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October 13 2005

Netherlands to open Serenity in 12 screens. Firefly aired at primeish time on the network 'Yorin', Serenity had several early screenings, and cast members in attendance.

Yes. If they charge 1000 Euros a ticket, I think they might just get their money back.
Does anybody know many cinemas the Netherlands area has (Caroline?). I've no idea. I'm presuming it's more than 12. This just seems... Weird.
Eddie Izzard voice: Well done, Holland...veeerrry well done!*insert sarcastic clapping*

OK, j/k, I haven't a clue who to blame, but this is kind of suckage.
Oy....look. okay. I grew up there. We're small. But we're not THAT small! 12 screens?!!?? Is that for the entire country??? Well....isn't that embarrasing. They should make about a 100 bucks from that. Damn....
I don't know why, but I'm getting strangely pissed, thses days, everytime I see that Jessica Alba's movie - which title, I can't quite rememebr right now -, more widely promoted than "Serenity".
edited to delete

[ edited by kus on 2005-10-14 02:53 ]
As I said before, this country doesn't like sci-fi. In some major cities the last Star Trek movie only lasted a week. BtVS and Angel are virtually unknown too. Pop culture isn't popular or taken seriously. Basically, Whedon and The Netherlands don't gel.

I'm sorry, I don't know how many screens we have. I've never counted them :-)
Jeez! TWELVE screens, it's, like, almost uninmaginable! I'm bummed and dissapointed beyond belief.

Caroline, I don't agree as far as Sci-Fi and The Netherlands goes. Yes, it's hard for the 'main stream' to take things seriously, but we have thriving fanclubs for many shows, during the days when I used to co-run the Dutch fanclub our fanclubs days used to attract around 200 or 300 people, every single college student I know has at least heard about Buffy, and most people I know watched the show when it was aired daily around dinner time. The show had fairly good ratings here, especially when it used to highline Net5's fantasy evening, together with Angel and - I think - charmed. The show has been repeated 2 or 3 times, I think. We have several sci-fi conventions which attract pretty well known actors and a nice amount of visitors, and we had a rather succesfull dutch Sci-Fi magazine which stopped a while back, but not for lack of interest.

Firefly was mistreated, but the DVDs are selling nicely through import. The official dutch forum has 160+ members, which always also reflects more people who didn't join. Serenity has been talked about on most online dutch genre and movie forums (we keep track), with the Dutch Star Trek fanclub (with around 1000 paying members, I think) planning a meeting to go see the movie, and various other online fora doing the same thing. It is our impression that the Netherlands is actually one of the countries on the European mainland which has the highest percentage of browncoats in the main population.

I can see Serenity not being huge, sure, but twelve screens seems insanely low and it's quite frankly an insult to dutch fans. Most major sci-fi movies play fine here. I used to work in a movie theatre, and the Star Trek movies did fine here, as did all other sci-fi/fantasy movies. I just don't accept that Serenity couldn't do reasonable business in The Netherlands.

I'm not quite sure what happened, but we'll be trying to find out through our contacts at UIP. We've even heard some rumors now that the movie might not open at all (see the linked thread, for those who speak dutch), but I'm hoping that's all false.

It just makes no sense to me. I am, quite frankly, baffled. Didn't see this coming by a long shot...

ETA: Just read a post from our friend at UIP who has more knowlegde on how (UIP's) sci-fi movies do in the Netherlands, and it seems that most sci-fi movies do badly. The last Star Trek movie did fine, but it was promoted so heavily to get people into the theatre, that they ended up not even getting a profit. So that would seem to support your claim, Caroline, though I still don't agree that the state of Dutch sci-fi is very bleak, for the reasons I sketched above. But maybe it's just a nice-sized group of loyal sci-fi lovers, big enough for things like conventions and nice tv show ratings, but too small to make movies succesfull.

[ edited by GVH on 2005-10-14 05:25 ]
Well I do know Science Fiction prose does fairly well in Holland (or at least it used to). And frankly, America is unbelievably bigger of course, but I'm not sure percentage wise it's much better for movies or TV shows that have any SF or fantasy element.

Most people we know look at us weirdly when we say we watch 'that Buffy show' and most people make fun of Star Trek fans and such. Every single appearance on a TV show or a movie of someone who's into any type of genre is invariably a 'nerd-loser' who never gets a date and lives in his parents' basement.

Now that I've lived in both countries, I honestly don't know if the status of genre is that much better here than in Holland. Then again I may be wrong. Us dutch folk may generally be 'too sober headed' or something to love stuff like this on a national level. (But then does any country on that level? Japan perhaps?)
I was kinda hoping that "number one in the UK" would have some sort of effect in the rest of Europe.
wow. only 12. Overall, Serenity seems to be a flop, sales-wise, huh?

any idea when this opens hre in Holland?
Here it says "more than 1500 movie theaters" (in the Netherlands) [link]
Well, I'm waiting for the Italian opening: hopefully we won't beat this. Hopefully. ^^;
UIP Taiwan have decided not to release the movie.
GHV: I heard some rumours at the dutch premiere, so I knew that the number of screens would be low, but 12 still seems unbelieveable.

