Speed Who?

Despite a ton of marketing, the Wachowski Brothers’ latest film, Speed Racer, didn’t generate a lot of attention this weekend, coming in second to Iron Man. What’s worse, it didn’t make even half what reigning box office champ did, only $20 million to Iron Man’s $50 million.

So the question stands: Was Iron Man’s word-of-mouth just that good, or was Speed Racer just that bad? Or, worse yet, are the Wachowski Brothers merely one-hit wonders?

[Update 05-13-2008] It appears the numbers for Speed Racer were too high. It’s been adjusted down to $18 Million, putting it in 3rd place behind “What Happens in Vegas.”

20 replies on “Speed Who?”

  1. rickyjames says:

    A Sow’s Ear…
    …just can’t be turned into a silk purse full of movie ticket reciepts.

    Since Speed Racer isn’t a "date" movie, I’ll just date myself (heh). I thought SR was stupid and boring the few times I watched the original Japanese-retread cartoon as a kid back in the 1960s.

    Now, the original 1963 Astroboy cartoon was a different story! It was GREAT and ran as a daily syndicated show after school. Every time it came on I ran screaming through the house during the intro with jet flames coming out of my feet. I can still sing the theme song….

    • dkichline says:

      Re: A Sow’s Ear…

      I thought SR was stupid and boring the few times I watched the original Japanese-retread cartoon as a kid back in the 1960s.

      I don’t know, as you were with Astroboy, I was with Speed Racer. I have extremely fond memories of racing home from school in time to watch it.

      I know I saw Iron Man last week because well a race car just does not compete with flying metal exo-skeleton battle systems. Since I am married with two kids, I do not get free reign to just go and see movies when I want. But I do fully intend on seeing this soon.

      • Trekkie says:

        Re: A Sow’s Ear…

        Since I am married with two kids, I do not get free reign to just go and see movies when I want.

        Us married with two kids type need to stick together. The 2x a year I get to see movies I want to is July and December when we have family around that can stay with the kids while my brother and I go see the ‘good movies’

        not sure I’ll get to see Iron Man at all in the theater. Also not certain on whether I want to see Speed Racer.

        While I remember it being on what is now TBS (AKA Channel 6) back in 1975/1976 it was on at 2:30 or so, and my school got out at 3 so in kindergarten I rarely got to see it, and then it was off the air.

        I don’t know the name of it, but the other show I got to see more of was a Japanese re-dubbed one where a kid bent over and turned into an airplane, and then he had a silver mom and a gold dad who also turned into stuff. Was that Astro Boy? i honestly have only vague memories of him bending over & then wings shooting out left/right and a tail popping up and off he goes. The gold guy just stood there and stuck his armos out and kinda transformed without parts popping out.

        • rickyjames says:

          Re: A Sow’s Ear…

          Was that Astro Boy?

          I think so, the color version that came out 10-15 years after the original B&W version that I watched.

          • rickyjames says:

            Re: A Sow’s Ear…

            Was that Astro Boy?

            I think so, the color version that came out 10-15 years after the original B&W version that I watched.

            Yep, what you’re describing is the 1980s Astroboy which I never saw at all. According to the Wikipedia article, in this version the Ministry of Robots creates an entire Astro family. Much different than the original B&W 1963 premise I grew up with, which is that Astroboy was basically Pinocchio – a robotic version of Dr. Boynton’s previously-deceased son.

            • y42 says:

              Re: A Sow’s Ear…

              the 1980s Astroboy which I never saw at all. According to the Wikipedia article, in this version the Ministry of Robots creates an entire Astro family. Much different than the original B&W 1963 premise I grew up with, which is that Astroboy was basically Pinocchio – a robotic version of Dr. Boynton’s previously-deceased son.

              He was still a pinnochio, he just got siblings.
              And fancy red boots.

          • Trekkie says:

            Re: A Sow’s Ear…

            Was that Astro Boy?

            I think so, the color version that came out 10-15 years after the original B&W version that I watched.

            After looking at the Wiki, that wasn’t it. The version I watched was live action.

            • dkichline says:

              Re: A Sow’s Ear…

              After looking at the Wiki, that wasn’t it. The version I watched was live action.

