Grindhouse Split Tested

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I hope you all got out last weekend to see Grindhouse again (or for the first time) because it looks like it may not be in theaters much longer.

JoBlo got word from some readers across the country that their local multiplexes were either playing the Grindhouse movies, Planet Terror and Death Proof, in separate theaters or showing the whole film with an intermission in lieu of the fake trailers between them. They did some digging and found out that this was how the Weinsteins were testing the possibility of splitting the films and recouping some cash, but to no avail.

Sure, put them in two theaters with little to no advertising for the specific film, and then be surprised when they don’t do well. How amazing! Since it didn’t seem to help sell tickets either way, it’s possible that we’ve seen the last of Grindhouse.

It’s pretty amazing how big this story is and how it continues to be discussed on message boards and blogs across the Net. No one expected Grindhouse to do anywhere near as badly as it did, but really, seriously… why not? It was an experiment to see if people would be willing to sit in a theater for 3 hours and be exposed to big budget versions of the films the filmmakers grew up loving … and it didn’t work. The audience just didn’t get it.

Despite some of my earlier-voiced fears, I really don’t think it means horror is dead (like that’ll ever happen); it doesn’t even mean we’ve seen the last of the R-rated horror film (as I’m sure Hostel Part II and Halloween will soon prove). It just means that theatergoers don’t understand the appeal of Grindhouse cinema, which is kinda why they ever existed in the first place, if you think about it…

Johnny Butane

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Jon Condit

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