Something historically significant has just happened in the mind of L.A. Times Hollywood reporter Steven Zeitchik, and I think it’s worth exploring. At 5:44 am this morning he tweeted that The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo has “done middlingly in the US.” Except David Fincher‘s noir-thriller, released by Sony, has recently topped $100 million so what does he mean? Is Zeitchik saying that $100 million domestic is a bit tepid for a film that cost $90 million to make? Or that $100 mill domestic is generally a meh-level thing?
Back in the ’90s a film earning $100 million domestic had definitely won a gold medal and membership in a very select club. No longer. These days $100 million is almost chump change for big-dick studio movies. To be regarded as a serious hit they now have to pull in at least $200 domestic plus another $200 or so internationally…right? Certainly by the Zeitchik scale. In whatever context a hardcore 24/7 industry reporter like Zeitchick describing $100 million as “middling” is something to mull over and meditate upon and placed in an easily referenced folder for reexamining down the road.