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we saw wut u did thar, paramount
Questions, questions, questions.... 
9th-Jul-2010 09:22 pm

TLAB is heading into the upcoming weekend with $83,077,286The Last Airbender has been doing pretty well for itself, especially if you consider the fact that it went up against Twilight and Toy Story 3. The movie will most likely clear $100 million by the end of the weekend. It'll probably clear its $150 million budget  domestically. I guess for a nonsequel, this movie did pretty well.

How do you think the movie will fare this weekend? Do you think that domestic gross plus international gross, DVD sales, etc will give Paramount incentive to greenlight a sequel?  Do you think critical reception will factor into continuing this franchise on the big screen? How do you think other movie companies will interpret the success of TLAB?


(Deleted comment)
12th-Jul-2010 02:36 am (UTC)
Yeah, I'm kinda shocked that a movie with universally negative reviews can even make it this far... as somebody posted below, it's cleared $100m. It's funny, most people seem to think of themselves as too smart to fall for advertising, but clearly it works. There's no way this movie would have made so much if people actually were too smart for advertising, because they would have checked the reviews and given it a wide berth.
10th-Jul-2010 09:52 pm (UTC)
I'm resigned to the fact that TLA could limp to making its production budget ($150 mil) back. What I'm really worried about is the international box office, which could gross as much as $200 million. I still don't think this will be profitable enough to spawn a sequel, but I'm scared of being proven wrong.

At least the movie is losing 3D screens this week, and will probably come in #5 for the weekend. Still disappointing.
10th-Jul-2010 10:09 pm (UTC)
DNW :(

My main worry right now is the international BO, since it opens in most countries in mid August.
12th-Jul-2010 05:55 am (UTC)
In my opinion, the later opening overseas is a monumentally stupid move that is likely to lose them money. It doesn't open here until July 21, and let's just say that I saw it yesterday and the only person who profited was a guy on the street who's ~$1 richer.
(I am aware that racebending.com does not condone piracy, but I'm mentioning this to point out the reality of what can happen when a film opens later overseas. Not only do audiences get weeks for bad word-of-mouth to spread and weeks to lose interest, but the pirates get weeks to go full steam ahead and provide impatient people with the movie while the theaters are waiting politely for the go signal. I honestly have no idea what Paramount is thinking with this decision.)
10th-Jul-2010 10:13 pm (UTC)
Well Friday's stats are in.


Yesterday was 68% down from last weekend. In my film business class (which, granted, was a while ago, and I'm definitely no expert), we were told that if you manage to go down about 35% from weekend one to two, that's pretty damn good (unless it's a sleeper-hit style indie it almost always goes down after opening weekend), but if you go down more than 55% from weekend one to weekend two then that's pretty bad, especially if it's a big studio designed-for-box-office flick.

Of course, right now we only have info for Friday. We'll see what the rest of the weekend brings.
10th-Jul-2010 10:16 pm (UTC)
I think "Despicable Me" and "Predators" are going to keep it down. The showings for "Despicable Me" were selling out even at late night showings at our local theaters.
10th-Jul-2010 10:19 pm (UTC)
Also worth noting, the numbers of theaters showing the film has gone up. But the average sales in each individual theater is down. Make of that what you will. (I used to know a way you could divide that to figure out if a film was really doing well. There's a sort of formula. Because if a movie only brings in, say $10,000, but then it turns out that film was only in one or two theaters, that's actually really good. But it's different when it brings in millions but is in thousands of theaters. There's an index for it. If I were at home I'd pull out my old textbooks.)
10th-Jul-2010 10:40 pm (UTC)
i just went to bo mojo. holy. 5th place on friday. hopefully, it'll drop out of the top 5 by next weekend. if it made approximately 8 million of friday, it might make about $20 million by the end of the weekend. still too high for my taste. i'm most concerned over foreign gross tho :(
10th-Jul-2010 10:14 pm (UTC)
It's not in a safe place as far as big budget blockbusters go. It's not a bomb, but it's also not preforming up to studio expectations. A tent pole movie (which is what they were touting it as) is expected to bring in $90-100 million it's opening weekend. "TLA" didn't break $70 even with a midnight premiere and a early Thursday opening.

