Due to the mediocre American box office take, The Weinstein Co have decided to put the film’s U.K. release temporarily on hold.
According to FilmJunk, the Weinsteins and U.K. distributor Momentum Pictures have decided to regroup and figure out the best possible strategy for release. The film was scheduled to hit theaters on June 1st 2007. I’m guessing that the new plan is to release both films individually, rather than in the double feature format that has taken most of the blame for the U.S. failure. If this happens, it will be interesting to see the results.
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After Grindhouse’s big screen bomb, Harvey Weinstein was thinking of splitting the double feature in two. According to JoBlo, The Weinstein Co tested the concept this weekend at a few select movie theaters and were not impressed with the results. I seriously wonder however if the movie studio actually attempted to promote the movies as individual films in these small test markets. If not, did they actually expect people would just show up after seeing a Death Proof listing on fandango.com? It really is a shame. The Grindhouse double feature is an experience that shouldn’t be missed. But obviously it has been. America is not ready for it. I’m one of the few who believes that Robert and Quentin’s films could very well work as separate movies, but only if they were properly marketed as such. But I guess Weistein believes otherwise.
I’m guessing the next step is the DVD release. If Weistein were smart, they would release the films separately barebones on home video (also available in a two pack box set), later to release a super duper 4 or 5 disc collectors edition for a gigantic double dip. As a fan, I don’t really want to shell out more money. But it seems like they need to break even somehow.
I always search for honest comments from people I respect within the industry. Grindhouse’s failure has resulted in a few of my favorite filmmakers to speak out. First was Kevin Smith, who was outraged. Now comes Smokin’ Aces director Joe Carnahan, who writes the following in his blog:
What is wrong with American moviegoers? Is there nothing NEW that they’re willing to embrace? Jesus, it’s the worst kind of erosion. We’re making dumber and dumber films and they’re becoming cash cows. God Bless ‘300’, at least it’s got balls and the director WENT for it. THAT movie is good for the business, it’s good for everybody. But some of these other flicks don’t even TRY because they know in the end, EXACTLY the age range and demographic driving ticket prices these days. Those monstrosities (the names of which I won’t mention) are pure pieces of commerce,Â marketed to perfection.
I hope ‘Grindhouse’ recovers. It’s an audacious idea that I wish would’ve been given a bigger break. Maybe as they separate the two films, they’ll pry some sunshine out of the situation and the Weinstein’s will save the day. It bums me the f*ck out though when something like that, a really cool idea that looks like a great time at the movies, made by real talent– can’t push past.
It’s just dead wrong kids…and we ALL pay the price when those don’t work.
Film Threat’s Mark Bell counts down the top reasons why Grindhouse bombed:
- It was named “Grindhouse”
- It opened on Easter Weekend
- It was a double-feature
- The films were grindhouse films
- The geeks have not inherited the Earth yet
- Critics liked the movie
Check out Mark’s full list at FilmThreat.com.
Clerks director Kevin Smith had a lot to say about America’s decision to see Wild Hogs over Zodiac on his new podcast (SModcast) a couple weeks back. Now the director is outraged over this weekend’s box office results.
“What’s Costner’s line in J.F.K. again? ‘God, I’m ashamed to be an American today…'” wrote Smith. “Perhaps that’s overstating it a bit, but for me? It applies in this situation.”
“I’d say the problem was America most definitely was at the movie theaters this week – which is why the stuff that grossed higher than Grindhouse… grossed higher than Grindhouse,” Smith wrote. “That’s the third fantastic film of the year which has failed to attract the audience it richly deserved in its opening week. Add Grindhouse to a list that includes Black Snake Moan and Zodiac.”
I agree with Smith’s comments (with exception of Black Snake Moan). I don’t understand the recent disconnect with good films and America’s movie-going decisions.
Early estimates put the Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino double feature Grindhouse at around $14 million for it’s opening weekend, far below the $20-$25 million predictions. Last year it was one of the most hyped movies on the internet. It’s a great movie. A cinematic experience. The best reviewed wide release of 2007 thus far. So why did Grindhouse fail?
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Movie critics love Grindhouse, the new double feature from Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. At the time of this posting, the sum total of 84 reviews have given the film an 84% rating on the popular film site Rotten Tomatoes (85% from the cream of the crop). This makes Grindhouse the best reviewed American wide release this year so far.
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On March 25th, we had the opportunity to talk with most of the stars and directors of Grindhouse. We sat down with Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, From Dusk Till Dawn) to talk about his horror/zombie feature Planet Terror.
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