Monday, June 14, 2010

Flipped Flop?

When is a flop a flop? And when is one not really a flop but gets the label one?

Is a film a flop when it underperforms in the US but is strong internationally?

Can it be successful in a genre but a flop overall?

All questions that can be asked about PoP.


While PoP might not have met the expectations of opening weekend in the U.S. , it did beat out SaTC2 when all the totals were in after Memorial Day weekend. But it didn't do enough to take first.

After that was when the first time you heard the f-word (flop) about PoP.

While PoP has only taken in $60 million in the US, it has done triple that internationally and coupled with DVD sales it could come out ahead. Not the by the margin they wanted but ahead. Will it still be considered a flop?

“'Prince of Persia was really an attempt at starting a new franchise in the vein of Pirates of the Caribbean or The Mummy, so it completely failed on that front,' says Brandon Gray, the president and publisher of BoxOfficeMojo.

Gray thinks the tag 'flop' is often assigned too quickly. Some films have significant disparity between their reported cost and their receipts, but they still are widely seen."

Gray thinks a true flop is more about audience than money. By that standard, Prince might end up qualifying only as a modest flop.

Foreign markets can, financial standpoint, change the definition of a flop, they can be the savior of a movie. They also can create demand for franchises, which tend to grow overseas rather than fall off in the US. Ice Age 3 was the least viewed of the three in the franchise in the States, but 78 percent of its worldwide take was from foreign markets, where it was the most popular of the three.

And here's something you might not be aware of:

With a worldwide total of $262.6 million, PoP is set to pass Lara Croft: Tomb Raider ($274.7 million) by next weekend to become the world's highest-grossing video game adaptation ever.

So is it a flop?

And has the door on a sequel been completely shut?

40 comments:

gawker said...

6) Prince of Persia: Sands Through the Hourglass — $6.6m
Yiiiikes. After only three weeks in multiplexes, this Jake Gyllenhaal sex farce has only earned back $72m of its $200m budget. This does not bode well for the chances of the other two films in Gyllenhaal's planned trilogy, The Camel Has Two Humps and Casa Blanca (about a sexy fair-skinned Spaniard who lives in a villa in the desert). Maybe they'll come out low-budget and straight to video, but if you can't see Gyllenhaal writhing around, getting sand in crevices sand should never be, on the big screen in 3D, then just what the heck is the point?

spin said...

There are lots of ways to spin things, but PoP has not done nearly the box office that Disney/Bruckheimer wanted or expected (and didn't get nearly the positive reviews it wanted either). And you don't spend $200 million on a film only to hope that after dvd sales you may be "coming out ahead." Flop might be too strong a word, but "disappointment" is not.

Special K said...

Flop might be too strong a word, but "disappointment" is not.

I agree with that Spin. And yes the critics didn't give it great reviews but once people saw it, the majority of responses were good.

Was it the genre? The story? The casting? Or the PR campaign that couldn't get butts in the seats in the US?

But the way it's spun about how faired at the B.O. no one would ever imagine it's going to surpass Tomb Raider.

No Pop said...

The problem is that PoP was supposed to be the next Pirates of the Caribbean. Bruckheimer wasn't thinking of Lara Croft when he decided to go forward with this film. No matter how anyone spins it, the film did not meet anyone's expectations. What Bruckheimer has not acknowledged, is that Johnny Depp created a character that made Pirates the hit that it was. Jake did not create a character; he just played the character pretty much as written.

destiny said...

I agree with No POP. The NYT had yet another article in the paper today about the bad business for films so far this summer. The conclusion was that HW was to blame for making pictures people didn't want to see. This includes relying too much on sequels and films that were made in the hopes of being a new franchise, like POP.

I can't recall if if was the same article or something else I read, but at the box office studios usually get about 50-55% of the cut in the US, but only 40% overseas.

POP cost about $300 million by the time you throw in marketing costs. That means using the 50% number to break even it has to make about $600 million--and with most of the sales overseas, and a 40% cut, it would have to make closer to $700 million to break even.

It will be interesting to see how Bruckheimer's other film does this summer. If it flops I think more of them blame will be put on him than has happened so far with POP.

bomb said...

Bruckheimer had 2 flops last year GForce and Confessions of a Shopaholic, both bombs, so with Pop it's 3 in a row.

