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By Admin | May 23, 2008

“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls” has strong opening day numbers, but not quite as strong as predicted.

We’re one day into the release of “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of thye Crystal Skull” and box office expectations have already fallen short. Or kind of have fallen short. Or who knows?

See, it’s become an almost full-time gig for film journalism to keep track of box office figures all the f*****g time. Think of it like a running sports ticker. How’s your team doing? Check the tape, how much have they earned?

In the case of “Indy IV,” experts predicted a five-day box office haul of over $172 million (the number set by “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith”). Unfortunately for said experts, the film isn’t quite on pace (“Sith” opened at $50 million on their opening Thursday of May 19, 2005 and “Indy” is looking at a $26 million opening), but I could have told you that yesterday morning.

See, I went to the local multiplex for the 10am screening and, save for about 5 people wandering in during the trailers, was alone in the theater. I have never had that experience with any big-time Summer release. Usually the midnight screenings are so oversold, that the next four screenings of the day are too, and those are usually the 10am’s on. Not this time, however.

One, we’re talking the Summer and we’re not really in the Summer yet. Kids are still in school and, on top of that, kids of today don’t really give two fucks about “Indiana Jones,” not like I or my friends do. “Indy IV” could just as easily be “Mummy 3” or “National Treasure 2” for all they care. “Indy” will make big money, but it’s not going to change the universe.

Two, the film was released into a ridiculously high number of screens (I counted four at the multiplex I went to, screenings seemingly every 2 1/2 hours apart) EVERYWHERE. Even my girlfriend in New Zealand texted me Wednesday night to let me know she had already seen “Indy” (they’re ahead a day). That many screenings means more opportunity for people to see it, but maybe too much opportunity.

Three, I think people are scared of the movie sucking a*s. Lucas did such a horrendous job with the “Star Wars” prequels, and has done such an awful job on top of that of down-talking the latest “Indy,” that it didn’t inspire any confidence in the film at all. I saw it, but there was no way I was never going to see it (“Raiders” is my favorite movie of all time). People on the fence, though, had to take the track record in account and… f**k, if I was on the fence, I would’ve passed opening weekend too. Maybe caught it on the cheap screens a month or two later.

Finally, we’re in a recession. It’s borderline disgusting to worry about the highs and lows of a film when gas prices are almost averaging $4 and the economy is f****d. But that’s our industry, right? Yeah, I don’t give a f**k either.

So why did I write about it, then? To point out how ridiculous, and offensive in the face of major world poverty and recession, this all can be. At the end of the day, I don’t care how much any movie earned and neither should you!

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  1. Nathan says:

    I completely agree with your article, Mark. It’s ridiculous that so many people care about how much a movie makes. I’m also sick of all these entertainment shows that place so much emphasis on how well a film does at the box office as opposed to the quality of the film. I’m looking at you Dailies.

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