Wednesday, May 31, 2006

They're Number One!

The new "X-Men" movie debuted at the top slot with a bazillion dollars in the bank. The new Dixie Chicks album, despite all the "backlash," also debuted at number one. Does this surprise anyone? Of course they debuted at number one! Millions of dollars of publicity and promotion is spent to ensure they debut at number one. If the didn't debut at number one, I'd be concerned the world was coming to a sudden end and that even us slow-to-(over)react Americans were spending our spare cash on jugs of water, batteries and canned food instead of movies and records.

But no, movies and records is what we spend our cash on, at least the first week. Hello, 50% second week drop off!

Anyway, all that money spent pushing those records? The stuff that convinced even my friends to see “The Da Vinci” code just to “get it over with?” That's the very cash not spent on all those albums and movies you don't/didn't go to see or buy. So I wonder what would happen if the effort and time spent promoting a $150 million dollar movie about mutants or silly spiritual sleuthing instead went toward a “small” $30 million movie, or something even cheaper. Would that flick become a blockbuster? Wouldn't it be even more profitable than a pricey blockbuster, at least domestically? Or is the illusion of failure or modest success (given that all movies eventually recoup) secretly what the studios want, so that they can pocket oodles yet still proclaim fiscal disappointment? And, needless to say, not pay their principals.


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