By David Herrin
I happen to love glossy, expensive-looking action capers. In fact, I would say it’s one of my favorite genres. Toss in a few comedic elements, some cool clothes, snappy music, a handful of likable actors carrying guns with a wink in their eye, and I’m happy as can be. Even when the films aren’t great, they’re usually still a ton of fun.
For that reason, I’ve been incredibly excited for THE 355. Just look at that cast. I will gladly see any movie featuring any member of this cast. Put them all together, and you’ve got one very excited fan.
This film has been in the queue for some time. It was initially scheduled to open on January 15th of this year before being pushed to this coming January 8th.
Now, I get it. COVID necessitated a lot of release delays, but it still saddens me that this campaign seems to be stuck in neutral. Case in point, most of the posters online still feature the old January 15th date. Yes, this poster reflects the old date from nearly a year ago.
Compare that to how Paramount is marketing SCREAM, which opens a week after THE 355. There are no fewer than 16 official posters for the film. It’s true that having a ton of key art doesn’t guarantee success, but it’s a good barometer of how much muscle a studio is putting behind a film.
This is reflected in the data. We have been tracking THE 355 for over a year, and over that time, awareness has stayed below 20%. It has been essentially a flatline in the high teens for 15 months.
Now, look at the numbers for SCREAM. Not only is awareness more than twice as large, but it has been steadily climbing since we started tracking the film in July.
Listen, I don’t have high hopes for THE 355. We know that it’s very hard — nearly impossible — for a film with an awareness of 17 this close to release to pull in meaningful box office numbers. These films all had awareness below 20 a month before release, and none of them lit the box office on fire. At $8.8M, SPIRAL was the only one of the group to debut above $5M.
That’s not a great sign. Still, you can be sure that this guy is going to see it.