Sunday, August 06, 2006

The (Long) Tail Is Wagging The Dog

I've been puzzled about something for the past few months. The Hollywood Reporter and Variety have been covering the movie industry for decades and in Variety's case since the Nickelodeon. We know that everyone in Hollywood has access to the Friday box office numbers and can say within a few million what movies will gross that weekend. Presumably, the two trades also have access to the same tracking numbers that let them know even BEFORE a movie opens about what it will gross, tracking numbers that are right nine times out of ten.It is the JOB of Variety and the Hollywood Reporter to cover the weekend box office. So why does the Hollywood Reporter quote Box Office Prophets when writing stories about the weekend box office? Time and again, when they run a story on Saturday or Sunday about how the movies are doing, they simply quote Box Office Prophets. Don't Variety and Hollywood Reporter have the same access to those numbers? And on a weekend like this, when BOP has only a rough look at the Friday numbers (and doesn't extrapolate what the final grosses will be except for Talladega Nights) all the Hollywood Reporter does is repeat the same info and credit BOP. Variety -- which usually has a weekend wrapup estimate by early Sunday -- has NOTHING on the weekend box office. how can they be so dependant on a website for this fundamentla industry story week in and week out? I just don't understand. "Talladega Nights" by the way, could gross almost $50 mil this weekend.

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