Silver Linings Playbook
An astonishing cheaper than most film that had great return on the money invested as well as taking home awards.
This Crossroads article will cover an example of a film that opened on only 16 screens to a little grip of cash to become a very successful film that took in money and awards.
Silver Linings Playbook is a story that follows the Pat Solatano Jr. from the time that his mother discharges him from a Maryland mental health institution without the advice or knowledge of his dad, Pat Solatano Sr. His struggles, being bipolar and having a restraining order against him, don’t limit his ability to feel like he can manage himself in the world by looking for the “silver linings” in every facet of his daily life. Even if he is off medication, he doesn’t like the way it makes him feel.
Our Crossroads ranking for Silver Linings Playbook takes into account a high artistic reception with a high return on investment. Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes, IMDB, and Metacritic resulted in 92/100, 7.9/10, and 81/100, respectively. ROI results in profit of $236,412,453 divided by $21,000,000 production budget to show 10.26 times return. This, along with accounting for award wins it had, is adjusted to scale of revenue generating movies to conclude a Crossroads score of 8.2 or 82%.
Awards and ROI steam rolled this flick to success. Though could it of possibly been the right movie with the right cast at the right time? A parallel to the type of the old location marketing (“location, location, location”). Here’s a brief overview:
Silver Linings Playbook is a 2012 romantic comedy film that bounced around many festivals before seeing its release in theatres. The film took the novel by Matthew quick and Academy Award nominated writer-director David O. Russell brought it to life. The movie stars Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver and Jennifer Lawrence. Silver Linings Playbook was produced on a budget of $21 million began filming on October 3rd, 2011, which took place in Pennsylvania.
Building on its very successful festival showings, Silver Linings Playbook opened limited in 16 theaters in the U.S., earning $443,003 its first week, which compared to other smaller releases, isn’t that great (Little Miss Sunshine earned $498,796 in its first week from just 7 screens). It opened internationally the next week to a total of 371 screens. It finally expanded its release on December 25th, 2012 in the US for a total of 745 screens. The money (domestically) came after the nominations for the Best Picture from Oscars came in. In fact they have a pretty high ranking in this effect, check it out here (http://www.boxofficemojo.com/oscar/bestpichist.htm?view=bymovie&p=.htm)
Silver Linings Playbook received widespread critical acclaim for it’s fun and endearing story. The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and won one: Best Performance by an Actress in a leading role for Jennifer Lawernce. It also was nominated and won other numerous awards, check them out here (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1045658/awards)
Straight to the point, timing. Timing is everything in business. You can make and break a product by releasing it too early or too late. We see this problem today in the business. Cult films generally were flops at the box office, but have gained steam over the years. Enough about that, lets go back to the world good timed films. So how does timing come into play here? Lets think….hm….oh yeah! Jennifer Lawrence.
Not following? Ok lets break it down. Jennifer Lawrence has been on the rise since she got nominated for Winters Bone to being in the new younger Xmen. But then she landed the franchise role of Katniss in the Hunger Games. BINGO! Through her acting prow-less in these films she created a hype. This film rode that hype… and yes, she sold this movie. Don’t believe me? Ok pretend Jlaw wasn’t in this film, yes the rest of the cast was great, but the timing wouldn’t have been as perfect. Cooper has been in his prime since he did the hangover, but this movie isn’t right after the Hangover.
Before we move on, let’s think of this more simply, think of JLaw as a product and we are talking about a product lifecycle (Forgive me, JLaw, I’ll buy you coffee or a meal. Just let me know). So this product is entering the peak part of a lifecycle, the part where it is the most profitable. It helped the movie; albeit, not the ultimate reason why this movie worked, but a reason nonetheless. Also at this point, JLaw will be in the peak for a long time.
Romantic Comedies are a tough pleasure now a-days and sometimes falls more on the writing than the cast. Luckily in this case both were strong. We had amazing performances from a very deep cast. This cast was packed with nominees and winners (congrats, JLaw). The adapted script, also was a winner. Sometimes this can lead to misgivens with book fans, but in this case, it was done right.
Second, this film was done very cost effectively. While I wont say it was done cheaply $21 million is still moderate, but is not a large budget film by any means. This film was only shot in one state, with very little special effects costs, with a lot of the costs just going for the bigger names. Heck, this was a festival film first, before a box office success. A gamble that certainly paid off.
No it did not rack in a billion or even half, but it still was very profitable and a great movie to boot. Who would take an ROI over 10? I would. And heck, this move is one to see, I would personally recommend it. This film had all the right moves at the right time; a crossroads that helped fuel its success.