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Why do certain great movies like 'Cinderella Man' tank at the box office? [Archive] - DVD Talk Forum
 
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View Full Version : Why do certain great movies like 'Cinderella Man' tank at the box office?


coli
07-05-06, 07:59 AM
I was watching Cinderella Man the other night on HBO, and I think it is a great movie. It has a really good story, great acting, and enough drama to make you care about the characters for 2+ hours.

Now I saw Cinderella Man in the theaters, but not many did judging by the numbers, but why a movie like this does next to nothing at the box office boggles my mind. Then I see some dumb action movie make 100+ million, and I wonder what the hell is going on anymore?

Is it cause the teenagers are the majority that go to the movies, so dramas like this just don't hit a wide audience til DVD or HBO? Or am I in the minority here, and people just enjoy guilty pleasure action movies over a good drama?

I find myself only really liking movies that come out at the end of the year, as they seemed more adult and more dramatic than the summer blockbusters which to me are all about effects anymore.

By the way I am 34 years old if that makes a difference, so I guess I am not the demographic the hit movies are targeting anymore. I guess it is just frustrating that it seems they will go for the easy buck like Pirates of Caribbean type sequel in Hollywood, rather than something original that may make the viewer be patient and not have action every 5 minutes. I don't know I just feel that the majority of movies made anymore, I just have no interest in seeing, cause they have zero stories, and all action and CG effects to wow the viewer. But how many of those movies will be even thought of 10 years from now?

tvpuff
07-05-06, 08:07 AM
Well, in the case of Cinderella Man, I think not that many people wanted to see another boxing movie after Million Dollar Baby had such a large exposure the previous year. Also, the movie seemed like oscar bait from the start with the uplifting story and Renee Zelwegger. Terrible movies make a nice buck because they occasionally look cool and people get caught up in the advertising.

Dr. Henry Jones, Jr.
07-05-06, 08:20 AM
because it had Russell Crowe.

GIjon213
07-05-06, 09:01 AM
I think it has something to do with the story line also. I mean, from the first trailer I guessed the whole story>

boxer guy was good
boxer guy hit a slump
boxer guy somehow finds it in himself to kick ass
boxer guy starts being good again
boxer guy goes against bad-ass boxer guy
boxer guy wins


Now, add tears, some sob story, and make the boxer guy destitute, and voila!
You have the plot for multiple movies with just a few changes. That is the reason I didn't see it in the theaters, IMA. And, when I did rent it, guess what? The plot line was>

boxer guy was good
boxer guy hit a slump
boxer guy somehow finds it in himself to kick ass
boxer guy starts being good again
boxer guy goes against bad-ass boxer guy
boxer guy wins

RichC2
07-05-06, 09:03 AM
Because the ads made it look extremely generic. I remember theater owners promising full refunds if you didn't like the movie.

That said, two of my favorite movies that were wide-release also bombed at theaters: Fight Club and Dark City.

Blitz6Speed
07-05-06, 09:40 AM
I still havent seen it because i hate the name. Ill catch it in Blu-Ray one day i suppose.

Mr. Cinema
07-05-06, 09:43 AM
Because it was released during the Summer. A movie like this would have done better during the holiday season.

gryffinmaster
07-05-06, 09:49 AM
There are more reasons than can be counted as to why movies that are considered "great" bomb at the box office. And it's NOT because they aren't great movies with superb word of mouth. Take a look at Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.

I thought Cinderella Man was an excellent film, but the storyline was HIGHLY predictable. However, the element of poverty and already established family made it a notch better than Rocky for me. I've never been a "huge" fan of the Rocky films, however in Cinderella Man I appreciated the visual style, the element of the depression, and the performance clocked in from Crowe. I do realize that it is a boxing film that borrows immensely from other films.

So ... Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang didn't succed, even though it was one of the most original comedy/action film noir flicks in a long time. Cinderella Man didn't succeed even though it was very original and obvious, yet was driving by Ron Howard, Russell Crowe, and Renee Zellwenger (ugh). The Academy would not honor boxing films two years in a row, ESPECIALLY when Clint Eastwood won for a far more emotionally tearing film the year before.

My opinion to your question? There, well, isn't a set answer. It all depends on varying elements of the films, even if these films are great. :shrug: Star power, repetition of story - they all can dictate demand.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind didn't hail much at the box office (<$50), as did Memento (<$30), or the previously mentioned Fight Club, Dark City, etc. It a crazy demand curve.

Patman
07-05-06, 10:28 AM
I would go with timing of release, and Russell Crowe's Q-factor being down in the dumps after throwing temper tantrums at the hotel clerk.

sherm42
07-05-06, 10:34 AM
To me, it looked like Seabiscuit with a boxer. Even the trailer practically used the same voiceover. "When America was at its darkest hour, one man man gave the nation hope...blah blah blah."

And I didn't really care for Seabiscuit.

Johnny Boy
07-05-06, 10:42 AM
because it had Russell Crowe.

