Monday, August 21, 2006

Can you spot the box-office winner/disappointment?

Amusing to see the MSM's 180 on SoaP. Friday they couldn't say enough about the movie, and most sources were saying it was the 'film of the summer'. Today it's a total disappointment.

Again, opening on top of the box-office didn't seem that bad to me. Of course I wanted it to open around double that so it could break-even on the first weekend, but that didn't happen. But I had a feeling that the 15.3 million opening wasn't as bad as the media was saying.

The production budget for SoaP has been set at anywhere from 30-36 million, depending on what source you go by. The marketing budget is another 2-10 million, again depending on what source you go by. That gets us to a cost of 32-46 million, with an opening gate of 15.3 million.

So that means that SoaP covered 33-48% of its cost on opening weekend.

I decided to pit that against what the MSM considers the blockbuster hit of the summer, Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest. The numbers for Pirates floated as well, with production being anywhere from 225-250 million, and promotional being anywhere from 100-150 million. This site quoted the total production and promotional budget for the film at 400 million.

So that means that Pirates production and marketing budget was anywhere from 325-400 million. With an opening weekend take of $135, 634,554, Pirates covered 34-42% of its cost on opening weekend.

Those numbers look pretty similar to me, in fact it looks as if SoaP did slightly better.

As Joe said, in defining how much 'success' SoaP has, the questions to ask are:
* How much did it cost to make?
* How much did it cost to market?
* How much did it earn?

Did SoaP knock the cover off the ball on opening weekend? No. Was it a dud? As the above numbers suggest, it not only wasn't, on a percentage basis it was on par with, or above, the movie that's considered the 'summer blockbuster'.

BONUS: Jackie's '5 Lessons for Marketers' from SoaP.

UPDATE: Thanks to Ken at Ad Age for picking up on this post.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this recap and for featuring Jackie's good post as well. Like it or hate it, the film did teach marketers a lot of lessons (none about snakes, lots about customers).

I'm delighted it hit #1.

Anonymous said...

You might want to update the link to AdAge. CK pointed out that the comment section wasn't working on that post, so I republished. New link is here

Mack Collier said...

Thanks Ken, I changed the link. CK the marketing wasn't perfect, but it can definitely serve as an excellent starting point for other studios. The smart ones will replicate the community-empowerment tactics that New Line used. The not-so-smart ones will think that all it takes to sell tickets is 'internet buzz'.

The 'internet buzz' was a byproduct of New Line reaching out to bloggers.