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October 13 2005

Serenity drops to 1700 theatres in the US as of tomorrow.

From 15 to 9 theaters in Indianapolis, IN
Is this good? Bad? Expected?

Iím kinda at a loss hereÖ
Well we were only at what, 2100 to begin with? Could be worse, I'd imagine.
I actually thought it was going to be more. With all the new movies coming out this weekend, a drop should be expected.
Only the lower gross theatres will have dropped it. The bigger ones have tended to shuffle it to smaller screens.

It's not a disaster. The problem is, though, when the next Big Movie comes needing a few thousand screens it might be fun.

It's still out there at the mo anyway, which is all I care 'bout.
I don't care about trying to be optimistic, that's terrible. It hasn't even been out for 3 weeks. This is bad.
Why is Doom predicted to be such a hit?
Considering Serenity's chart position last weekend, and the fact its per-screen-average was in the bottom half of the top 10, I'd say a 300 theater drop really isn't too shabby.
"Why is Doom predicted to be such a hit?"

A lot more DOOM gamers than Firefly fans, The Rock and it's mindless mutant killing action!
I'm not trying to be optimistic, but it doesn't sound bad to me. We already knew it wasn't a blockbuster that would keep its theaters for multiple weeks. If it had dropped 30-40% of its theaters, that'd be scary, but this is 22%. I think this is in line with the box office, it's not a new blow to the movie.

[ edited by risingwaves on 2008-06-02 01:57 ]
This isn't bad, guys. The movie isn't a blockbuster, so it was pretty much guaranteed to lose theaters in week 3. Look at Into the Blue -- it lost 900, for God's sake. 1,700 theaters is still enough to make a dent in the weekend box office.
Doom isn't going to be a hit(although, with that saying, its going to make more in its first weekend than Serenity did I think.)

And hey people. Remember theres always a lower place. Serenity: -489. Into The Blue: -886.

Its not a big money maker so why would they keep it on if it isn't making that much of a profit. Its why we urged people to go in those first few weeks because no profit means it gets the boot! Then again maybe they're content with the dollar theather? Or even better the DVD.
Just for info, it's 489 screen drop.

Lets be honest, folks: whilst not unexpected, and perfectly in line with the industry standard, if you think Serenity is doing fantastic at the box office, sequels are in bag and such you are kidding yourself big time. It just didn't perform in the US, shrugs.

Doom is something like 70% CGI. It has little plot. It has The Rock. It'll get bad reviews. Intelligence and messages? Not so much. Don't take this the wrong way, but I suspect it'll do well domestically, and open in far more screens than Serenity did.

For Serenity, as folk have been saying for a while now, international and DVD is where it's at.
Well in my area, Seattle-Tacoma, there are some theaters playing the movie on two screens, that will only be playing it on one. That may account for some of the decline.
Today 23 theaters 27 screens
Tomorrow 22 theaters 24 screens
Christopher, that isn't terrible at all. The market is overstuffed with movies right now, with each week bring three to five new releases. Practically all movies lose theaters after the first two weeks, as that is how long most theater chain's contracts are for - e.g. if they book the film, they must show it for a minimum of two weeks. So even with all the demand for screens, only 400 or so out of over 2000 have decided to drop Serenity, which isn't that bad at all.

If you want to see terrible, look at went from 2,215 theaters in week two (almost identical to Serenity) to a rather sad 73 theaters in week 3. In fact, boxofficemojo has an entire list of the biggest theater drop offs after the initial two week agreement, all of which are way, way, worse than Serenity's (quite small) drop:

