Slow Hugo Rollout "Unusual," Analysts Say
Producer/financier Graham King is making a risky move by rolling out his $150-170-million 3D production Hugo in a limited number of theaters, the Los Angeles Times observed today, noting that while such a strategy has proved successful for such relatively low-budget movies as The King's Speech, it is "highly unusual" for a big-budget one. "I feel this is not just a typical movie, but a masterpiece," King told the Times. "And a masterpiece needs to be nurtured." His plan is to attract sufficient word of mouth to continue attracting audiences through January. He is therefore expanding it to 1,800 locations on Friday, then to more than 2,000 the following week. The Times said that the studio will also begin spending millions of dollars on advertising that it had originally planned to use last week if the picture had opened wide then. King, who is attempting to make a name for himself as an independent producer (he is responsible for October's The Rum Diary , starring Johnny Depp, and The Tourist, starring Depp and Angelina Jolie last year), told the Times "I truly believe in how we're releasing 'Hugo,' and if I screwed it up, it's on my shoulders."