From a 10,000 foot view, you’d probably bet that a movie starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz and overflowing with a slew of stunts suffering from ADD would be a top money maker at the box office. I mean, why not – it’s the perfect recipe for the Big Summer Blockbuster. But the truth is, Knight & Day, released on June 23rd, hasn’t lit it up like expected – with a mere $38 million take against $120 million cost.
No doubt, there’s a ton of head shaking going on – and maybe even a little finger pointing. This was, after all, supposed to be the resurgence of Cruise – who’s faced his share of issues with the press. But what’s the real reason? As famed screenwriter William Goldman once said, “Nobody knows a S#H&#T in Hollywood”, so we may never know. Audiences can be fickle.
But there’s a very provocative discussion about the marketing behind the movie in the LA Times – where Chief Marketer Tony Sella actually takes the blame (he notes that the above poster, for example, just didn’t connect with audiences).You gotta love a guy who’s man enough to take a bullet.
Our bet? It takes more than an adrenalin laced screenplay to knock it out of the park (there were almost a dozen writers who worked on the project. Lesson: Quantity does not equal quality.). What it still takes is a deft touch with story. What it still takes is the human connection. Combine that with starpower, and maybe you’ve got something.
As far as blockbusters go, I’ll take Iron Man 2 any day. You?
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