[ edited by bonzob on 2005-10-13 23:54 ]
Except that Universal doesn't get as much of the international take as it does domestically, so it'd better kill on DVD.
It lost 22% of the screens that it had that is almost a quarter, and do not forget at the remaining screens some showtimes have dropped by half. This is going to be a pretty hard blow for those who hope to pull people into the movie. If you can afford it at least buy tickets to a few showings this weekend so we can at least keep the screens we got now for next week.
DOOM will also perform well around the world, because lots of CGI, guns, explosions, and monsters translate across languages and borders better than just about anything else.
Actually I'm thrilled, I was afraid 'Serenity' would be in half as many theaters, and we are in more than that. Please remember that 'The History of Violence' is making great money in fewer theaters, the fact is that we can hold on, and continue to grow an audience in 1700 theaters. If we do hold on, if 'Serenity' can stay in the top ten, then it may survive the REAL danger: that it might disappear all together on October 21st.
It is normal for theaters to have a two week contract, and clear movies out after that expires to make way for the newer releases, the fact that most of our theaters are keeping 'Serenity' is actually a vote of confidence, that the theater owners expect that it will continue making money.
gossi, none of us are saying the movie's doing fantastic. I think we just realized before that the movie's doing mediocre (box office, that is) and so this reasonable drop in theaters is expected. Nothing new to worry about, imho.

[ edited by jam2 on 2005-10-13 23:57 ]
The Dark Shape - yeah... I've been asked to help with the Serenity DVD promotion as it happens. They need it to do very, very, very well on DVD.

jam2 - I wasn't targeting that comment at anybody on Whedonesque by the way, nearly all the comments I've seen here have been spot on from people in terms of expectations. And, again, to stress I think it's an excellent movie, it'll turn a small profit, and Universal will be happy enough. Joss won't take any hits from this. It's all good in many ways.

Some people in the fandom elsewhere, however, seem convinced it's done brilliant, sequels are already being made yada. I'm hoping everybody keeps the good will, but doesn't emotionally invest themselves on the fact there has to be more movies.

[ edited by gossi on 2005-10-14 00:01 ]
Maybe I'm off, but while I didn't expect a blockbuster hit, I thought that the buzz behind the movie and the rather positive reviews would have made it "catch on" with mainstream audiences who had never seen the show.

Any statistics on what percentage of moviegoers had seen the show versus those who had not?

Is it just that I visit places where I'm likely to hear buzz about Serenity and have therefore self-selected into an unrealistic expectation?
By the way - just a heads up the DVD version of the movie will be handled by a different division, that will also take a piece of the profits away from the production studio. This is not like the TV show on DVD, it will come out at a much lower price, so it will have to have 2-3x more sales than the series did to be a strong contender in that market. Also if anyone has been watching the DVD market, while TV on DVD sets are increasing in sales, movie to DVD are plummeting (Aug alone had a 28% drop in sales for movie DVD's). Part of that drop is due to the fact that retail rental establishments are not stocking the numbers they use to. Unless a movie hits #1 at the box office, places like Blockbuster and other video chain stores are less likely to carry multiple copies of a movie.
We need some people to set themselves on fire in front of the theater to let the powers that be know we are not pleased. A placard and bowl of free Serenity tickets could be placed in front of each burning martyr which reads: "one more light in the darkness for Firefly."
Firefly is now top seller no. 6 US and 7 UK at Amazon - so DVD sales are promising, I reckon.
Yuhu RavenU. I've noted the factors.

Selling Serenity on DVD in bulk is going to be fun. Online is going to be the best marketing tool Serenity on DVD has.

And, the GOOD news: Serenity has had excellent buzz online. It needs millions upon millions of DVD scales worldwide really.

Serapion: mock mock a mock.

[ edited by gossi on 2005-10-14 00:06 ]
I know you understand the stitch gossi, I was typing that up while you were posting. I just want to get it out there for others to understand, who may not have watched that Hollywood business machine as closely as we have.

Next plan of attack have everyone sign up for netflicks and rent the film when it comes out - even if you bought it.

[ edited by RavenU on 2005-10-14 00:13 ]
1700? Ugh. Count yourselves lucky. We just learned that we'll open on exactly 12 screens in the Netherlands.

(Which is nothing against the Dutch UIP, by the way--we've got our inside man there working as much magic as he can. It's the theatres themselves, which first pushed to open at a later date, and then turn out to still barely open at all.) :-(
Down 489 is pretty good, that's only a 22.3% drop. Into the Blue for example dropped 886 screens, that's a 31.7% drop. And like other posters have mentioned, it could be worse. In recent examples, Alone in the Dark dropped 90.1%, Supercross dropped 92.2% and Undiscovered made the ultimate plunge and dropped 100% in the third week.

