"The Raid: Redemption" Disappoints in Wide Release

Posted 5:13 PM April 17th, 2012 by Senh Duong
The Raid: Redemption

I was hoping the “The Raid: Redemption” would hold up better in wide release. It deserves to be. We don’t get to see enough great martial arts movies in U.S. theaters. Last Friday, it finally opened semi-wide in nearly 900 theaters after a couple weeks in limited release.

It took in almost $1M over the weekend, with a per theater average of $1,091. That’s actually pretty bad, meaning it probably won’t open much wider. It also won’t stay in theaters for much longer either, so if you want to see it on the big screen, you better see it in the next week or so before it disappears.

I could see this coming by looking at the chart on BoxOfficeMojo.com. The per theater average was going down pretty quickly for “The Raid: Redemption” since it first opened in 14 theaters on March 23rd, when it grossed $213,785 and averaged $15,270 per theater. When it expanded to 46 theaters the following week, it was still averaging a solid $5,880. On the third week, it averaged an ok $2,990 in 176 theaters. Last weekend, that average went down to a weak $1,091.

Did Sony Classics expanded it too quickly? They might have. I’m not sure if the sudden expansion to 881 theaters gave them enough time to properly promote it to a wider audience. It was still just an indie hit before the wide expansion.

When you suddenly go wide, you need to put in the marketing dollars to properly promote it on TV, newspaper, and radio - traditional media that hits your average theatergoer.

Sure, “The Raid: Redemption” was getting great buzz on the internet, but we all know from “Snakes on a Plane” that the internet by itself is not enough. It’s a good starting point, but you gotta wait until that bleeds over to traditional media before you go wide.

After four weeks, “The Raid: Redemption” has punched up $2.5M at the box office. Overall, that's not bad for an indie film. I just thought it could do significantly better if Sony Classics had put in more dollars to market it to wider audience.

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Senh created and operated Rotten Tomatoes out of his apartment at one point before coming together with friends to turn it into a real company. He's back to doing what he loves with Movies With Butter.

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