Wrecking is too strong of a word here as the film has hit the $1MM mark domestically and $180MM globally, but one has to wonder if the marketing was too cute with either listing Christmas or no date on all in its outdoor print for ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: CHIPWRECKED in the US.
The images looked great and you knew exactly what they were about, but there was confusion about the when. The url is listed clearly on the billboard (as there’s not much else) as WhereIsAlvin.com, but is not listed on the one-sheet. When you get to the site, it even looks like the date is a last minute add-on as the font doesn’t seem to match well. For the one-sheets with Christmas listed, that leads to more confusion because people are right to assume the 25th of December.
Some might say $39MM Domestically for an opening week is nothing to shake a stick at, but expectations were much higher – easily more than $40MM for the opening weekend alone. What makes it look even worse is that opening weekend figure of $23MM. The fact that grosses grew the following week – while dropping 43 screens – suggest that people might have been surprised that it had already opened after hearing about it from friends. I seems highly unlikely that the cause was that the same viewers were choosing between Alvin and Sherlock Holmes or Mission Impossible. It was more likely the fact that moviegoers just didn’t know when they could start seeing it.
You can delve into the numbers however you would like at Box Office Mojo, but its seems clear that the ultimate numbers for the third Alvin movie weren’t helped by the lack of clear dating on the print collateral. What do you think?