In this months review, we will look at the failure of the film, "Grindhouse."
On July 3, 2008, "Planet Terror" will finally get its long-delayed release in to Korean Cinemas. The film is the 2nd part of the US release of April 2007's "Grindhouse". The first part "Death Proof" was released here in Korea in September 2007. In the USA both of these films were release together as a double feature that lasted about 3+ hours.
The film was supposed to be the shinning light of The Weinstein Company independence from Disney, after the end of the Weinstein's brothers withdraw from Miramax studios. It had both of the brothers golden boys (Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez) The film had the key word, "Buzz". The film was going to open as the counter programing for Easter 2007. The weekend totals came in and "Grindhouse" finished in 4th place with $11.6 million.
So what went wrong? The biggest factor cited by Harvey Weinstein himself is the three-hour plus running time of the double feature. According to his research, American movie goers shied away from the prospect of paying attention to anything that runs longer than 90 minutes.
(When I saw him actually say that, I kept thinking "Titanic" "Harry Potter" and Pirates of the Caribbean" Sure were longer that 90 minutes and they all seemed to have made a huge profit.)
In my opinion it was a combination of a few things that killed this film and here are my reasons for it.
1. Released on Easter Weekend. You take your mother and family out to see a movie together. Imagine taking you mother to see a film with nude ladies, cussing and bombs on a religious holiday. It was released on the wrong day and it never recovered from it. Also, April is notorious for bad films being dumped, that are not quite good enough for a Summer release. To me this was another huge mistake that the film never could overcome.
2. What exactly was the film? I grew up seeing a lot of the late night films that they were trying to pay their respects to and that was nice. Most of their fans, below a certain age, have never been entrained with these types of movies and did not understand the concept. The younger film audience passed on this film. The film previews explained that it was 2 movies but the audience believed that it was one and it was shown with scratches and missing reals and the joke was lost to them.
3. The cost of this film. The original Grindhouse films were low cost. This film cost 55 million to make and it does not look like that.
The last failure of this film was the making 2 films with this instead of the huge one film. When I heard that they were going to break down this film, I could not believe it. Have they actually heard of You Tube and seen what the reaction could be? When I saw the first film in Korea, I was so happy that I was not the only one who was disappointed with the 2nd film and the fake trailers that were missing. We wanted to see the 3 hour 15 minute movie not the "Readers Digest" abridged version.
After the box office failure, the mistakes have continued with this film in its DVD release. For the majority of the world , the film was released as a split set with each film receiving a 2 DVD set release. In Japan the film has been given a 6 DVD set release with 1 of the discs being the entire 195 minute original film. This is what should have been released and the US film fan is still waiting for that release. The only reason I was able to obtain the DVD set was a huge Bit Torrent file. That is a shame for a fan who wanted to purchase the 6 DVD set.
To me it was the final insult that the the Weinstein brothers just never quite understood what to do with this film.
Please see the film, "Planet Terror" when it arrives in Korea and try and download the film as it was originally intended. You might be surprised that you actually like it.