Hnetflixby Shane “The Discusser” Hnetka

It’s been a while since I discussed the box office and there has been some interesting things happening. It’s probably because we’re in the space between the end of the award season and just before the start of the summer blockbuster season.

Okay. Now I will begin the discussion.

Smaller Films Can Make A Difference

Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel made it into the top 10 at the box office after three weeks of playing in a limited run. Increasing to a mere 304 theatres, the film grossed $6,750,000. Not too shabby when the latest Muppets movie only managed $16.5 million in over 3,194 theatres.

The faith based film God’s Not Dead made it to number five at the box office with healthy $8,564,000 in only 780 theatres. You’d think God could do better. Maybe he’s shy about self-promotion. Typical artist.

The Kickstart-ed Veronica Mars has done dismal business in theatres. Of course, it’s also available on VOD so it’s more likely that everyone is just staying home. Without the VOD numbers and the eventual DVD and Blu-ray sales it looks like Veronica Mars will fall short of its $6 million budget.

So what does all this teach Hollywood studios? Probably nothing. Studios are slow to learn anything new.

Around The World

Need for Speed bombed at the American box office, which is good and correct. It looks terrible and it was poorly reviewed. And yet, the film has been cleaning up around the world — it made more money in China than in the U.S. and it hasn’t stopped there. Worldwide it’s now almost made $96 million.

It’s been clear for awhile that the world market has an effect on movies. What needs to happen is audiences learn to distinguish crap from quality. Need for Speed should not make enough money to make a crappier sequel. The last thing the world needs is crappier sequels.

I now declare the discussion to be over.


Shane Hnetka is a Regina film and comic book nerd. He also writes Dog Blog’s weekly “Sunday Matinee” column at


One thought on “Hnetflix”

  1. As a Veronica Mars fan and someone who backed the Kickstarter, I have to question your comments. The budget of the movie was $6 million however $5.7 million of that was provided by fans through the kickstarter campaign. So technically the movie was almost paid for before it even came out. Not including the now $3+ million US from theatres and whatever else it has made from VOD, itunes, etc.

    The Kickstarter earned fan support because they wanted to see a movie version of a show that was cancelled too soon. There was never any guarantee it would end up in theatres at all. And the 98,000 people who funded the movie all got a digital download the same day the movie was put into theatres. I believe the movie launched in only 200 threates in the US (about 5 initially in Canada) and many people reported their theatre was only playing one single showing. So hardly comparable to any other movie release put out by “Holywood studios”. Especially since the VM movie relies a lot of knowledge of the TV show to fully follow.

    As for what Holywood studios should learn from the VM project? I really don’t care. What is important is what fans and content creators can learn. If any tv show has a loyal enough following, and the creators care enough, fans can come together and fund further content. This takes movies pretty much out of the standard hollywood system and therefore the definition of success is vastly different. This was a project that never would have seen the light of day if the studios had their say. But because fans wanted it and supported it, it happened, and they were rewarded NOT with a watered down version of the show they loved…or a reboot to appeal to the masses. They were rewarded with a movie that was made for them. Plus, it made a few bucks. I think that is something that should be celebrated.

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