Last weekend's poor opening of Grindhouse was a bit of a surprise to many of us in the "biz." It seemed like a can't-miss proposition: a horror movie + Rose McGowan with a machine gun leg + two well known, popular directors. So why didn't the masses show up? I have a theory.
For one thing, the vast majority of today's moviegoers (teenagers) don't give a s**t about pedigree. Quentin Tarantin-who? Robert Rodrig-what? For the people who are actually spending the money at the box office, who directed the movie is meaningless.
Moviegoers are also apparently not big on the "retro bulls**t." I live with a couple of teenagers and getting them to think back to 2002 is almost impossible. To get them excited about a horror knock-off from the '60s and '70s ... I might as well be talking to them about their SAT scores. Plus, the violence ante has been raised to such a degree that fake-looking blood and zombie violence will no longer do. We need to see brutality and torture that looks so real that maybe it is.
But I actually think that these two directors may have promoted themselves right out of a good opening weekend. Tarantino and Rodriguez were everywhere: radio, TV, you couldn't miss them. It's one thing to promote your movie, but when you cross the line to promoting yourself it can, and often does, lead to trouble. As far as Tarantino goes, he's much less "quirky" than he is just plain weird. And he is so in love with his own story that his arrogance is palpable. As far as Rodriguez goes ... Richie Sambora called ... he's looking for a stand-in on the upcoming "Livin' On A Prayer" tour. These guys hit the promotional circuit hard, not like they were promoting a movie, but like they were rock stars -- and I think those of us who paid any attention to it were put off by it. But ultimately, I'm sure that the biggest reason this movie didn't open was the curse of Tyra Banks.
If you're not familiar with the curse of Tyra, get to know it. Tyra spent an entire show with the cast and crew of Grindhouse. Not only did she come off like the arrogant knucklehead she is, but she dragged the entire cast right down to her level. After watching the Grindhouse promotional hour, I was seriously done with all of them.
So, although I can't confirm that there is an actual Tyra curse, I warn all you actors, directors, musicians, etc.: Be careful when and how you promote your product. You may just end up in the Grindhouse.