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November 29 2005

Serenity opens # 5 in Germany. The box-office figures are $406,769 for the opening weekend of Serenity, which puts it at #5 after Potter, Exorcism, Shoes and Christmoose Carol. The movie has also opened at number 5 in Austria and is still doing well in its second week in Estonia.

Well, if that's tame what is our 17th place in Italy? (with about 57000 Euros)?
But I think that UIP Italy wasn't expecting much more than this... with no advertising at ALL and letting it open the same day as Harry Potter and in only 97 theaters (most of which showing only one or two screenings a day).
Any other week-end would have been better, of course, but this is what we got! Oh, well...
Oh, bollocks. They spent a fair amount on the Germany promotion, I think (lots of posters and trailers and such) so this ain't good, looks like Germany's release will take a loss :(

By the way, Japan have dropped the release, so this was the last big opening of the movie internationally. Thanks to UIP Germany for trying :)

[ edited by gossi on 2005-11-29 15:28 ]
We'll see how much money Germany will see in a couple of weeks, I suppose. I'll probably watch it a third time this week and see how many people I can bring.

BTW, the screening I attended was totally fucked up. The screen was too dark, slightly off-centre and the sound didn't even sound like dolby, more like stereo. And we paid over-length fee, despite the film being 1:59h. I hate Cinemaxx Hannover.
Not sure about those 100,000. The headline of the box in wich that number occurs roughly translates as 'the top hits are aiming at'. The german box office charts count heads (or bums in seats, if you will), not money. As Serenity had some 50,000+ paying customers over the weekend, i guess 100,000 is a prediction for the week's total visitors.

An idea what 100,000 tickets mean in US dollars, anyone?

The theater where three hours from now I will be BDM-watching (finally! yay!) lists as their top movies (1) Harry Potter (english), (2) Harry Potter (german), (3) Serenity (e), (4) An Unfinished Life (e), (5) Pride and Prejudice (e). They have just renewed Serenity for a second week.
Harridan, did you complain? The amount of cinemas I've been to where the projectionists haven't known what 'aspect ratio' and such means is unreal.
*sniff*

Did all I could (10+ people). But it seems we get another week of Serenity here, gossi. No dropping out of theatres. at least not here in Aachen.

and Tact guy is right. It's only prognoses. Wednesday come the actual numbers.

[ edited by Harpy on 2005-11-29 15:40 ]
Gossi, one of us went to complain even during the movie, but nothing happened. I really don't know why the rear speakers didn't work - but our theatres are quite old and in bad shape here.

But they renewed Serenity for another week.

[ edited by Harridan on 2005-11-29 15:43 ]
The cinemas will almost certainly be under paid contract to hold it for 2 weeks, nearly all the international openings have had this (not meaning to sound like a dick - just for info). If it has opened 9th, though, they'll nearly all drop it straight after the 2nd week.

I thought it would do really well in Germany - good reviews, promotion etc.
Gossi, I guess the major mistake was to have it open so late after the international start - to me it felt as if the little buzz the movie had had already calmed down by then. But I have the finger on the internet pulse, other people might feel different about it.
And have it open a week after Harry Potter did doesn't seem clever to me either.
Harry Potter is certainly a monster of an opening to be against - it's taken $400m in a week.
Not so sure about the good promotion, I've only seen one trailer on MTV so far.
So sad it won't open in Japan, but it usually takes serious star power for foreign films to make any money there. I suspect it might do ok on video there... if at least a little promotion is conducted. River would be an extremely appealing character there.
There's an in-depth and really positive article (in German) on Serenity and Joss' work in general on Spiegel Online here. This is one of the most poular, if not the most popular news site in Germany, so this is really good.

[ edited by Ariane on 2005-11-29 17:12 ]
So, it seems that the movie opening in 9th place is slightly better than the Dutch release. Was there really a lot of promotion going on in Germany? I thought it was released pretty low-key, but I guess I might be wrong.

So, are these prognoses for number of visitors or for money taken in euro's? Do we know yet?

As for the Netherlands: Serenity'll be going into its third week next thursday, and it's moving unto some smaller screens. Won't be long now before it leaves theatres, I think. Still, three weeks is already better than the single week we were all fearing.
The way I understand that site, it's number of visitors. So it should be something like 600,000 or 700,000 Euros (if you can calculate it like that).
As far as promotion goes, I didn't see much, or rather, none at all (but I hardly watch TV, so I'd miss trailers there).
I've seen Serenity twice, on Friday and yesterday, and the theatre was about half full at both times (first one was OV and yesterday a dubbed screening - eeeewww. Not so good, I think.) But I managed to convince 4 guys in line behind us who were undecided to see Serenity :-).
GVH - 3 weeks is excellent!

Germany had far more screens than Netherlands, so it's unsurprising it landed higher in the charts really.
Not terrible, but there go my hopes of being "big in Japan and Germany". Well, it's all up to the lama (and the subsequent careers of Joss, Nathan, Summer, et al) now.
I'm a little confused with this whole tickets vs. euros things. If it's any help BOM reports that has Harry Potter taking in $35,900,000 betwen 11/17 and 11/27 in Germany. Maybe someone can go back to the site referenced and figure out some kind of conversion based on that...or we could just wait.
And we paid over-length fee

Do you mean you have to pay an extra fee if the movie goes over a certain amount of time??? That's insane!!
Rogue Slayer: yep, less than 2 hours is regular, 2 to 2.5 hours is I think 50 cents extra, and more than 2.5 hours is + 1 Euro to the regular price, if I'm not mistaken.

Regarding the Harry Potter sales: I can't quite figure it out, the site is really confusing, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Reuters report places it 5th with $406759 USD.

