Friday, June 27, 2014


On the eve of How To Train Your Dragon 2's third weekend of release, Forbes does its premature post-mortem.

... There are a number of reasons why How to Train Your Dragon 2 didn’t fly to top-tier DreamWorks Animation box office highs in America. It is possible the television show muted the special-ness of the event, while it is possible that parents decided to hold off on a film that they were worried would scare their kids.

Walt Disney’s Maleficent proved to be just leggy enough to eat into the female demographic that otherwise might have showed up for the (mostly) boy-centric dragon adventure. Or it could just be that the lasting popularity of How to Train Your Dragon was overstated by we adult critics and box office pundits who presumed that the kids liked it as much as we did. ...

Or how about: "When people don't want to come and see your picture, you can't stop them."?

Except no, that doesn't work either, because HTTYD2 has opened #1 almost everywhere else in the known universe, so we can't say with total certainty why the U.S. of A. was the market that under-performed. An economist friend of mine told me some years ago that economists get economic predictions wrong because no human can project how 350 million people will be spending their money on any given day.

And so it is with box-office predictions. People go to movies for all kinds of reasons, and the WIlliam Goldman axiom about movie-making holds: "In Hollywood, nobody knows anything." More to the point, nobody knows what any given movie will pull in during its release. Educated guesses are about the best the soothsayers can do.

But I still think it'll rake in close to $200 million. (Letting my prejudices cloud my judgment, I think.)


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