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Why I don't care about the box office numbers

Bitter, Bitter Balcony, Movie Review,    

First, I’ll say that the title is a lie, but the reason why will come later.

There was a day when the common filmgoer public was fascinated with skyrocketing film budgets. The public also passed judgment on the films unjustly before even seeing a trailer, based on the budget. While during this time in the ‘90s I was a hopeful filmmaker the only trouble I saw was that star salaries were increasing exponentially (a factor in budgeting) and it meant that it would soon become impossible to get “star” talent for independent films because with the salary for one star you could make 5 decently budgeted indies. Eventually, the fascination with budgets went away when just about every film was budgeted at hundreds of millions. However, box office numbers still remain as a point of interest.

Box office numbers should dictate shit when it comes to the common man. If the film looks good to you, go watch it. There is no reason poor box office performance should sway you from watching a film in the theater or not. The movie isn’t going to get any better if 300 million people watched it opening weekend or if five people watched it. Not only that, but in a year or two when you finally get to watching a film that made poor profit you wouldn’t even remember how it did.

Personally, to say that I have a minor interest in box office numbers is an exaggeration. There are two elements of the budget that interest me. 1. Let’s face it, if a movie looks good I get a little satisfaction in knowing that the Hollywood moneymen will be praising the hard working filmmakers and possibly giving them less shit when they get around to their next project. 2. If the movie is worthy of having a sequel, because the narrative justifies it, then a successful opening weekend might guarantee the continuance of the storyline.

Do I judge a film based on how much it earns? Hell no! Have you seen the shit that makes a killing out there? There are terrible comedies and romances that make a way more money than they should while better films go unnoticed. This is a crime, but the last time I started beating people for watching shitty movies I was arrested. OK, that’s a fib, but I’m sure that’s how it would work out.

What’s the moral of the story then? Stop looking at the numbers and watch movies that you want to see because they look good. If you feel it’s a particularly good film then watch it twice, so that Hollywood gets the idea that making good movies will make them more money than some half-assed cash in or remake.

Source of the Bitter: JAS

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