Last week I talked a little about "per-screen averages," and how they reveal the films that people really want to see, rather than the artificially inflated numbers created by films showing on 4000 screens. Most of the responses I received were from people who claimed that, even if films like Brick or Friends with Money showed on an equal number of screens, they would not perform as well as "dumbed-down" fare like Ice Age: The Meltdown or Silent Hill.
Though we're only talking about
guesses, and there is no proof, I would argue that, if Brick and
Friends with Money were playing on 4000 screens, with all the
accompanying advertising and hype, they would do just as well -- if not better -- than the corresponding stupid films.
Why? For the same reason: if Brick came in at number one on the box
office list due to playing on a high quantity of screens, with plenty of promotion, then it would trigger the same
response in people: "I heard Brick was really good." Only
in this case, Brick actually is really good, and it might actually stick around for a while. My evidence? A little
movie called ...