Hooray For Hollywood! Meet The Bullet-Points Memo

Contributing Writer; Hollywood

Welcome to a new semi-regular subsection that we like to call the "Bullet-Points Memo." The idea behind BPM is to highlight multiple contemporaneous entertainment business stories that seem interesting to us (and, hopefully, you).

We will be pulling stories, ideas and issues from La La Land and beyond and (again, hopefully) you all will be steering us towards some topics/stories that you're interested in that we might have otherwise missed.

So, without further ado, away we go...


Pop quiz: which film has made more money to-date, Pitch Perfect 2 or Mad Max: Fury Road?

As I write this, the answer (which some may find surprising, especially if they live in the United States) is Mad Max: Fury Road.

While much of the press in North America focused on the victory Pitch Perfect 2 had in its domestic box office opening weekend, the real story - as always - is international, where Fury Road has dominated, leaving it with a total global haul of nearly $125 million compared to Pitch Perfect 2's $122M going into the second weekend of release.

If I were to offer a bet, I would guess that Mad Max: Fury road will continue to outpace the latest Pitch Perfect in global returns, quickly rendering the disparity in their production and marketing costs moot. (Any takers?)

The problem with media stories like the ones that dominated on the Monday following the opening weekend of the two films - beyond the fact that the lazy American press is a sucker for any kind of "horse race" angle - is that it fails to understand the differing nature of the two films: one made primarily for an international audience and return, the other focused to a greater (though not exclusive) degree on a particular demographic in the North American audience.

In the case of the US release, the Venn diagram of the two definitely has a decent area of overlap but, because of that, the numbers on the weekend should only be seen as win-win-win:

Warners wins for total global haul; Universal wins weekend bragging rights and delivering a bit of decent entertainment to an underserved domestic demographic; and movie-goers win with two new wide-release, high quality studio-films to choose from.

Unfortunately for the marketing department at Warner Bros., the media aren't the only ones more interested in the simplicity of a horse race and I'm pretty sure someone at the studio got an earful from representatives of institutional shareholders to pass on down the line.

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