              Could it have been Ultra Man? Also another one I used to watch was called, I think, The Space Giants. It was a kid with a whistle that could call a robot to help him.

              • Trekkie says:

                Re: A Sow’s Ear…

                After looking at the Wiki, that wasn’t it. The version I watched was live action.

                Could it have been Ultra Man? Also another one I used to watch was called, I think, The Space Giants. It was a kid with a whistle that could call a robot to help him.

                The whistle, that was it. Blew it once for the kid sized robot/jet plance, twice for the silver ‘mom’ jet plane, and three times for the big gold man jetplane.

                Yeap. here it is The Space Giants

        • cmhbytehead says:

          Re: A Sow’s Ear…

          Us married with two kids type need to stick together.

          My two babies turned 18 Saturday! I’m free! I’m free!!!!

          Actually, NOT! since they are still living at home, probably until they graduate college, but at least I don’t have to worry about them when I do sneak out. Now I just have to worry about six cats….

          • Alexius says:

            Re: A Sow’s Ear…

            Us married with two kids type need to stick together.

            My two babies turned 18 Saturday! I’m free! I’m free!!!!

            My second is being born in October.

        • acroyear says:

          Re: A Sow’s Ear…

          I don’t know the name of it, but the other show I got to see more of was a Japanese re-dubbed one where a kid bent over and turned into an airplane, and then he had a silver mom and a gold dad who also turned into stuff. Was that Astro Boy? i honestly have only vague memories of him bending over & then wings shooting out left/right and a tail popping up and off he goes. The gold guy just stood there and stuck his armos out and kinda transformed without parts popping out.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Space_Giants

  2. homba says:

    Maybe a 2 hit wonder
    There is always Bound… great movie, imho …

  3. mbourgon says:

    Why assume "The Wachowskis" were a deciding factor?
    Honestly, I’d say it was a dearth of people who CARED about Speed Racer. Only reason I went, and I’m in the target audience, was because it looked like fun eye-candy (it was). But why would most people care? It looks, well, goofy. Yes, sure, authentic to the source, whatever. You watch the trailer, and most people aren’t going to say "hey, I gotta see that", but "wtf, a chimp? A car flick? What the hell? Eh, screw it – I’ll go see the guy-in-a-flying-suit."

    Then again, I can’t believe that Transformers made more than $20 million. It’s right up there with "Voltron" on the "movies I don’t need to go see" list.

  4. Erf says:

    Not a meaningful comparison
    I agree with the others that the movie simply looks… odd. It also looks like some fun eye candy that I wouldn’t mind seeing at some point, but I can see why it wouldn’t necessarily draw a huge crowd.

    That said, how is it at all meaningful to compare it to Iron Man? If IM had the 10th biggest opening of all time, how is it a surprise when any other movie doesn’t do as well, especially on the same weekend?

  5. darue says:

    a little early to start in on the bro’s movie
    iron man and it have a ton of audience overlap. a lot of people are only going to see one movie in a weekend. watch it catch up next weekend.

  6. TwistyHat says:

    Or was it
    because one of the directors changed gender ;-)

  7. chad says:

    Movie Overload
    Another potential reason for Speed Racer’s poor showing is the spate of major releases in May. Iron Man, followed by Speed Racer, followed by Prince Caspian, followed by Indiana Jones. Four movies in four weeks–I’m not sure that the average person attends that many movies in a month. Maybe they’re planning to see one or two at most. And with Iron Man being a surprise hit, those who missed it the first weekend may have gone to see it (instead of Speed Racer) on the second weekend.

    As far as my take on Speed Racer, it was a 5.5 out of 10. Good enough to watch, but not to rave about to my friends.

    • grundil says:

      Re: Movie Overload

      Another potential reason for Speed Racer’s poor showing is the spate of major releases in May. Iron Man, followed by Speed Racer, followed by Prince Caspian, followed by Indiana Jones. Four movies in four weeks

      Heh, try 3.5 weeks, since Caspian is this friday and Indy is next wednesday ;)

    • Trekkie says:

      Re: Movie Overload
      dunno if I was average or not, but pre-small children that sounds like my friday/saturday night in the early part of this decade.

      Least for titles like those.

      Once the cool movies go away, it thinned out fast.

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