World Wrestling Entertainment
According to Boxoffcemojo.com, the film opened to an estimated $7 million in the domestic marketplace, though that number might change when final grosses are tallied. Either way, that was good enough -- or perhaps I should say bad enough -- for a sixth-place ranking.
Granted, the competition was tough, with Sony's
I'm on record as being a big supporter of WWE's film operations. Now that data for two of the company's flicks are in -- data that seems to indicate that this particular business model should be avoided -- many readers may wonder whether my opinion has changed.
Heck no! Some might say that I've got my head stuck in the sand, but I am more than willing to be patient. WWE is not only going to strike gold eventually with one of its productions, but I'd also argue that the company has no choice but to be in this business. Going forward, I think the home-video market will explode once again, when the new recording format takes hold, whether it ends up being Blu-ray or HD-DVD. Considering that WWE is a large part of the entertainment culture at large, and that it has access to the talents of multiple superstar wrestlers who appeal to valuable youthful demographics -- the kind who play video games and hang out at the mall and enjoy spending money -- I'd say it's a no-brainer for the media concern to brand a film label.
WWE may have missed again with The Marine, but it will learn from every movie release. It'll have the opportunity to make up, at least in some part, for the lackluster performance via home-video markets, premium-channel distribution, and on-demand pay-per-view. John Cena is a great talent, and I bet he'll sell a decent amount of DVDs for the company.
The movie business is a risky gamble, but this isn't an XFL proposition -- far from it. Instead, it is a valid, proven model that can provide serious cash flow when an idea resonates with the public. Plus, Vince McMahon is determined to bring his wrestling brand 'round the globe and turn it into a worldwide phenomenon. That's going to give WWE films a leg up in the international box office market. And if the film division (hopefully) broadens its blueprint -- i.e., create movie projects that aren't just vehicles for wrestlers -- you'll see even greater potential for lucrative returns.
So, yes, I still think the film division has potential. I believe the McMahons should continue investing in celluloid. Those who would argue that the movie biz isn't a core competency or that it's too risky are suffering from short-term thinking. And that's the bottom line, my Foolish friends.
Get in the Fool's ring and wrestle with these Takes:
Give any of our newsletter services a whirl. They're free for the first 30 days.