema for viewing no. 5! Saw it Saturday night at a way-uptown multiplex. Sat among 25 or so sullen filmgoers. It wasn't until more than halfway through that the audience (sadly) was starting to get the humour. I think ultimately Serenity was quite different from what they were expecting but they enjoyed it. Although I was the only one left who sat through the entire credit run -- just for the FF theme.

[ edited by Drifter on 2005-10-10 01:05 ]
Just to add my own little glowy-ness:

I had a great experience today. I went to see Serenity for the 2nd time (yeah, yeah, I know -- lightweight), 2pm matinee showing here in Sacramento, CA.

So was the 2nd time amazing? Wouldn't know. It was sold out. Sold. Out.

So, that's a good thing, right?

ETA: congrats to zeitgeist on his mod-ification (er, um . . . well, you know what I mean). Great thing about lurking for a long time, seeing all those familiar names turn blue.

[ edited by Starhawk on 2005-10-10 00:31 ]
Rogue Slayer - what do you mean by "the official companion?" It sounds like you're referring to an transcript. And if so, could you tell me where I might find one?

Does anyone know if a transcript of the movie is posted anywhere? There were several lines that I didn't quite catch and I would love to have a transcript. I did some web-searching but couldn't find one.

And yes, I've heard the term "noble grape" before, in regard to vineyards. What a strange thing for Jayne to say, though.
sari: the book you are looking for is called 'Serenity: The Official Visual Companion' which among other things contains the entire script (including cut scenes) and can be ordered online or bought at most good book shops and comic book shops too.

I'd rather people didn't post links to transcripts of the movie, cheers.
The "official companion" is the "Serenity: The Official Visual Companion" book, which includes the script.
Sari -- The Official Visual Companion.

ETA- Yeah what Simon and theonetruebix said :)
The Official Visual Companion is an excellent purchase, by the way - I think it's a very good movie tie in product for a change, gives a lot of insight into the movie production.
Yes, the Companion is well worth the price.

And I must add my congrats, zeitgeist.
Just wanted to take a moment to say - I'm back from a viewing at a giganto googleplex this afternoon. . . and the house was PACKED! There were probably 300 seats in the theater and it was at least 3/4 capacity. The only seats left when we got there were third row center. It was shiny. I saw folk of all ages and everyone had a good time. . .

This was our fourth viewing and, according to Mr. Grrr, our last in the theater. We've blown our moviegoing budget (and babysitting) for the next several months, but it was worth it. Sooooooo worth it.
OK. Thanks for the lead on a transcript, all. And congrats to zeitgeist on the blueness.
So happy to hear about the sold out theaters!! Maybe we'll get a surprise tomorrow when the ticket sales are tallied!!

And Sari, definitely get that companion guide - it is so worth it. It not only has the complete script with much more scenes with Inara that I wish had been in the movie, but it has a lot of great photos from the movie and some beautiful artwork as well depicting the scenes.
Zeitgeist - we are not worthy. *bows down*

I saw the BDM yesterday. The cinema was about half full - and this was the 5.20pm showing, IOW before the shops closed, so that was good. I dragged five others along with, including two total "Firefly " virgins and a husband who disliked the pilot so much he's never watched the rest - but plans to do so now.

IOW, a hit, a palpable hit...
Just saw the movie for the second time (yes, second time only - I never ever watch movies more than once in theaters, and I generally don't watch movies even once in theaters....but I have been personally responsible for at least 25 people seeing the movie and 4 repeats this I excused?). Matinee 1:45 showing in an older theater in the Bay Area and was surprised to find the showing quite full. Maybe about 2/3 - 3/4 of a smaller theater full? Very cool..definitely Browncoats in the audience, lots of people sticking around until the end of the credits...
Wow, we have a new blue man in our midst. Congrats to zeigeist on the promotion in the main black site. So was there a party or a initiation? But, is Caroline already back from NY?

I don't think we should fret this early in the game, especially if we don't hear from Universal with a yay or nay about a sequel. The movie still has to open in a lot of countries and DVD sales will definetely be included in the numbers when they consider to greenlight a sequel or not. A more clear international scenario will only be clear by late November, when most countries will have released the movie, maybe by then we'll be really close to those US$80 million, said in that EW article.

