Monday, 9 March 2009

Hollywood Babble On & On #246: Who Analyzes the Analysts?

Zack Snyder's Watchmen had a $56 million opening weekend. The sixth largest opening weekend for an R -Rated movie in history.

And the "experts" are calling it a failure.

True, it didn't do as well as Snyder's last movie
300, which opened the same time two years ago, but 300 promised an action packed tale of heroism and sacrifice in which the audience saw many modern parallels, and it delivered. Watchmen on the other hand is a dark, moody, nihilistic tale, with violence in the place of action, where the only character with any moral clarity is a psychotic, and it's almost 3 hours long.

When you take that into consideration $56 million is a damn good opening weekend.

Now it might not get as much of the geek-repeat business because they changed the ending, then again, the geeks might decide to give it a second chance. Who knows if this film has legs.

So you're probably wondering why folks are claiming that the movie's a failure. Well, you see a bunch of analysts decreed that the film would make between $65-$70 million on its opening weekend, and since it didn't make those expectations, it will be branded with the stench of failure.

Well, Allan Moore asked in the original book:
Who Watches The Watchmen? and my question is Who Analyzes The Analysts?

How do they make these estimates? What's their criteria, are they following confirmed mathematical principles, or are they just pulling numbers out of their ass. And are the numbers that are made public the real estimates, or have they been "modified" by management for reasons having more to do with inter-office politics than scientific rigor.

Analysts are human beings, and they work for human beings, and as human beings, and they all have their own little agendas that can turn what should be routine procedures, into petty political games. If
Watchmen had an opening weekend take of $64.999 million, they'd probably still call it a failure, because someone wants you to think of it as a failure. The film might sit in the top five for weeks, and eventually even make a profit, leaving its eventual DVD releases (there is never just one) as gravy. However, if the studio wants to hide money, there's nothing better than having people think it's a failure on its opening weekend.

And I'd like to end with this little note...

Remember, a lot of the economy's current woes sprouted from analysts telling bankers and politicians that everything's coming up rosy and will keep get rosier, so just keep selling those sub-prime mortgages.

I guess you can realize that a lot of financial analysis bug me.

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