Patrick Goldstein tries to get to the bottom of why around 3 million people went to see a Nicolas Cage movie this weekend. The film made $24.8 million, topping the much-slathered over Rudd/Segal I Love You, Man and Owen/Roberts Duplicity. What he learned might shock you. Actually, it won’t. Okay, it might.
I asked three Hollywood marketing gurus for their expert analysis. And while they all had different opinions about the appeal of the film (produced by Summit Entertainment), they agreed on one thing: It wasn’t about Nic Cage. In fact, the consensus was that people don’t go see Nic Cage movies, since there are too many movies in too many genres that all starred Cage that didn’t make a ripple at the box office. In other words, audiences see fantasy adventure fables that happen to star Cage, but not because they star Cage.
In sum, Goldstein’s brain trust explain that the trailer emphasized a similarity between the film and National Treasure in a similar manner to the way I Love You, Man tried to make you think you were watching a Judd Apatow film and Duplicity tried not to make you think you were watching Closer 2: The Next Day.
Goldstein lobs out that Knowing also tapped into the zeitgeist by showing the world falling apart at the same time as the world is falling apart. Looking at that one-sheet, though, all Squally sees is the world turning into a lot of numbers. “It’s better to be lucky than be good,” he writes, which you can put right alongside “Nobody knows anything” and “No one ever went broke underestimating the American public.”
Did you see it? Why? Was it any good?