Thor opened to $65M and even though that might seem like a very decent summer opening (ETA: especially compared with how Green Lantern [$53M] and X-Men First Class [$55M] fared this summer) in the wake of Fast Five‘s $86M it seemed that on Monday morning there was a collective sigh of disappointment in Hollywood.
What Kel and I realized when we got out of Thor (other than that we now actively hated 3D) was that the marketing department wasted a huge opportunity. One that I believe would have cleared that $20M gap.
Because beyond the spectacular vistas of Asgard, beyond the battles and warriors and hammers and fire-eyes, supporting the whole colossal adventure, was Chis Hemsworth. And he’s hot.
The fanboys were always going to go see Thor. Because they were excited about The Destroyer and the heroism of Thor pulling the hammer from the rock and the giant battles with axes and swords. And yet, those aspects and that audience received the bulk of the marketing attention; the audience they already had in their pocket.
Kel noticed that billboards and bus stops were covered in darkened posters of the characters faces with text over them. Nothing visually exciting or particularly thrilling or anything that gave us any real reason to go see it.
And while both of those are common in superhero marketing campaigns, in this case they were especially glaring miscalculations. Because they had Chris Hemsworth to work with. And while the fanboys (and fangirls) were always going to go see it, the average woman was not. It wasn’t even on her radar. But if they had let more the tv spots focus on his chivalrous romance with Natalie Portman, show off those insane biceps a little, or even my favorite shot when he’s carrying that kid from danger, even the least geeky among us would have swooned. And shown up to endure the spectacle of battle for the quiet intimacy around the fire one night.
And women are an audience not to be trifled with. Give them a little of what they want and they’ll show up as much as the boys will.