Thursday, 24 March 2011

Hollywood Babble On & On #698: Re-Releasing The King's Speech

Welcome to the show folks...

Weinstein's gone through with it. He's re-edited the award winning film
The King's Speech, excised the flurry of fucks that got an R-Rating, got the new version a PG-13 rating, and will re-release it April 1.

I'm not going to talk about how stupid the
MPAA's ratings board was to slap an R-Rating over some F-bombs, the world is full of people who know, and talk about, how inefficient, arbitrary, and downright erratic the ratings system has become, so I'll look at it from a different tack.


This whole chop idea springs from Harvey Weinstein's desire to squeeze a little more money out of the film to keep his often floundering movie empire going another day. Many are saying that he thinks that a PG-13 re-release will be the big hit that the R-Rated release wasn't.

Well, let's look at the numbers.

The King's Speech had a production budget of $15 million dollars, otherwise known in Hollywood as chump change. Prints and advertising were probably along similar lines, but let's say the whole kit and kaboodle cost around $50 million. The movie made $133,084,470 in the United States, then it pulled in a further $226,439,429 in foreign box office for a worldwide total of $359,523,899.

Now I know that a lot of that take doesn't go directly to the Weinstein Co., I'm not an idiot. There's the theater's house nut to be covered, and the international release was probably sold to different regional and national distributors, and they all have to get their share. But it's a pretty good guess that the film made a profit.

But that's not the only thing the numbers are telling me.

Do you know what the numbers are telling me?

The numbers are telling me that everybody who wanted to pay to see The King's Speech in the theater have probably already paid to see The King's Speech in the theater. Remember the film's target audience are not children and teenagers, but adults interested in history and the British Royal Family before they all became fodder for the tabloids. These people aren't going to pay any heed to an R-Rating, unless the word of mouth tells them it's some sort of soft-core sex parody.

Among those same people are some people who are probably interested in seeing it again. However, I strongly doubt they're going to spend their hard earned money to see a chopped up version missing a brief scene that's probably important to the film's overall theme and narrative.

So why is the Weinstein Company so adamant about re-releasing the film?

There are two possible theories.

1. The Weinstein Bros. are almost delusional thinking that a PG-13 version will somehow become the next Avatar.

2. The Weinstein Bros. are going to use the re-edit, the re-release, and the costs involved with both, as an excuse to say the film ultimately lost money when it comes time to pay off investors and profit participants.

Which one is right? We will have to wait and see.

1 comment:

  1. jepressman@gmail.com26/3/11 5:53 pm

    Ah the Weinsteins! Okay, okay I opt for door number 2...'cause this movie has to look in the red not financially healthy. Now that would be a violation of all that Hollywood stands for if it appears to be in the black. Contemporary Hollywood is more adept at deal making,financial manuevering and whining about sharing profits, than creating legacy films.Maybe AMPAS should create a special award.