We have all come to the understanding that if a $20 million budgeted film, like The Conjuring, earns $110 million in the box office it was a success. We also understand that if a $250 million budgeted film, *cough* Lone Ranger *cough cough,* earns $87 million in the box office, something went wrong.
These numbers make me wonder if big studios will ever realize how powerful word-of-mouth can be. Films like Jack the Giant Slayer, White House Down, and After Earth overwhelmed us with marketing. Channing Tatum and the Smith duo could be seen all over the city (billboards, subway walls, bus, etc.) for about a months time, so, we all knew these films were going to release yet many of us decided to skip them. Why is that? Quite frankly, I have not heard a good thing about any of these films, so why spend the $13.
Opening weekend box office results are the defining factor for whether a film gathers a profit. The marketing department of a film is responsible for getting viewers, but the film itself needs to be interesting enough to spread good word-of-mouth. The Heat started with a $39 million opening weekend, but, thanks to the constant praise from fans, it has been consistently in the top 10 for the last six weeks and has earned $150 million (more than a $100 million profit.)
People don't search for the films that cost the most money to make, we want to see something that makes us laugh, makes us cry, or makes us want to spread the word. Good story needs to stand as a higher priority for these studios than explosions, sex appeal, and remakes if they plan on reaping any sort of profit. In the end, we're a complicated audience that doesn't want to see the same thing twice.We decide the success of a film and our word is final.