Matt Goldberg Collider

Shhh….Collider’s Matt Goldberg Has Kind Words for Legend of Tarzan

ERBDOM, Legend of Tarzan (Movie)

Shhhh…… I don’t want him to hear me mentioning this for fear it may scare him away.  But Collider’s  Matt Goldberg, who famously said of the second trailer for Legend of Tarzan: “this new trailer screams “Pan of 2016″ actually had some nice things to say today about the David Yates collaboration with Alexander Skarsgard and Margot Robbie:

I’m hoping that Legend of Tarzan is a bit of old-fashioned, rollicking fun. The character can be put to good use, and this is an interesting spin that takes matters away from an origin story and into a new mold where Tarzan is wrestling with his old ways versus his new, gentrified lifestyle as John Clayton III. Also, we’re not getting a Planet of the Apes movie this year, so I’ll settle for killer apes where I can find them.

Maybe that’s not a 100% turnaround from prior negativity, but just like he’ll take killer apes where he can find them, I’ll take a kind word for LOT from a former famous naysayer whenever I can get it.

Make no mistake . . . .The  Legend of Tarzan marketing campaign has a tremendous amount of heavy lifting to do if it is to even make it to “sleeper hit” level.  The deck is stacked against it in almost every way — old, nearly forgotten property, crowded summer slate, worst weekend possible in terms of competition. And WB’s strategy thus far has seemed to be very laid back, so much so that I’m pretty sure that when we get the first tracking numbers,  none of us are going to be dancing in the street.   But the good news is that — just as we’re seeing with Goldberg —   some of the initial hostility that greeted the rollout has melted away.

The most impactful single thing that has helped LOT along is a first trailer that caugh people by surprise and clearly has found some love on YouTube, where both the first and second LOT trailers are outdistancing Independence Day Resurgence — 23M to 21.5M for the first trailer, and second trailer, 7.2M to 6.6M?  And mind you —  IDR popped for a Superbowl Ad that cost more than all the LOT ad placements to date combined.   Yet still, underdog LOT is ahead in terms of trailer views on the studios’ respective home channels.  That’s something.  And LOT is WAY ahead of The BFG’s trailers — 7.6M for the first and 3.9 for the second.  And that’s with a Cannes premiere in the rearview mirror for that one.

Anyway  — trailer views tell us something, but not everything.  LOT is trailing IDR in Twitter mentions but leading The BFG, and overall social media has IDR slightly in front. But IDR, coming out a week before LOT, is being touted as a 100m opener, which means a $50m++ second weekend (the weekend it goes up against LOT and the BFG).   And no one is seriously predicting that just because LOT is whuppin’ up on IDR in the trailer views department, that it’s going to perform on the same level.  That would be an incautious leap.

But those ‘better -then-IDR’  trailer figures do say something.   They say that LOT is most assuredly NOT looking like Pan, or Heart of the Sea, or Lone Ranger, or John Carter, or any of the tank jobs that people six months back were invoking.  Check their trailer views and you’ll see what I’m talking about. LOT smokes them all by a factor of 3x to 4x.

So …. a little respect, please.

And that’s what Mr. Goldberg has given it.

Thank you, sir.

Now if WB will just throttle the promotion up a little . . . .




  • I like this new angle of promotion with the Stop Ivory campaign. Turning Tarzan into an eco-warrior I believe is a good idea. I could see the featurette “From Gabon to the Big Screen” all over the animal planet channel a week or two before the release with a huge emphasis on the Stop Ivory campaign.

  • So far, most of the big magazine spreads have been in other countries. Even the Tarzan garden and it’s 1st place award is in Great Britain. So, far we don’t have a media tour of the cast/ director appearing on various talk shows or radio. Does this mean we will see magazine coverage mid June for July editions and that the cast will appear on various talk shows about then too. I have noticed that Independence Day Resurgence ranks 32 on IMBD and LOT ranks 37. A week ago 10 days ago LOT had been ranking a steady 62 for some time while Independence Day was at a 45. Alexander Skarsgared ,who ranked in the top 500 is now ranked at 95. So, the recent stepping up of the advertising is showing a marked improvement of interest in this film and it’s star.

    I too like the association of LOT with the Stop Ivory campaign. It’s a great cause to espouse and a smart tie in.

    • I think if there is a positive surprise in store, it’s going to be performance overseas. That’s been the pattern for Tarzan in the past, even back in the days when the split was 75-25 US/Overseas, Tarzan pix were doing the inverse of that — 25/75, according to Sol Weintraub. I”m talking the 1960’s……it’s hard to know whether that pattern still has relevance — but in any event, those big spreads in international mags are good, I guess. Over here, I just worry about zero billboards, light press coverage, and spotty TV-spot play. It’s playing, but not heavily. Box office analyst has it opening at $23.5M with 64M total. Others have it in the 20-30m range…..maybe some in 30-35. WB has to be thinking that they need to goose the promotion enough to get it to a $40m opening — but I don’t see signs yet that they are going for that.

