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October 10 2005

Serenity goes in at #1 in the UK for its opening weekend. And it took the highest gross per screen as well.

Yay for us :) I am just trying to work out if I can fit in a couple of matinee viewings and get back in time for the school run.
That is just excellent.

I've been trying to find Irish figures, but google is not my friend today. Is Ireland included in the UK box office numbers?

ETA: I know about entertainment.ie's figures, but they aren't up to date.

[ edited by Fence on 2005-10-10 12:10 ]
Very awesome!

Woo-hoo!
Great :-D
Well done!
Good job brits. And boo, the site keeps going down.
Yes! *does the dance of joy*
Great job! If only the U.S. could follow suit... although we are the land of Paris Hilton and movies with the Rock in them, so I'm not holding my breath...
Yay us! Joss, I told you we'd get you number one!

Maybe this news might just make some people in the US think about giving our BDM as chance and going to see it. "Well, if the Brits like it...."

Now if I can just persuade the UCI at Basildon to let me have the twelve foot high Serenity poster when they've finished with it...
Simon, reg is no longer required on that site, I took it off.

These figures prove something - if the movie is handled correctly, it can open at the top spot.

Where was Oliver? Where was Brit-Flick Kinky Boots? Well below Serenity.

Huge credit is owed to Debbie Turner of UIP UK, who pretty much personally drove this (she's a Firefly fan) to the position it got.
Great job! If only the U.S. could follow suit... although we are the land of Paris Hilton and movies with the Rock in them

My brother cracked up laughing at the end of the Doom trailer that ran before the film ;)
I have to agree with gossi.

These figures show that Serenity could have done much better with ANY marketing. Obviously, fan marketing was not enough, which is ok. It was a test, they gave it a go.

But SOME advertising would have helped the movie a lot.

Well done, Brits. I fear Germany (which hasn't even seen Firefly on TV) won't follow suit.

Harridan
I haven't confirmed it yet, but I just heard it's #1 in Ireland, too.

By the way, in the UK we don't have many fans. Firefly never aired on a big TV station here... It's a pretty damn small fan base, compared to the US.

The reality is, the masses turned out in force for Serenity here (see also: the rise from Friday to Saturday).

I'm so very happy.
Hey Germany is Nintendo's biggest market, hopefully they support the little guy with movies aswell!
Mighty fine shindig.

(Now maybe one of the terrestrial channels will show Firefly...)
Yes! Let's now do a The Last Samurai and triple the domestic box office abroad.
Some more good news: the films competiting with Serenity (Pride and Prejudice, for example) had 100+ more prints than Serenity.

Yet, we bet 'em.

And also, the marketing was pretty low key in the UK, in terms of amount of TV spots and things.

There's a lot to mull over as to why this worked in the UK, but I think the 'From the creator of Buffy' thing has actually worked here, together with striking posters, the posters with review quotes (they were plastered with them) on the underground... And the friggin' excellent reviews this got in the UK. Just about every publication gave it a glowing review here.

And lets not forget Jonathan Ross and Mark Kemodes BBC TV and radio reviews.

I don't know if the other international terrorities can replicate this, but I hope they come close.
We'll see, tullyano7. I'll be in on premiere night, and I'll bring everyone I know who doesn't chain him- or herself to the home heating pipes.

Although I have seen the BDM in the German pre-screening already.
Good point Gossi. Maybe we didn't have the "Failed TV show" rep hanging over everyones heads. People here just saw it as a nice new SciFi. It could also be argued that the hype in the US did put some people off. I think the "Did Browncoats scare people away" discussion may run for a long time.

I have an idea! Make Serenity II, promote it differently and see how it does! Sorted!
A lot of credit should go to Nathan, Summer and Joss. None of them have seen much but the inside of a plane, a hotel room, or a studio for a long time now.
A lot of credit should go to Nathan, Summer and Joss. None of them have seen much but the inside of a plane, a hotel room, or a studio for a long time now.
Big yay to that! Along with the rest of the cast, and people at Zoic and others, I really hope the excellent work on screen gives them all a boost in recognition and work.
Maybe it kind of helped that it's even less known in the UK. Seeing how at least two posts/day on imdb were "can I even watch it without knowing the show" I really have to wonder how many people never gave it a chance, simply based on that. Maybe UIP could somehow make sure that reviewers that mention Firefly will also make it clear that knowing Firefly is not required. We're pretty much down to putting our hopes on the international BO, so whatever went right in the UK will hopefully be done everywhere else.

