Simply subtracting a film's budget from its box office is not an accurate measurement of a film's true financial success. There are many more numbers the public never sees that factor in to the equation, and so saying box office number X is higher than budget number Y doesn't mean a film has made an actual profit. It's much easier to tell when a film clearly hasn't, though, and so far Sony has not had a great year at the box office.
The year 2013 started out just fine, with The Call and Evil Dead both grossing more than $50 million off of budgets less than $20 million, but then the expensive duds After Earth and White House Down made big dents in its accounting spreadsheets. Even slightly more successful movies like Elysium and The Smurfs 2 didn't do very well stateside, both earning over $30 million less than their budgets. And quite recently The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones totaled only $27 million domestically off of a reported $60 million.
All of this is the scenic way of saying that's why Sony is rereleasing its biggest hits of the year in theaters. Last weekend This Is the End returned to over 2,000 theaters in a bid to cross the $100 million line at the box office (and it will this week). And now Sony is doing it again with One Direction: This Is Us. This rerelease, however, is an even more transparent money grab than This Is the End -- One Direction: This Is Us is still in theaters. In fact, as of this writing, it's only been in theaters for 11 days. And yet on Friday, September 13, Sony is releasing an extended cut of the film featuring 20 extra minutes of footage.
It's both a brilliant and shameless move. On the one hand, fans of the boy band will absolutely pay to see the movie again (and, realistically, they probably already have) and they probably won't complain about it, either, because they're such die-hard supporters and will feel like they're certainly getting their money's worth from an additional four songs that weren't included in the original release of the concert film. But normally a studio saves this kind of extended-edition double dip for the DVD and Blu-ray release. It's incredibly rare, if not unprecedented, to do it while the film is only two weeks old.
We can't exactly blame Sony for knowing it can milk the band's fan base, especially when it's easy to trace why it is doing it, but we feel bad for the fans who probably would have preferred this version in the first place. Either way, we hope that this rerelease adds the necessary extra dough to Sony's pile, otherwise we may just see Grown Ups 2: The Extended Cut in a few week's time.
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