It's preforming as well as a movie like "The Grown Ups" did. So it would be preforming well if it had a budget of say, $50 million. Also keep in mind that it has to make up it's $130 million marketing budget and it has to take into account how much money they will have to lose when movie theaters take their cut. Remember, that's not considered at all when the general money numbers come out.

To make a profit after all that, it essentially needs to double it's marketing/production budget which would mean that it needs to earn roughly $560 million.

Another thing to consider is the general reaction to the film from both critics and fans. Movies like "Fantastic 4" got a sequel because it had a decent fan/critic reaction and even then FOX decided to stop at the second one because it wasn't clicking to be a "Spider-Man" sized franchise. "Chronicles of Narnia" got good critical and fan response even if it didn't make the money the studio thought it would (keep in mind Disney stopped working on that series after the second one because it wasn't bringing in the tent pole money they wanted. "Voyage of the Dawn Treader" is distributed/produced by FOX). "TLA" got a highly negative critical and fan response. Considering that if they continue, Paramount would have to invest in the same production crew/actors/director for a trilogy, they will have to take a look at all that when making the decision to continue the series. Multi movie franchises are a big investment for them and their director is one of the poison things to fans right now. In the big view, keeping M Night on as the director will draw a lot of ire from even pro-casters who coincided that the direction was horrible.

On top of that M Night is already telling people that he's going "darker" if he gets to make a second film, exactly the opposite of what all fans seem to want. They're in a "Batman" Joel Schumacher spot right now. Even the most adamant pro-casting fans don't want M Night back to direct. His name is poison to the fans Paramount needs to make this thing succeed.
10th-Jul-2010 11:05 pm (UTC)
Is there any chance of kicking M Night out and continuing with another director? Is there any chance of also recasting for a sequel?

I was thinking the former is possible and the latter not - but I'm hearing people talk about both...
(Deleted comment)
10th-Jul-2010 11:43 pm (UTC)
I don't mind re-posting questions that arise in comments, should there be any other members who've missed this comment in a previous post might want to discuss as a new post. The update on the box office and what that might mean is something worth discussing as a group, and I think it's alright to discuss it in a few various ways.
11th-Jul-2010 12:47 am (UTC)
It's not time to panic yet. TLA isn't flopping, but Paramount didn't invest hundreds of millions of dollars into the project just so it could make back its budget. They were expecting to rake in the cash hand over fist and so far its not proving to be much of a box office phenomenon. Add the negative reception it has received, even from supporters of the cast, and Paramount's decision to continue the franchise is going to be harder than they initially anticipated.
11th-Jul-2010 01:20 am (UTC)
Exactly. Hollywood is not in the business of nurturing franchises that don't provide an instant return. With the amount they invested in this film, it needed to hit "Iron Man" numbers. The amount of money that it's heading into it's second weekend with is what the studio wanted it to make it's first weekend.
11th-Jul-2010 06:05 am (UTC)
I'm glad to hear this!
11th-Jul-2010 02:00 am (UTC)
All I can see for these sequels is film supporters taking the whole "Toph will be Asian" thing and rubbing it in our faces as if, 'see, you finally got what you wanted!' :-p –kind of like what's been going on already.

How difficult will it be to protest/boycott this next film when one of the leads will finally be of east-Asian descent? That's what I'd like to know.
11th-Jul-2010 03:17 am (UTC)
Except it'll depend on if Toph stays as she is personality-wise (highly unlikely) or gender-wise.
Not to mention, if she'll get to do OR say anything, than just stand around and follow White Aang, Katara, and Sokka to symbolize as the only token Asian character for the sake of 'diversity.' Imagining this, it still rubs me the wrong way...
Which is why sequel or not, I'm still going to boycott due to this.
11th-Jul-2010 03:19 am (UTC)

It depends on personal biases. Because all I can see from the film supporters (the rubbing of Toph's casting on anticasters' faces, that is) is their desperate presumption that there WILL be a sequel for Toph to appear. Something which has NOT been confirmed yet. They are merely parroting what their OverLord Manoj Night Shyamalan is telling them.

