May 30, 2008

A 20 MILLION Dollar Day for Sex and the City

Besting all the Hollywood projections, Sex and the City is poised to rake in $20 million today, the most money ever made for a romantic comedy on opening day. Just to give you a sense of how good it is, The Devil Wears Prada made a little under $10 million on its opening day for a total of a little over $27 million for the weekend. In an even more shocking turn, some people are saying that is could BEAT Indiana Jones for the weekend crown.

But these girls just can't catch a break to enjoy one minute of success before the Hollywood nasties make it clear that no matter how successful a weekend it has, it just doesn't matter. Brandon Gray of Box Office Mojo said to Reuters: "Because the marketing is preaching to the converted, one wonders whether it will have legs beyond the opening." Legs beyond opening? Isn't Hollywood only fixated on opening weekend? It's the reality nowadays that most movies have huge hype, big opening weekends, and then drop off at least 50% or more on the second weekend. I for one believe that while women turned out in force for the opening, there will still be others who will go next weekend after the crowds abate.

So the double standard rears its ugly head and the rules for success get changed again. Why is it so hard to accept that a film for women could be successful?

Others have said that the box office will drop off after Friday's opening. I don't think so. Fandango is reporting that it was selling tickets 7 tickets per SECOND on Friday and more than 1,000 showings are expected to sell out over the weekend. I had a report from LA that a midday screening was sold out and women were taking pictures of each at the theatre. A report came in from Columbus, Ohio that a midnight screening last night was sold out, and I stopped by a theatre in Brooklyn, NY tonight and it was packed with a diverse group of women (and some men) and there was a lot of laughter during the film and a huge round of applause at the end.

Here's another brilliant comment from a studio marketing exec as told to Deadline Hollywood "This is the wildest, most abnormal, movie of all time," Nice. I really find it hard to believe that this movie about four women looking for love is the wildest, most abnormal movie of all time. Come on. More horse manure. Is this film wilder than say pirates looking for treasure in the Caribbean in a ship of ghosts? Or a young man who gets bitten by a spider and develops powers to crawl and fly across the sky on spider webs to save people? Maybe the person means abnormal because the film stars women and not special effects or a comic book character. I find that comment truly offensive.

But just when I start to feel down, the good news is that this blog is starting to get around in a big way and we (all of us and thanks you commenters) are we are all injecting some new and different thoughts into a much needed conversation. I want to give a shout out to Simon Vozick-Levinson over at EW for following up on my story early this week and asking the question: Is there a double standard for 'Sex and the City'?

Huffington Post columnist Melissa Silverstein wrote a great column about this yesterday. Last year's Wild Hogs, she noted, was correctly seen as mass-appeal entertainment for moviegoers of all genders, even though it was all about four aging guys. And do you remember anyone ever wringing their hands over whether traditionally "male" action flicks like Transformers could get women into multiplexes?
Defamer also gives us a mention in its weekend box office roundup: We've heard Sex and the City referred to as everything from a "women's cultural moment" (that's me) to "plow donkeys wearing lipstick," (not me) a fantastically diverse spectrum of hype that reflects a true phenomenon — if not necessarily guaranteeing a box-office windfall.
More to come