50/50 Getting Warm Viewer Response

By Mack Rawden 2011-10-01 15:26:33discussion comments
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The new Seth Rogen/ Joseph Gordon-Levitt cancer film 50/50 seems on its way to bombing at the box office, but critics have been loving the film. Our own Eric Eisenberg gushed over it in his five star review, but as anyone who follows Hollywood box office figures knows, the divide between critical acclaim and warm public reception is often very vast. Michael Bay has bought a lot of houses on the back of that conundrum, but here’s why 50/50 is a fascinating case. Moviegoers actually seem to be loving it.

The response on Twitter has been almost uniformly positive, and here at Cinema Blend we’ve noticed plenty of thumbs ups from our readers. Now, there’s two ways to look at this. 1) Everyone who was interested in the preview, rushed out, loved it as they expected and moved on with their lives. 2) 50/50 is in for a huge hold and possibly even an increase next week. One look at what The Help was able to accomplish on word of mouth would seem to indicate the plausibility of that second option, but it’s important to keep in mind The Help was far from a bomb even before everyone’s favorite aunt started imploring them to go see it.

I sincerely hope moviegoers find 50/50 in the coming weeks. It’s a wonderful film about a tough subject matter that’s worth seeing. Regardless of how this one performs, the independent film community will continue tackling gritty plots, but it would be nice to see disease and other taboos dealt with by studio-made films with real budgets. 50/50 should have been the one to open that door, but if the box office continues to be tepid, it seems unlikely we’ll get such frantic and joyful reality in the near future. If you like it, tell your friends. We'll all benefit in the long run.
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