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Thursday, February 18, 2016

REPRESENTATION + BOX OFFICE Why Mickybo flopped

Note the lack of official reviews.

**a linked, more recent film to consider alongside this: Warp's '71**

LINKS:
IMDB.
BoxOfficeMojo.
Wiki.
RottenTomatoes.
Trailer; VoD.
Culture NI feature.
Fan-made video (young boy).
Russian fan-made video/trailer?
OST as YouTube playlist.
1st 10 minutes + playlist.

Son of Rambow Wiki; trailer; BoxOfficeMojo;
WT2 IMDB.



This was one of Working Title's WT2 productions, their shortlived Indie-style subsidiary for low budget films:
IMDB's list for WT2

IMDB figures; BoxOfficeMojo puts it at $465k - but still a UK release only.


BOX OFFICE, AND A POTENTIAL AUDIENCE LOST?
This film came out around the same time as Son of Rambow; both films were about two boys obsessed with a movie (Rambo; the Western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid). The film set in southern England did much better at the box office ... TWENTY TIMES better!!!



Mickybo made $456k worldwide according to BoxOfficeMojo (£172k according to the Wiki). It only got a UK release - indeed, it appears to have only had a Northern Ireland release, film festivals aside, playing on 28 screens for just over a week. IMDB. BoxOfficeMojo.

Son... made $10m from a £4.5m budget, and got theatrically distributed in TWENTY countries, including the US (though $8m of the total is from the UK!).

Mickybo's BoxOfficeMojo: 1 country, 28 screens, $456k from $5m budget

Son of Rambow's BoxOfficeMojo: 20 countries, 155 US cinemas, $10m from £4.5m budget


SON OF RAMBOW + horizontal integration
This a good example:
At the very end of the closing credits, Carter's voice-over points out that "Rambo" is not spelled with a "w". Will replies, "Oh OK," and Carter quickly adds, "It was still good though." The UK distributor, Optimum Releasing, is owned by StudioCanal - which owns ancillary rights to the first three Rambo films. The American distributor, Paramount Vantage, is a division of Paramount Pictures - which owns TV and digital rights to said films in North America (with the former being sublicensed to Trifecta Entertainment & Media). (Wiki)
WHY DID THE SIMILAR SON OF RAMBOW DO SO MUCH BETTER?
The rating is one part of the answer: a 15-rated (US: R) film about two kids seems risky; this rules out the youth audience that might be a natural consideration for primary target audience.
Mickybo 15/R
 Son: 12/PG-13.



MICKYBO AND ME OPENING 10 MINUTES

This user's playlist has more scenes.

MICKYBO AND ME TRAILER: RUSSIAN? FAN-MADE?
It is notable that the official trailer doesn't seem to be on YouTube, a sign of the very minimal marketing effort behind the film. This seems to be a fan-made video ... from Russia, adapting the actual trailer.


Mickybo and me (trailer) from Nadejda Chernyshkova on Vimeo.


TRAILER ON VoD
To view the trailer I had to go to a TV company's site. The availability of the film through VoD is an example of convergence, something I'll return to below. Many Indie films fail to get a cinematic release (this one did), or even make it to a TV screening; even DVD distribution cannot be taken for granted - there are still production costs involved, requiring someone to take a gamble.

MICKYBO SOUNDTRACK AS A YOUTUBE PLAYLIST
An example of both convergence and UGC: here we have a film soundtrack distributed through a film/video streaming site, which can be shared through further media ... such as this blog. Furthermore, it will mostly be accessed through a computer, not a hi-fi.
This is not a playlist generated by the production or distribution company, but rather by a fan. The opening song has been viewed 40k times through this playlist, useful potential publicity for the movie, and an example of why featuring big name artists can be worth the expense (in rights).


MICKYBO FAN-MADE VIDEO
Okay, its only got 488 views, but it is an illustration of how technology is transforming the film industry - we can no longer write just about 'the film'; Mickybo and Me sparked some fan-made videos as well as the above playlist (UGC). No matter how plain or simple, when discussing 'the film' these are relevant; the audience no longer simply consume the text provided by the production and distribution companies, they also create further content themselves.


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