Dreamgirls is already rolling in the dough. DreamWorks and Paramount tested the film out in a "roadshow" format this past weekend -- meaning they selected specific cities; Gotham, Los Angeles and San Francisco to screen the film for higher than average ticket prices. These road shows aren't necessarily meant to draw in the bucks to contribute to box office sales -- although this one carried in $360,000 -- but instead are used to encourage the word of mouth for films. Living in Los Angeles, I forget that not every city in the United States is fully aware of what films are hitting the big screen before they've even started production. The actors alone in Dreamgirls seem big enough to draw a crowd: Some say Eddie Murphy 's performance is worthy of an Oscar, then you have Beyoncé Knowles, Jamie Foxx and the American Idol superstar-turned Oscar shoe-in Jennifer Hudson.
Despite these big-name actors and the success of the roadshow, Paramount and Sony are still concerned about Dreamgirls' success during wide release. Their concern isn't completely invalid. Other films that used road shows as a way to spread the word had a great start, but once they hit theatres they had disappointing box office sales. Memoirs of a Geisha is one of those films -- I can see why, my personal opinion is it was beautiful visually but lacked much else. But Dreamgirls is such a different film altogether. Memoirs of a Geisha is based on a book -- some people already have an aversion to seeing films from books because it's never how they imagined it -- and Dreamgirls' story is loosely based on the Supremes; it also contains a completely different soul and is a guarantee for vivacious music. The film simply seems lively and fun; already something a holiday audience would like to see.
So will Dreamgirls hit it big in theatres worldwide? We'll find out Monday for sure, but I have a feeling with the star power the film possesses, it might do okay.