On a related note: I couldn't help wondering about the Japanese market. They have anime as entertainment for adults, so maybe scifi won't suffer from some kind of "kids stuff" stigmata. Also, rather literal space westerns have been done a lot as anime, so they might just be all over a live action version of that. Or feel like the Americans ripped off their countless space western animes. Let's hope for the former.
Serenity hasn't done big numbers in Oz so far.. I'm hoping Germany and such do well.

[ edited by gossi on 2005-10-10 14:16 ]
Woohoo, this is awesome. I got a chill down my spine when reading it. I was slightly worried about the people wanting to watch Firefly 1st but I guess it hasn't been an issue. One of my flatmates is a big sci-fi fan and he said he really wanted to watch Serenity, but was waiting to watch Firefly 1st. As much as I wanted to, I didn't feel I should try and convince him otherwise either, because you do definitely get more out of it if you know the characters. I am however dragging some other Firefly newbies with me this week so I hope they like it.
That's good news, but in fairness it's also important to remember that the number 2 film, Pride and Prejudice, is on its fourth weekend and I wouldn't regard any of the other openers as 'big' films. Kinky Boots is never going to be a huge box office film. Serenity probably pulled in at most $1.5 million.
Impossible: yes, these numbers aren't going to cause a sequel or anything. It was released with Kinky Boots and Oliver as main competition.

It is, however, good news for UK fans. To put this into perspective, Serenity opened 6th in Oz I seem to recall, so we did good.

[ edited by gossi on 2005-10-10 14:20 ]
Am I wrong in assuming that the hope is, with it being number #1, it'll get more people intrigued and to the theater to see it next weekend?

ETA: Or do they not do adverts in the UK to the extent that it'll matter?

[ edited by pat32082 on 2005-10-10 14:27 ]
Least the UK realises a good film when they see one, I don't get the amercian audiences sometimes, present company excluded, you lot are cool.

I went to see Senerity yesterday, I live in the UK, London and lots of people too
That's good news, but in fairness it's also important to remember that the number 2 film, Pride and Prejudice, is on its fourth weekend and I wouldn't regard any of the other openers as 'big' films.

What about Nightwatch? It's been hyped a fair bit.
No sign of Nightwatch results yet. I've just seen a report in Variety saying across Oz, the UK and Portugal Serenity has taken $1.8m. They didn't qualify the time scale on that, but if it's all weekend it tends to suggest this has really bombed 2nd week in Oz.

[ edited by gossi on 2005-10-10 14:51 ]
Joss and the cast have worked very hard promoting this film, and I'm so grateful. They made a fantastic film and they should be very proud. They all deserve a vacation to the Bahamas or somewhere, and then they should invite me along. :)

[ edited by electricspacegirl on 2005-10-10 15:04 ]
electricspacegirl: have a vacation in Grimsby with me! They were the fishing capital of Europe once, you know...
These figures show that Serenity could have done much better with ANY marketing.


I don't think that's entirely fair to 'Versal, who did bring the ads in the end. I fyou watched TV or listened to radio in the month of September (or owned a Tivo), you heard about Serenity. I think it (not making #1) had more to do with the 'failed tv show' angle we always saw, and the fact that 'from the creator of Buffy' actually does nothing to attract non-Joss fans and may even put them off. Given that, I still think its doing fairly well here all things considered and in spite of the doom and gloom from some folks.

ETA - I always thought it would do well in the UK and that 'from the creator of Buffy' would actually help there. Also less word of 'failed tv show' in the UK buzz.
Universal certainly tried marketing wise in the US, and to some extent they were successful (opening 2nd isn't something to be sniffed at). And I suspect we'll see similar drop off levels 1st to 2nd week in the UK (if we don't, however: brilliant).
I have no idea what Oz means. It makes me think of either the Ozarks or theaters in Kansas.

[ edited by Celluloid Novelist on 2005-10-10 15:28 ]
Australia, I believe.
I'm holding out a vague hope that it doesn't drop off as much here and that the #1 position will give some of our American friends pause and make they go along to see what the fuss is about. It certainly happens sometimes, a film/band/book does much better over here than in the US and that helps it gain success over there eventually.

Hmm, it seems that typing with all your fingers crossed is quite tricky ;)
Well, when I first saw Serenity i thought it had a "european" feel to it. Maybe people respond to that?

As regards Germany: we're among the last countries where Serenity opens, so attendance here is probably heavily influenced by serenity's success in the UK and the US. But since the german trailer has been out and Serenity has been shown in prescreenings, the number of members on the german FF Fanboard rise steadily.

