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Who needs critics? After canceling press screenings for No Good Deed, Screen Gems earned bad press. Yet the home invasion thriller won the weekend, and media watchers are crediting the distributer's clever use of social media.
Variety reports Screen Gems and Sony made savvy use of its stars, Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson, asking them to tweet to entice fans to see No Good Deed. It might seem a simple thing, but analysts say this minimal effort made the $13 million thriller a big, and almost instant, hit.
In its first three days in theaters, No Good Deed has already pulled in $24.5 million. Not only was this enough to make it a financial success for Screen Gems, but also it was enough to make it the #1 release at the box office, beating out Dolphin Tale 2 ($16.5 mil) and Guardians of the Galaxy ($8 mil). Analysts suggest No Good Deed's bold box office opening should launch Elba and Henson to a greater level of fame.
It seems like this might be a star power scenario where Hollywood is just cluing into what audiences have been craving. After all, Idris Elba has been earning fans around the globe for his work in a variety of genres. The American version of The Office and the widely heralded drama The Wire earned him admirers Stateside, while his brooding turn on the award-winning cop drama Luther drew even more notice. Then of course he won the attention of sci-fi fans as Pacific Rim's Stacker Pentecost and Prometheus's accordion-playing captain Janeck. Having grown his Twitter following to 1.21 million strong, simple tweets like the one below were apparently all the urging Elba lovers needed to rush to theaters.
To see what happens if you answer the door, click to page two.