The Reject Report

Well, I am pleased to say that I am glad that I didn’t listen to these fools in Hollywood who passed on their usual “conventional wisdom” about how Sex and the City would do. If I had listened to these people, and predicted this movie to make $30 million or whatever it was they were predicting, I would have been way, way off with my predictions. Sex and the City outperformed all the pundits and made upwards of $55 million dollars this weekend!

I had only predicted $47 million, but even that was a bullish prediction compared to most of the others out there, who looked at the whole history of how well “chick flicks” do at theaters. The most optimistic pundits weren’t giving this flick more than the mid-$50-mil range.

For a while, there, it looked like this flick was going to do even better than $55 million. In its Friday opening Sex and the City made almost $27 million on that one night alone! That’s the same amount The Devil Wears Prada made during its whole opening weekend!! People immediately started thinking this movie was going to top $70 million this weekend, based on that phenomenal night’s performance, but the gate receipts cooled off considerably on Saturday and Sunday.

No question about it: this is the biggest chick flick of all time. Unless, of course, you count Titanic. In which case Titanic would be the biggest chick flick of all time. But then, that movie didn’t go for a female audience as blatantly as Sex and the City did. Titanic may have been popular with the ladies, but it was more of a good “date” movie than a pure chick flick. Lots of guys were roped into going to that movie by their girlfriends. Sex and the City, though, is a girl’s movie all the way, a story about four babes in New York. Nothing in it to interest guys at all. Predictably, guys were no help at the box office: the reports are that the audiences for the Friday night showing of this flick were 85 per cent female. Yet it STILL made 55 mil!!!

Also, a record fell this weekend: according to the story in the New York Times, the $55 million open for Sex and the City was the top opening for a movie with a female lead (or, in this case, four of them), topping Lara Croft: Tomb Raider which opened to $47.7 million in 2001. Way to go, Sarah Jessica Parker!! (Actually, I’m kind of ticked off because I’m a big Angelina Jolie fan, but that’s what happened.)

I should have seen this coming the moment I heard all these stories of theaters being sold right out for this flick. There were people getting turned away from theaters in New York and elsewhere. The New York premiere at Radio City Music Hall was overbooked by about 2,000 people! Fans who had travelled for miles to the Big Apple to see Sex and the City were left bitterly disappointed by this fiasco.

But that’s typical of the craziness surrounding this movie, ever since their big controversial premiere in London, England that got all these New Yorkers so upset. The fact that they dissed New York to go across the pond ticked off a lot of people, but it started the buzz rolling for this movie. And the craziness continued all this week. They had a screening in Toronto, and Kim Cattrall showed up for it (she’s Canadian), and people went nuts in Toronto over Kim Cattrall. We were seeing women packing theaters and drinking Cosmos in the seats, and basically going nuts. They were acting like… fanboys, these women!! Pretty atypical behavior, if you ask me.

A lot of people expected this movie to get its momentum from older women and people in their 30s and 40s. But from what I gather it was a young demographic that flocked to this movie, people in their twenties. I even read stories about how some theaters had to deal with teenagers wanting to sneak in to this R-rated flick! This week was crazy, crazy, crazy.

So why did this movie hit so big? Well, it’s not a sequel, for one thing. Plus, it’s the revival of an iconic television show that had rabid fans. And let’s face it, there’s not a lot of semi-decent stuff for women at the theaters right now. Not that this flick was particularly good either, but the chick flick fans have waded through some real dreck recently featuring the likes of Eva Longoria Parker, Patrick “Doctor McDreamy” Dempsey and others from TV land. Absolute, total rubbish. So these fed-up women leaped at the opportunity to make Sex and the City a hit. Miranda, Charlotte, Samantha and Carrie were back, and so were the fans.

Now you watch, they’re going to come up with a Sex and the City sequel, and this will usher in a new round of chick flicks at the theaters and we’ll be inundated with movies featuring the likes of Meg Ryan and Diane Keaton. Maybe even a few more with Sarah Jessica Parker (good heavens, please no).

I’ll be interested in seeing whether Sex and the City is able to hang on to good business next weekend, because based on the Saturday and Sunday numbers this movie is already losing steam rapidly. We’ll see.

As a side note, Indiana Jones 4 did indeed take a drop of 54 per cent from last week, down to $46 million for a grand total of almost $217 million gross at the box office. It’s starting to catch up to Iron Man which right now is at $276 million. And the horror movie The Strangers did a lot better than expected at $20.7 million. It is also Universal’s biggest open of the year. I guess all those guys who were repelled by Sex and the City needed something to see this weekend. (Just kidding.)

Here are the damages:

1. Sex and the City: The Movie $55.7 million
2. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull $46 million
3. The Strangers $20.7 million
4. Iron Man $14 million
5. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian $13 million
6. What Happens in Vegas $6.8 million
7. Baby Mama $2.2 million
8. Speed Racer $2.1 million
9. Made of Honor $2 million
10. Forgetting Sarah Marshall $1 million

That does it for now! Be sure to tune in to more predictions later this week as a certain panda interested in martial arts looks to give a sharp kick to the rest of the box office contenders.


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