The first weekend box office for any movie is the most important one, and it almost always sets the tone for its entire box office run.
Anyone want to hear me say “I told you so” on Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World now or later? I mean, I can wait, but it’s coming eventually. Okay, to be fair, I never flat out said it would flop, I took a lot more words to do it than that, but the same point none the less.
On a $60 million budget, Scott Pilgrim brought in only $10.5 million this weekend to finish in fifth place on the charts for the three days ending Sunday. In other words, this films has next to no chance of even breaking even at the box office and will have to wait for home video to make anything.
This movie had multiple problems going for it, one of them I feel being very much Michael Cera in the lead role. While he appears to be similar to the comic character, the problem is we have seen Cera do this role so many times now, we just can’t be bothered to care any more.
It is based on a comic only known to real comic book enthusiasts, and while they were excited for the film, no one else was. There was no way this was going to play well with the mass market, and as much as you may wish you could succeed without them, when you spend $60 million on the budget you simply can’t ignore them. Historical data shows that you can’t make back that sort of budget without your average audience members.
While I would love to see some off kilter comics succeed as movies, it just isn’t time yet. If you want to do something like Scott Pilgrim, go for it, just try remember your audience is more than just the people who bought the books, and you have to make it accessible to as many people as you can. Casting Cera as the same character he has played endlessly sure doesn’t help your case.