Why does opening weekend for movies get reported on as such an important thing?

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Surely the opening weekend demonstrates nothing at all about the quality of the movie, but only the quality of the marketing. When your friend tells you “I saw such a great film last week, you must go and see it!” then that is the sign of the movie’s quality. Why would anyone who wasn’t financially invested in the movies care about opening weekend figures?

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8 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Nothing more than hype man bullshit. It seems to be human nature to rank things, and the more they push it the more FOMO you can get. Good ole marketing.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Box office performance is incredibly important to the overall movie money lifecycle.

A good opening week is the #1 time for a movie to make money. It’s also telling about how the movie will perform in the future. Opening weekend is your high point, it only goes down from there. Box office is also very important to how the later lifecycle of the movie performs. A good box office means it will be more popular and valuable down the line on streaming, for sale, etc.

There’s also a marketing aspect. If a movie does well, the studio wants everyone to know, if your friends are seeing it, you should too right?

Who said ‘quality’ matters? What matters to the studio is asses in seats. Cause those asses pay money to see the movie and that’s what they care about about. ‘Great’ movies can do bad and ‘bad’ movies can perform great. What you like is up to you anyways.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The direction the first few members of a mob of sheep start running is the way the herd then runs. People aren’t so different.

This means that (a) the first weekend determines which way the first few members of the herd are running and (b) people want to know which way the herd is running so they can run in the same direction

Add to that – people in an industry are interested in that industry. People who are in, say, the plumbing industry are highly interested in the latest news and gossip on plumbing. The difference between the plumbing industry and the media industry though is that the plumbing industry doesn’t control the media so the plumbing industry doesn’t have the capability to shout every damn thing about itself from the rooftops. I daresay the plumbing industry also doesn’t employ people who are quite so self obsessed and egotistical as the media industry.

Anonymous 0 Comments

That’s because you’re comparing two different metrics. I’ll assume you mean quality as in ‘enjoyability’ or something akin. That’s a fine metric, but opening weekend is just about marketing and income and is more for investors and the industry to take note of. The reason why it’s presented to us casual movie enjoyers (so to speak) is, well, it’s because reporting those numbers is a lazy analog for the metric you mean to infer from it. So it’s related, but only tangentially so.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s also in large part due to how the theatres and movie studios split the box office money.

The general business model is that in the first few weeks, the movie studio gets most if not all of the money from ticket sales. The theatres only makes money from concession sales and advertising. As the weeks to go by, the theatre gets a larger and larger share of the ticket sales.

This means that the studios really want the movie to make most of its money if the first few weeks. If they movie does not make money in the first few weeks, then the studio loses out. For the studio, it is much better for a movie to make $100 million on the first weekend instead of $10 million per week for ten weeks. In the former, the studio gets most of that $100 million. In the latter, the studio might only get $50 million or so.

Anonymous 0 Comments

If the movie you really enjoyed has a solid opening, that means that studios are more likely to finance future films like it.

If the movie you really enjoyed had a poor opening, studios are more likely to finance something else.

Also, while marketing can absolutely have an effect on a film’s box office, it’s hardly the main driver. If it were, no big films would ever fail. Look at movies like *The Flash* or *Secrets of Dumbledore* – they spent tens of millions of dollars on marketing campaigns and both utterly failed.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I feel like it’s pretty obvious why studios care about the first weekend, but the real question is why it’s reported by the media to us, the viewers that way. And I suppose the answer to that is probably because a lot of the studios and reporting media are owned/run by the same people.

Anonymous 0 Comments

24 hour news cycle, what else are they going to blabber on about?