Sunday, November 05, 2006

Borat Is Dead! Long Live "Borat!"

One thing seems clear: after the phenomenal (and worldwide) success of "Borat," comic Sacha Baron Cohen won't be able to punk anybody in America. His character Borat is going to be too famous. Box Office Prophets is showing a massive audience turning out Friday night and predicting that "Borat" on just 837 screens will gross $24 million over the weekend and be the number one movie at the box office. It's beating out new movies like "Santa Clause 3" and "Flushed Away" appearing on more than 3000 screens. As I predicted, every college student in the country turned out for this one and the idea that "Borat" wasn't tracking well went against every indication and common sense. I wish I'd had the courage to predict it would be #1, but that seemed a long shot given how few screens it was on. Now the movie will expand next weekend -- but I think Fox would be wise to only open on say 400 more screens and create real demand in the heartland as the terrific reviews and fan mania whips people into a frenzy. When was the last time moviegoers found the #1 movie NOT playing in their town or sold oud for every single screening? In this day and age of 3000-4000 opening weekends, that just doesn't happen very much. And again, the only way Cohen can continue with Borat is to work a LOT harder and finding clueless people who've never heard of him or moving even more towards the fictional storylines that make up about a third of this movie or simply embracing Borat's new-found popularity and making a very different type of film.

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