Argo was clearly the film to see yesterday for those with any appreciation at all for sharp, shrewd, crafty, etc. Naturally, young American audiences being young American audiences, Argo came in third behind Summit’s not great but allegedly passable Sinister and the decidedly low-grade Taken 2. Because young American audiences are, for the most part, obstinate, under-educated, slow-to-catch-on infants who want their pacifier.
Deadline‘s Nikki Finke is reporting that at least one exhibitor told her that Argo is playing “very old.” It’s primarily being seen, in other words, by people who were teenagers or young adults 30 years ago.
But Boxoffice.com’s Phil Contrino says that Argo‘s projected $18 million haul is more than what was initially foreseen (they used last year’s Ides of March numbers as a comparison). Given the quality and the Oscar buzz Contrino sees Argo as “a 3.5 to 4 multiplier,” meaning he expects it to earn $70 million domestic. He also says it will probably do very well in foreign territories (like Munich, which performed better overseas than here).
The Argo “cons” in Boxoffice’s weekend projection story noted that (a) “the ‘insider’ Hollywood plot has historically proven to be a hard sell to widespread audiences” (idiots!) and (b) “Social media buzz has been moderate, but not outstanding…this looks like a long-term performer more than a big opener.”