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I have to admit by being quite confused by the 'poor' box office performance - and I don't think it can be entirely explained by poor reviews.

I mean, if Van Helsing got $46 million with truly terrible reviews and horrible word of mouth, how did KOH only make $20 million? Is it just that US audiences are turned off historical epics? Or is it really more to do with the trend - people just not wanting to go to the cinema? A feeling of 'I'll rent/buy it on DVD and watch the special features and see the extended cut'?

Maybe it is just the shadow that Star Wars is casting - it'll be interesting to see what the box office is like for films post-Star Wars.

Kathryn.

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Guest Bog Iris
I have to admit by being quite confused by the 'poor' box office performance - and I don't think it can be entirely explained by poor reviews

I don't think so either. The problem is that research is coming up short on finding our where consumers actually ARE. The networks are going crazy wondering where all the TV viewers have gone, because the prime time numbers are falling. Advertisers don't know where consumers are lurking, so they don't know in which media to put their messages. Imagine the conniptions they're having over that.

And now the movie studios are asking the same thing: where IS everybody???? Are they watching cable? Surfing online? Playing video games? Text messaging each other --WHAT?

The answers to these questions are going to affect what we watch and see for the rest of this century. Careers are going to be made or broken over this. And the whole import of the technological revolution is going to center around this one issue: given the smorgasbord of entertainment choices consumers are presented with today, which ones are going to be the winneres (i.e. profitable) and which ones are headed for the losers' pile?

It worries me a bit that films are not currently doing well. IMO, nothing else can replace them.

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Quick question: was Van Helsing 'R' rated? Might account for a difference in attendance.

I think that maybe KOH was a difficult movie to 'sell': It's an epic - not too popular lately. Yes it's directed by Ridley Scott, but the subject matter may have been off-putting to some. I honestly think the title itself confused a lot of 'regular' movie going people. I heard some people in the ticket line wondering what it was about, and since they were older, they didn't know who Orlando was either. I attended the 10 p.m. showing both nights, and it was only about 1/2 full each time. Very quiet (though I think that's just the people around my area: never have heard too much of anything in our theatres), and not a whole lot of talking when they left. I felt a lot of them were a little confused by the movie; either not what they were expecting, or they were just thinking about it quietly.

As for myself.. I DO think DVD's are accounting for a lot of none movie going: I mean I've seen 4 movies in the last 4 years: and some of them I saw twice, because I wanted to see the movies and/or actors in them: LoTR: RoTK (movie/characters), National Treasure (SeanBean), Troy (Bean, Bloom, Bana, Pitt) and KOH (Bloom). I wanted to see these on the big screen, but for anything else, I don't want to have to go out, rub elbows with countless noisy, pushy teenies, pay shocking prices for a bottle of water and some chocolate and sit in a nice theatre, with some idiot behind me invariably hitting the back of my seat constantly. It's a major pain-in-the-_$$ to go out to a theatre, so I usually just don't bother.

At home, though I don't have a really large TV, I do have good sound, I can pause and take a break when I want, and I can watch the movie when it's convenient to me (I work evenings, so the only times I can go out are on the busy Friday and Saturday nights). I also don't have to pay crazy prices for munchies. And as someone else has stated: I get the 'extras' with the DVD. Plus if I want to rewind because I missed something, I can do that. After the initial investment (I buy - don't rent), I can watch the movie as many times as I like without all the added costs.

Another way for me to watch movies that I don't want to shell out a whole lot of extra cash for, are the movie networks. Or I have a co-worker who does buy a lot of DVD's and is happy to lend me what I want to see. As another person mentioned, I'm older, I'm patient and eventually I can watch it on this, just for paying for my cable TV. Again.in the comfort of my home, and with VOD.. I can watch it when I want to do so. I also live alone, so I either go alone, or have to wait until one of my friends wants to go out to the movies and since they share my feelings on these things, we rarely do that.

Bottom line: it cost me about $33.00 Cdn to see KOH twice this past weekend. That included a bottle of water and a snack each time, and I only drove once. Now, I can buy the DVD for about $28.00 (high end cost) and eat snacks I already have at home. It simply costs less to stay at home.

