I have threatened no one, I am merely suggesting a framework for your reportageThe weekend box office numbers have landed, and “Inglourious Basterds” has landed at the top of the heap with an entirely respectable domestic haul of $37.6 million.

But over at Variety, they’re using the worldwide gross instead, crowing that “Basterds” has opened with $65.1 million. This is objectively true, but it seems designed to frame the film’s success on a larger level than, say, last week’s “District 9”, which pulled in $37 million in North America — the only number used in Variety’s box-office summary last week.

Why the change? Does this mark a new style in Variety’s reporting of box-office numbers, now acknowledging that international numbers can be just as important — and sometimes even more so — than the North American take?

Or might this have something to do with The Weinstein Company’s naked desperation for a great big hit, as examined just last week in the New York Times? Because 65.1 is obviously a much larger number than 37.6, and even more so when you put “million” after it. And after the humiliation of “Grindhouse” a couple years back, it’s all about being back on top, for both for the Weinsteins and their favorite director.

I’m just saying. It’s kinda weird, isn’t it?

3 thoughts on “Optics”

  1. Honestly, I’m not rooting for anybody to fail … I just like the idea of a level playing field.

    Okay, maybe Harvey, who’s never met a goalpost he didn’t try to lower. Frickin’ whispering campaigns.

  2. It’s not weird at all. First of all, if you take last week’s article and scroll down, they do mention the international performance of “District 9”.

    Second, according to Box Office Mojo, “District 9” only made $7.5 million dollars in overseas box office. Compare that to “Inglourious Basterds” $18 million international haul, and which one do you think is more news-worthy?

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