Unfortunately, it wasn’t that great; therefore, the word of mouth didn’t carry it. The nostalgic “winks” were fun, but the films probably shouldn’t have been feature length (maybe an hour or so each?) Tarantino’s film was, uncharacteristically, quite awful (when referencing “bad” cinema, one shouldn’t replicate it exactly). I always enjoy the efforts of these artists, however, and will always show up for anything they produce. – Variety subscriber
“Grindhouse” definitely should not have been released at Easter . . . I agree that the projected audience would have been too tied up with other things to sit through three hours of this type of film. The rest of the “masses” probably won’t get the movie, or won’t care.
Tarantino and Rodriguez should have played the nostalgia card better. They should have made it a limited release, gone all-out at the drive-ins and/or old moviehouses around the country (I know there are not that many around any more, but where they still exist, there is the quirky movie-loving audience to go with them.) I think that they could have drawn in some great crowds and put them in the frame of mind which this type of movie needs. That could have really generated great buzz for this.
But those venues might require release in later spring or early fall, and that might also have interfered with good numbers for the film, depending on whatever else is to be released at that time. – Variety subscriber
Although a deliciously rebellious statement, opening “Grindhouse” on Easter weekend was the primary cause for failure at the box office. Easter is right at the end of spring break for many college students – kids are at home, stuck with younger siblings and any free time for movies is likely to be spent as a family activity. Instead of seeing “Grindhouse” on Easter Weekend, the 18-25-year-old males Weinstein Co. was banking on went to see “Blades of Glory, ” a “family/girlfriend friendly” film. “Grindhouse” (while a fantastic film) is a three-hour, very hard-R that probably tracked next to nothing for females of any age.
The smart move would have been for Weinstein Co to have released this film the week before “Blades” opened – it’s an act of shear lunacy to try and open wide against a Will Ferrell comedy on a holiday weekend with a three hour, hard-R genre film. It’s like releasing a slasher film on Christmas – funny but pointless. Perhaps TWC would have been better off with a limited release to build word-of-mouth – “Grindhouse” performed quite well in N.Y. and L.A. – Variety subscriber
Three hours long. – Variety subscriber
A huge generational gap in the target audience had many wondering if they should take a chance on the vague “Grindhouse” concept at all. Some people were expecting more plot because the parody itself wasn’t enough. “Blazing Saddles” comes to mind, as “Grindhouse” was almost as corny as the illustrious Mel Brooks’ smashing through studio walls onto movie sets of different genres, without the fractured audience. Tarantino would have been better off actually re-creating the completely unknown “Dr. Phibes” and “Dr. Phibes Rises Again” flicks of the mid-’70s. That was real grindhouse terror. – Variety subscriber
Way too long! – Variety subscriber
Nobody can use the Easter opening as an excuse for why “Grindhouse” failed anymore. If that was the case, the box office wouldn’t have dropped over 70% from opening weekend to this weekend. Word of mouth is horrible on this thing. No way to spin this now. It’s a disaster. – Variety subscriber
Maybe too few people have nostalgia towards the world of B-pictures.
