Putting aside my bias because I liked it (though I can see why some people didn’t), the general consensus was that Kick-Ass would win the weekend and make $30 million or so. Early estimates (final numbers come out tomorrow) have it earning $19.75, trailing How to Train Your Dragon by $250,000, which, though not a flop, would make it a moderate disappointment, like having a son who grows up to be a movie blogger. I’d be inclined to blame illegal immigrants and the Dutch for this disappointment, but for a true phony explanation of this box-office misforecast, I turn to Brandon Grey of BoxOfficeMojo:
Kick-Ass didn’t bust out of its unpopular superhero comedy confines nor did it match its hype, but it nonetheless delivered one of the highest-grossing starts ever for its sub-genre.
Shackled by its unappealing subject matter, Kick-Ass packed a not-so-walloping estimated $19.8 million on approximately 4,300 screens at 3,065 locations. The Incredibles holds the record for superhero comedies and is the only truly successful one, but, among live-action entries, Kick-Ass boasted the biggest debut. Mystery Men was the previous high with $10 million (or over $15 million adjusted for ticket price inflation), showing how little interest the sub-genre has stirred in the past.
Kick-Ass’s turn-out was closer to the other violent action movie from April 16, 2004: The Punisher. That’s because the Kick-Ass machine rammed outrageousness, colorfully vicious action and self-referential humor down people’s throats but lacked purpose and story. It was true to its sensory-bound but nondescript title. Furthermore, while some spoofs work, people aren’t as eager to see heroes torn down. Watchmen and television series Heroes alienated viewers with such themes, so a movie brazenly dissing heroes like Kick-Ass was only going to go so far.
So there you have it, folks. Before you release a movie, you should check with Brandon Grey about what “sub-genre” it falls into and he can tell you whether you should change the theme so as not to alienate viewers. He does it all on his specially-made, box-office calculator watch. It’s impressive, really. “Hmm, I don’t know, this title is too sensory-bound,” he’ll say, while thoughtfully spreading cheese on a Handi Snak.
|1||How to Train Your Dragon||$20,000,000 (-19.6%)||$5,229||$158,618,000|
|3||Date Night||$17,300,000 (-31.4%)||$5,118||$49,246,000|
|4||Death at a Funeral||$17,000,000||$6,913||$17,000,000|
|5||Clash of the Titans||$15,770,000 (-40.8%)||$4,202||$132,985,000|
|6||The Last Song||$5,800,000 (-41.0%)||$2,096||$50,000,000|
|7||Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too?||$4,180,000 (-62.1%)||$2,249||$54,880,000|
|8||Hot Tub Time Machine||$3,545,000 (-34.7%)||$1,536||$42,505,000|
|9||Alice in Wonderland||$3,500,000 (-34.0%)||$1,729||$324,000,000|
|10||The Bounty Hunter||$3,200,000 (-24.1%)||$1,293||$60,378,000|
It sucks that it seems like the choice for filmmakers is between a movie that’s interesting and idiosyncratic but a disappointment commercially, or a kind of disappointing and lamely traditional story that’s a box office success, like The Blind Side. I find the only real solution is to start drinking before noon.
[chart via CHUD]