It is our impression that the Netherlands is actually one of the countries on the European mainland which has the highest percentage of browncoats in the main population.

That was also my impression, Germany has about the same number of fans, even though it's a much bigger country. But the real comparision should be with the UK, since in both countries it has run on TV (Didn't in Germany), and the UK fans seem to be more numerous, even with the higher population computed in.

Let's hope they'll reconsider, when the fans storm the theatres. You are going to storm aren't you?
UIP Taiwan have decided not to release the movie.

Ugh. That's bad news. Maybe that's why they weren't answering the emails I sent them sometime ago, about releasing Serenity.
UIP Taiwan have decided not to release the movie.

Maybe they're insulted by the way the cast mangles their language? :)

Ok, probably not the best time for a joke. January 12th is beginning to look a lot better, in light of never.
It's being released here in the Netherlands November 17th, Lord_Magneto. If you want to know where exactly, we'll probably know in about a week, just keep tabs on the official forum over at

EdDantes, though I have never lived in the US, I agree with your assesment that both countries seem to have the same percentage of genre-loving folk. On a side note: Written SF doesn't do great here anymore, btw, as written fantasy has kinda pushed it out of the market.

As for my original post, you can see I was quite dissapointed. I've come to face reality since, and it seems movie theatres just don't want to play the movie. The international boxoffice is percieved to be bad, which is why UIP is apareantly tuning down the number of screens where Serenity is going to play. So I'd prepare for some other let downs as far as the number of screens go in other countries. Now reading between the lines of what has been said over at the forum, I get the strong impression that UIP wanted to release the movie on more screens (at one point we were talking about 20 - which was already considered low), but movie theatres just don't want to take the chance to play the movie. Whatever the reason (other movies expected to make a better profit? No faith whatsoever in people coming to see Serenity?), it's down to twelve now.

There are some movies here in the Netherlands which haven't even played longer than a week, the last month. In one week, out the next. Especially at the larger multiplexes. So I'm hoping we can stretch Serenity for more than a week, at least. It'll be difficult to get people to go see the movie within a week, and with only twelve screens (so likely travel time for most people to see it), but we'll sure as hell try. Harpy I'm not sure if we'll 'storm' the theatres, but we'll try, so that we can keep the movie playing just a bit longer and hopefully not loose money here in the Netherlands, which is already going to be very difficult. Trouble is, the first weekend of release is also the weekend of the Serenity squared convention, so a buch of the most active dutch browncoats will be over in the UK, seeing our BDHs in the flesh, which means they at least won't be dragging people along into the theatres. Probably won't have that big an impact on overall ticket sales, but with only twelve screens, pretty much everything is likely to help. It's a bad situation all around. And I'm not sure we can turn it around.
GVH - I hate to break it to you, but the news gets worse.. Two subtitled Harry Potter films are released the following week in the Netherlands... It seems very unlikely it will last longer than a week in theatres there now.
Maybe they're insulted by the way the cast mangles their language? :)

Ok, probably not the best time for a joke. January 12th is beginning to look a lot better, in light of never.

I'm really bummed by this. I think that the movie has such an amazing message for Taiwanese people. Okay, I admit that part of it, it's due to my political position on that whole Taiwan-China thing, cause you know "You can't stop the signal".

Guess I'll do my best with the dvds to spread the word.
Serenity comes out on Thursday, I leave for Squared on Friday, return late Monday night, then have to work on Tuesday, meaning that I won't get back to the city until 9ish, 10ish that night, and that Thursday, Serenity might be gone.

That gives me exactly two days to go see it on.

Oh, yes. I'm *so* happy with how this is turning out. I've been optmistic all along, but now I've noticed I'm starting to bang my head against the wall. Repeatedly. Hard.
Yep, it sucks the big one, Telltale. I'm right there with you. At least I didn't have the cash to go to Squared, so I'll have the week to see the movie, at least. I'm now more happy than ever that I've already seen the movie twice, with the pre-screening and premiere, because in that week I might make it two times, but that's it, tops. Had planned on seeing it more often than twice, but there you go.

Gossi: yep, I know about Harry Potter. But I don't think Serenity is playing on the same screens as Potter will be (I'm assuming Potter'll play on bigger screens than Serenity will), so I'm not sure if it'll have a direct impact, but I'm not hopefull for stretching the release to a second week, no.
I know scifi plays in Hong Kong. I saw Starship Troopers there. Why wouldn't they want Serenity? Of course, I don't know their Starship Troopers figures but I wasn't the only body in the theater. No quick info to be found for Japan either. But they are pushing Orlando Bloom, I mean Elizabethtown, pretty hard there. *sigh*
"Gossi: yep, I know about Harry Potter. But I don't think Serenity is playing on the same screens as Potter will be (I'm assuming Potter'll play on bigger screens than Serenity will), so I'm not sure if it'll have a direct impact, but I'm not hopefull for stretching the release to a second week, no."

