Ender's Game Makes Impressive $1.4 Million From Halloween Showings
Were kids across America packing up their trick-or-treating hauls and bringing it to the movie theater last night? At least enough of them were to make midnight showings of Ender's Game a solid success. Early numbers at The Hollywood Reporter say the PG-13 sci-fi film made $1.4 million from early screenings on Thursday, putting in a good position for a weekend box office contest it's expected to win.
That $1.4 million is nearly identical to the haul brought in by early screenings of Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa last week, on its way toward knocking Gravity out of the #1 box office spot. It's hard to imagine more different successes than Bad Grandpa and Ender's Game, but they're both bringing in enough existing fans to make midnight screenings a big event. It's not just critics who are generally happy with this big-budget adaptation of Orson Scott Card's classic children's novel; hardcore fans of the book, like our own Kelly West, are coming back thrilled with the way that director Gavin Hood brought the beloved book to life. It's one thing to make a movie based on a popular book, and another entirely to make one that satisfies the fans-- it's the difference between a Hunger Games-style hit or a Golden Compass-style disappointment.
I've never read Ender's Game, nor have I see the movie, but I've been fascinated by multiple personal accounts like this one, from people who were once kids in love with Ender's Game who then grew up to understand Orson Scott Card's deplorable political views and feel conflicted about the book they'd loved so much. The movie Ender's Game isn't exactly for those people-- it's a PG-13 movie, they need kids to come way more than 20 and 30-somethings-- but Summit and Lionsgate have done a remarkable job of courting those people anyway, cutting Card out of the film's profits and allowing Ender to exist in pop culture on his own again, without the bitter man who creating him mucking things up. It's a remarkable marketing coup, and though I doubt much of that $1.4 million came from parents allowing their kids to go to the movie now that they know the homophobe won't profit from it, it can't hurt either. Orson Scott matters to the movie Ender's Game about as much as he did for the kids who read the book in the 80s and knew nothing about the man at all.
Let us know in the comments if you're seeing Ender's Game this weekend, and if the boycott controversy affected you one way or another. If you're still on the fence about seeing it, here's the latest trailer.
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