It's a big weekend coming up for World Wrestling Entertainment
Make no mistake, shareholders are watching this one carefully. See, WWE's film division offers a lot of promise, but so far, the results have been about as exciting as Donald Trump's wrestling ability. Both See No Evil, which starred Kane and was distributed by Lions Gate Entertainment
Although I've been trumpeting the company's movie division for a while now, and although I'll probably still be behind it even if this fails -- due to the fact that I think generating content that can be amortized over multiple distribution channels is a worthy risk considering that one is bound to hit upon some significant winners eventually -- I will admit that I think the pressure is on. The third time will need to be the charm.
Lions Gate is releasing The Condemned, so it too is hoping for a higher gross than what it got from See No Evil. As I noted during the company's last earnings report, WWE hasn't been able to book any revenue yet from its film division since the monetary returns have yet to cover distribution costs. That should hopefully change; CEO Linda McMahon is on record saying that See No Evil will eventually deliver a profit.
Stone Cold Steve Austin perhaps stands a greater chance of bringing in the fans than Kane and John Cena (although the latter is pretty darn popular right now). Let's hope he does, because if WWE wants to build a valuable movie library, even a small one, it needs to score some home runs.
April isn't a bad time to release a film; it avoids the summer box-office onslaught, for one thing. For another, people are starting to get into the multiplex mood since the tentpoles are right around the corner. It's sort of like ordering a tasty appetizer before the main meal. I'd say The Condemned could be a nice appetizer before the likes of Marvel's
What do you think about Stone Cold's chances this weekend? Am I ridiculous in my continued support of WWE's film ambitions? Feel free to send me comments at my CAPS blog.
It's time to wrestle with some more Takes:
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