[ edited by Harpy on 2005-10-10 15:46 ]
Wooohooo!

Finally, some good news. Of course, the UK was always going to be our best bet. Buffy is a house hold name, which is actually respected. What's more, brits like their sci-fi. It's not frowned upon as much as it is in most other countries, I think -just look at the number of UK cult conventions.

But still, this gives some hope for Serenity doing well in other parts of Europe as well. For now, however, I'm just very happy it did well in the UK. Let's hope it has legs as well!
Great news from our British brethren and sistren.

I really think that, to a certain extent, "Serenity" has been the victim of "Firefly"s U.S. DVD success. People here are getting so used to TV shows with ultra-complex plotting ("Lost," "24" etc.) that some are probably simply assuming the movie will only make sense if they've watched the TV show. I bet some people are thinking they'll check out the DVDs of the show first, and then rent "Serenity" later on.

Also, there was just so much competition and no equivalent to Jonathan Ross to drive it. Ebert & Roeper "two thumbs up" helps, but they give that to a lot of movies. It's only when Ebert really champions something (like getting "Duma" back in theaters right now), that they can make a huge impact.

If there was one "mistake", though, I'd say it was that failure of any BDMs to appear on any talk shows at all. There's so much media chatter here, you need to reinforce the advertising. (Especially when people like me with DVRs/TiVos are seeing very, very few commercials now.) I really think appearances by Joss on Charlie Rose and NPR's "Fresh Air", Nathan or maybe Alan (who's a star in "Spamalot" now) on the Daily Show, Conan, the Scottish guy and maybe even/especially Regis & What'shername really would have made a bigger difference than people realize. I'm assuming they tried this and didn't get any response, in which case I say "fi" upon all these media outlets that refused them. However, I admit that, at this point, Joss is still probably the biggest name associated with the enterprise and there's the double-edged sword thing. If Universal didn't try, I'm just baffled.

Still, I'm with SNT, the U.S. results aren't as bad as you think. Even if they trend downward, a lot can happen (huge DVD sales, international success, "Slither" is a a hit and Nathan becomes "hot", etc., and yes, the thing that isn't supposed to matter, word-of-mouth)
Serenity Oz :)

Wallace and Gromit will definitely take number 1 next weekend in the UK. No doubt about it. However, there is a good chance Serenity can come #2 next weekend. Which will keep the publicity up, which gives it a fighting chance of doing well here.

Additionally, from Variety:

"UIP's "Pride And Prejudice" continued to charm audiences with $2 million at 487 playdates in the U.K., Netherlands and Switzerland. Its fourth U.K. frame of $1.6 million pushed that market's cume to $20.5 million.


UIP's "Serenity" showed some traction with $1.8 million at 584 engagements in the U.K., Australia and Portugal.
And its long-running hit "Madagascar" added $1.5 million for a foreign cume of $328 million.

Russian adventure "Nightwatch" grossed $1.48 million at 634 for Fox, including a mild U.K. launch of $464,000 at 183. Worldwide cume has hit $26 million."

Serenity came ahead of P&P in the UK, which had $1.6m. This means Serenity took over $1.6m in the UK alone, but including Australia and Portugal $1.8m, which seems to mean Oz has only taken under $200k all weekend. I really hope that's a misprint!
Oh, really well done. Yay for the UK market! This was the best news I've heard all day. Of course, I've just started my day, but I have a feeling this will stay up there. Well done! Thank you!
Trienco > I would be a little worried about Serenity's performance in Japan. Buffy and Angel are only run on the Fox channel, which requires you to purchase satellite television SKYPerfect (which probably only about 20% of households have...? not sure about the figure, but it's small). Also, Firefly hasn't been released in Japan at all, and even Buffy releases in Japan have only gotten up to Season 2 on DVD. So it's hard to gauge how Serenity would do in Japan. I'm sure that a lot of the U.S. buzz will leak back, but on the other hand, Japan is the perfect market to test whether people who know nothing about Firefly at all will like the movie.
I'm actually worried about Serenity's performance in all Asian Countries. There's a huge market, where the series never touched.

And as I've stated before, I really doubt Chinese censors over at the mainland China will ever let this movie be released over there. There's a certain tone in the movie, that might be too subversive for their market. For the exception of famous properties, such as Star Wars, LoR or Harry Potter.

