Box Office and Why “The Happening” Didn't Lay Down and Die - Rolling Stone
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Box Office and Why “The Happening” Didn’t Lay Down and Die

Can we talk? Not about The Incredible Hulk — we all knew that the mean green machine would take the No. One spot at the box office. The big news was The Happening, reviled by critics and preceded by the worst buzz imaginable, ostensibly driven by moviegoers who felt burned by everything M. Night Shyamalan directed after The Sixth Sense in 1999. Me, I got way into Unbreakable, and also liked Signs and a lot of The Village. It was Lady in the Water, two years ago, that drowned Shyamalan in the poison tide of audience and critical backlash. The box-office performance of The Happening was supposed to reflect the bile. Here was a chance for ticketbuyers to stay away in droves as karmic payback for Shyamalan’s failure to please with Lady in the Water. And just look what happened:

The Happening pulled in a massive $30.5 million, which is at least $10 million above projections and enough to rank it behind Hulk‘s $54.5 million and Kung Fu Panda‘s $34.3 million.

So, forget all the buzz, this I have to know:

1. What got you up for seeing the movie? My guess is it was the redband trailer that made The Happening look like a good movie, which it most emphatically is not.

2. What did you think of The Happening after you paid up to see it? My guess is you felt massively disappointed.

3. Where do you think The Happening will rank on next week’s box-office charts now that audiences have seen it and have gotten the word out? My guess is it will drop like a stone.

Go ahead, tell me I’m wrong.


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