-San

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I hear that argument a lot - that people would rather "wait for the DVD to come out" and then watch it in the "comfort of their own homes." I certainly can't speak for anyone else, but I CAN speak about what I prefer to do. I always want to see a "major" film, particularly one I've been waiting for and anticipating, at the cinema FIRST! I mean -- come on, very few of us can afford "giant projection" t.v. screens along with the very latest, "state-of-the-art" SOUND systems the way GOOD MOVIE THEATERS can! As for comfort, I won't even pay to attend a theater that doesn't provide those lovely reclining, "rocker-style" seats any more ANYWAY! In my opinion, most "home theaters" don't come CLOSE to comparing with the experience you can get in a STATE-OF-THE-ART "modern-day" movie theater! Of course, when I really LOVE a film, I will rent it later on for another viewing when the DVD comes out - or I'll go ahead and add it to my "personal collection." But that's certainly not on FIRST viewing! (But again, that's just me!)

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Yep. Me too. When it comes to a big movie that I'm dying to see it definitely has to be in the cinema first. I love the experience of going to the cinema; waiting for the lights to go down, watching the trailers, popcorn in hand, the moment when the main feature starts and you know that this is it! This is what you've been waiting for for months - and in the case of KOH, a year and a half! :lol: Then watching the actors on a giant 30foot screen with surround sound blasting out the soundtrack in a way that can almost be repeated at home, but not quite.

And then, when I've had my fill on the big screen, if I like it enough I buy it for posterity on the small screen. For being truly entertained, I don't mind paying twice - I feel that those involved deserve my pennies! :shiny:

I think it's terribly sad that people are moving away from cinemas. :( But I guess that at the end of the day it all boils down to what you like and what you enjoy, doesn't it?

Cheers

CC :meow:

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Hmm. You see, I actually consider myself a movie fan - going to the cinema is my favourite treat - and I still end up watching a lot of the films I like on DVD. That's partly circumstances though - I don't have a cinema in my town, and there's only one that I can easily get to by public transport (I'm still learning to drive) which I don't particularly like, and often doesn't show the films I want to see. So unless I have a car driving friend to go with or I'm particularly making the effort to get on the bus, I don't manage to get to the cinema all that much.

And quite often when I go with my car driving friend I end up seeing a movie that I wasn't particulaly dying to see - because we tend to go on saturday or sunday afternoons and half the films playing are for the kiddies. We tend to go to the cinema when we get together, about once a month, and it's only for something like KOH that we arrange to get together to go and see the film.

So I can think of several films in the past six months that I didn't get to see at the cinema and really wanted to , and a couple that I saw that I really wasn't bothered about.

I guess what I'm saying is that cinema attandance figures really may not be as much about the actual films as people think - if I'm really dying to see something then obviously I make the effort, but how often do films like that come along for most people? And I think sometimes once you've had a few of those 'must see' movies the effect wears off and people conclude that they can probably manage to wait for the DVD.

They do tend to be out within six months of the theatrical release now.

Kathryn.

ETA: Van helsiing was PG-13 - so I guess the rating does make a huge difference.

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1 Kingdom of Heaven Fox

Monday: $1,703,271 -67%

Per Screen $530

Total: $21,339,267

Monday total actually looks pretty good. HofW only cleared about $9K.

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1 Kingdom of Heaven Fox

Monday: $1,703,271 -67%

Per Screen $530

Total: $21,339,267

Monday total actually looks pretty good.

I'm proud to say hubby and I contributed our fair share to Monday's statistics.($18, to be exact). :rolleyes: We went to see KOH last night. The theater was far from full, it being a Monday night. I was pleasantly surprised to see guys. You know how when guys who are only friends to go to the movies together, they tend to sit with a chair between them? There was lots of that. So the movie is being perceived as a guy's movie.

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Guest earthcrosser

I agree with all your comments. I was going to ask about Van Helsing's rating too.

I remember we discussed the R rating before the film came out, wondering if it would hamper certain segments of the audience, among other things. For me, I know I would've taken my 8 year old with a PG-13 rating (like LOTR), but definitely not an R, even though there might not be that big of a difference in violence or language. It denotes to me that the subject matter would be too far over his head.

Anyway-I think it's fair to say that people just don't go to the movies as much, and one of the reasons, I think, is because it's just too expensive!! :angry: But when they make $120 million movies, I guess the prices of tickets has to be high.

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How are the "actual" figures calculated? Does each movie theater report their actual daily sales per screen for each film each and every day someplace central where the data is fed into a huge number crunching computer? Or are they derived by some formula based on what movie is showing at what screens and when? If it's actual, real numbers, the accounting sure is lightening fast!

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Every time a ticket is bought it is logged into our computer screen under that movie. Totals are logged by gross and net (there are taxes involved so it's always even for the customers but not on the books) and number of people in each show time for each movie. Sometimes a studio is so anxious they call us after every walkin for gross totals.

