Sunday Discussion: Has Cloverfield Changed Hollywood Forever?
by Alex Billington
January 20, 2008
In our Sunday Discussion a couple of weeks back, we discussed Why Does January Suck for Movies. I mentioned in the article that January through April is the pre-summer dumping grounds for studios, and the reason it is that way is because movies usually perform very poorly during those four months. One of the biggest exceptions to this rule was Zack Snyder's 300 last year. And when those sort of anomalies happen, they change Hollywood forever. Cloverfield is poised to make over $40 million by the end of this weekend, breaking every January record ever. So now I'm wondering, what sort of effect will this actually have?
Cloverfield has been a point of discussion on FS.net for quite some time. With everything that is has done, including the hype it has built and now the money it has made, we just can't stop talking about it. From that previous Sunday Discussion, here's my paragraph on the film's January opening.
The other movie that I have a feeling could blow up into something big is Cloverfield. Universal tried a similar thing with Smokin' Aces last year. There was an excessive amount of buzz based on the trailers and it just kept building. Then they moved it to a late-January release and it did "okay," but not extraordinary at the box office. And in the end I hated it! I'm hoping Cloverfield is the exact opposite, and I have a good feeling it will be. If it is as successful as all of the buzz is promising, then it will yet again shake up the industry. A mid-January opening will never be looked upon the same again, nor will it ever be as successful again.
In a separate article talking about Will Cloverfield Live Up to the Hype?, I again questioned both sides of Cloverfield: if it does well, it will change Hollywood forever; if it does poorly, it will be another Snakes on a Plane and make the internet as a marketing medium look bad. Thankfully, it did well, it did VERY well.
Early reports are saying that Cloverfield will make an estimated $41 million from Friday to Sunday, not counting the holiday on Monday. This breaks the previous 3-day record set by Star Wars: Special Edition in 1997 of $35.9 million AND breaks the 4-day Martin Luther King Jr. weekend record (for this same weekend) set by Black Hawk Down in 2002 of $33.6 million. Two records already shattered and more are on the way! I'm sure this will perform strongly through January, as the response has been quite positive. Head over to Box Office Mojo for the full box office report.
Since Cloverfield has broken every January record, not only am I happy as hell, but that means Hollywood is going to be looking at this as a prime example for January success. Expect another gimmicky monster movie in either January of 2009 or 2010 - that's guaranteed. How exactly will this change Hollywood? How will the studios respond? And most importantly, I'm wondering if this means January could turn into something better than dumping grounds for bad movies. One thing is for sure - Hollywood will soon begin to recognize how powerful internet buzz really is!