Which is better than 9th, but still quite bad. Apparently parts of Germany had very bad weather this weekend which will have effected the outcome (snow storms).

By the way, if anybody is in Japan, I believe the distributor is planning to do a one off cinema screening for fans in December as a thank you.

I've spoken to people from both Universal and UIP over the last few days, the general feeling they give is that they need to DVD to go internationally #1 now to secure a sequel, so if anybody has any idea how to achieve that, I'm all ears.

In good news, also, it appears Blockbuster US is planning to carry Serenity now.

[ edited by gossi on 2005-11-29 22:51 ]
I've spoken to people from both Universal and UIP over the last few days,


Gosh, Gossi, they speak to you again? ;)
I wouldn't call that a bad opening. What's the total now? I'm counting 27.6M.
the general feeling they give is that they need to DVD to go internationally #1 now to secure a sequel, so if anybody has any idea how to achieve that, I'm all ears.


Basically our work ain't over yet. But yeah, gossi's right, if anyone got some ingenious idea, please speak up.

[ edited by Numfar PTB on 2005-11-30 00:11 ]
Total is $36m'ish at mo. I think it'll finish around $38m in terms of box office, which is about on target with estimates from a while ago.

And yep, Le comité.. all is well. It appears they are totally focused on King Kong at the moment, which isn't surprising. I actually got an invite to watch King Kong this weekend, very tempting..
Link has been changed to the Reuters link, and I've also added Andrea's info about Austria and Estonia to the subject line as well.
Thanks for tieing the threads together, Simon!
No probs. I thought I'd bundle all the European box office links together. And apparently there will be a new Joss interview about Serenity out in the next few hours.
Does anyone have any idea how much contries in South East Asia contribute to the box-office. Serenity won't open here till next year, and I'm doing my best to rally people to watch it then.
Does anyone have any idea how much contries in South East Asia contribute to the box-office....


I don't know if this helps, but Box Office Mojo quotes the total worldwide box office gross for 'War Of The Worlds' as $589 million of which $354 million was contributed by "overseas" revenue. Here are some figures for countries in South East Asia:

Indonesia: $1,930,000
Malaysia: $1,694,000
Philippines: $1,911,000
Singapore: $1,912,000
Thailand: $2,255,000
Total: $9,702,000

My maths is appalling but I think that is about 2.75% of the overseas gross. Whether or not these figures can be equated to 'Serenity' is debateable, especially bearing in mind 60% of the total box office gross for 'War Of The Worlds' comes from overseas and the figures for 'Serenity' are not in any way comparable to that, suggesting a very different audience demographic. However, assuming the total overseas gross is $12 million and countries in South East Asia contribute 2.75%, the total would be about $330,000.
For those who speak German: There were two excellent Whedon interviews published in german quality newspapers recently.

FAZ

TAZ
Not wanting be the bearer of bad news, but I'm pretty sure those countries won't be seeing Serenity in theatres. I know at least two of them have pulled out. Singapore did a one off screening for fans earlier this month. The cost of dubbing and releasing Serenity for a potentially small amount of money where piracy is rife will likely prevent release, unfortunately.
Ariane, TactGuy - thanks so much for the links to the articles, that really made my day.
Glad to be of service, miranda.

I find it interesting that the german "high brow" papers (like FAZ, taz, SZ and SPIEGEL Online) are raving about Serenity, while some provincial, less intellectual reviewers don't get it. The most absurd thing I read was something like "long passages of dialogue indicate there was not enough money for more special effects". Yikes!
Thanks for the links, TactGuy! Especially the FAZ was a great read, good questions and very honest answers from Joss.
Anybody who can translate those articles is going to get a few thousand website hits for the translations, methinks..

We found in the UK the high brow publications tended to love Serenity - the only flack we saw generally came from, erm, some less interesting places shall we say ;)

In other words, I think those intelligent reviewers 'got it'. They got the messages. They realised it wasn't 'Stealth'. Which rocks.
I find it interesting that some movies make most of their money outside the US, and some movies don't, mainly BECAUSE a movie didn't do well in the US. Seems it pays to have simultaneous releases, but I imagine that's hard to do unless you're a huge-ass movie.
gossi, the problem with translations is that it becomes Chinese whispers. Obviously the interviews were done in English and it is impossible to translate it back to the original words used. That's why I wouldn't want to attempt it. We parse and interpret all interviews enough as it is - it might lead to misunderstandings and confusion.
Well, the bit translated back about Joss owning three Charolette Church albums is TRUE, I tell you, TRUE.
Not wanting be the bearer of bad news, but I'm pretty sure those countries won't be seeing Serenity in theatres. I know at least two of them have pulled out. Singapore did a one off screening for fans earlier this month. The cost of dubbing and releasing Serenity for a potentially small amount of money where piracy is rife will likely prevent release, unfortunately.


I'm not too sure about the other countries, but here in Malaysia, we don't dub English movies. Besides, UIP Malaysia still has the movie slated for January 12th, and they haven't taken down the Serenity posters yet, so there's still hope they might show it here.

*crosses finger*
NickSeng - oooooh, good stuff. If it's not dubbed you should have a good chance of seeing it on the big(ger) screen.
The funny thing is that here in the Netherlands one of the high brow newspaper (the NRC) actually gave Serenity a very bad review (basically along the lines "It's incomprehensible for non-fans and the fans are raving about something which isn't in any way special"). As far as I know most other reviews were good, so this is contrary to the international trend mentioned here. The FAZ interview is very good btw.

Because of this review I almost had to pull my dad by his hairs into the theater, though afterwards he said that it was actually quite good.

As long as bad box office in the USA means that international releases are being pulled, down-scaled or underpromoted, it doesn't surprise me that those films will generally do even worse internationally than in the USA itself.

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