There is in fact no credible certainty that a sequel will be in the works. Film supporters know that with this pull of numbers that TLA has had so far, the film is by nature tanking. The revenues so far in no way gives the impression to regular folks or to film industry insiders, that this film is a success. Supporters are wishing beyond all hope that they get to see a movie Toph and all that jazz.

So how can anyone expect this film which has been thrashed by critics and movie goers alike, and has been the spotlight of gorwing concerns of Hollywood racism in the mainstream media and public protests, warrants a sequel? This is a business loss for Paramount. Why would they commit financial suicide boy continuing to support Night's franchise with sequels when they realize they have placed the wrong investment in this project?

11th-Jul-2010 06:08 am (UTC)
The way I see it, one of the leads being Asian still isn't enough, no matter how many movies they make. I'll still continue to boycott.
11th-Jul-2010 03:27 am (UTC)

Boomchika, I made a response to the exact same concern that you have stated here in this thread, in a previous one but you didn't respond so I will posit my point again:

$83 million is nothing compared to what a standard blockbuster fanfare, let alone a tentpole picture, should be able to pull for a studio.

Spider Man 3, generally considered the weakest of the Spidey films, still pulled in a whopping $151 million on the opening weekend alone! Compare that to TLA's opening weekend performance. Spidey 3's worldwide gross at the final run, (which is WHAT technically counts for a tentpole to be a success) was $336m. Yet THAT was still below the studio's expectations! And Spider-Man was still rebooted.

Even the notion that studios caring only about the money is hogwash. They are still a entertainment business who need to have an image to attract customers.

Paramount may be racist but they are not stupid. They are not going to carry on with making a movie product that has had so much negative clout (thrashed by critics, fans spreading bad word of mouth, a number citizens, organizations and media outlets being concerned by racism in its production etc.) as they have a public image as a business, as a company to maintain.

Why would they should shoot themselves in the foot or in the head by being associated with a product which is not only considered a pariah by critics and movie fans but which there is (thankfully) also growing concern in the media about racism in this film? It is an offset loss for the studio.

Image of the movie still accounts alot for Paramount because the movie is essentially a product for the studio as a business, that is up for sale. With so much negative clout over it and with the rate of sales going far below standard studio expectations, why would Paramount continue to put trust and investment in this franchise for sequels? Paramount is not going to commit financial suicide by keeping the train running on churning a product which has cuased such a furor in one way or another (whether it's racism issues or production flaws such as script or acting blunders).

The standard option even at this point is truly for the studio to pull the plug on Shyamalan's franchise.

I wish that some folks posting here need to be stop being so overtly pessimistic and alarmist and actually understand the principles behind how supposed blockbuster movies take in numbers and revenues at the BO.
11th-Jul-2010 04:12 am (UTC)
i get everything you just said. i just can't help being pessimistic. however, i still don't think the racist issues with the movie have really affected the way audiences percieve the movie. there weren't a whole lotta professional reviews that went in depth with racebending (most who mentioned it only went into one or two sentences) and a lot of people who hated the movie STILL don't see the colorist attitudes as a problem (y'know, if they recognize them at all). considering the timing of this movie (only 2 yrs after the show ended), this movie was clearly a cash grab on paramount (or viacom)'s behalf.

there has been talk about removing mnight as director. do you think backlash is enough to stop the movie franchise completely, or would the promise of a different director/vision be enough incentive to continue? most movies nowadays break even eventually.
11th-Jul-2010 03:37 am (UTC)
I tend to wallow in pessimism; that way, I won't be as crushed when horrible things happen. :P So, I'm reluctantly resigning myself to a forthcoming sequel.
(Deleted comment)
11th-Jul-2010 07:33 pm (UTC)
It seems it has grossed $100,277,000 by now :(

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