Last week Laremy and I were discussing the upcoming weekend and the topic of Evan Almighty came up. Now for those of you unfamiliar, Evan Almighty has the distinction of having the biggest budget ever for a comedy. Laremy argued that it couldn't make its money back and would tank opening weekend. I, on the other hand, defended its solvency despite having seen it (and wanted to pound my own skull in with a ball-peen hammer for having done so.)
Being that it didn't do so hot, Laremy figured the best revenge would be not only to feed me my words, but make me type 500 of them as well. A post-education blackboard assignment if you will:Write an essay on why this movie failed and you thought it would succeed.
Now slow down there, little bobcat. This ain't failed yet. It just doesn't look good. I spent this past weekend at a horror convention and STILL I encountered people talking about it. The performance was lackluster, but also indicative of a much larger problem. Remember all that talk about this being the biggest, highest grossing summer ever? Well, that talk is over. Now everyone's just crossing their fingers hoping they can keep up.
And don't you for a moment think that this means that theater chains are doing well. In speaking with a few theater owners recently, I've come to learn that the exhibitors are hurting. Hollywood is keeping a huge cut off of the first few weeks take, but none of their films have legs. They aren't carrying into the next week. The second week drop-offs are gigantic. With the studios opening on more and more screens, no one's getting turned away. Nothing is selling out for very long, if at all. And that means that the audience that wants to see it can see it the first week.
Add to this the fact that there is a new ultra mega huge blockbuster opening every single week, and you end up with audiences thinking a week old film is old news. Why see Spider-Man 3 when Shrek 3 is out this week? Why see Shrek 3 when Pirates 3 is out this week? Ad Nauseum, Hollywood is choking itself to death. Long gone are the days when people were turned away from movies, only making them even more excited to see it. Sure they had to see something else instead, LAST WEEK'S MOVIE. But they couldn't wait to come right back and try to get into THIS WEEK'S MOVIE.
There are too many screens, too much competition, and too many films with numbers after them making this entire summer feel like something we've all seen before. And what's so exciting about that?
So there you go, Laremy. You were right. I have zero hope of Evan Almighty making a real profit, if it makes its money back at all. Maybe it'll kill on DVD and make some green. But it's not going to be called an overwhelming success by anyone. So what has two thumbs and called this one wrong last week? THIS GUY!
C. Robert Cargill - - - Email Me
Austin-based Cargill, who not only loves but owns The Cutting Edge, writes on movies and DVD five times a week.