I don’t understand the whole “opening weekend” thing for movies.
Firstly, it seems to me that the opening weekend is pretty much unique in terms of how useless it is for judging how good a movie is, since by definition it’s the only weekend when no one knows. The number of people who see a movie on the opening weekend seems to me only to be an indicator of how good the publicity for the movie was, not how good the movie is. Yet it seems to be routinely used in the US as a major measure of a movie.
Secondly, even assuming that opening weekend box office figures are only used as a judge of commercial success, how accurate a measure is it? Is it the case that for most movies, low opening weekend numbers translate into low numbers overall?
Thirdly, I wonder if there are maybe two types of movies: movies that are designed to be good (judged solely on the movie itself), and movies that are designed to make a splash so that they become the trendy thing everyone sees when they come out, but which are not seriously expected to be something you would seek out to watch, once the initial wave of publicity is over. If that’s the case then I guess I can see how (as a commercial matter) opening weekend numbers would mean something for the second type of movie.
Oh, and fourthly, surely few people would go to the movies twice in a weekend. And surely for a lot of people the decision to go to a movie comes first, and the decision as to which movie they see comes second. So wouldn’t that mean how well a movie does on its opening weekend is going to be - in significant part - highly dependent on whether there are other heavily marketed movies that open on the same weekend?