November 14, 2003

Russell To Take Box Office By Storm

Cinecultist finds fascinating the way that the advertising campaign for Master and Commander has changed over the past few months leading up the release this weekend. As we reported earlier, glossy posters appeared in the Sunday New York Times and we also saw them being handed out on the street in front of the Union Square movie theater. At this point, the movie's p.r. seemed to be about Peter Weir as auteur director making an art film Oscar-contender with everyone's favorite cranky Aussie Russell Crowe. But now in the last few days, CC's heard the movie called both "Gladiator on the sea" and "A Movie for the Ages." There have even been comparisons to Pirates of the Caribbean -- because what moviegoers really look for in a film is whether there's a boat in it or not. Currently, it's all about the action element in the advertisements.

But we shouldn't expect an opening weekend of monstrous grosses like the Matrix saw last weekend no matter what the adverts do. As Variety points out in their e-mail newsletter today, all of these action/historical dramas that Master compares with (Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down et al.) all built over time. To be honest, Cinecultist is having a tough time getting excited for this movie. It has the longest title (and subsequent URL) of all time, and it sort of sounds like some S&M game. It's a shallow reason not to be into it, but there you are. Cinecultist indulges our shallowness when it comes to buying into the buzz.

Posted by karen at November 14, 2003 8:03 AM