The Quorum

The curious case of RESIDENT EVIL: RACCOON CITY

If you live in the U.S., there’s a good chance you’ve never seen a RESIDENT EVIL movie even though, before RACCOON CITY, there were six films in the series. That’s because they don’t make a ton of money domestically, but they are enormously huge overseas. The most recent EVIL film made $27M here at home, but nearly $300M internationally. 

For those not familiar, the original series was based on the popular Japanese video game series of the same name. They also gave Milla Jovovich a terrific platform for being a “resident” badass. The original six began with RESIDENT EVIL in 2002 and culminated with the 2017 RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER.

Just four short years later, the series is back for a reboot with RACCOON, which hits theaters today. Jovovich isn’t back this time around, meaning the new film is very short in star wattage. Add in the fact that the FINAL CHAPTER was the lowest-grossing of the series; it does make you wonder if there is an audience for this film. 

When we first started tracking the film in March, we were surprised to see that awareness was already in the high 20’s. 

However, throughout its nine-month run on The Quorum, awareness has only climbed nine points from 27 to 36. Followers of The Quorum know that awareness can climb upwards of 30 or 40 points over the course of a film’s tracking run. Case in point: HOUSE OF GUCCI. 

Back when we started tracking GUCCI, it had an awareness of 14. Today, as it, too, hits theaters, awareness sits at 44. 

Why does one film see little growth in awareness while the other sees steady growth? The answer lies in the size of the audience. Fans of the RESIDENT EVIL fans are a specific lot. As we mentioned above, these movies don’t make a ton of money here at home. The highest-grossing film in the series was RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE (the 4th one), which topped out at $60M domestically ($296M worldwide!!). 

When the audience is made up of a finite group of fans, there is little incentive for the studio to promote it to a broader general audience when you know they won’t see it. Instead, movies like RACCOON benefit from a targeted campaign for just the core, thus a flat awareness curve.

Films like GUCCI are marketed to a wider audience, which means a sloped awareness curve.

A flat curve isn’t necessarily bad so long as awareness is among the core audience. It’s also not entirely unexpected to see a flat awareness curve for a film like RACCOON. What is more surprising, however, is that four short years after the series ended, we’re already getting a reboot. 

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