Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Green Zone: WTs $100m flop

As IMDB seems to be shifting much of its content to IMDB Pro (which you have to pay for), some data may be getting harder to access, but we can still see enough to appreciate the level of funding WT can access, which places them way above any competitor (outwith the franchise producers of Harry Potter, Bond etc - essentially American productions

Managed a mere $35m in the US, and was a notable flop BUT initially ran on 3,000 screens, reflecting the confidence that Universal had; the expense of producing that many prints, and advertising in so many US cities is not undertaken lightly. It managed £5.4m in the UK on a peak of 419 screens (see IMDB). Critics argue the marketing focussed to much on the lead, Matt Damn, and tried too hard to play on the intertextuality he brings (if we apply Richard Dyer's star theory) to action films as the star of the Bourne franchise.
Centred on US marines in Iraq, there is little to suggest this was made by a UK company targeting a UK audience.
But we should note its British director, Paul Greengrass (who made his name with Bloody Sunday and went on to make a major impact with United 93)
YT trailer (-rated)

Greengrass' Bloody Sunday was highly controversial inside the UK, but won multiple awards across the wider world. It is seen as a masterpiece of the docudrama genre, which is broadly similar to the social realist style but specifically seeks to accurately reflect past events by re-enacting them.
Here's the trailer:

Greengrass would bring this approach to United 93 [IMDB], a symbolic movie in many ways: here we have a British company + director producing one of the most important filmic statements about 9/11, such an emotive issue for the American audience. By this time he'd directed Bourne movies, the extremely successful action/secret agent franchise. The $15m, low-budget production was a hit, making $30m in the US, an astonishing £28m here, and much more worldwide. It ran for a long time in the UK (5 months) on a peak 276 screens, but just 2 months stateside on a peak 1,795 screens.
Here's the trailer:

More on Green Zone marketing:

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