Turning Value On Its Head (Or At Least Thinking Out Of The Box Office)
But as I started to think about it and put ALL the numbers together, I was sort of irked at this casual comment. Let's look at the rest of the information, shall we? The film was in its tenth day of release, the cumulative gross was over $90 million. Now, compare that to, let's say, "Speed Racer," which was in its 59th day in release and had cummed a little over $43 million. Uh-huh. Looking at other films that were in the same range of days released. "Wall-E" was down 48%, with a cumulative gross of $127 million. Totally different genre from "Wanted," way wider audience, showing in 800 more theaters -- and $37 million separates the two. Uh-huh. (By the way, "Hancock" scored a $103 million in the first five days of release -- so never, ever question the power of Will Smith again.)
Then I started thinking about rating drops and shifts, and it hit me that part of what we miss in the pure day-to-day analysis of ratings in television is, well, the long-term performance. How long has the program been airing? How stable is the core audience? What is the value overall of the property, and the brands that are associated with that property and its actors, etc.? And finally, what has the value (both implicit and explicit) of the program been to the network?
Sure, drops suck -- but we need to start looking at the numbers as part of a much larger picture. Wouldn't you agree?