Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Why New Moon's box-office success is good for everyone

From Guardian.co.uk: The Twilight sequel, which held on to the US box-office crown for a second consecutive week, has given the independent sector a genuine shot in the arm

Still No 1 … Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson in Twilight Saga: New Moon

The winner
New Moon by a whisker. In its second weekend, Summit Entertainment's vampire saga just about held on to the North American box-office crown, thanks to an estimated $42.5m (£25.7m) three-day haul over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend that boosted the running total to $230.7m. This was only a few million dollars ahead of Warner Bros' true-life tale The Blind Side, which held firm in second place and delivered $40.1m to propel Sandra Bullock to her second $100m movie of the year after rom-com The Proposal and the fifth of her career (six if you include her voice part in The Prince of Egypt). It's been quite a year for La Bullock.

1. The Twilight Saga: New Moon
2. Production year: 2009
3. Country: USA
4. Cert (UK): 12A
5. Runtime: 130 mins
6. Directors: Chris Weitz
7. Cast: Ashley Greene, Billy Burke, Elizabeth Reaser, Kellan Lutz, Kristen Stewart, Nikki Reed, Peter Facinelli, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner
8. More on this film

Still, the weekend belonged once again to New Moon as the Twihards made themselves heard and reiterated the might of female moviegoers. New Moon eased past the $200m mark in its eighth day of release and has already soared past the $192.3m final tally of Twilight, which took 20 weeks to get there. How much further can New Moon go? None of the new releases coming up on Friday are in the same genre, romantic vampire franchises being a relatively rare beast, so it should stick around in the top 10 for a few more weeks. A final result of at least $275m would seem within reach and $300m is by no means out of the question.

The loser
New Moon's box office dropped 70%, which wasn't a big surprise bearing in mind that it was never going to match last weekend's huge launch. However, to use this metric as the sole determinant of success or otherwise seems churlish in this case because New Moon is massive. There wasn't really a loser this weekend.

The real story
The significance of New Moon's heavyweight performance – it's grossed $474m worldwide in less than two weeks – cannot be understated. At a time when the independent sector is overcrowded and perilous, a success story like this provides a welcome boost to everyone. Producers, financiers and distributors will remain committed when they are reminded that there is the potential for quality non-studio fare to deliver the kind of blockbuster results that we're used to seeing from the Warner Bros and Sonys of this world.

It's a similar story overseas, too. Summit's well established international sales division licensed rights to New Moon all over the world and the movie's runaway success sends out a message to international distributors that independent cinema made at a price with high-value elements (cast, script, director, production values) can prosper. It's a message that goes a long way towards sustaining a vibrant international marketplace, which is vital in these uncertain times. It would be remiss to think of the overseas market as an arena defined solely by risk-averse banks and cash-strapped film-makers: the growing success of local-language movies from all over the world and emerging entertainment powerhouses in Asia, Latin America and eastern Europe will only benefit from the story of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen.......

1 comment:

Jane said...

Commenting on the photo: Wasn't that just creepy in the movie? Though I thought the old lady should have squinted her eyes like Bella did.