    • I really like the idea of having Dr. Jane Goodall out promoting this movie. I could see her on every morning show. I know I’ve seen her on the John Stewart Show before and she’s very charming. She can even talk about the difference between the book version vs the movie version. How she ran crying from the theater because it wasn’t the real Tarzan. She could say it’s our environmental duty to go out and help Tarzan be successful. Go opening weekend to help save our wildlife. Besides it’s gonna be a kickass movie.

      • I am curious about Box office analyst and others who give their prognosis for openingweekend. What kind of statistics are they looking at? How is it that potential viewers let them know if they will or will not buy tickets to a movie and then how is it they can tell if it will be for opening weekend or not?

        • Traditionally there have been four groups who provide “tracking” polls that begin four weeks from the release date. Here is an article about them. Increasingly, the traditional tracking has been unreliable and so now social media monitoring comes into it.

          But at the stage where we are now — it’s all guesswork based on the metrics that are available (social media mostly), performance of comparable films on comparable weekend, and just guesswork. That all theoretically changes and becomes more scientific when the tracking polls come out. The tracking polls measure awareness, both “aided” and “unaided”, and whether people intend to see it open weekend or not. These are real polls …. but sometimes they get it right, sometimes not.

          • The newest Ninja Turtles is not doing as well expected, and three weeks ago the tracking numbers were much better, so all that money spent on tracking info can still seem to be sending that money down the drain.
            Sequels, Marvel’s excepted, aren’t doing well so far this summer, and if Tarzan is successful as presenting itself as an alternative to film goer’s sequelitis, this will be very good thing. And getting good reviews will help as well.
            WB has really only just started their promo push, both in the US and overseas, and I wonder if the relative lateness will affect the accuracy of the tracking numbers.
            And IDR has decided to have a double feature of ID and IDR:
            Fox is scheduling double-feature showings of the original “Independence Day” and its sequel “Independence Day: Resurgence” on June 23 as a Thursday night preview showing.
            Fans can watch the 1996 film at 5 p.m., followed by the new movie at 8 p.m. with a single ticket, which will be counted in the June 24 opening day grosses. Fox is launching sales through Fandango and

          • I think the disappointment that’s rippling through the industry over Memorial Day weekend results, plus TMNM likely results …. is it good or bad for Tarzan? I’m not sure. Is the best hope for Tarzan that other films are staggering a bit, or that the hits are just pouring out and movie fans are super-stimulated? It will be Finding Dory on 17 June, then IDR on 24 June, then bloodbath day on July 1 with LOT, The BFG, and The Purge: Election day all coming out against week 2 of IDR and week 3 of Dory. I do think it will help if IDR performs closer to the low end of expectations and gets weak reviews.

          • Thanks Michael. That was enlightening reading. I suspected that somehow these predictions were’nt accurate and that the film media was setting up bogus expectations.

          • I don’t know if the lower than expected box office the last two weeks will help or hurt. The upcoming week probably won’t be much either, two sequels and Warcraft (I have no interest in Warcraft despite being a fan of Duncan Jones’ previous movies. And that Alex will be the lead in Jones’ Mute, hopefully to start filming in fall).
            But then comes Dory, which will open big, and then IRD, which will open big.
            I keep seeing comments on IMDB wonder why they picked this date. I think people forget that WB picked this date in February 2014, and have stuck with it. IDR and Star Trek moved away from it, and everything else has been filled in since then. I suppose that WB could have moved it to later in the summer, where it might be slightly less crowded, but they didn’t.
            I think WB does need to emphasize more that this isn’t like what’s going to be out there this summer, it’s not animated, it’s not sci-fi, it’s not horror, it’s an old-style action adventure movie. And even with the last two weeks of June probably being very good BO wise, there will be people who’ve looked at this summer’s offerings and gone ‘nah’. So that might help LOT.
            Ask me again in five minutes, I’ll have changed my mind! 🙂

  • Hollywood is fighting off a nasty illness.

    “Sequelitis,” the entertainment industry equivalent of the Zika virus, has gripped major studios. Its symptoms include sluggish box office, feverish critical take downs and disdainful social media reactions…

    Despite the sequel swan dive, it’s too early to declare that the movie business is living through a bubble. Many of the sequels that sputtered at the multiplexes have been artistically inferior. The latest “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” only received an anemic 37% “rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, an improvement on the 22% rating for the first film, but hardly enough to guarantee a slot in the Criterion Collection. Other recent sequels fell short in the review department, with “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” “Zoolander 2,” “Ride Along 2,” “The Huntsman: Winter’s War,” “X-Men: Apocalypse” and “The Divergent Series: Insurgent” all suffering worse notices than the films that preceded them.

    It’s not like audiences have rediscovered their love for movies without roman numerals affixed to them. “The Nice Guys” and “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” whiffed at the box office, while upcoming films such as “Warcraft,” “Tarzan” and “The BFG” face uphill battles this summer. They serve as a reminder of the risks that studios take when they try to launch original movies in the height of popcorn season. Original, itself, has become a neutered term, given that “Warcraft” is based on a popular video game and Tarzan has been swinging through the jungle in various incarnations since the dawn of movies…

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