A few days back (you can read it here) I wrote about how difficult it was to predict the success and failure of released films. In that case, my focus was on the Box Office disappointments Terminator: Dark Fate and Doctor Sleep, two films which I personally figured -and I’m quite certain the studios also figured- would do far better than they did.
I noted that screenwriter William Goldman’s famous quote of Nobody Knows Nothing with regard to how well a film will do applied in these cases.
But there are occasions where things work out almost exactly as one suspects they will.
Over the last week, three movies were released, Ford v Ferrari, Charlie’s Angels, and The Good Liar.
Based on their trailers alone, I suspected Ford v Ferrari would do well. The film looked strong and confident in its story. The two leads, Matt Damon and Christian Bale, looked like they were having a ball playing testosterone fueled gear heads.
And so it was, Ford v Ferrari took the pole position (ouch) at the box office, earning a strong $31 million or so in its first week of release.
On the other hand, Charlie’s Angels and The Good Liar didn’t fare quite as well.
Charlie’s Angels, the second movie reboot of the venerable 1970’s TV series, had what I thought were very weak commercials/trailers that, frankly, didn’t sell me all that well on the product. The inverse of what I saw in Ford v Ferrari appeared to be the case here, a trailer that seemed hesitant, lacked confidence in their product, and, worst of all, was a mish-mash of action cliches without giving us any strong sense of a plot.
The studios -not total fools- were already thinking the film wouldn’t do all that well and predicted a box office take at less than $15 million, already a rather low prediction, and the film’s paltry under $9 million take was even worse than expected.
And I’m not terribly surprised.
Moving to The Good Liar, a film that features Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen in a tale that is pretty hidden in the film’s trailer -though one understands it involves scammers taking advantage of each other- I was also not terribly surprised the film didn’t do all that well. However, given its low budget, I suspect the studios aren’t sweating the end results. The film will likely make up its investment.