I won't rush a sequel. I wish to see Joss concentrate in the other projects he has lined up already. As a fanboy myself, I just like to as much Joss-ness as possible, no matter what type or product he's doing.
I just read a post in another forum where a fan reported seeing Serenity in a packed theatre in Washington D.C.
Teenes - shame on you!! You only saw the movie twice!!!!! And you call yourself a fan! Kidding - I only saw it twice too and I hate going to the theater as well. Besides, going to the movies nowadays, especially a family of four and doing it two weeks in a row isn't exactly cheap (but it was definitely worth it!).

Just curious if the merchandising stuff like the action figures, soundtrack, novelization and the Visual Companion guide contribute at all to the movie totals.
Just curious if the merchandising stuff like the action figures, soundtrack, novelization and the Visual Companion guide contribute at all to the movie totals.

Nope, those are viewed as separate products.
Congratulations Zeitgeist

And these late reports are sort of odd, but intriguing. Could be just an weird little blip, or some kind of critical mass from all the evangelizing building up or something. (I myself was a in a bit of a mild panic yesterday morning and would up calling all the people I knew who I thought might be interested in seeing it and saying that this weekend was definitely the time. One was in No. California....)

Anyhow, to those who declare the BDM a boxoffice bomb, I say a moderately conditional nyeah-nyeah-nyeah.
I just saw the movie for the fourth time today. The theater was about 3/4 full, and the crowd loved it. This was the largest crowd I have seen so far--I was very encouraged!
Based on the projected Sunday-to-Sunday box office drop, I decided to head out yet again (my third viewing) this afternoon to a 4:20pm show. I was extremely encouraged to find the theater packed out at about 95% capacity. The audience got it, enjoyed it, and seemed to have a great time.

I have this gut feeling that the Sunday numbers are going to be better than projected based on my experience and some of the Sunday attendance accounts I've been reading.

Regardless of what happens, I love the BDM!
I hope you're right Horatio - it seems like that to me too with you and several others mentioning being at packed theaters throughout the day. And I just want to say that I think you guys who are going multiple times in the same day are great!!
I'm so glad for the anonymity of a nickname ;-)

Huh? There's anonymity? That's news to me! ;)
Just got back from watching Serenity. The theater was about.. 70% full and everyone seemed to enjoy it. People laughed, cried, shrieked, etc. However.. the it seemed to me that the biggest problem for viewers was that they were confused. There is a hell of a lot of story to fit into 2 hours and there were too many characters and plots for my friends to understand. I tried my best though and in the end, the comedy and action was enough to satisfy. They didn't find it "great" but they were satisfied.
These are all awfully good sounding reports for a Sunday evening and I saw some others on the Universal board. You guys best be not toying with us....

I mean, could it be that word-of-mouth actually still means something and a mass audience movie can actually pick-up interest, rather than being a hit-and-run affair? Nah. That would be good and good things hardly ever happen....

[ edited by bobster on 2005-10-10 04:43 ]
got back from Serenity.....4th viewing. Took 2 people who hadnt seen it. Both left saying great movie. This movie appeals, I really think Universal's approach (as the movie date came closer) wasnt strong enough.
Well we dropped by the multiplex on Friday night on our way to dinner (it was raining) and there were huge queues lining up and a lot of people were looking at the Serenity trailer on those little kiosks that stand along the waiting lines. (We did what we could to encourage people without seeming, well, too wierd and putting them off.) I asked one of the guys at the ticket booth how Serenity was doing. He said "It's busy, everything's busy" (he seemed busy) so I took heart from that anyway.
It's a 3-day weekend for most people in the US. Maybe we'll see some bigger than usual Monday ticket sales.
Estimates are good, but I want the actual numbers!
zeitgeist - congradulations on your blueness. Haven't seen anything from SNT all day. Did you mug him? :-)
It's a 3-day weekend for most people in the US. Maybe we'll see some bigger than usual Monday ticket sales.

Is it? I think we were discussing this somewhere else, and I'm not sure a lot of people get Columbus Day off. Of course, federal and state employees do, do students? I've never had a job that got it off, it doesn't seem like a really 'honored' holiday. But I guess 'honored' is kind of relative. My company just recently made us start getting MLK Jr day off. I say 'made' because they took away one of our personal days so that everyone got MLK Jr day off....but I'm not bitter....
I'm just not sure Columbus Day registers for many workers.
It depends on where you are at for Columbus Day and what kind of work you do. As was mentioned above financial institutions, schools, banks, etc. may be out and in some places thats a large percentage of the population. Plus, our neighbours to the north celebrate Thanksgiving. Regardless, I am much cheered to hear of the busy Sunday theater-going experiences of so many of our members.