So all in all, this is pretty good.
Telltale.. Hmmm... That's really not good. What does 12 look like compared to other films?

If the other international markets follow that (big if, by the way) then this is in serious shit.
It's a shame... Serenity has managed to hold 7th place all week this week. Losing that many screens, it'll probably drop off the Top 10 for the first time in the past 3 weeks.
12?!? That's like, nothing! And Firefly was even on TV in the Netherlands ... That just sucks. I can't imagine what the German number of screens will be, I just hope it's more than 12... way more. Well, I have 6 more weeks to wait until I find out.
And the drop of 489 screens seems fair, nothing to freak out about. Probably even less dropping than I expected.
I've made a new thread for the Netherlands thing.
I just hope they still show the Serenity trailers in the theatres showing Doom. We might just get some crossover from people who want to see a decent SF movie after going to Doom out of curiosity.
Does anyone know Serenity's current take per screen in comparison to other movies that have been out around the same amount of time?
Joss needs to make a sequel with somebody like Dakota Fanning. People will go to see it for her, then realize the movie is a gem, and THEN they'll discover this movie and Firefly.
I'm not finding info on any Asian releases, but I have secretly hoped it would do well in Japan. US releases with star power are popular but critically acclaimed movies do well, at least for sale or rent. During my time there, The Professional was very popular in mainstream pop culture due to Mathilda's character. I'm hoping someone figures out River could have the same appeal. Besides, the Japanese really liked Mr. Bean. So how could they not appreciate Serenity?
Well, it's hardly good news, but not really a surprise and I was expecting more of a loss in theater number than this myself. All we can hope by now for the US market is that it trickles down fairly slowly and still makes a bit of cashy money.

if you think Serenity is doing fantastic at the box office, sequels are in bag and such you are kidding yourself big time.

Not sure anyone on Whedonesque is still thinking that at this point, hehe.

As for Doom, yeah it has a 'name' and so does the Rock. It won't be a phenomenal success, but it will do averagely well for such a movie I'm sure. Funny thing is thouh, it looks like a cheap commercial for the game to me. What I played of the game actually looked better in lighting and effects and such. Did they try to not make it too scary or something? The game has a true horror movie atmosphere and this looks like another cheap Aliens rip off.

And Serapion: That's a brilliant idea. Why don't you go do that.
I vote for Dakota Fanning as another Operative! I'm already quaking in fear.
The dishes are done man. JW said himself the movie has to make 50 million domestic or 80 worldside for a sequel. The movie won't even come close to it. I blame crappy marketing. With all the great reviews this movie got, it never had a chance without super marketing hype. I don't remember the last time I have seen a movie with such great reviews do so.....SO the box office.

It's not the fault of the director/writer, actors or the movie itself. I blame Universal for undermarketing this movie. The least they could do to make it up to me, is make a sequel anyway. :)
In my honest opinion, i would love to see Joss given 10 million or so to do a sequel. Just a small release - and it will certainly make back its money. We all know the wonders Joss can do with such a small budget. With a small amount of money actually riding on the film, there's be no pressure on Joss and no stressing Browncoats! We'd get our movie...and the fanbase worldwide alone would give the film a fair amount of money. That's what i think anyway...
I will be interested to see how The Fog does this week end. I was hoping to get interested in a D&D SciFi movie last night (I didn't) and SciFi was promoting it by showing a long clip and then the original. I imagine they are targeting the same demographic.

Perhaps that's why Goners was picked up? A horror flick with a cheaper budget and phenomenal writer? Even more of a no-brainer than Serenity?
No, please, not Dakota. Please God No!
Our theatre, which previously had eight showings of Serenity a day is now down to four.
Still in about 30 theaters in the DC area.
It's still playing in my little town with only one movie theatre (ten screens). Into the Blue was taken away instead. So far it still has the same amount of playing times as it did last week. The first week had 5 show times, the second went down to 4, and today it's still 4. I was actually really surprised by that, so go us.

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