September 10, 2007

Lassoing In Some Box Office Buzz

310toyuma.jpgIt just goes to show that sometime the Cinecultist doesn't know what she's talking about. Case in point, last Thursday night CC and Josh attended a preview screening of 3:10 to Yuma at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens.* While we found the straightforward, genre faithful cowboy story from James Mangold to be quite entertaining, we predicted that it wouldn't do too well at the box office. Despite the Oscar win for Unforgiven a few years ago in '92 (jeez, that long ago? when did we get so old?), CC just didn't think audiences today would choose to see their action on horses and accessorized with ten gallon hats. Especially since Clive Owen was releasing a modern gangster flick this weekend as well, and it has the very self-explanatory title of Shoot 'Em Up.

However, Cinecultist was wrong about 3:10's potential for popularity and as Variety reports this morning it was the top grossing film of the weekend. Was it the good reviews that sent people to the theaters? Or maybe the star power of Russell Crowe, and to a lesser extent, Christian Bale? (Both of whom turn in really strong performances, by the way.) To CC's pop culture barometer, a Western doesn't feel "current" (or relevant) but maybe that's not actually what moviegoers wanted this weekend. A little throwback nostalgia at the cineplex can be more alluring than we thought.

It's a mystery frankly, and all the more reason why Cinecultist should stick to watching movies for their quality, not for their box office potential.

*It'd been a while since we'd taken the trek out to MI and from our day job in midtown it was only about 25 minutes on the subway. The museum is such a lovely screening space and they have such great programming, we always kick ourselves for not going more often. That is until it took CC an hour to get back to the Eee Vee after some post-movie drinks. Ugh.

Posted by karen at September 10, 2007 11:02 AM
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