Though Asian markets as far as I remember don't play such an essential role, in the overall worldwide box office. I've read an article stating that, countries like South Korea, for example, are dominated by their local movie industry, and rarely feature hollywood flicks in their weekly top 10 box office results.
Well it will look good to be no. 1 any way you look at it. But someone said it can be no more than $1.5 million? That sounds a tad on the low end. England's obviously far smaller than the US but it is still more populated than Australia right? Anybody have actual numbers yet?

And yes, Universal did promote it here. At least before opening weekend. It barely did anything for the second weekend where the good review quotes would've been nice to mention.
EdDantes, it's taken around $1.6m (still don't have exact figure yet). It is a little on the low end, however consider:

- It's a 15 certificate here. Nobody below 15 can see it.
- Firefly never aired on a large (or medium) sized TV station here.

I think it's done well. For being #1, it will get lots of free publicity - the BBC Online and BBC Film 2005 programmes, for example, will mention the film in their run downs now. There's a very good chance the UK can keep Serenity at #2 next weekend, and have a low drop off.

If there's any country where Serenity has chance to become a 'word of mouth' flick now, it's the UK.

ETA: I forgot to say. We grew Friday to Saturday. I count around a thousand online Firefly fans in the UK (I track you all ;). To get over a million pounds from Serenity opening weekend, this tends to suggest this crossed over to the mainstream in a big big way.

[ edited by gossi on 2005-10-10 17:18 ]
I can't get the numbers added correctly. Apparently in Australia the box office was a little over $400,000 (US dollars) and in the UK about $1,6 million, which adds to $2,0 million. How can this be only $1,8 million (according to Variety) if you add Portugal?

My guess is that Variety is wrong, but if someone else can shed a light on this it would be nice.

Anyway these results are pretty damn good.
A lot of people I know went to see it over the weekend and still more have plans to see it this week. (So, if the people I know are any indicator of box office pull, this film is doing effin' GREAT.)

As well as the high profile positive reviews, I think it was helped by some strategically placed ads. NME and XFM (that's the UK's biggest music magazine and London's premiere alternative radio station), for example, had banner ads for Serenity at the top of their websites for a couple of weeks before it opened. And Kerrang magazine (according to my little metalhead brother) did an uber-hyping two page spread on the movie (Kerrang is a a rock/punk/heavy metal music magazine.. they very rarely do big movie articles unless the movie happened to be directed by Rob Zombie.) Someone made sure those ads were meeting the eyes of the target demographic.

Also, perhaps, it was helped by the news of the sold-out Edinburgh premieres (reported in the papers) and the fact that London is currently gearing up for its own film festival (the London Film Festival starts soon).
gossi, you're scary. Plus - Grimsby! Woohoo! That's where half my family comes from, back in the day. We've all scuttled down south since. I'm making us sound like a family of crabs...not good.

Anyhoo, yay UK! We rock. I'm going tonight with a newbie, and taking four or five others with me tomorrow. I'm making sure it stays no. 1! For once I'm proud of my country!
lfw: I'm scary?!

I lived in Grimsby for about 7 years... That's my childhood trauma.
scary because:

I count around a thousand online Firefly fans in the UK (I track you all ;)

Now I have to keep looking behind me. Ah! *runs and hides*
Go, UK, (though I wonder if it doesn't get a bit of boost--i.e. the whedonverse--for being a bit more exotic there. Okay, if anyone wants to argue that I concede immmediately. But Blake'7, my first TV love wasn't (only my impression) critically respected in UK. Or I gave it (Serenity) the kiss of doom like B7)) (Ithink that gets me out of the parentheses quaqmire.
Ads: Ads confusing, but there WAS a fair amount of exposure in the high end of the criticsphere. NYTimes ran 2 consecutive articles in the Sunday Arts & section (the one on Newman seemed to ASSUME you knew what "Serenity" was) besides a good review. I've heard twice a quick "go see" blurb on PBS, and an interview w/Joss on BBC (Wait! That's British! No, it was the American version) (And are ALL BBC interviews snarky or is that just my imagination?)
Appearances: I assume they were unlikely to get accepted on, say the Letterman show etc. on the grounds of not being Jodie Foster or somebody. So not Universal's fault.

