The Eagle film second only to The King’s Speech on Lawton favourability index!

Of course, I have been keen to see how The Eagle film, based upon Rosemary Sutcliff‘s book The Eagle of the Ninth, has been ‘doing’ since its release, and how it has been received. (My amalgam of particularly favourable initial reviews is here – under the title “The Eagle is a ‘rip-snortin’ ‘real winner’ with an ‘unusually strong sense of place …’ “!). Judging by the amount of money being taken at the box office in the USA in its first few days, The Eagle has certainly done less well than various competing films – competing in the sense that they too are in cinemas. But judging by the high popularity of the film once people do see it, maybe that is a result of the marketers not getting enough people to the movie in the first place? And maybe that is a result of  failing to make enough people aware of the film and want to see it in advance of release? And maybe that would not have been the case if they had stuck with the more memorable The Eagle of the Ninth as a title? 

By the end of Monday 21st February Justin Bieber had taken over $50 million across about 3,100 cinemas, whereas The Eagle – released the same day – had taken a much smaller $15.9 million from some 2,300. On Monday 21 February The Eagle was only 8th out of the top ten in terms of money taken that day. These headline numbers are what the US press seems to focus on – and the studios who have put up the bulk of the money for production and marketing will of course be keen first to pay back their investment, and then to make a surplus. So they will want to know how much money is being taken. (Is The Eagle take reduced by the fact that many customers – children – are not paying full price? What do numbers look like as opposed to money?)

But when you look in more detail , specifically at what those who see the films actually think of them, then the story is a very different one. Indeed, judging by grades given on the Mojo site to date, since release, The Eagle might be judged second in the top ten, on Lawton’s favourability index – adding together the percentage of judgements in the top two grades. The Eagle is second-equal with I Am Number Four if you just look at A grades, well ahead of Unknown and Just Go With It. Customers really do not like the Justin Bieber film, even if it is taking more money. As I have posted before, much depends on sample size, it is a self selecting set of voters, there are ‘lies, damned lies, and statistics’, but I choose to be encouraged! In fact I choose to interpret all this as a good omen for the long term, Mithras!

Film A+B (%) F (%)
The King’s Speech 94 4
The Eagle 84 6
Unknown 83 6
I Am Number Four 79 10
Just Go With It 70 24
No Strings Attached 66 21
Gnomeo & Juliet 63 17
The Roommate 51 26
Big Mommas 19 67
Justin Bieber 16 80

Author: Anthony Lawton

Chair, Sussex Dolphin, family company which looks after the work of eminent children’s & historical fiction author Rosemary Sutcliff (1920-92). Formerly CEO, chair & trustee of various charity, cultural & educational enterprises in UK.

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