Soccerors apprentice with Cage is rated PG and they moved the opening date up. It should do ok, but there is little buzz for it.

PoP Didn't Fizzle said...

But the way it's spun about how faired at the B.O. no one would ever imagine it's going to surpass Tomb Raider.

That's interesting, the spin in the media. Have they made sequels for Tomb Raider?

Special K said...

What Bruckheimer has not acknowledged, is that Johnny Depp created a character that made Pirates the hit that it was. Jake did not create a character; he just played the character pretty much as written.

That is a good point No Pop. And you wonder if it was a video adaptation that Jake didn't have the opportunity or was reluctant himself to create a character because it was already established through the video game.

And yes Dest, have to wait and see how Sorcerer's Apprentice does, and it may reflect more on Bruck if he has a 4th film that hasn't met predictions than on the individual films themselves.

To answer about sequels to Tomb Raider, yes they made one more The Cradle of Life that made $156.5 million worldwide (65.6 million domestic)

spin said...

(Yes, that is Alfred Molina you see in the trailer. He's in this one, too).

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice trailer

Is Disney’s next summer blockbuster going a little bit darker than first thought? Here’s the latest glimpse of Nicolas Cage in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice…
Published on Jun 14, 2010

Disney seems to be ramping up its promotional work on its next big summer blockbuster, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, perhaps in response to the slightly underwhelming response to its Prince Of Persia movie.

What's interesting is how the more recent promotional material for The Sorcerer's Apprentice appears to be pushing a slightly darker edge, and in the case of this trailer here, it doesn't look like it's bothered about giving the kiddies a few chills.

Nicolas Cage is, of course, playing Nicolas Cage here, and he's united with his National Treasure director Jon Turteltaub. And this particular trailer does show some real promise. Be interesting to see how this one pans out, and we'll know more once it makes its US bow in July.

One note, by the way, to future screenwriters: if you're penning a Nicolas Cage movie, you don't need to include a line where a character asks him "Are you insane?" Just saying...

Here's the trailer:

destiny said...

When comparing POP to older movies like Tomb Raider, you have to keep in mind that tickets for movies cost a lot more money now than they did even a couple of years ago. So $165 million means they sold a lot more tickets than would a comparable number for POP. It's too bad they don't use ticket sales as a measure, but they don't because in HW it's the money they care about.

One of the movie articles I read recently also talked about Jolie and the fact that most of her films have not done that well in recent years, so everyone is really going to be watching to see how Salt does.

it's so obvious said...

... Popsugar sees it

destiny said...

LOL, the same shirt even.

Special K said...

Thinking more about PoP. Did anyone notice despite all the huge amounts of PR, how it was almost not existent on NBC. How PoP was on all the other morning new shows but not the Today show. And again late night shows but not Jay.

I wonder if Jake is still miffed at Meredith from the last time she interviewed him. And Jay? Well I think Jake is Team Coco.

Sequels said...

Supposedly there's another Tomb Raider movie in the works?

Armchair Critic #471 said...

IMNSHO, the fault of POP lies at the feet of the scriptwriter(s), or should I say, at their keyboards.

Stock characters lacking any subtext depth given pedestrian dialogue devoid of any wit, charm or punch wandering through a cliched plot rendered nonsensical by the blaring absence of solid exposition.

Now, POTC can also claim the re-treaded plot award, especially both sequels - add muddled mess for No. 3 - but, at least the dialogue was snappy and FUN. And there was Johnny Depp, who, along with Geoffrey Rush and Jonathan Price, filled the empty space that was Orlando Bloom.

Alfred Molina is a tremendous actor, a favorite of mine, but, given his limited screen time, even he couldn't pull POP alone.

As with any endeavor, film, stage or TV, if the script sucks, then so will the end result. And that's what happened to POP.

m said...

I think the press was awful quick to label POP a bomb. Not sure why. Maybe some Bruckheimer backlash. Regardless of whether it was true or not the impression was made and the words flop, failure etc were used by the majority, not the minority. It does not help that Jake's last few films underperformed vs expectations. That said, I think Jake's personal popularity is returning post Reeke so he has a shot at recovering. Reese dumping him unexpectedly is actually the best thing she ever did for him. LAOD is getting good word of mouth but sometimes the viewing public is not up for films with illness in the story line, even if it is a dramedy.

