According to Box Office Mojo, Get Smart has a production budget of $80 million, while The Love Guru has a budget of $62 million. Neither of those numbers include the massive costs sunk into marketing these two films.
Let’s just say, these are big investments.
So why… why oh why… why would the Warner Bros and Paramount plan on releasing these two films, both big budget comedies, both with big stars that came from television, both targeting the exact same audience, why would they release them on the same day?
There’s a good piece in the LA Times discussing that there are more films being released each year than ever before, and (I don’t know if you’ve noticed) the number of weeks in a year is remaining remarkably constant.
That’s a nice excuse, but are you telling me you couldn’t find a single weekend to do some appropriate counter-marketing? You couldn’t release one of those films this weekend against The Incredible Hulk and The Happening? What new film are women going to see this weekend? Not those two, but maybe they would have seen that big action spy movie with that funny Anne Hathaway that they loved so much in The Devil Wears Prada (which, if you remember did a brilliant job of counter-marketing against Superman Returns, to the tune of a $27 million opening and a $125 million gross domestically.)
This smells of nothing but ego, pure and simple. Someone picked a date, another person picked a date, and no one wanted to “show weakness” and move, even though it probably would have made them another $50 million. Silly.