Why Did Kick-Ass Bomb? A Movieline IM Discussion
With just $7.5 million on Friday, Kick-Ass is a certified bust. Was it the marketing? Roger Ebert? The c-word? Spurred by these questions, senior editor S.T. VanAirsdale and I got into a feverish IM conversation about Kick-Ass. Basically: What happened?
Christopher: How about Kick-Ass, huh? What a huge disaster.
STV: How did that even happen? The R-rating aside, how could NO ONE see that?
Christopher: I don't even know. That's a horrendous opening. Especially since geek movies are totally front-loaded. That sh*t might not cross $15 million for the weekend. I mean no one saw it. It had to be the marketing. It was all consuming, but mostly it was just bad. I don't know one person over 30 who wanted to see it. And forget girls.
STV: It needed stars. It should have exploited Nicolas Cage more than it did. He sells tickets! People go see his terrible films.
Christopher: I think Aaron Johnson and his voice cracking was a huge turn-off. Get worse. You're not McLovin'. Also: more McLovin'.
STV: Well there is a perception problem. Like, New York profiled Christopher Mintz-Plasse and there was lots of attention in the Times. Prestige and sh*t. It got a ton of press. But! Did it really? When the principal web piece about Kick-Ass turns out to be Harry Knowles reacting to Roger Ebert's pan, that's a web FAIL. The audience for this film was online and they were totally overlooked in favor of the high-culture home run. Also, maybe there's something to people not really wanting to see average folks pretending to be second-rate superheroes. They want STARS with ACTUAL POWERS.
Christopher: They probably don't want little girls either. They focused the marketing on an 11-year-old girl and that's just weird. Her saying the c-word aside.
STV: Also: THE MOVIE WASN'T GOOD. That's a problem.
Christopher: I'm seeing it later. I don't think it's the movie, though, on opening weekend. People don't even know how good or bad it is.
STV: No, but word of mouth is important, especially when you can argue that the film peaked all the way back at Comic-Con last year. It had pretty short-lived momentum out of South by Southwest.
Christopher: I think the no stars is important. I mean Watchmen didn't have any stars, but that felt like an EVENT. This just felt like some sh*tty B-rate comic book movie based on a comic book that no one ever heard of. At least Watchmen is iconic, even if the movie was bad.
STV: I guess this means that Lionsgate will stick to Tyler Perry and Saw films from here on out, thank you very much. They probably see Killers next on the calendar and are cowering under the desk.
Christopher: Seriously. This opening is flat-out embarrassing. It will open lower than The Bounty Hunter.
STV: So no franchise, I guess. You'll see at the end of the movie why this might be a problem. It's kind of embarrassingly presumptuous
Christopher: It can join Terminator Salvation in that category. I think this proves that the pure geek audience is not as big as people assumed.
STV: Good! May the future belong to original ideas and flesh-and-blood characters who don't have to tie on a cape or strap on some rocket pack or milk anemic genre tropes in the desperate hopes of reaching audiences. Good riddance, Kick-Ass.
Christopher: Well, until the next comic book movie.