Monday, March 20, 2006
V for box office victory!
Posted by JPX
From USATODAY, "'V' scores on a distracting weekend
By Scott Bowles, USA TODAY
V, it turns out, is for victory at theaters.
"It's an odd little movie," Vendetta producer Joel Silver said. "We weren't sure who would show up."
Warner Bros. Pictures
Going up against the NCAA college basketball tournament and St. Patrick's Day festivities, the political thriller V for Vendetta coasted to an easy win at the box office this weekend. It brought in a healthy $26.1 million, according Nielsen EDI.
The movie met most analysts' projections and helped restore at least a little of the luster of writer/producers Andy and Larry Wachowski, whose final two installments of the Matrix trilogy left many fans disappointed. (Related chart: See the weekend's top 10 films)
The film also marked the latest in a string of Hollywood films willing to be political. Like Good Night, and Good Luck and Munich, Vendetta uses a dramatic story line to raise questions about the size and scope of government and the nature of revenge. Set in Britain in 2020, Vendetta examines the balance between national security and personal freedom.
"Ever since Fahrenheit 9/11, I think we've been seeing there's a real audience for movies with political agendas," says Joel Silver, who produced Vendetta with the Wachowskis. "I don't know how many people are showing up because they want to hear political messages, but they're certainly more open to hearing them."
Vendetta was first published as a graphic novel in 1989, when Silver came across it.
"It was like a 1930s comic book set in the future," Silver says. "I can't say what it was, but there was something about it that made me think it would work as a movie."
Little of the concept screams Hollywood hit. The hero, Hugo Weaving, wears a mask throughout. Co-star Natalie Portman is shorn and grungy.
"It's an odd little movie," Silver says. "We weren't sure who would show up."
It turns out, a lot of adults would. About 55% of the audience for the R-rated movie was 25 and older.
"That's much higher than we expected," says Dan Fellman, distribution chief for Warner Bros., which released the movie. "We're hoping that means the box office can go higher than an audience of just young males could take it."
The box-office future isn't quite so bright for the teen comedy She's the Man, which opened with a respectable if unspectacular $11 million, good for fourth place.
Failure to Launch was second with $15.8 million. Disney's The Shaggy Dog dropped just 16% from its debut last week for third place with $13.6 million.
Ticket sales dipped 11% from the same weekend last year, and this is the fifth straight weekend the box office trailed the same period last year. Final figures are due today."
at 11:11 AM