Per nothing: I enjoyed the movie MUCH more the second time (an obviously pathological aversion to suspense) And I liked the (small) crowd at the theatre (a LOT for Saturday afternoon), who seemed not to know anything about the movie, but gasped and laughed in all the right places (as did a guest we took who was totally non-Firefly)

There WILL be a sequel: it's too convenient for there not to be. After the DVD sales.
Btw, Buffy mentioned w/praise in passing in NYTimes Book Review of Neil Gaiman's new book (which is mostly panned. Also good in my small world since I hated his Nebula "Gods" something book and thought he sounded pompous and conceited in that Time piece w/Whedon.)
There may only be a thousand fans online - although there may also be fans who don't refer to their Britishness very much - but I would be really interested to know how many Firefly dvds have been bought in the UK.

Without a doubt a large number of those who watched Serenity over the weekend were completely new to the 'verse, but it's pretty hard to know quite how many.
Friday, there are two previews in a theater near me (at 7:30pm and 10pm). I think I am going to both (yes, in a row... never done that before...). The tickets go on sale only thursday but, somehow, I don't think these previews will be full...

And then, national release the 19th (wednesday of next week). Dunno where to find the figures for France, but I'll start looking for a reliable website in order to see how it does here.
Always knew that we Brits had what it takes to get Serenity to the top spot. Yay us!

Whilst i would love to see Serenity get the sequel it deserves i'm actually hoping that another knock on effect will be Universal realising that if Joss has what it takes to get good numbers with a movie based on a so called failed tv series then he would be able to do even better with a movie based on Buffy and Angel, two shows that did a hell of a lot better on television and have a much larger fanbase to begin with. If enough money was put into the movie and Sarah and David can be tempted back to their respective then i can imagine a movie that would blow Serenity's numbers out of the water.
Btw, Buffy mentioned w/praise in passing in NYTimes Book Review of Neil Gaiman's new book (which is mostly panned. Also good in my small world since I hated his Nebula "Gods" something book and thought he sounded pompous and conceited in that Time piece w/Whedon.)


Didn't think he sounded pompous or conceited, but I've had the pleasure of speaking with the man in person quite a few times. He's really a very nice fellow. Perhaps your dislike for his work coloured your perception? Anyone else think he sounded pompous/conceited? It may be me whose perception is coloured :)
zeitgeist,
I should have mentioned I'll concede ANYTHING (per that post, anyway) if confronted. Will you give me that Gaiman at least seemed long-winded and not funny compared to Whedon? (How often did the Times interveiwer address Joss directly for a comment after each multi-paragraph Gaiman?)
And sure my dislike for THAT work of his anyway has colored everything (a light periwinkle-kind of color.)
But against that, I give you that he's pretty darn cute, judging from his picture in the NYTimes (as evidence of my complete impartiality).
Firefly actually got more viewers than Buffy ever did in the US. Which isn't surprising considering, you know, Firefly was on Fox.

I don't see Joss being interested in a Buffy movie. Mainly because he said in Edinburgh he doesn't want to do one. SMG has said the same at some point I seem to recall... and Freddie has probably said he thinks Buffy should join the circus and become a cow... (Although I made the last bit up).


The numbers aren't good enough for a sequel yet, however you spin them. At the moment, if the UK, Oz and US continue as they have been, did some figures in the office today and think the total profit, including a $10m DVD total, it'll make it's production budget ($45m) back. However, it needs between $80m and $100, so around double that.

If every international country does similar to Oz, and the DVDs sell to $10m by Christmas (a tough target), it should reach around $50-60m by the end of the year. It's lower than most would have predicted, but it might just be worth a sequel gamble for Universal. It would be another gamble, though.

We'll need to wait until after Christmas to find out I suspect - nobody would make a positive call at the moment as, for now, the figures aren't adding up - international performance is now KEY to this movie. There is still a bit of hope in this beast yet, in terms of a sequel movie.
Also, Firefly hasn't been released in Japan at all, and even Buffy releases in Japan have only gotten up to Season 2 on DVD. So it's hard to gauge how Serenity would do in Japan.

That's part of what I hope will actually help the movie. As long as their media won't keep rubbing it in that it's based on a quickly cancelled show they never saw. I can see places, where people will be put off by mentioning Buffy. Not because they didn't like it, but simply because they don't know it and decide that with a title like this it must be crap. Hence I'm hoping they will simply advertise it as a stand alone movie, without mentioning Firefly/Buffy/Angel all the time.

If they concentrate on "western in space" and "not your typical Hollywood blockbuster crap (this actually has a story and a soul)" it would be interesting to see the results.
Are you talking about a 10 million profit for DVDs, or just 10 million in sales? I find it VERY hard to believe that it won't be able to sell $10 million in DVDs pretty quickly. That's only a little over 500,000 copies.
Are you talking about a 10 million profit for DVDs, or just 10 million in sales? I find it VERY hard to believe that it won't be able to sell $10 million in DVDs pretty quickly. That's only a little over 500,000 copies.