Bruckheimer himself has been quiet through this whole debacle. I wonder if he will speak on it or not. One problem with POP2 is that it has to be 3D which will take the costs up considerably. Quite a gamble based on the results so far. Disney can stall with a decision long enough so that Jake is deemed too old to do the next one.

destiny said...

Arnchair Critic, unfortunately that is business as usual when it comes to these big tentpole movies. First they come up with the concept and then figure out how they can appeal to as many people as possible. The script is almost an afterthought and tends to reflect trying to justify the cost by selling everyone. Explosions? Check. One young woman so the men can get their girlfriends and wives to come? Check. Orphaned kid that finds out what family is? Check.......

I'd like to think that what is happening this summer with crap movies that nobody is going to will change things, but I'm not going to hold my breath. EW had a good article on this a few weeks back.

There are just not that many movies I have interest in going to anymore. Even indies all started following their own tired formulas. It's no wonder I watch more tv than movies these days.

destiny said...

Agree M about Jake getting back some of his popularity. They seem to have rediscovered him at ONTD.

Hopefully Jake will take a lesson from this, be himself, and not run out and find another beard. Not very hopeful about that, I'm sure Jake's people are just telling him he picked the wrong woman and that they've learned how to do it so it looks real this time. Next time around it will just look more like Sophin than Reeke.

norwegian girl said...

my brother has had the same girlfriend for the last six years, though i`ve never seen her. only photos. the reason for that is only a few months after they became a couple and before i saw her, she got cancer. today, she is 31, like me. while she was ill, she lost her dad to a heart-attace and her brother to cancer.
i`ve got to know her on the phone the past month, and it`s just such a joy, and also so hard!

she knows her time is very limited, still she`s such a positive girl, she gives ME comfort!

i talk to her four times a week now, and i thought it should be so tough because of her illness and my scared of talking on the phone. wow, she has so much to give, my fearness wasn`t necessary.
i`m waiting for her phone-call right now, and i`m looking forward to it. life is here and now, and we just enjoy it together!!!:)

Special K said...

life is here and now, and we just enjoy it together!!!:)

So well said NG. (((())) sending good thoughts to all of you.

nbc said...

Thinking more about PoP. Did anyone notice despite all the huge amounts of PR, how it was almost not existent on NBC. How PoP was on all the other morning new shows but not the Today show. And again late night shows but not Jay.
I wonder if Jake is still miffed at Meredith from the last time she interviewed him. And Jay? Well I think Jake is Team Coco.


Isn't Jimmy Fallon on NBC?

Special K said...

But that is the only show on NBC, if you look at at the other big networks Jake did multiple shows for them. And for a movie as big PoP and all the press he was doing everywhere, it just stuck out to me as odd.

go kelly go said...

Kelly and Sharon Osbourne came face to face with furious anti-gay protesters on Sunday afternoon at the West Hollywood Gay Pride Parade.

The mother and daughter were sat gracefully atop a float yesterday afternoon in Hollywood, until a furious group tried to halt the parade taking place in Hollywood.

The mob came up to Kel and Shaz, accosting them with angry accusations around halfway through.

A source said:

“Kelly went to the mic and told the crowd: 'My God loves Gays'. She then led the mainly gay crowd into a chant of ‘God loves Gays’. It was so loud it drowned out the protesters.”

Kelly herself later tweeted:

"i had the most amazing day with my mum thank you thank you for letting us be apart of something so beautiful!"

Holy Moly

nbc said...

But that is the only show on NBC, if you look at at the other big networks Jake did multiple shows for them. And for a movie as big PoP and all the press he was doing everywhere, it just stuck out to me as odd.

That's true. I can understand ABC - it's owned by Disney, after all. But he did both Letterman and the CBS Morning Show.

Special K said...

I can see him not doing Leno for because it was in LA. But he was in NY for the week and didn't do The Today Show?

destiny said...

(((NG))). Couldn't agree more about living life to the fullest.

I think there is a lot of rivalry between the Today Show and Good Morning America, so that may be a reason for not doing anything on NBC. CBS' morning show trails those two, and isn't a threat to GMA. Competition for certain demographics could also be a factor in all of this. Not to mention I don't know about others, but I already had Jake fatigue as it was from all the shows he did at once.

m said...

