Friday, April 30, 2010

Fill-out your census and win a Stradivarius!

- What makes a Stradivarius violin so valuable?  Even though they were manufactured over 300 years ago, are they really the best violins?

- The reviews for Iron Man 2 have started hitting the net.  The comment I am reading most often in these reviews is "definitely not as good as the original."  As of 12:36PM Pacific time, Friday April 30, the movie on rotten is at 74% with a 6.4 average rating.  Ugh.  If you are a fan of tracking movies via rotten tomatoes and via their box-office totals, here are some things to remember:

1. The best reviews for a movie always come out when the movie is first screened.  The big-time fans and favorable movie critics get invited to the initial screenings, so naturally they will be more likely to write glowing reviews.  The majority of bad reviews come days or weeks after a movie has premiered to a wide audience.  I expect Iron Man 2 to finish somewhere from 60 to 65% on rotten tomatoes.

2. For a movie like Iron Man 2, and in fact most comic-book based movies in general, a huge portion of their ticket sales will happen during the first weekend.  The original Iron Man didnt follow this trend because it was not a highly anticipated comic book movie.  Good word of mouth brought in the cash for the original Iron Man.  Iron Man 2 will follow the regular comic book movie principles.  Insiders expect Iron Man 2 will come close to breaking The Dark Knight's opening weekend box-office records.  I think this is unlikely, but I would love to see it happen.  Word of mouth travels fast, real fast.  With the modern internet, instant messaging, and social networks, people share their opinions instantaneously.  I think the reactions to Iron Man 2 from the Thursday midnight showings and Friday showings will have a small, but noticeable impact on ticket sales for Saturday and Sunday.  I expect $145 million for Iron Man 2's opening weekend, just short of The Dark Knight's opening weekend, but well ahead of the original Iron Man's opening weekend (which was about 80 million.)  Right now its a wild guess, but I am going to estimate that Iron Man 2 will make a total of $390 million.  The original Iron Man movie made about $318 million.  By the way, all of the numbers I am talking about are for domestic box-office.  International box-office is meaningless to me and I rarely follow it.

To chart the critical/box-office progress of Iron Man 2, and other summer movies, follow these links.  The link to the box office derby, on the website is the best messageboard on the internet if you want to learn more about movie box-office totals:

- I am a huge proponent of personal privacy.  I can understand why many people refuse to fill-out their census, but that doesn't mean I agree with it.  At least five states are in danger of losing representation in the house of representatives.  Ten years ago, the most red state in the union, Utah, lost a representative because not enough people filled out their census forms.  Obama's healthcare travesty passed by one vote in the house.  Because they inherently fear government intrusion in their lives, libertarians, conservatives, tea-partiers, and Republicans form the political groups least likely to fill-out their census forms.  Consequently, these important political groups could be under-represented in the next congress.  Suck it up, and fill-out your census!

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