It's probably closer to 1 to 1.5 million copies. You may buy a DVD at close to $20 but that's including the retailer's markup, and not what the distributor or studioe gets out of it. Wholesale, they are probably $9.00 or less a piece.
hako, don't backtrack over the Gaiman interview, I thought exactly the same as you.

I am sure he is a very nice person, but in this particular interview he didn't come across very pleasant to me (being polite here). I have not read anything of his, so I am not predisposed towards the guy in any way.

Tricky though with interviews, as we all know. Uh, am I backtracking now? ;)
IMF - Yes, but when you are talking box office figures you are also talking about "retail" numbers. As cheap as DVDs are to make, I'd have to think that sales of 1.5 million units would net over $10 million.

That's what I was trying to clarify.
Hat's off to the UK!
zz9 said: "Maybe this news might just make some people in the US think about giving our BDM as chance and going to see it. 'Well, if the Brits like it...'"

Don't hold your breath. I defy you to find 10 people outside of this thread who have ever heard a UK box office figure in their entire lives.

zeitgeist said: "I fyou watched TV or listened to radio in the month of September (or owned a Tivo), you heard about Serenity."

Well, yes and no. For a period of time leading towards release in the US there were ads everywhere. Then the movie opened to great reviews and the ads almost entirely vanished, except in a couple of major markets, until Wednesday when they showed up nationally, but only in a few places, and still only 15-second ads which barely registered before they were suddenly over.

Follow-up ads once the reviews were out is the only place I think 'Versal stumbled.

But, hey, at least the UK has some sort of clue.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2005-10-10 19:18 ]
Zeitgeist said, re: Gaiman

Didn't think he sounded pompous or conceited, but I've had the pleasure of speaking with the man in person quite a few times. He's really a very nice fellow. Perhaps your dislike for his work coloured your perception? Anyone else think he sounded pompous/conceited? It may be me whose perception is coloured :)


Nope, I'm with you zeitgeist. It helps that I absolutely love most of Gaimans work (and American Gods is an absolute jewel of a novel), and the one time I saw him at a Q&A/booksigning he was a very nice guy. Maybe compared to Joss he's not as fast with the jokes, but then again, who is (except maybe Terry Pratchett)?

Oh and yay again for the UK boxoffice result. It's putting me in good spirits.
I'm curious about one thing. Does selling the tv rights to show Serenity count towards the revenue the movie makes?
Hey, thank you, miranda!
This is the very first time I've ever been defended (on-line anyway), even if you DID try to weasel out of it (YOUR comment. I weaseled out of the WHOLE thing.)
Prediction: Neil Gaiman will now post to admit that, even though he IS a nice guy and quite good-looking, that, yes, unfortunately, he was pompous and rather conceited in that particular interview (But his sister's not crazy.)
I honestly have no idea how we managed to start talking about Neil Gaiman in a negative light. I just assumed he was universal adored for being a genious.
Gossi said:

Firefly actually got more viewers than Buffy ever did in the US. Which isn't surprising considering, you know, Firefly was on Fox.

I don't see Joss being interested in a Buffy movie. Mainly because he said in Edinburgh he doesn't want to do one. SMG has said the same at some point I seem to recall... and Freddie has probably said he thinks Buffy should join the circus and become a cow... (Although I made the last bit up).


I don't think the US viewing numbers would matter much either way, if i'm honest. Buffy is an massively more recognisable property than Firefly, especially when you are talking outside of the US. Whilst neither Buffy or Angel had fantastic viewing figures during their original runs in the States, due to them airing on The WB and UPN rather than Fox, i think it is still fair to say that they are a hell of a lot more popular worldwide, therefore making them a much easier sell for a potential movie, logically speaking.

