In 2019, Bong Joon-ho’s PARASITE was showered with six Academy Award nominations and walked away with four wins, for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Film. Bong himself walked away with three statuettes. To this day, PARASITE remains the highest-grossing film for distributor Neon.
How do you follow that up? Audiences have been waiting more than four years for Bong’s next film, but the wait is nearly over. MICKEY 17, based on the sci-fi novel Mickey7 by Edward Aston, is being released by Warner Bros. on March 29th. This week, it was added to The Quorum.
On paper, this feels like a no brainer. You’ve got the highly anticipated follow-up from an admired and acclaimed director, along with a cast that includes Naomi Ackie, Toni Collette, Robert Pattinson, Mark Ruffalo, and Steven Yeun. We also have this very cool teaser image. We’re especially intrigued by the horizontal red bar with the number 18.
All in all, MICKEY has the makings of a compelling box office winner. And yet, it arrives on tracking with a whimper.
MICKEY belongs to the “Medium” group, meaning we believe it to have a production budget above $50M. Other films in this group include OPPENHEIMER, BULLET TRAIN, AIR, THE CREATOR, and AMSTERDAM, to name a few. The average opening weekend for movies in this group is $22M.
The chart below shows the tracking scores for MICKEY versus the group average at the same distance from release. The number that immediately jumps off the page is the 6% awareness, which is not only the lowest of the films currently being tracked by The Quorum, but it is well below the average of 21% for all Medium titles at the same distance from release.
Also of note is that interest, at 36%, is below the average of 41%.
Does this mean that MICKEY is in trouble? No. But it does mean that Warner Bros. is starting from a deeper hole than other similar titles. And it does suggest that the teaser image was not especially effective in building a groundswell of awareness.
With three big holiday titles releasing next month (AQUAMAN AND THE LOST KINGDOM, THE COLOR PURPLE, WONKA), WB has plenty of opportunities to launch MICKEY. A trailer before any of these titles could be enough to jumpstart this campaign.