With a certain portion of HE readers now having seen Kick-Ass, are there theories as to why it collected a mere $7.5 million yesterday (per figures supplied last night by Nikki Finke) and may not even crack $20 million by Sunday night? Even if it reaches or slightly crests that figure, it’ll still be way short of the high 20s tally that some were expecting.

Obviously these numbers reflect marketing perception and not the film itself, but compare what happened yesterday to the initial groundswell of excitement that came out of the first South by Southwest Kick-Ass screening. Clearly something didn’t quite translate, but why? Apparently the Joe Popcorn crowd (including the under-25s) looked, sniffed, thought things over and went “maybe,” “meh” and “okay but tomorrow night or Sunday or something…no rush.”

How commercially over-esteemed is the cult of comic-book genre geeks, who’ve always been pronounced in their affections but seem increasingly devoted to hyper-violent realms and myths that aren’t just separate from but seem more and more opposed to the shape and terms of the actual world? Inspiring CG-infested films seem more and more repetitive, more and more about themselves and pathetic geek-boy fantasies. Has the worm turned? Are genre geeks beginning to be seen for what they are (or at least are starting to become) — i.e., the Branch Davidians of the moviegoing public?

Tracking indicated that Kick-Ass would trounce Death at a Funeral , and fairly decisively. But the apparent reality is that while Death will come in second, it’ll be only a couple of million behind instead of an expected margin of at least five or six million, if not more so.

What has happened? What is the lesson?