Haven't seen anything from SNT all day. Did you mug him? :-)

I most certainly did not :) Thanks again for all of the kind words (I don't mean the ones about mugging;)), folks, it means a lot to me to be able to give something back.
I just spoke to my parents. They didn't make it to the BDM this weekend (they saw it last weekend and loved it). They're both getting close to 70 and have health issues, so leaving the house has taken on a completely new meaning lately. However, even knowing that they were staying in this weekend, they still bought tickets. My parents are SO shiny!

ETA: Congratulations, zeitgeist. You look lovely in blue!

[ edited by Tiny Tabby on 2005-10-10 07:09 ]
Tiny Tabby give your mom & dad a big hug from all us Whedonesquers! They sound so sweet (and pretty cool too!!)

[ edited by Firefly Flanatic on 2005-10-10 07:20 ]
Just got back from seeing this movie. I can't remember the last time I have seen a movie that I thought was great and at the same time was really dissapointed in it as well. Like I said I thought the movie was great.


[ edited by SoddingNancyTribe on 2005-10-10 07:37 ]
Oy. There are actual spoiler tags here, for one thing. For a second thing, this is a thread about box office results, where people aren't really going to be expecting spoilers.


I will, Firefly Flanatic. They are cool. I laughed when I found out that they were part of the fan movement in the 60's to keep Star Trek on the air. I guess fangirldom is genetic. Hmmm. Now that's just downright unsettling! :)
DarenG, that was seriously not cool. As theonetruebix says, wrong thread for these types of comments (you really should post in the review section at ), and you should use invisible text. Please bear that in mind in future.

My turn to add congratulations to zeitgeist, who is most deserving of all the plaudits he is receiving.

Oy I really gotta be careful with what I say, don't I? I never said anything bad about France.

Of course, EdDantes, I was teasing you!

You once said that if France went a certain way, other countries would likely be the same and I just pointed out that there's no reason to assume that because every country is different.

Mmh, in fact, I said something like: "I would not necessarily counting on the fact that Serenity will do well abroad, if I were you" and then refering to some specific problems in France. I wasn't saying (or even less hoping!) that this would be the same in other countries, just that in could be the same... and I am glad that the movie does well in england (despite the fact that they still refuse europe... <-- teasing again, you see? ;) ).

Case in point, the UK seems to be going well, and according to you, France probably not so much. So I'd say those differences are a good thing right now. Any idea why it's not catching on so much in France? Is it too 'cowboy' style?

Well, first of all, "it is not catching on so much" because it hasn't been released yet! ;)

But, more seriously, the reasons why I don't see him be really successful here are:

1) lack of distribution (only 200 copies or so, which is not very good - it is 1/10th of US distribution, which was not very wide by itself, but the population here is 1/5th of the US or so).

2) bad reviews in big magazines (although not *all* big magazines).

3) nearly no promotion (only mid-size posters in theater or in the paris subway, as far as I know).

4) the movie appears, to people who don't know it, as a mere SF action movie (which it seems to be, according to Box Office Mojo). In general, this does not bring much audience here; a good deal of people tend to consider themselves "intellectual" here (I won't picture you this in detail, you probably know the stuff), and thus despise such kind of movies.
Oops Sorry. Thanks for inviso texting. I hadn't posted here in a long time and forgot about the inviso text thing.
Congrats to Zeitgeist on his ascension. It's good to see more blue around here.

I wish my parents were into fandom. My dad likes sci-fi, and been a fan of Star Trek for a long time, but only passively. I'm still planning on loaning him my DVDs, I just need to get them back from a friend. In the meantime, I'll probably take him to see Serenity one of these days.

[ edited by electricspacegirl on 2005-10-10 08:09 ]
My turn to add congratulations to zeitgeist, who is most deserving of all the plaudits he is receiving.

Very kind of you SNT, thanks so much! :)
jeez, you'd think zeitgeist just won the nobel peace prize.
Saw my fifth screening tonight (Sunday) in the downtown Toronto Paramount. Only about 60-75 folks in 250-seat theatre but it was at 7:50p and in Canada it's Thanksgiving so many filmgoers tied to food trough at the Uncle's.