:thumbsup: That's the reason I never saw it in the theater.

eXcentris
07-05-06, 10:45 AM
"I guessed the whole story", "the storyline was highly predictable".

You don't really get bonus points for guessing the storyline in biopics. :)

Kevin M. Dean
07-05-06, 10:48 AM
When the trailer played in a theater I was at and the title "Cinderella Man" came up, a bunch of people started laughing, but not in a good way. Probably a good indicator of why people didn't go see it.

Shannon Nutt
07-05-06, 11:31 AM
IMO, Russell Crowe is the only reason to see CINDERELLA MAN. Howard's direction is so by-the-numbers, he turns what could have been a great movie into a cookie-cutter "average" film.

So basically what you have is a great performance in an average picture.

valkyrie
07-05-06, 11:58 AM
I just saw this movie over the weekend, and I was pleasantly surprised. Great acting, veryy good direction, and the set design was superb. Really captured a great story, IMHO.

For those who complain about "guessing" a story, come on. Like Superman is hard to guess? Supes come back, Lex causes trouble, Lois gets in trouble, Supes saves the day? Should I not go see this movie because I've guessed the story line? I dunno, seems like a weak argument for or against a movie, IMHO.

The Infidel
07-05-06, 12:00 PM
I think tvpuff nailed it, in the fact that from the very first viewing of the trailer, the movie just screamed "Hey! Look at me! I'm an uplifting-yet-tearjerking movie with great actors! Give me Oscars!" Big turn-off.

coli
07-05-06, 12:09 PM
I think tvpuff nailed it, in the fact that from the very first viewing of the trailer, the movie just screamed "Hey! Look at me! I'm an uplifting-yet-tearjerking movie with great actors! Give me Oscars!" Big turn-off.

Geez, I thought you were describing Apollo 13, plus we already knew the ending to that movie going in. But then again, I guess that movie sucked too.

d2cheer
07-05-06, 12:10 PM
I would say basically because they pissed all over Max Baer and fabricated what really happened.

vwbeetlvr
07-05-06, 01:05 PM
the name. it was all because of the name. who the heck would want to go see "cinderella" man??

onebyone
07-05-06, 01:07 PM
I would go with timing of release, and Russell Crowe's Q-factor being down in the dumps after throwing temper tantrums at the hotel clerk.

That's what I think too. It was released at the absolute wrong time, and Crowe making an ass out of himself at the hotel certainly didn't help matters. Had he not done that and the movie been released in the fall or winter, I think it would have done better. Timing is key, and boy did this movie not have it. It's a pity, because I thought it was really good.

maingon
07-05-06, 01:15 PM
Well, in the case of Cinderella Man, I think not that many people wanted to see another boxing movie after Million Dollar Baby had such a large exposure the previous year. Also, the movie seemed like oscar bait from the start with the uplifting story and Renee Zelwegger. Terrible movies make a nice buck because they occasionally look cool and people get caught up in the advertising.


I agree about the oscar bait thats what I thought when I seen the previews too, and it wasnt a movie I had to see in the theaters, I think big dumb action movies do well in theaters cause they are fun to see in the theater, big screen etc and they are fun. Some type of movies you need to see in the theaters like Misssion impossible 3 and another movie like Crash which is excellent you dont really need to see it in the theater to really experiance it

DrStrangeL0ve71
07-05-06, 01:27 PM
I think if they had released it in the fall around Thanksgiving it would have done much better. Great movie though.

The Bus
07-05-06, 01:53 PM
Because it said "From director Ron Howard"

:up: :up:

Drexl
07-05-06, 02:20 PM
Because the movie was made for adults, and didn't appeal to teenagers.

Jericho
07-05-06, 03:58 PM
Look at all these excuses! Let me add one. I don't know exactly why Cinderella Man didn't earn more, but I will say straight dramas tend not to sell all that well (especially those not released around Christmas season).

starseed1981
07-05-06, 04:26 PM
Very simply, the movie failed because of it's title. Just like "The Island".

mrhan
07-05-06, 04:56 PM
There's this doc. on HBO about why movies bomb at the box office. It's worth a look.

http://www.hbo.com/docs/programs/boffo/?ntrack_para1=leftnav_category4_show1

xage
07-10-06, 02:51 PM
Its 2006... Watching a depression era movie like Cinderella Man is not "IN"... Take King Kong... It was also set in the 1930s.. and look how it endp up at the box office... it just barely break even with its budget.

ytrez
07-11-06, 02:00 PM
Personally, I see Ron Howard as a Spielberg wannabe who tries to hard to throw in a ton of schmaltz, thinking it makes for a better film.

I thought Cinderella Man was good, except for the scenes with Crowe & Zellwegger. When they were on screen together it was like fingernails on a chalkboard for me. So I'm from the camp that says it was just an okay film and made what it deserved.

Now, why Iron Giant didn't make a ton of green I can't understand but Garfield 2 is on screens now!