LOS ANGELES (NYT) - Maybe there is a method to studio madness?
Steven Soderbergh has long believed that the big movie studios overspend on marketing and rely too heavily on focus-group testing of trailers and other advertising materials.
And he set out to prove it with Logan Lucky which arrived in wide theatrical release last Friday. Through an unusual arrangement, he had creative control over the marketing campaign, which cost roughly US$20 million (S$27 million) - or half of what a studio would typically spend.
The results were not promising. Logan Lucky, a heist comedy directed by Soderbergh, arrived to about US$8.1 million in ticket sales, a weak showing for a well-reviewed film starring the likes of Channing Tatum and released in 3,031 theatres in North America.
The No. 1 movie over the weekend was The Hitman's Bodyguard which collected a stout US$21.6 million. Starring Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson, it received mixed-to-negative reviews.
Second place went to Annabelle: Creation which took in about US$15.5 million for a two-week domestic total of US$64 million.
Girls Trip crossed into blockbuster territory, taking in US$3.8 million for a five-week total of about US$104 million - by far the best result for a live-action comedy this year.