Edgar Wright's Scott Pilgrim vs. The World opened in fifth place last weekend with $10.6 million -- that is to say, more people turned out to see Inception in its fifth week than Pilgrim in its first. Twice as many women went to see Eat Pray Love, and three times as many men checked out The Expendables.
Colleagues of mine and fans of the film alike were quick to decry the film's "tragic opening," but while I share their fear that this soft landing will only reinforce the commonly-held studio belief that same = safe, I don't think it's "tragic" so long as those who did turn out actually enjoyed the movie. For their sake, though, let's guide you through the five stages of grief for when your latest fave underperforms.
1. Denial - "Five new releases this week? Pffffft. This is gonna hold like a mofo!"
2. Anger - "Ugh, why did they blow their marketing at Comic-Con?! Everybody there was already sold on the movie. What stranger sees a kid holding a guitar on a poster in some multiplex and thinks, 'That's probably a lively spin on rom-com formula, laced with references to video games and comic books and grounded by Michael Cera's best performance in ages'?!?"
3. Bargaining - "What are you doing on Sunday afternoon? Because if I bring two friends, and you bring two friends, and if they each brought two friends, we could turn this around yet!"
4. Depression - "Your friends can't make it because they're already planning to see Piranha 3D? My friends can't make because they're going to watch Vampires Suck. My friends suck."
5. Acceptance - "It's OK. I'll be lending the Blu-ray out to all of my pals by the time that 'Arrested Development' movie comes out!"*
(*1. Denial - "They are still making an 'Arrested Development' movie, right...?")