'Transformers' vs. 'Larry Crowne': Machines trump movie stars at the metroplex
The robots have already pulled in some $64 million in US theaters alone, just from the blockbuster’s mid-week opening. According to Mr. Dergarabedian, the romantic comedy “may” pull in what it cost to make, over the four-day weekend.
The bad press will hurt the love story more than the action movie, Dergarabedian says, because blockbuster films like the Transformers franchise are relatively critic-proof. “These mid-range romantic comedies that target older audiences take a hit from bad reviews because older people tend to read and care more about reviews,” he says.
While pairing a romantic comedy against a big popcorn flick is standard counter-programming, even the smaller films with big names in them are approached as the latest installment in a popular genre.
Professor Morrow points to last week’s Cameron Diaz film, “Bad Teacher,” and the upcoming “Horrible Bosses,” featuring Jennifer Aniston – both big Hollywood names. “The movies are being marketed as the ‘next’ in the raunchy adult category that Judd Apatow has made such a hit,” he notes. “The movies are not being marketed as star vehicles, because that isn’t working anymore.”