The end of August truly is sad. Vacations are over, kids go back to school, superheroes have saved the day, and no one goes to the theater. It also doesn’t help that the studios don’t exactly put their A-list material there.
The first half of the month does quite well; it’s the second half where the wheels come off. Just how bad is late August? Since 2000, 110 wide releases came out during the second half of August. The average opening for those 110 films is $10.9M. Only two have opened above $30M (INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, SUPERBAD), and only another 11 debuted above $20M.
Is REMINISCENCE going to be one of the rare 10% films to break $20M? It’s possible, but the numbers will need to improve for that to be a likely scenario.
Let’s start with awareness. There are two red flags. First, for most of the past nine months, awareness was near 10, meaning there was only a small built-in audience. When the trailer came out in early June (T), there was a noticeable uptick, but awareness has since plateaued at a tepid 20.
For context, take a look at this eyesore of a graph. Here we’re charting REMINISCENCE (dark yellow) alongside OLD (light yellow). The x-axis is different this time. Now we’re looking at awareness based on distance from release. The gray line represents the average awareness among all films from 200 days out to opening.
Interestingly, OLD started at a slightly lower awareness level. Universal released the first of two trailers at about 200 days out. OLD got a very nice bump lifting awareness to the mid-’20s. It came back down in the following weeks, but the campaign was bolstered by a second trailer at 75 days out. That propelled the push down the home stretch.
OLD has flirted with the average line for the past few months, whereas REMINISCENCE is nowhere near that grey line. For REMINISCENCE to become one of the rare $20M late-August openers, we would expect to see a higher level of awareness.
On the interest side, REMINISCENCE ranks 38th with a score of 5.2. That’s not bad. It sits among films like WEST SIDE STORY and (a very soft) SHANG-CHI. But it’s not a score to write home about.
Going back to OLD, when we graph the two films together, you can see that REMINISCENCE has never attracted high interest levels.
REMINISCENCE is 35 days from release. The campaign hasn’t fully kicked in. It’s unclear where the numbers will go from here. But what is clear, however, is that the film has lots of ground to make up for it to make a strong impact at the box office.