At the end of the night, we transmit the data for all the reports to corporate. The box office totals go immediately to the box office reporting people whose initials escape me at the moment (ETA it's EDS). This is much better than when we had to call them every night. We finally manged to make it into the 21st century about 3 years ago.

Because of time zones you usually get an estimate and then final numbers by 3 p.m. EST every day. Fridays are in by Saturday, Saturday's usually bump up a percentage and Sunday's are always about 30% less than a Friday. Therefore weekends get estimated early.

Aren't you glad you asked. :rolleyes:

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Aren't you glad you asked. :rolleyes:

Uh-huh! Need head-bobbing smilie! EDS as in Electronic Data Systems? The one originally owned and operated by Ross Perot? Their sprawling corporate HQ's is located here. hmmmmm . . .

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Guest JayDK

I think I tend to agree with David Poland's take on why attendance at the movies is down compared to this time last year -- it's marketing. I think there's a certain segment of the audience (like me) that goes to the movies a lot, but I think for a lot of other people, they have to think of a new movie as an "event" to get them in the theaters. It's not the reviews -- Van Helsing was hugely panned. It's not the ratings -- Troy was rated R too. It's the creation of an event that gets people who don't necessarily go to the movies a lot into the theaters. The marketing for Kingdom of Heaven just didn't accomplish that. I think DP is right when he says that the general audience just didn't know what the film is about. What did Balian want? What was it all about? The trailers and commercials didn't convey that message. To create that "event" atmosphere for opening weekend, you have to be able to tell the audience what the movie is, and get them to want to experience it for themselves.

I think another factor is that all those folks who come for event films already have their event movie for May staked out -- the new Star Wars. Last year, it was fairly evenly divided between Van Helsing, Troy and the Day After Tomorrow in terms of event films for May. But I think the only movie that's really on the radar for most people in May is Star Wars. The articles talking about the box office returns keep mentioning the industry's hope that SW will break the downward trend -- but what they never mention is that SW might be a cause in the downward trend as well. People are waiting for SW for the all-out movie experience -- kind of like not spoiling your appetite before a big dinner. SW is so close, people aren't interested in much else.

The only bright side to any of this, if there is to be one, is that if KoH gets positive word of mouth, it could hang in and perhaps redeem itself a bit. It's a good, adult film, and while of course SW is going to crush everything in its path, if KoH is given the opportunity to be in the theaters long enough for the adult, non-opening weekend audience to find it, there could be more to the story. But it is a failure on the summer blockbuster scale of things. It's a shame -- to me, this movie is much closer in spirit to Master & Commander and The Last Samurai than Troy or even Gladiator. I wish the film has been released in the fall or holiday season, when the expectations are different.

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You know how when guys who are only friends to go to the movies together, they tend to sit with a chair between them?  There was lots of that. 

You mean the "we're straight" seat? :lol: There were some guys doing that when we saw it in Tampa on Friday. Silly boys.

Actually, I was a little surprised at the turnout that day. We saw the 3:00 show on Friday afternoon, and I don't think there were more than 20 people in the theater. And that's including us 5 ka-Bloomies!

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I was walking my dog Frodo at a dog park this morning and I met a lady who was also walking her dog. And because of my dog's name, we got to talk about movies, and she said she saw Crash. I told her I saw Kingdom of Heaven, and she said, to my utter amazement, " oh, who's in it? " :oh: I said, "Orlando Bloom." She lit up and said, "oh I love that man! Is the movie any good?" I said it was great ( which was not a lie on my part, because I think KOH is excellent ). This lady's response made me think why KOH did poorly on its opening week. Marketing, like JayDK and that article pointed out. It was my feeling, even before the movie opened, that the marketing wasn't as big as it should be, at least for a movie that cost $130 million to make. Troy had MUCH bigger marketing than KOH. I think 20th Century Fox was too confident about Ridley's name drawing people to see this film. "From the director of Gladiator." But somehow, I am now beginning to think that wasn't enough. It should have done more. Anyone remember how KOH's official site wasn't updated just until few weeks before the movie was released? That's not a good sign. Now that KOH has opened, I am hoping people will go to see it, despite its poor opening weekend. And like I said before, I think it's too early to call KOH a failure or a flop. I think it will have staying power ( at least, I hope so ), and bring back the audience. I think this week will be crucial for this film. How it does this week will determine whether it has staying power or not. As for me, I am going to see it again this Friday at Mann's Theatre.

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When it comes to a big movie that I'm dying to see it definitely has to be in the cinema first. I love the experience of going to the cinema; waiting for the lights to go down, watching the trailers, popcorn in hand, the moment when the main feature starts and you know that this is it!