Well, likely the movies from the bigger screens will be bumped down to the smaller screens, leaving even less room for Serenity.

But I've found a bright side! If they expect nothing from Serenity, they can be surprised and eager to see how long the movie can last. :-D
As for those wondering about the sizes of releases in the Netherlands, there was a whole torrent of movies released this week, with 105 screens for Wallace and Gromit, and other releases on 60, 55 (twice), 53, 47, 43 (MT's Ice Princess), 35, 30 (twice), 11 (twice), 9, 6, and 1 screen. So generally 100+ screens is really big and somewhere between 30 - 70 is reasonable, but 12 is low.

Anyway, I still think it will be released in my home town (Amsterdam) as most movies are, and plan on going several times in one week (with all different groups of friends), but this is not good news.
Hmm, Amsterdam, Rotterdam...Utrecht, Den Hague...I don't know any other cities(that would be big enough to have Serenity if it's only on 12 screens). But then I don't live there. For all I know there could be a huge cineplex in Den Burg.
The aim for Dutch Browncoats must be to make sure Serenity has the highest screen average of any film in Holland the week it opens. It's a great shame that it's opening on only 12 screens, but that ought to make it easier to get a hugely high average!
well GVH I certainly will do my part in "storming". I'm planning to see it in the Netherlands at least twice on opening weekend, taking a few friends with me. We don't like dubbed movies and want to see it in the OV. Hopefully it will play in Heerlen or Maastricht or somwhere else in Limburg, otherwise it could be quite a long drive, which means less friends that would come with me.

[ edited by Harpy on 2005-10-14 21:04 ]
Hi guys- I don't post here very often, but I'm from the Netherlands and I discussed the 'only' 12 screens bit with my friends today, who are also planning to go see the film.

Big action movies get 50 screens. For a country not big on sci-fi, 12 screens is pretty good. It's more than "Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain" got initially, and that film eventually was in theatres for more than a year (still getting visitors in week 57). No, I'm not disappointed with the amount of screens.

What I *AM* disappointed about is the lack of promotion done in this country on the film. If I wasn't into Whedon I wouldn't even know of the film's existance. It's done really well in sneak preview screenings, but I haven't seen ANY trailers or ANY tv commercials. Oh wait- that might have to do with the friggin opening date being pushed back seven weeks! *grumble*
ankie: yep, the promotion has not gone smoothly at all. UIP Netherlands didn't even have posters for a long time. Don't know why, but they just weren't there. They didn't even have press packages when the movie got screened to reviewers, even if I remember correctly. And not because they didn't want to, but the material, which comes from abroad, just didn't get there.

The trailers will probably start playing soon in the theatres where the movie is going to open, but I wouldn't hold my hopes up for any tv commercials or posters at bus stops and the like.

There were going to be television commercials and adds and stuff at first (we know, because our website,, was supposed to be on the posters and in the trailers as well) but most of that was dropped together with the larger amount of screens when the movie did not perform as hoped internationally. UIP Netherlands is now pretty much just cutting their losses, not spending too much on the movie at all, and are just hoping to at least get some of their investment back, which doesn't seem likely at this point.

I'm very worried about how Serenity will play on those 12 screens. Sure, we have a couple of hundred fans, amped up to about 1000 sci-fi fans who are able to go see the movie in the first week. What we need, is cross-over into the regular movie going public who don't even know the movie is there to begin with. And I, for one, am at a loss what to do. Our own browncoat campaign was aimed at people on the internet, or who already had a tendency to like genre-outings (posters in comic shops, for instance, promotion at conventions), counting on UIP to do the big commercial 'main public' things, which have now fallen through.

There is, of course, the word-of mouth thing and the fact that most of us have social cicles of friends and family who we can take along to the movie. But with the limited amount of screens, I worry that most people I convinced to go (my volleybal team, my coworkers, most of my friends, etc.) will probably end up not going now, if they have to travel to see the movie. I just don't see it breaking out. We need to have very good attendance in those 12 theatres, but without any major promotion, it'll be pretty hard, if not impossible, to move beyond the established fanbase, which isn't tiny, but too small to support the movie by itself.

Ah, well, I'll just have to make peace with the fact that Serenity is not going to be a hit here, and may not even be out in the theatres for more than a was just that, with the pre-screenings, the positive feedback from reviewers (also in The Netherlands), the fact that we had a premiere with Nathan and Summer, UIP Netherlands being very supportive of the movie and very ready to do things for the fans...well, in my mind Serenity was already doing well, because, before the push-back of the date, the signs were great and we only got good news. It's taking some adjusting to the new reality of things now.

[ edited by GVH on 2005-10-15 01:38 ]

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