(Originally written on July 7, 2009)
Part of my Sunday evening ritual is to visit the internet movie database (imdb for the already initiated) and check up on the weekly box office returns. I have no idea why I routinely do this – I guess I am just curious about the successes (and failures) or certain films.
So far this summer there has not been a lot of that I have concerned myself with (see post on summer movie previews), so imagine my surprise when I saw that The Proposal was still in the top 5 with a domestic box office receipt of 94.2 million, easily meaning it will reach the magical 100 million mark. Since I originally wrote this piece (as of July 22, 2009, that total is $128M)!
However, should I really be too surprised? Let’s face it — most of the big box office, maximum appeal bonanzas Star Trek, Transformers and Harry Potter 6. This is not to say that their critical reception will be less favorable. Personally, I really liked Harry Potter 6 and Star Trek.
The Proposal on its surface is a standard issue “chick flick” and these types of films are usually released when there will not be huge box office competition. That means either it will come out during non-blockbuster season or if it is released during the summer months, its release will be a couple of weekends prior or after a film like Star Trek. At least that has been my observation. The audience for these often niche films is those who may feel left out of the traditional summer box office.
In the case of The Proposal, I think I underestimated the draw that Sandra Bullock continues to have with audiences. That being said, I personally like her and think that she is a pleasant screen presence.
But I digress. Back to counterprogramming. I found a great site that has one reviewer’s favorite picks for summer counterprogramming options for Summer ’09. For my part, I have seen Away We Go (loved it!) and have tickets for this Saturday’s showing of Whatever Works. Also on my MUST SEE list is 500 Days of Summer (can’t wait).