This is just how I feel, too. Nothing compares to it.

It is consoling to see KOH doing relatively well for Monday's numbers. And the comments on marketing are exactly right, I think. We all knew all about and its story because of obvious reasons. But, if you think from an 'outsider's' perspective, from the marketing that was done, you can see how confusing you find it. You never got a real sense of what was even the basic subject matter. It's like they didn't even start with the basic premise: The Crusades. This is a Crusades movie. Start there! But instead it seemed like just battle sequences from an indiscriminate time long ago. And even from something like Orlando's appearance on Letterman (as great as the interview was), you couldn't get a clear sense of who Balian was or what he did from that. With as complex and multifaceted a film as KOH, you can't expect a 'blanket'-like media campaign to work effectively. Much greater targeting was/is needed.

I really hope it can hold strong enough this weekend.

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Guest JayDK

I've only seen one commercial for KoH so far this week, and unfortunately, it's pretty much the same as the previous commercials -- flashes of battle scenes, this time interspersed with positive critical comments. I just feel so frustrated with the Fox marketing -- this is their last chance to make money before Star Wars and a chance to turn around the story on KoH with a strong holdover, and they are still not giving the general audience a good idea of what the story is actually about. I mean, just tell them -- Balian learns to be a knight and defends the helpless in Jerusalem! Show who the character is and what he's fighting for, and give the story some coherency for the general audience. Give them a reason to decide to see KoH this weekend instead of a couple of badly reviewed comedies. There's an opening here and I just think Fox is missing it, badly.

Sigh. It'd be nice to have something other than the overseas market as a positive result for the studio to look at in terms of this movie and its impact on Orlando's career.

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Ok, get your butts to the theater this weekend. I read the projection reports last night and KOH is projected to come in FOURTH behind Kicking & Screaming ($25M), Monster in Law ($17) and Unleashed ($10). They are projecting a 50% to 55% drop and only coming in around $9M.

Let's prove them wrong!!

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:O FOURTH? We can't have that. Even though I ache while watching the theatrical version (my heart longs for the DVD), my butt will be in the theater seat once more this weekend.

ka-Bloomies to the rescue! :super:

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I know, the domestic total expected keeps getting lower. Now it's around the mid $60M mark. Eek.

Wednesday Box Office: $1,337,384

Total to Date: $24,181,174

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Fourth? I. Don't. Think. So.

I'll see it again, and may volunteer to babysit the nieces and nephew so BigBro and SIL can go.

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Guest Zinfandel

When I mention KOH to people around here they:

1. Are not interested because of preconceived notions about Orlando. :oh:

2. Are not interested because it doesn't make the Christians look like the best people in the whole world bar none.

3. Are not interested because it is an epic historical movie with history meaning boring (don't shoot me.I'm just the messenger)

I personally am waiting for this one to come out on DVD before I see it as I don't want to :sick: at the movie theatre and perhaps leave a bad taste of the movie on someone elses tongue. The fast-foward button is my friend.

How are international box office numbers doing?

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I personally am waiting for this one to come out on DVD before I see it as I don't want to :sick: at the movie theatre and perhaps leave a bad taste of the movie on someone elses tongue.

IMHO, that would be a major mistake on your part.

It is a film that was MEANT for the big screen. We may have issues with the editing, yes, but the scope of many of the scenes (just the arrival in Jerusalem!) can't be fully appreciated on DVD - even on a BIG HDTV screen.

And Orlando is in nearly every scene, so I can't see one fast-forwarding through much of it. I have no problem with the kind of violence portrayed, though I know a lot of people do; beating someone to a pulp and showing it in great, gory detail (like in, say, Goodfellas), I do cover my eyes.

Besides - it will make your enjoyment of the DVD that much more. :wink:

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Fourth?! :cry: Yeah, let's prove them wrong. I am seeing it again today. And Julia, any news on how it is doing overseas?

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There was a very interesting article in EW this week about the falling attendance at the theatres. (Yes, the very same one that the article and review on KOH were featured.)

I thought there was quite a bit of publicity done for the movie. It seemed everytime I turned around someone was mentioning Orlando or one of his co-stars appearing on some show or in a magazine. On the other side, I think that it wasn't marketed particularly well. (Yes, as someone who had a secondary concentration in public relations, promotion/marketing and publicity are two different animals.) I think that FOX put a lot of money and backing behind Star Wars - a movie that doesn't really need it really - at the expense of its other films.

That said, I have been talking the movie up to people. I will be adding my extra $7.25 for the Sunday matinee with the hope of dragging at least one other person.

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