Got to talk to many folk afterward -- for weird reason. Many of us lined up after theatre at guest desk to get our money back because some drunk non-paying visitor came into the theatre and addressed the crowd for several minutes. I went out to get security (such as it was) and while I was gone, he disappeared. This came right at the vital moments in the Signal complex. I and everyone else missed it. After much expression of displeasure to the (suddenly) numerous staff, we waited for the manager to arrive.

We all talked and, long story short, well, everyone just keenly loved the film, as did dozens of others I've talked to over the week. I've only come across one person who just "liked it." I think Serenity is really making its mark.

BTW, almost everyone accepted free passes to another film of our choice. So all those bucks stayed on Serenity's ledger.

ETA: darned 'y' key . . .

[ edited by Drifter on 2005-10-10 08:57 ]
Finally made it back to another showing in central NC, this time late afternoon. I figured most people in line ahead of me would be opting for the weekend's newest releases; I was happily surprised when the family in front of me, parents with three teen girls in tow, ended up snagging seats for Serenity. Then, instead of the nearly-empty theater I'd dreaded finding, the seats were between 1/3 and 1/2 full (with people still trickling in through the trailers and into the movie's first five minutes) -- the same number as were at the opening night show. While there was no general applause of recognition at JW's name, the mostly college-to-middle-aged crowd, which didn't have the geek/fan vibe of last Friday's show, did laugh heartily at all the jokes and seemed entirely engaged by the storyline (which made for a pleasantly respectful, attentive atmosphere throughout).

Much sniffling (besides my own) made it clear the emotional impact of events later in the film was significant. Several people shouted "oh, no!" and someone behind me sobbed audibly for several minutes. As for me, I seriously can't remember ever having the experience before of going to a movie and reacting to it from a virtually unspoiled place, then seeing it again and reacting just as strongly although I knew exactly what was coming. The second viewing was even better for me than the first. I could stop working to catch all the dialogue and visual details and just let the storytelling sweep me away. Next time I'll remember Kleenex, though -- my sleeve got pretty soggy.

I wasn't the only one who sat through all the credits, and I had a good feeling leaving the theater. Outside, I recognized some patrons standing around or sitting in their cars, engaged in intense discussion. From what I picked up in passing, the comments sounded uniformly positive. It really felt to me like awareness of Serenity is finally starting to leach into the mainstream. I hope Uni is patient as word-of-mouth continues to build. If Pitch Black can get a sequel, I don't understand why Serenity wouldn't merit being given the same opportunity. And we haven't even tapped the DVD-release goldmine yet!

I must say that blue suits you, zeitgeist -- more local color is just what this joint needs :)
BOM's Weekend Report:

Serenity rustled up an estimated $4.9 million in its second weekend for a 10-day tally of $17.6 million. The $39 million space western's 51 percent drop was precipitous but in line with the genre—such similar pictures as The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and The Chronicles of Riddick each had greater falls. However, they were generating much more business, and, at its current pace, Serenity is aiming for a final haul of around $27 million.

This is truly a sad day within the 'verse. I'm without words. The thing that hurts me the most is that Joss doesn't deserve this. We know this film shines, but no one is paying it any sense of mind. Again, I'm without words.
Of course, federal and state employees do.

Actually, state employees, at least here in Florida do not get Columbus day off.
I got this link in my e-mail this morning:
Box Office Mojo had predicted a bigger drop for the weekend than we actually got, and I'm hoping we won't lose too many theaters this Friday in spite of the number of movies that are currently 'out'.
jeez, you'd think zeitgeist just won the nobel peace prize.

Let's not kid ourselves, that's nowhere near as cool ;)
I took the husband to see it on Saturday at 3:30 and I think the theatre was probably about a third full; that was a lovely surprise, and most people seemed to get it.

I'm distressed at the numbers being bandied about, though - $27 million? Argh. Just - - argh.
Looking at the first weekend in the UK and second weekend in Oz, embarrassment will ensue for NorthAm (on a per capita basis anyway and it may be on offshore gross, close enough.)
... embarrassment will ensue for NorthAm...

Outside of us tracking all of this, no one in NorthAm is even going to notice.

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