As for whether or not Joss would actually choose to do the movie if given the chance, i tend to not put too much stock in what has already been said simply because people have a habit of changing their minds. Whether Joss, or Sarah for that matter, is interested in the movie today has no bearing on how they will feel when they wake up tomorrow morning. Particularly if the movie were to become an actual possibilty rather than just hopeful fan speculation. Bottomline, i'm staying open to the possibilty that we will see Buffy and Angel on the big screen because there is no real reason to assume that it won't happen.
Dear Moderators:
I promise I'll stop now before you yell at me for off-topicality AND being annoying...BUT "American Gods" was not only cumulatively annoying itself, it WON the Hugo AND the Nebula and various other more obscure awards (thus, you see, giving N.Gaiman an inflated vision of his etc.etc.)
Back to topic: GO UK!!!
And, ringworm, it's Joss Whedon who is universally adored for being a genius (and not pompous)--at least in this forum.
Go UK! Go Joss!
Shutting up now...
When I saw the buffy/angel dvd adverts on the big screen before Senerity, I thought this is the closest I've seen Angel on the big screen, it would rock on the big screen!
Speaking of Japan... Anime. Outlaw Star fans have been yelling about how the pilot and the series was similar to outlaw star. A guy opened a box to find a girl inside. It's also a western (also Trigun and Cowboy Bebop) setting, etc. I hope they get past that.
Anyhoo, it's good to hear some good news about the opening in the UK. :)
I think this is great news, and I really think Serenity can keep flyin' by word of mouth and postitive reviews.
Congrats everyone in the UK, especially gossi,, for working so hard to push Serenity over the top.

I, like some others, think Universal in NorthAm pulled back a bit on the second week. Maybe they really were internally forecasting a better BO. Didn't happen. Here in Toronto the newsprint ads went unchanged in the second week. And all were black and white. Colour, need I say, really sticks out in a newspaper and shows condifence in a product or service. ( We have four English language dailies here, BTW.) Very little streetside and I didn't see any TV ads, but it could be I just don't watch very much TV.

My last thought: I really liked the international poster and trailer, and the UK poster even more. What does that say? Don't know. I felt the NorthAm one conveyed a fuzziness, as all multiple image graphical packages do. If you peruse the posters around a multiplex interior, you don't catch the Serenity one unless you look for it (barely even then). This gets you just about nothing when trying to make an impression on a first look.

Re Gaiman, Thumbs up! (though haven't read his latest).
~grins at hako~ especially loved:

Neil Gaiman will now post to admit that, even though he IS a nice guy and quite good-looking, that, yes, unfortunately, he was pompous and rather conceited in that particular interview (But his sister's not crazy.)


I'll defend you, hako :) You can hate Neil's work all that you want and I'll feel free to disagree (amiably) with you. Neil's been around since way before American Gods and won more awards prior to it than he won for it, so if his head's inflated, it happened long ago :) Neil tends to be long winded, but that's because he's thoughtful and a writer, IMO.

theonetruebix -- absolutely right in that there was less than expected in the second week push, but if that was all the money they had, they could've done worse than the shows they bought ads during on Wednesday.
absolutely right in that there was less than expected in the second week push, but if that was all the money they had, they could've done worse than the shows they bought ads during on Wednesday

Well, I personally doubt it was all the money they had. While that one 'Versal rep saying after opening weekend that the take was in line with what they were expecting, we know that in fact that's untrue. And that rep's emphasis on the later take from "ancillaries" (e.g. DVD sales) was the "read between the lines" signal that they'd already backed away from a box office success.

Watching events from the time of that statement into second weekend likely shows a process wherein 'Versal simply decided it wasn't worth making a real push into second weekend.

That is, of course, pure speculation. But Hollywood is nto dissimilar from politics, and having watched local politics in Portland very concertedly andc losely for three years has heightened my BS detector, and the pattern here fits rather well with a "cut and run" decision.

For the initial burst and flurry of 15-second spots prior to opening weekend to have actually had an impact, they needed to be followed up with a concerted push of longer ads, with reviews, because longer ads would catch people's attention and make them go, "Oh, THAT'S what I was seeing all over TV the other week."

But anyway, FWIW, and to make clear that I'm not entirely doom and gloom, it's clear that the work itself is an unqualified success.
The US poster is more traditional US sci-fi. I think it's well made, but does it stand out.. Not really, to me at least. River has a gun, and there's a space ship which looks like a flying penis.. I suppose they will attract a bit of attention.
Exactly figures are at the link now.

It's taken way more per screen than the competition.


