Despite aggressive marketing by The Weinstein Co., the movie was buffetted by hurricane reports, crummy reviews and lousy exit scores in a summer where R-rated comedies – which ‘Idiot’ is – are generally performing well.
Weinstein acknowledged the bummer weekend. “We thought we were going to hit it out of the park and it’s a single,” said Erik Lomis, the Weinstein Co.’s president of theatrical and home distribution, told TheWrap. “What we’re disappointed most about is just a missed opportunity.”
The flop is a black eye for The Weinstein Co., which was shooting for an opening from $10 million and had high hopes for the stellar comedy cast of Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Emily Mortimer and Zooey Deschanel.
Weinstein bought the movie for a pricey $6 million out of Sundance in tandem with Ron Burkle’s YUK Films. The film was significantly recut (Sundance critics were very mixed on the film) and aggressively marketed.
The studio said most of the costs were offset by foreign sales.
Nonetheless, it’s no good news that the film opened at fifth place, and garnered an unfavorable C+ Cinemascore and 66% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Lomis said the movie showed its strongest numbers in New York, so it was hit especially hard because of the storm.
“The exit polls we did in New York were great,” he said. “Way above the norms. And the business just shut down.”
On top of that, the Paul Rudd comedy appealed to the above-25 crowd, which also made it vulnerable to the storm.
“We played older,” Lomis said. “We’re much more susceptible to the market conditions and the weather conditions than youth films.”
And with the weather improving, Lomis said he’s optimistic.
“I’m not going to stop,” he said. “I’m going to hope that business rebounds this week and everybody gets back up and running. And there are no comedies next week, so hopefully we’ll hold in real well.”