June 24, 2004

Heavyweight Filmmakers Lose To Playground Comedy

terminal.jpgSteven Spielberg and Tom Hanks are good friends. Spielberg has even admitted to seeking out roles for the Oscar winning actor, as they quite enjoy collaborating. This reflects their relationship off the set.

Last weekend the newest Hanks-Spielberg creation, The Terminal, hit theaters, and wrapped up an opening few days to the sight of raised eyebrows… because the low budget comedy about an elementary school game, Dodgeball, beat them to the number one spot at the US box office.

The Terminal was made for $60 million, with another $30 million or so in advertising. Only $20 million went into Dodgeball, and yet the Vince Vaughn-Ben Stiller sporting epic grossed over $11 million at the box offices, more than double what The Terminal brought in.

How does this happen, you ask? How do they do it? The advertising budgets were nearly equal; the combined star power of Hanks, Spielberg, and Catherine Zeta Jones, who also starred, should have demolished Stiller, Vaughn, and a six-year-old’s game… And yet, Dodgeball reigned supreme.dodgeball.jpg

Could it be that people are tired of Tom Hanks? Could it be that Spielberg has reached the level of cliché? The two are the “pop standards” of the film industry, and may have now lost the interest of a younger crowd looking for the cutting edge in story lines and acting which Hanks’s and Spielberg’s work is not. It is good, but it has ceased to mesmerize.

And so America chose Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. Audiences won one for the little guy, and passed a little judgment about what they like from the titans of film.

Posted by jdisard at June 24, 2004 09:21 AM | TrackBack

Well, it could be because morning DJs all over the country have been pushing dodgeball associations all of a sudden...I know it's been happening in several major markets. Not sure if it is just Clear Channel stations or not, however.

Posted by: Crow at June 24, 2004 02:38 PM
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