September 21, 2021

New to The Quorum: FINCH

Swap out a volleyball named “Wilson” for an adorable dog and somewhat functioning robot and you have FINCH. Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration, though the trailer does hint at some similarities between CAST AWAY and FINCH. Add in the fact that FINCH was produced by CAST AWAY director Robert Zemekis and, well, you get it.

We began tracking this movie a year ago when it was called BIOS and was set to get a theatrical release from Universal. But last spring the film was sold to Apple TV+. Now that we have a poster and a trailer, we have begun actively tracking the film again and we have officially added the film to The Quorum.

So, to FINCH, we say welcome. Always nice to have Tom Hanks back.

September 20, 2021

Trailer Callback: THE MATRIX: RESURRECTIONS

Awareness may not have moved, but interest went through the roof.

We got our first look at the upcoming MATRIX movie when Warner Bros. dropped a teaser on September 9th. Ten days have passed, so it’s time to see how the trailer has impacted the numbers.

On the awareness side, MATRIX didn’t get much of a bump, climbing from 36 to 37. Keep in mind that we don’t really see much of a lift in awareness from trailers if awareness was already above 30, to begin with.

You can see that below. The trailer for VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE added two points while GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE, like MATRIX, got a one-point gain. All had awareness above 30 prior to their trailer.

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September 16, 2021

Could KING RICHARD give Will Smith a rare winter hit?

Will Smith is one of the biggest box office stars of all time. Period. His films have made nearly $10 billion worldwide.

He is widely considered the king of July thanks to a laundry list of summer smashes, including INDEPENDENCE DAY (’96), MEN IN BLACK (’97), MEN IN BLACK II (’02), I, ROBOT (’04), and HANCOCK (’08). He clearly has no trouble finding an audience when he’s in action mode.

While July has been the home to his biggest popcorn-friendly action films, his dramatic turns have resided in December.

Out of the gate, Smith found success in December. He received his first Academy Award nomination for ALI in 2001, even though the film failed to recoup its $100M budget at the box office. A few years later, Smith got his second Best Actor nod for THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS. This was by far his most successful December drama grossing $163M on a smaller $55M budget.

Since then, his December dramas have struggled to find an audience. None were embraced by critics, but it was COLLATERAL BEAUTY that represented a career nadir for Smith as the film was given a Rotten Tomatoes score of 14. It was the lowest-grossing wide release of the 2016 holiday season.

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September 15, 2021

The worst weekend of the year

Disney may have reinvented Labor Day, but is anyone willing to take on the post-Thanksgiving weekend?

By now, we all know that SHANG-CHI broke the record for the largest Labor Day opening ever. The sheer magnitude of its success can not be overstated. Before this year, no Labor Day film had ever grossed, in total, over $60M. SHANG-CHI reached that mark in just over 48 hours of release.

Labor Day, long a dead zone, was brilliantly reinvented by Disney. But there’s one weekend that is so historically unfavorable, so stacked against success, that even a Marvel movie would have a hard time turning it around. The weekend I’m referring to is the frame immediately following the long 5-day Thanksgiving holiday. Some years it falls at the end of November. Some years, it’s the first weekend of December. Either way, it’s a wasteland.

No film on this weekend has ever opened above $20M, and only three have debuted to more than $15M. It’s easy to see why. This weekend exists as a pause between the Thanksgiving holiday and the Christmas season.

You see, the studios put some of their biggest films in late November to capitalize on the long Thanksgiving weekend. As we move towards the middle of December, the studios schedule another round of tentpoles for the period leading up to the new year.

As a result, the late November/early December window is a valley between tentpoles. But there’s another reason this is a bad weekend. While there are three or four big films that open around Thanksgiving, there can be upwards of a dozen new films that arrive during the last two weeks of the year.

The competition is simply too stiff. Even if a film debuted at #1 in early December, it could find itself outside the top 10 in less than two weeks as the onslaught of new films arrives.

Having said all that, there was one big film that opened well on this dreaded weekend. Back in 1991, STAR TREK XI: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY debuted to $18.2M. Back then, that was good enough to be the 6th largest opening of the year. There was one thing working in the film’s favor that year. Thanksgiving fell very late in 1991, on November 28th, meaning there was one fewer weekend between Turkey Day and Christmas. As a result, the natural valley between holidays was much less impactful.

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New to The Quorum: NIGHTMARE ALLEY

At the 2018 Academy Awards, Guillermo del Toro took home the Best Director and Best Picture Oscars for THE SHAPE OF WATER.

A year later, Bradley Cooper was a double nominee for Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay for A STAR IS BORN.

