Totally blown away by the domestic opening weekend for FAST FIVE – 83MM (140 worldwide). Following the logic of the past few weeks, does this mean that in order to have a successful film release, the film must be based in Rio?
If only it were that simple. What’s really interesting in the case of FAST FIVE, is that the franchise is opening larger and larger with the latest two releases. Where many franchises have diminishing returns, this one with solid, but not blockbuster cast – and a rotating one at that – just gets bigger and bigger numbers. Perhaps we should have known it would do well with over 5MM Facebook Likes – but the weather was good, there was great basketball and an NBA draft, yet people still went into the cinemas? Great news and hopefully it will continue.
Looking at the campaigns for the two latest big earners worldwide in RIO and FAST FIVE – based in Rio – what stands out is that the marketing was clear and presented the films for exactly what they are. The marketing did not seem like a bait and switch. They both included the exotic imagery of Rio, but focused on the story – RIO as a colorful, music-infused adventure that families would enjoy, and FAST FIVE as a lightning-fast, explosive thrill-ride to entertain the masses. There was no confusion, no push of minor storylines or critic’s reviews instead of conveying or teasing the film’s narrative – and thankfully, nothing supernatural.
The headline translates as “Thank god for Brazil” in Portuguese. Hopefully these two large openings provide a strong momentum into a record-breaking big box office in the Summer – fingers crossed. And, more importantly, hopefully won’t translate into the copycat effect of greenlighting anything having to do with Rio, but focusing on simply marketing films clearly, smartly and effectively.
OOPS!!!!! I was reminded after posting this that the supernatural has, in effect, gone to Rio. The next TWILIGHT installment – BREAKING DAWN – did some shooting there. With that being said, I can guarantee this movie will be a hit. 😉