After all, those were bad movies, that became good movies only in the escapist movie boyhoods of Tarantino and Rodriguez. – Variety subscriber
I tremendously admire their passion, but sheesh, this was a real dud. While brilliantly fun on paper the result is an overly long vanity project that became a chore instead of a thrill after the two-and-a-half hour mark. Almost everyone who has seen the film has commented more about the fake trailers than the features. Hey I think these two guys are geniuses but felt that they tried to shove a faux-retro-homage to a forgettable chapter in movie history down our collective throats. If anyone else but these two guys had released the pair as individual films, I suspect that reviews and attendance would have been equally atrocious with the caveat that there will always be a market for Rose McGowan with a machine gun leg. Now that’s entertainment! – Variety subscriber
Other than the running-time, the film will probably do well when you think of its genre and what it really is a la “Snakes on a Plane.” The problem is the amount of money spent on not only making what is basically a joke about the b movie experience and also the marketing and publicity costs relative to that. B-movies made money because they were cheap, and this was not. The geeks and film buffs will go see it (and enjoy it), but not the cross-over audience that makes a blockbuster. – Variety subscriber
Because both were awful films. Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez promised us a zombie film and a slasher film and instead we got a comedy with some gore in it and a boring “slasher” film with exactly one scary sequence, 60 minutes of crappy dialogue recited by bad actresses, and a chase scene that felt out of place. It’s no wonder that Grindhouse’s Saturday numbers were about 20% less than Friday’s. Word of mouth is awful on this thing. I for one would appreciate it if Rodriguez and Tarantino spend less time winking at me with their future films, and spend more time trying to entertain us. – Variety subscriber
It’s too long. – Variety subscriber
Bunnies and blood don’t mix. In other words, don’t release a violent movie on Easter weekend. – Variety subscriber
Because people were “fraidy cats” to see this movie. – Variety subscriber
“Grindhouse” flopped because the target audience is too young to appreciate the scratched footage, “missing reels” gag, etc. Tarantino shot his wad with “Pulp Fiction” when it comes to long scenes of dialogue. Film is way too long, which also explains llimited showtimes in theaters. This is another example of so-called “auteurs” who are clueless. – Variety subscriber
Quite simply, it’s not a very good film. It was intended to be a throwback to a time of making entertaining films with little-to-no budget. Instead, Tarantino and Rodriguez have created an expensive film with little-to-no entertainment value. Parodying this experience is perfect grist for a 3 minute Monty Python-like sketch, but does not expand into a 3 hour film. I have personally felt for a while that Tarantino is horrendously over-rated. He is the equivalent of a mash-up DJ, taking bits and fragments from different source materials and creating a “different” song. – Variety subscriber
A huge percentage of the theatrical audience has no idea what a “grindhouse experience” is and an even bigger percentage of those who do, wouldn’t want to repeat it. My personal recollection is one of “crappy movies in a smelly environment” whose only saving grace was it was cheap. Why anyone thought that was worth paying homage to is a mystery. I’m surprised it did as well as it did. – Variety subscriber
People didn’t really understand the concept. People who know and love cinema could easily grasp what was going on, but the general public (Or “boobs” as I like to call them) couldn’t wrap their head around a double-feature.
Also, “Planet Terror” should have been the second movie and “Death Proof” should have been the first. Why? Well, with “Planet Terror” you have this huge movie with ‘splosions and stuff and a lot of hot chicks and hot guns. “Death Proof” is a slower, more deliberate film that feels like an adrenaline let down. Yes, “Death Proof” is good, but at times it just seemed like you could hear Tarantino saying, “Hey, this is supposed to be a B-grade type of movie. That’s good enough, let’s move on.” If “Death Proof” were the first film and “Planet Terror” was the second, then people would leave the theater pumped! You have to realise that going in, people were expecting something different done in a style similar to Rob Zombie’s “The Devil’s Rejects.” With that in mind you already have the benefit of the doubt, so throw them the slower/weaker of the two. The hit them with the huge “KA-BAM!” and you have a lot more people recommending the flick. As it is, most people just thought the second movie wasn’t strong enough to justify another hour and a half, so you have a whack of people leaving the theater saying, “Eh.” – TV personality
There were two reasons that “Grindhouse” lost ground this week. First, and most obviously, was the decision to release what could be considered one of the most over the top and offensive movies of the year on a holiday weekend. This is not to say that I found the movie to be offensive, but the marketing campaign around the film was designed to let the audience know that they were going to see a film that was packed with violence, gore and nudity.
The second reason would be that (at least in my area of the country, which is in the Philadelphia suburbs) the distributors of the film failed to secure multiple screens. At the two multiplexes in my area, one had the film playing on one screen, with only three showings per day, and the other had the film on two screens, for a total of seven showings per day. Hopefully, the word of mouth around the film will grow, expanding the film’s audience.– Variety subscriber
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