Neither del Toro nor Cooper have appeared on the big screen since. That is until this December when we get NIGHTMARE ALLEY. While Cooper toplines the film, the cast includes eight actors with a combined three Academy Award wins and a whopping 25 nominations.

At the moment, Searchlight has this film opening wide on December 17th, just in time for the holidays. Until then, we to THE SHAPE OF WATER, we say welcome to The Quorum.

September 11, 2021

New to The Quorum: THE BOB’S BURGERS MOVIE

Truth be told, we started tracking THE BOB’S BURGERS MOVIE over a year ago, but when it was pulled from the release schedule earlier this year, we stopped fielding it simply because we didn’t know if it would ever see the light of day. But yesterday, not only did we get a poster, but it was announced that the film will open on Memorial Day weekend next year.

As you can see here, we stopped fielding it back in January, but now that it is back on the release schedule, we will start collecting new data. So, to THE BOB’S BURGERS MOVIE, we say welcome to The Quorum.

September 10, 2021

New to The Quorum: THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER

If you believe that sequels are referendums on the film that came before, that THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER should be fine. The last entry, THOR RAGNAROK (2017), was not only the best-reviewed of the THOR films, but it was easily the highest-grossing of the three, along with being the only one to open above $100M domestically.

Of course, much of the success of RAGNAROK can be attributed to director Taika Waititi, the Oscar-winning filmmaker behind JOJO RABBIT. Waititi is at the helm once again for THUNDER.

This is also the first THOR movie since the original to have a summer release date. After shuffling THE DARK WORLD (2013) and RAGNAROK to November, Disney brings THUNDER back to the first weekend in May, where it all started.

With that, let’s take a look at the numbers. THUNDER arrives on The Quorum with a very high awareness of 39%. Among the upcoming DC/MCU films we’re tracking, it ranks 4th. When we look beyond the DC/MCU group, THUNDER ranks 10th among all films being tracked.

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September 9, 2021

Brace yourself, THE MATRIX RESURRECTION is here.

It has been 18 years since the original trilogy ended in 2003, but today the era of THE MATRIX RESURRECTION is upon us thanks to this spectacular new trailer.

Of course, we will watch the numbers over the next two weeks and report the trailer’s impact. For now, let’s take stock of where MATRIX sits at this moment.

To do that, we’re going to look at upcoming December releases. The five movies below have the highest awareness of films opening near the holidays. SPIDER-MAN is tops with a 19-point lead on MATRIX. Though, we certainly expect that gap to close as a result of this. Keep in mind that SPIDER-MAN already has a trailer. As reported here, that spot gave SPIDER-MAN a huge 13-point lift. Can MATRIX match that?

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September 8, 2021

Is THE MANY SAINTS OF NEWARK the perfect film for a day-and-date release?

As a prequel to HBO’s THE SOPRANOS, fans are used to seeing these characters on the small screen.

Those familiar with The Quorum know that we sort all films into one of seven groups. One of the smaller groups is “Known IP.” As we note on the site, films in this group fall into two subgroups:

1. Original films based on well-known IP (IN THE HEIGHTS, CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG).
2. Sequels, prequels, remakes, or re-imaginations of previous films that are either evergreen in that they are brought back to theaters for different generations (CINDERELLA), feature a new cast (GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE), or have been away from theaters for at least ten years (WEST SIDE STORY).

The great thing about this group is that it can be a complete mixed bad. For example, in the next few weeks, we will get one movie based on a beloved TV series (THE MANY SAINTS OF NEWARK) and one based on a Broadway musical (DEAR EVAN HANSEN). Speaking of musicals, the last high-profile film from this group to hit theaters was IN THE HEIGHTS. That film opened to $11.5M back in June.

As you may remember, HEIGHTS was a day-and-date release on HBO Max. The same is true for NEWARK. EVAN, on the other hand, will get an exclusive theatrical release.

In the case of NEWARK, a hybrid release may work to its advantage. Making a film based on a TV show is always risky since you don’t always know if audiences will follow characters from the small screen to the big screen. It certainly worked for SEX AND THE CITY — also from HBO — and more recently DOWNTON ABBEY. But every now and again, you get a BAYWATCH or a CHIPS that doesn’t translate at the box office.

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September 7, 2021

Trailer Callback – August 23rd

On August 23rd, we got our first look at SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME. Now it’s time for us to look at how the have numbers changed since that trailer dropped.

Let’s just cut to the chase. This trailer was a huge success. Before the trailer, awareness for SPIDER-MAN was at 42. Three other films had awareness near 42 prior to their trailers: JUNGLE CRUISE was at 41, and VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE was at 40.

As you can see below, 10 days later, JUNGLE added three points while VENOM added two. Meanwhile, awareness for SPIDER-MAN now sits at 55, up a whopping 13 points.

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