For a film "not designed for the theatrical market" they sure spent enough on Television ads... more so than just about any other release this summer from what came blasting across my screen every 30 minutes for the past 3 weeks --not to mention all those interior full-color inserts in the NetFlix envelopes. What is cost to make isn't so important at this point is how much they spent to promote it, which was one heck of a lot.
I see no basis for predicting that a film which bombs this badly at the box office is going to do "huge" business in the DVD, rental and TV market. That's classic studio exec morning-after wishful thinking. The word will still be out on this one when it pops up for DVD sales (in what, 90 days max? Likely they'll want to push out onto the shelves even faster than usual... say 40 days...) and it will be immediately discounted and shortly thereafter remaindered. There will be some pay-per-play on cable and satellite, but again, its reputation will precede it. Yes, Showtime or HBO will pick it up cheap and run it 2 times a day for 3 months, but there ain't all that much money in that. It will be on free TV in no time, filling up space between commercials.
A well-deserved end to this ill-conceived experiment in mass internet-marketing and over saturation TV-spot advertising. Word of  mouth still counts. Real word of mouth... and despite the studio's best efforts and big bux, most people can still distinguish genuine word of mouth from studio-purchased word of mouth, even if it is being broadcast by bloggers.
A note to the next studio which tries this stunt: Do it *before* the kids go back to school, not after. And make sure it isn't up against another dumb movie, like TALLADEGA NIGHTS. When there are  two dumb movies in release at the same time, giving people a choice in mindless entertainment, if yours isn't the obvious choice you're in big do-do.
-- JR
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, August 20, 2006 21:44
Subject: Re: [MOPO] "Snakes on a Plane" opens with anemic $15 mil.

Of course, there is a truth here, Snakes on a Plane cost half as much as WTC to make, and was never really designed for the theatrical market.
A movie like this is basically glorified STV fare, and one must imagine it will do excellently there. WTC will do well on rentals, but Snakes on a Plane will do amazing on sales at the video level. Even the most recent American Pie sequel, STV, sold over a million copies, and the rental is huge. WTC will have a good rental, and decent television run. Snakes on a Plane will have huge rental and huge long lasting television run, TNT will still be showing it in 10 years with good ratings.
One film is focusing on an older one time viewing market, it's a hard market to get into theaters and WTC has done very well at it. The other appeals to a younger, watch it until you puke audience.
Was SoaP anemic? A little harsh. Considering it's only on the first lap of it's race. Something tells me it's got a long STV franchinse ahead of it, New Line is very likely to milk this for years to come. Afterall, it opened better than their franchise Final Destination, and it's had two theatrical sequels. Ron

David Kusumoto <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
** I was always skeptical a film like this would open with monster numbers.
Forget about the Internet blog hype. Its premise suggested it could be
afflicted with the "Arachnophobia" syndrome at the box office, e.g., a movie
of greater interest to GUYS, but NOT to most women, with a gross-out factor
that skews different than for even couples who are inclined to chase the
horror genre.

** You could canvas 10 of your relatives and friends to get a good idea as
to who would be inclined to PAY to see this. Opening at $15 mil. ensures
"Snakes" will pull in numbers that are lower next week. Even if the film
was across-the-board-critically acclaimed, there was no getting around the
"ick" factor with general audiences.

** Similarly, look at Oliver Stone's "WTC." It's putting up good numbers
and despite my mixed feelings about it, people are not inclined to PAY to
see a film like this when there's a choice between it and "Talladega" for a
fun time out. "WTC" -- even if it had been as partisan as Moore's
"Fahrenheit 911" -- tests an audiences endurance to pain, no matter how good
it is, no matter how good you feel when you walk out.



"Snakes on a Plane" fails to charm
Sunday, Aug 20, 2:19 PM (ET)
By Dean Goodman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - So much for the Internet hype. "Snakes on a Plane,"
a camp thriller that generated an unprecedented tsunami of online hysteria
during the past year, crawled into the No. 1 slot at the North American
weekend box office with estimated ticket sales of just $15.3 million, its
distributor said on Sunday.

New Line Cinema had hoped the movie would open in the low-$20 million range,
a spokeswoman said. While the Time Warner Inc.-owned studio was
disappointed, she said the film would be profitable. Hailed by celluloid
cognoscenti as being so bad that it's good, "Snakes" cost about $30 million
to make, a relatively modest sum.

The sales figure covers actual data from Friday and Saturday, as well as an
estimate for Sunday. It also includes $1.4 million from Thursday-evening

Samuel L. Jackson plays an FBI agent trying to regain control of a plane
that the Mafia had filled with poisonous snakes in order to kill a protected
witness. The only problem was that the title so handily summed up the film's
plot that there was little incentive to see it, said Brandon Gray, an
analyst at

"This tells you that you need to have a compelling story or premise to get
an audience for your movie," he said.

Senior New Line executives were not available for comment.

The project had been in development since 1999, going through several
studios, rewrites and directors. It became a cause celebre last year when
Jackson publicly assailed New Line for changing the title to the nebulous
"Pacific Air 121."

The studio backed down, empowering Jackson and adoring online fans to
complain that the film was not violent enough. Scenes were added ratcheting
up the gruesome quotient. The bloggers' victory ensured plenty of media
coverage, seemingly turning the little B-movie into a preordained must-see

But filmmaking-by-Internet committee has its limits. Industry surveys in
recent weeks indicated only modest interest among the moviegoing masses. New
Line found itself both playing up the film's unusual backstory and playing
down its sales expectations. It did not screen the movie in advance for
critics, a common tactic when a studio fears the reviews will be less than

The box-office champion for the previous two weekends, "Talladega Nights:
The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," slipped to No. 2 with $14.1 million. The total
for Sony Corp.'s Will Ferrell NASCAR comedy rose to $114.7 million.

Director Oliver Stone's September 11 drama "World Trade Center" held steady
at No. 3 in its second weekend with $10.8 million and the two-week total for
the burgeoning hit rose to $45 million. The film was released by Paramount
Pictures, a unit of Viacom Inc.

The top-10 contained two other new releases, as well as an arthouse hit that
entered the top tier for the first time after expanding into national

The college comedy "Accepted" opened at No. 4 with a solid $10.1 million.
The film stars Justin Long as a youngster who starts his own fake college
after he fails to be accepted into any real colleges. It was released by
Universal Pictures, a unit of General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal Inc.

The teen comedy "Material Girls," starring siblings Hilary and Haylie Duff,
opened at No. 9 with $4.6 million, in line with the modest expectations of
its closely held distributor, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.

Doing considerably better was the family comedy "Little Miss Sunshine,"
which jumped five places to No. 7 with $5.7 million in its fourth weekend.
The crowd-pleaser has earned $12.8 million to date. It was released by Fox
Searchlight Pictures, the arthouse arm of News Corp.1 Twentieth Century Fox

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