Sunday, November 2, 2008

FORUM: Can A Title Truly Affect Box Office Totals?

So, as I'm sitting here reading and trying to find something to do, I stumbled across a very interesting article over at Yahoo!. Now, the biggest release of this week was arguably Zack and Miri Make a Porno, and it not only came out during a rather weak week, but it starred the now comedic profit mine, Seth Rogen. That said, the film opened with a horrendous 2.2$ million on opening Friday, leaving the weekend total at a mediocre 10.7$ million, and the film is looking at an estimated 30$ gross for the full run, nearly 66% less than the 80$ million the Weisteins had originally estimated. Granted, it was Halloween, but Halloween falls on a Friday once every 7 years, so data to suggest that it had any effect is pretty scarce.

As I was reading the said article, I came across this little sentence...

The movie also faced some audience resistance over the racy subject matter and the word "Porno" in the title.

This is an interesting little concept. Can a title truly affect a films box office total? Let's take a look at what the film has going for it, and against it...

1) It's a raunchy comedy, a.k.a. relatively solid box office potential, especially when talking about the college demographic
2) Seth Rogen is a pretty big comedic star, at least at this point in time.
3) The film has a controversial title
4) The film has had a VERY controversial life span
5) No press is bad press

1) It's a Kevin Smith comedy, a.k.a. a HYSTORICALLY small box office gross...I have proof (thanks to Reelz Channel for the photo...)

2) The film has been banned at a few theatres
3) The film's title has kept it out of many publications
4) There has been little to no prime time promotion
5) Halloween weekend started on Friday
6) High School Musical AND Saw V just started their runs

So this leads me to the question, does the title Zack and Miri Make a Porno make this film a box office bomb? Was it simply the title, or was the kiss of death the weekend they chose to release it, or was it in the fact that it was a Kevin Smith film? What are your thoughts?

Go see something good!

1 comment:

  1. My guess is that it has to do with Kevin Smith. There are a lot of people who feel very negatively toward him, and who have essentially typecast him as someone who makes really crude and raunchy movies.

    And I don't think it has as much to do with the title as some people do. If a movie with the same name had been directed by Martin Scorsese or Steven Spielberg, people still would have gone to see it. On top of that, I think it would have gotten a lot more publicity than it did. Things like its release date and competition are a factor too, but I think the other things are what really did the movie in, in this case.


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