(By the way, we had a 39% INCREASE from Friday to Saturday)

[ edited by gossi on 2005-10-10 21:12 ]
With all this talk about the Asian market...does anyone know when the movie's coming out thereabouts? I know there was a post a while back with info on it coming out in Singapore, but I hooked my best friend on Firefly (who in turn bought the DVDs, started watching the pilot with her family, and came home from work a day later to find her dad having swiped the DVDs and just finishing up "Objects in Space", demanding to know, "Why did they CANCEL this show?"), and she left a month ago to study abroad in Japan and was pretty sad she was going to miss the premiere over here. I googled for a Japan release date but to no avail - I'd love to be able to tell her that she'll be able to see it sooner rather than later. Anyone have a clue?
Plus -- I think this will do very nicely on dvd -- rental and retail -- which can often sway the grosses somewhat...
If Joss and Sarah wanted to make a Buffy movie, it would be made with very little problem and they would be able to get a very nice amount of money to make it. Buffy is a huge international franchise. SMG as an international name is doing pretty damn well too. I don't think it'll ever happen though. Since it would need both Joss and SMG. With all of their upcoming projects, it'll be another 5 years at least before they're both free at the same time... and that's if the time was booked now.
Going back to the Asian markets, I do think Serenity has some positive things going for it, aside from the Chinese censorship issue. That "genre-mixing" that Joss thinks doesn't sell so well in the US is not a problem in Asia. Second, Hong Kong has made plenty of movies (popular even on the Mainland) about tricksters and rebels such as Wong Fei Hung. What tends to get movies into trouble is criticism of the Cultural Revolution and the Communist Party, which aren't mentioned in Serenity. Also, judging by the acclaim from such disparate groups as right wing conservative Christians to anarchist libertarians, I think it is entirely possible that Chinese censors could have a positive and unexpected take on the movie. Finally, I think that they might get a big kick out of the notion that China is one of the superpowers running the 'verse. I know my parents did. (Although, they weren't fans of the use of Japanese kana in the movie in contrast to the very consistent use of Chinese in the TV show.)
A friend called me last night, just out of the theatre, having seen Serenity and liking it a lot. He lives south of London and said that if I hadn't recommended it, he would never have heard of the movie. He has seen no ads at all. But whatever is going on over there is clearly working. This is good news.
The success of Serenity in the UK is great! And kudos/congrats to the UIP marketing rep who got the job done.

WORD on everything Bobster said, re: the BDH's appearing on talk shows. It didn't have to be Leno/Letterman/Stewart, there are later shows and morning shows that frequently host lesser known or new TV/movie actors.

And the onetruebix: I completely agree about the TV spots, and you make an excellent point about the possible political reasons for the ad pullback.

Finally, to those who commented about the posters: I have not seen posters anywhere, and I live in a major city. The UK did a much better job advertising in public places, and the posters were definitely more eye-catching.

Not forecasting gloom and doom, just questioning why marketing was done so beautifully in the UK and not domestically.
Looking forward to turning out with local browncoats across the pond -- the (NewlyBlue) zeitgeist and I will be on holiday in Scotland this coming weekend. We met on these here boards over an extra ticket to an early Serenity screening, so while we've both seen the BDM a bunch on our own, it seems important to finally get to do so together. And now to be able to do so in support of holding onto the opening weekend box office lead? Well that's just sweet gravy. Well done, friends.
Universal and UIP are managed completely seperately.

However, here's something puzzling: the same artwork was used in Oz. In Oz, the movie opened 6th. And the dropped to 9th.

What caused the UK to do fairly well? I don't know. I know I invested a lot of personal time in this in the UK, as did a few people at UIP (we'd literally be sat emailing each other about the promo at stupid-o-clock at night all the time - something which is out of the ordinary for a movie).

Serenity got a lot of love in the UK from the people promoting it, that much is certain.
I'm curious about one thing. Does selling the tv rights to show Serenity count towards the revenue the movie makes?

Simon, I've always heard that this counts toward a movie's revenue - usually in discussion of projected profit. ie. >>insert movie here<< has made *this much* domestically, is headed toward (this much) worldwide - factor in TV rights and DVD sales and a sequel is guaranteed.

You know, that sort of thing :-)
I don't think that's entirely fair to 'Versal, who did bring the ads in the end. (Zeitgeist)

Agreed, zeitgeist (nice name, btw). If it wasn't for UIP, we wouldn't have the movie in the first place.

I have actually come to believe that the movie ist better if you don't expect too much of the character work we Firefly-Fans are used to from the series.

I guess watching the movie first and then having the joy of discovering much more about the characters could be the right order to do this. Though some of us who have been waiting for the movie for years BECAUSE of Firefly don't have much of a choice. :-)

About that 'European Feel': Everything Joss does has that European feel, I believe. That's why Buffy had such a major impact in Germany, and that's why I believe that Firefly would have done great over here, had it been on TV. And, if given a chance, Serenity could do as well.
I just don't know if people will NOTICE the movie to even give it a chance. That depends on marketing, since the fanbase is tiny.

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