Monday, 13 July 2009

Hollywood Babble On & On #325: Miscellaneous Monday Money Movie Musings


Sasha Baron Cohen's mockumentary
Bruno, made about $30 million in its opening weekend, that's the good news for them. The bad news is that the ticket sales between Friday and Saturday dropped around 39%.

That doesn't bode well.

Universal paid $45.2 million to Media Rights Capital for the right to distribute the film, and then shelled out tens of millions more to promote the
bejayzuz out of the flick, so if it fails to crack the $100 million mark, Universal could lose a lot of money on what looked like a sure thing.

Then again, if you looked at the history, they might have seen this coming, but I think I know why they didn't.

Borat cost $18 million dollars to make, didn't spend as much in promotion, and pulled in $128 million domestically. That's great, especially if you owned a piece of the film, but when you look at the big picture, when compared to the $500 million to $1 billion made by the big blockbusters, it's not that groundbreaking.

Then you make another movie, which is pretty much the same thing, except this time the foreigner in question is flaming gay, you run the risk of the audience going in on opening night, expecting the fresh originality of
Borat, but seeing nothing new except for more genitalia on display.

This kills the repeat business, plus the word of mouth that gives a film legs past its opening weekend.

The film may pull it's onions out of the fire thanks to international box-office, but I'm not sure if the film is being distributed by UIP (
Universal's international distributor that it co-owns with Paramount) or if MRC licensed those rights to other companies. I'll have to look that up.

I fear that Universal got a little caught up in the media hype over
Borat, which outweighed its box-office enormously, and thought that if they spent tens of millions to sell the film they could make Bruno, even bigger. The problem is that a one-trick pony tends to have diminishing returns, and you have to protect your investment.


The Gersh Agency has dropped the "Agency" from its name, and now it's just called Gersh.

I'm not so sure as to why they thought that was necessary, but whatever floats their boat as they say.

The Gersh Agency also announced that Steve Gersh, the 3rd generation of Gershes, has joined the family business as an agent.

Well, I wish him good luck. Family businesses can get complicated, because of familial and business stresses working together to screw you, and a lot of them don't survive the third generation. I hope his family has taught him the business well, and that he's got the hustle in his bones to make it, because I like seeing people succeed by working hard, and not pissing it away.

My message to Steve Gersh: Don't screw it up, that's your name on the letterhead too, and that comes with a truckload of responsibility.

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