Could Wolverine's Leaking Have Helped It At The Box Office?

from the seems-possible dept

We still can't understand why Fox studios acted the way it did over the leak of the Wolverine movie. There were so many better options that didn't involve freaking out and eventually wasting FBI resources. We did note, when the movie was released, what a fantastic opening weekend it had. Of course, some argued that it would have had an even better opening weekend without the leak, but, of course, no one knows for sure.

However, Ross Pruden points us to an interesting analysis by Reid Rosefelt trying to more carefully analyze the leak's impact on Wolverine. Rosefelt compares Wolverine's opening weekend to lots of other highly touted movies, and then even breaks out the movies that were "the latest installment of a very lucrative franchise" (of which there were a bunch this year). In that class, Wolverine earned a lot more than any of those other similar movies, with the exceptions of Twilight and Transformers -- and, again, it's worth remembering that Wolverine got dreadful reviews. But it is worth noting that Wolverine outgrossed other highly touted "franchise" movies like Harry Potter's latest and Star Trek -- both of which got much better reviews.

Rosefelt also does a nice job pointing out how silly Hollywood's new favorite line is whenever anyone points out the record year at the box office. We've seen it from our usual cast of Hollywood insiders who frequent the comments here, where they say that the box office doesn't matter. Piracy is really impacting DVD sales and that's what will kill Hollywood. Of course, this is funny on a variety of levels, starting with the fact if Hollywood had had its way, the DVD player would never have existed, because home video machines (you may recall) were the "Boston Strangler" to the movie industry. It's also amusing because Hollywood has been working hard to prevent one of the biggest DVD buyers, Redbox, from buying its DVDs. Rosefelt points out that the data does show that DVD sales are down, but notes that rentals are way up. It appears that people just find it easier to rent than to buy -- and a large part of that may be uncertainty over HD format (and the ridiculous price put on many Blu-ray discs). Once again, it's looking like the decline in DVD sales might not be the fault of piracy, but of the industry and its own practices yet again.

Again, none of this shows for certain that the Wolverine leak helped at the box office, but it's hard to take seriously any argument that it was harmed. Wolverine did massively well at the box office and outshone many other movies from equally popular franchises, which received much better reviews.

Filed Under: box office, leak, piracy, wolverine

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  1. icon
    Dementia (profile), 5 Jan 2010 @ 7:23am

    Re: 2009 Box Office Records aren't so simple

    All I can say is that this is an excellent post. While I can believe the shrinking numbers at the box office, most of the reason that I seldom go to a movie theater has to do with the cost of admission and concessions. To take my family and buy them all a pop and some popcorn would easily run me nearly the same as a trip to the local steak house for prime rib. It's much easier to wait for a dvd, make my own popcorn, and watch it in an environment where I control the variables like temperature and sound volume.

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