Variety’s warp up of 300’s box office victory at the ticket selling gates has some interesting quotes — the $70 mil take was a mere $30 million more than tracking predicted. Sheesh!

Playing in more than 3,100 theaters, pic was the third biggest R-rated opener ever — behind “The Matrix Reloaded” and “The Passion of the Christ” — and the biggest R-rated opener in March.

[snip] Fellman said the demos for “300” were equally split between men and women — surprising, given the project’s high violence and machismo — and he pointed to the pic’s Internet-heavy marketing campaign as a major part of its success. Warners had pushed the pic’s trailer on MySpace and other youth-skewing sites.

Reflecting its popularity across many markets, “300” played to a per-theater average of $16,500 in Salt Lake City, which Fellman called “home of the PG.” Pic hit $28,000 per engagement in Los Angeles and nailed averages of over $24,000 per theater in Las Vegas, Chicago, New York and San Francisco.

Fellman compared the movie’s success to that of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” the 2002 left-field romantic comedy hit that racked up more than $241 million. Pic was another original concept that managed to build a major fanbase though not part of a franchise, a la “Matrix Reloaded”; nor did it attract auds outside the typical moviegoing demo like “The Passion.”

Pic also played particularly well on Imax screens, drawing a $54,500 per-screen average off 62 runs. Imax chairman-prexy Greg Foster said “300” played into a campaign aimed at the young fanboy crowd.

“We’ve been cultivating the techie crowd of 15- to 24-year-olds who play videogames and watch DVDs,” Foster said. “It’s a (demographic) that’s difficult to get (to theaters), but we finally nailed them.”

300’s production cost was a truly Spartan $65 million, which left a lot for the marketing blitzkrieg. Such a high yield on investment pretty much guarantees that we will be seeing more green screen movies where nothing exists except the six-pack abs.


  1. 300 is getting more press than it deserves. I just did a review of 300 over at Highbrid Nation is you care to read it. In the end it was just another movie that did not live up to the hype to me. Can we say “poor man’s Gladiator”? Most people will likely disagree with me though, lol