Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a very entertaining and inventive film, but it was a major disappointment at the box office this weekend. How does a movie with appeal to young men, a major marketing campaign, and primarily positive reviews, end up finishing #5 behind films that have been in release for weeks? This isn’t one of those questions where i feel like I have the answer. I’m not sure why Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a box office dud after all the hype (totaling about $10 million this weekend), because it deserves better. So, then, what happened?
Maybe the target audience is not the audience that pays to see movies in the theaters, unless it’s based on very familiar source material or starring a very familiar celebrity. Neither of those situations apply with this film, so perhaps that’s why the younger males did not care to see the movie in theaters. Speaking of young males, you can’t ignore the #1 earner this weekend: The Expendables. Going head-to-head with this film on opening weekend, is probably the most logical argument as to why Scott Pilgrim bombed. If young men had to choose between a cast of up-and-comers in a post-modern action film, versus a cast of veterans in a straightforward action film, odds are they would choose the veterans. And, they did.
There’s practically no hope in sight for Scott Pilgrim to grow some legs, either. Next weekend, it will continue to be pounced, in the form of Piranha 3D. The weekend after that: the Avatar re-release as well as The Last Exorcism. In other words, at the end of its theatrical run, Scott Pilgrim will be lucky to make more than $25 million. What happened?