“For Greater Glory” Disappoints
… or better said, the American Catholics do.
Whilst the film has possibly not been drummed up in Catholic homilies as it should have been, it is clear it has failed to catch the imagination of the US minds and wallets. The official numbers for the weekend are now out and they confirm the projections, forecasting a result which if it is not dismal, it is certainly disappointing.
Let us see some numbers. This film is a $20m production, and around 55% of gross sales remain in the hands of the producers. This means only to recover the costs this movie needs to gross around $45m. With the first weekend below $1.9m it is difficult to see this production to gross much more than three times that, or around $6m. If this happens, it means the biggest market on the planet – with 60 million Catholics and a raging controversy about religious freedom – did not manage to bring the producers more than 15% of the entire production costs, and forget the profits.
Granted, things might go better elsewhere: in Mexico, the film has already grossed the – for local standards, huge – amount of $ 3.2m, even defeating big Hollywood productions in its first weekend. But the story takes place in Mexico, and I cannot think this kind of success can be exported to the rest of Latin America.
Europe – if this film will ever come over here – will probably not be the source of great satisfaction either, as if the United Stated have failed to deliver on a film so near to the current political debate it is more than doubtful the old, tired and rather disinterested Europe will. Similarly, I can’t imagine many other countries to be so interested: the Philippines, perhaps?
Then there is the DVD/rental market, which will have money trickling in the tills for years, and the TV rights. And that’s that, really.
Now, it is clear this production will struggle to recover the costs, and even considering the risks of this business and the fact the industry accepts an awful lot of films will not bring any money I wonder how many of such productions we will be able to see in the future.
This is a bitter feeling, as one cannot escape the impression only one of these movies could contribute to change the political debate far more than all Catholic blogs you can care to think of, and if there was a right moment for a film like this it was now, in late Spring 2012.
Still, not all is black. The numbers were bad, but not dismal. The film will probably manage to stay in a fair number of screens for a few more weeks, and might prove somewhat resilient. All in all, the sum of all gross revenues, DVD sales, rentals and TV market might – just might – persuade some production house to produce another film of this sort.
Still, it seems the price Americans are ready to pay for freedom is not very high after all.