Thursday, December 15, 2005
Reports of Kong's Death Are Greatly Exaggerated
King Kong, which just opened yesterday (a Wednesday), has not even made it to its opening weekend yet, and already, reports are implying it's a bomb (or at least way below expectations). Here are the AOL headlines: "Kong Barely Growls With $9.8M on First Day" and "Kong Whimpers With $9.8M on First Day." Whimpers? On a Wednesday? King Kong is a three-hour movie! Wednesday -- last I looked -- is a work day and (more importantly) a school day. And despite those obstacles, the film still managed to bring in close to $10 million in one day, with a restricted amount of showings (due to its length). That's hardly a whimper. Of course, AOL is part of the Time Warner family, whose studio is Warner Bros. King Kong is released by Universal. Could this be a bit of wishful thinking on the part of a rival studio? It's bad enough that today's Hollywood judges whether most films live or die based on opening weekend grosses. But now, will films not be able to even get to their opening weekend before judgment is passed? Furthermore, everywhere you turn, King Kong is being compared to Titanic in terms of potential boxoffice. Is this the intentional kiss of death for the film? In other words, does setting up that expectation mean the film's a flop if it doesn't reach $600 million domestically and $1.2 billion worldwide? Recall, I mentioned earlier on here that Sony's Godzilla had equally lofty hopes of boxoffice revenue and it fell with a thud. Overnight King Kong, a three-hour movie, took nearly $10 million, on a non-vacation, school/work night. I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks that's impressive boxoffice. Plus, Kong does not have the built-in cult following of other, more successful, Wednesday openers with which it's being compared, such as The Lord of the Rings and Spiderman. But let's forget money for a minute. Kong has received across-the-board rave reviews. Does that count for anything? It's also been nominated for Best Picture by the Broadcast Film Critics. How about letting the film breathe (for at least one weekend) before pushing the big ape off the Empire State Building to its death.