Sunday Discussion: Will Cloverfield Live Up to the Hype?
by Alex Billington
January 13, 2008
In only five more days a giant monster from the mind of J.J. Abrams and Matt Reeves will attack New York City and tear it to pieces. But alas, I remember back in August of 2006 saying that same sort of thing, but with a plane full of snakes. Cloverfield will drop on January 18th, this upcoming Friday, as has been promised since July when we were first introduced. I won't deny that I have this worried feeling in the back of my mind, that I'm trying to suppress, that is wondering whether this could be the next Snakes on a Plane. I really, really don't want it to flop like that, so my question is importantly, will it live up to the hype?
Before I get into the details on this, I will say up front that I'm expecting nothing but excellence. Everything I've heard from the few people who've seen it has been nothing but positive. I don't have a doubt in my mind (well, expect for what I mentioned above) that this is going to be awesome and that it'll do very well. However, I've been known to be wrong previously and over-predict certain situations. It's mid-January and people are all going back to school this week, so I'm just not entirely sure how it'll turn out. I can only cross my fingers and hope for the best.
There are a couple of things really going against Cloverfield's immense success, unfortunately. First off, in last week's Sunday Discussion, we discussed how most January movies suck, and how studios use it as dumping grounds for bad movies. Secondly, there are extensive nationwide early screenings on Tuesday night, and after the crowds who really want to see it have all done so by then, will the buzz still carry over to the weekend when it actually counts? Like Snakes on a Plane, once the people who want to really go see it have seen it, no one else will, even it is a great movie - at least, that's what I'm concerned of.
On the other side of the equation, I have a feeling that Paramount's marketing team is a lot smarter than New Line's (who put out Snakes on a Plane). And when this turns out as successful as everyone is expecting it to be, it'll go to show what great marketing can do (and become a model to follow). And more than anything it will go to show how incredible Paramount is at marketing, pulling off two non-sequels in less than a year's time that both became enormous blockbusters. Transformers has already done that, now it's Cloverfield's turn.
What do you think? Will Cloverfield live up to the hype? This is a two part question: 1) will it be as awesome as everyone wants it to be, and 2) will it perform as well at the box office as expected? What do you think? Not only do I really hope it achieves both of those, but at this moment, I actually believe it will be amazing and make money. Just wait and see!