I had hoped Jake would do Craig Ferguson, but I can see that his PR would have a hard time doing that show. Craig is so crazy, I can just see him saying so Jake, is it true you are gay. Plus he did not have much good to say about POP.

More I think about it, it would be quite risky for Jake to do a POP2. Most sequels do worse than the first one and a 2nd poor showing would be truly bad for him. I looked on boxofficemojo and while the first us weekend opening was mediocre, the 2nd was -55% and the 3rd -54%. With Toy Story opening this weekend, I think POP is finished for the US, at least in theaters.

Jersey Tom said...

All I can say is that I am glad Jake is free of Disney and reese. Whomever came up with that one was an outright idiot.

Jersey Tom said...

nbc said...
Thinking more about PoP. Did anyone notice despite all the huge amounts of PR, how it was almost not existent on NBC. How PoP was on all the other morning new shows but not the Today show. And again late night shows but not Jay.
I wonder if Jake is still miffed at Meredith from the last time she interviewed him. And Jay? Well I think Jake is Team Coco.

Isn't Jimmy Fallon on NBC?

What did Meredith say to Jake that would have upset him? I missed that one.

Jersey Tom said...

Destiny check out the James Franco video at gay pride. James is having his own art exhibit in NYC later this summer I believe. Might be cool to check out. They give the date near the end of the video.

Jersey Tom said...

James exhibit is June 22nd at the Clock Tower in NYC.

james' gf said...

James Franco on Oprah for Eat Pray Love

Special K said...

Back when Jake was promoting Rendition Meredith interviewed him.

"Oh Meredith Viera! She just can’t help but reveal her true, kinky self on the air - she’s the exact same way after one cosmo at ‘Applebee’s Night’ with her gal pals. Here is the former View co-host making what is either a veiled butt sex joke or a Freudian slip of sorts to a traumatized Jake Gyllenhaal. And to think Brokeback Mountain jokes got old in 2006. Alas, Meredith is probably wishing she knew how to quit them right about now. Zing! "

The Today Show's Sex Joke Slip Up

destiny said...

I tried to watch a Franco interview I saw on Towleroad earlier tonight but it wouldn't load Tom, I'll try to check it out again. And thanks for the heads up about the exhibit, I'll try to check it out if I can.

destiny said...

I have no idea what to think of Franco when it comes to the girlfriend/beard and all of his "gay activities" for lack of a better word. Bisexual? Bi-curious? Gay and bearding?

Whatever he's doing, he's sure not afraid to support the gay community. Or film naked men. ;)

francophile said...

I think you left out one, Destiny -- gay friendly.

destiny said...

Too many stories of Franco and boys for me to think he is just being gay friendly.

bearding said...

Franco took his beard to Oscars.

ted said...

Dear Ted:
At one point you mentioned that Toothy was born in Texas? This Toothy Tile thing is killing me! I must be superlame, because even with the hints, I haven't got a clue. Is Ryan Cabrera from Texas?
—Barry, the O.C.

Dear Tile and Error:
Nope. Toothy's a celebrity. (Zing!) And, besides, I said he was born west of Texas.

Dear Ted:
Is it safe to say that Shafterella Shoshstein and Toothy Tile are no longer friends?
—Ali

Dear Civil War:
One, why are you pairing them together? Très intriguing. Two, it's not quite that black and white. Embrace the gray, darling.

Dear Ted:
My beloved rescue kitty, Burt, is sick, and we are awaiting test results. I'm trying to take my mind of off the situation (like I could ever do that) by surfing the Internet. I saw some recent photos of John Goodman. Any Vice material here?
—Sad Susan

Dear Susie's Q:
I'm so sorry to hear about poor Burt—feel better, love. I'll give you a few freebies about the newly slim John: He's not Nevis Divine, Crescent Cumquat, Tobey Yum-Yum or Toothy Tile. Does that help? My thoughts and prayers are with your puss!

Dear Ted:
Recently, you posted a B.V. on Shafterella Shoshstein. Could this person possibly be Blake Lively?
—Chach

Dear Gossip Guess:
Nope. She's way too young to be the Shaftress. Not to mention nice(r).

Bitch Back

destiny said...

One, why are you pairing them together? Très intriguing. Two, it's not quite that black and white. Embrace the gray, darling.

A reference to Gray Goose and confirming that TT and GG are the ones referred to in the Shaftarella BV?