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Fox Sports: "Zach Arnold's Fight Opinion site is one of the best spots on the Web for thought-provoking MMA pieces."

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Fight Opinion Weekly

By Zach Arnold | October 16, 2006

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By Zach Arnold

What an exhausting last week that was if you were an MMA or professional wrestling fan. Oversaturation of good and bad programming, indeed.

But don’t worry, relive some of the good, the bad, and ugly highlights from the week that was in the fight industry.

First, we found out that Japanese actor Ken Kaneko = RATINGS. And you thought his high quarter-hour rating with Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett last year on the PRIDE New Year’s Eve show was a joke. Take that, all you Hollywood-haters. WCW had David Arquette as champion, and now K-1 has Ken Kaneko as their celebrity ace. You saw that kind of business WCW did with Arquette as their champion. Er, wait… nevermind…

Second, there was that whole bruhaha between two guys who like pro-wrestling. Oh yeah, their names were Ken and Tito, and supposedly nobody wanted to see their third and final fight. Like it was a big deal or something. It only did a 3.1 rating. It’s not like that Tito guy rearranged Ken’s nose on his face like the guy with a last name as his first name, Anderson, did to the former math teacher.

Third, Luke Nicholson had the nerve to write an article talking about the similarities in the company histories of UFC & WWE. Hey, why are you stealing my role of drawing negative heat online? Who do you think you are, Mark Steyn? I tried to give support to Luke’s article. Not even I usually get as much hatred in reaction to something I’ve written as Luke did for his op-ed. At least nobody threatened to sue us. Sucks to be Bob Sapp right now.

Fourth, this season’s edition of TUF (The Ultimate Fighter) continues to be yawn-inducingly boring. Erin Bucknell tried to make it entertaining with her recap. Not even that could save this abysmally-low rating.

Fifth and finally, Vince McMahon continues to find new ways to fail at something. This time, it was WWE’s new movie featuring John Cena in The Marine. It ended up finishing in sixth place (according to BoxOfficeMojo.com) at around $7 million USD. Look at the bright side, Vince, at least you only lost a few million dollars with this movie. It’s not like you lost an estimated $70 million US dollars on it like you did with the XFL.

Topics: All Topics, Fight Opinion Weekly, Media, MMA, Zach Arnold | 7 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

7 Responses to “Fight Opinion Weekly”

  1. PizzaChef says:

    You really outdid yourself this time Zach. Putting the XFL, AND David Arquette as WCW champion in ONE MMA article.

    I love this site.

  2. Preach says:

    Well, i wouldn’t necessarily call “The Marine” a failure, as 7 mio $ is not a bad number, considering both the films budget as well as it’s release date (October is always a very slow month). Sure, considering the fact that the damn thing cost around 15 mio $ to make this box office is a bit disappointing , but it will most probably make enough in the long run (dvd sales included) that it’ll turn in a nice little profit. Nowadays most movies make the real money in dvd-sales. Just take a look at the Nicolas Cage vehicle “Lord of War”. The film, which was budgeted at around 42 mio $, absolutely tanked at the box office, bringing in just 24 mio $ – but made almost 47 mio $ in dvd-sales!

    And straight to dvd would’ve been the perfect choice for “The Marine”, instead of giving it a theatrical run. It’s a fact that the action genre is pretty much dead, when it comes to the cinemas. All the action-heroes of yore are today pretty much bound to dvd, no matter if their name is Van Damme, Seagal, Lundgren or Snipes. And they can give a rats ass if people think they’re washed up for dabbling in s2dvd releases. Why? Because they make shitloads of money with them. Yes, that’s right: shitloads of money with movies that go straight to dvd. Because that’s where the market (and the money) is nowadays. Every of the s2dvd films Wesley Snipes did was budgeted between 15 and 20 mio $, with him getting a whopping 5 mio $!!! And the reason for that is pretty simple: they sell like sliced bread, turning in between 40 and 50 mio $ (most probably even more, combined with international and cable sales).

    So, why didn’t Vince just release the damn thing on dvd, instead of giving it a theatrical run?

    Simple, because of both his ego and him not being in touch with the audience anymore. “The Marine” had been sitting for quite some time in the archives at Titan Towers (it was finished in 2004), so he must’ve known that it didn’t turn out like he wanted it to be. But then, just a few months ago WWE-Films other project, the Kane vehicle “See no Evil”, which was budgeted at 8 mio $ did a pretty good box office, grossing 15 mio $. So Vince must’ve been like “Whoa, if that flick with that mid-carder Kane made that much money – imagine what “The Marine” with our WWE-Champion John Cena will do!”, and decided to give it a theatrical run too. His desire to be a bigtime Hollywood producer, and not just a wrasslin’ promoter got the best of him. Hey, if it worked one time it will surely work again, right?

    But Vince was wrong – again. He may think that all movies are alike, but it’s not that simple. Because “See no Evil” was different from “The Marine”. But, it only had Kane in it, and he’s not as big a star as John Cena. That may be so, but Kane starred in a horrorfilm. And that’s exactly why “See no Evil” didn’t bomb at the BO. You see, Horrorfans are one of a kind. They’re rabid. A film can be torn apart by the critics in advance – they still go to see for themselves. That’s why even disasters like the “The Fog” or “When a Stranger calls” remake made double or triple it’s budget at the box office. No-one went to the theater to see Kane. They went to see a horrorfilm. But Vince just didn’t get it, thinking that it’s because a WWE “Superstar” is in it. Hell, they could’ve dug up Tiny Tim and let him play Jacob Goodnight, and the film would still have made all that money.

  3. Mr. Roadblock says:

    Do non-wrestling fans even know who John Cena is. I bet they don’t.

  4. KennyP says:

    The real problem with “The Marine” is that the WWE-produced films (or any side projects featuring pro-wrestlers) almost always draw significant first-week box office from the hardcore wrestling fans. This occurs whether or not the movie or tv show is any good. The real question is whether a film can find its legs in weeks 2 & 3 after the wrestling fans have already seen it.

    Scorpion King was a good-enough film (with a healthy F/X budget) to draw in enough fans. See No Evil was cheap enough that it could make a profit by targeting the horror and wrestling niches. The Marine (and the upcoming Steve Austin film) are too expensive to make a profit just from the wrestling fanbase and may not be good enough to draw the other fans. That could be a real problem (tying up tens of millions of $$$ in business capital if there isn’t a positive return in the end.)

  5. Zack Nelson says:

    Will they release NO HOLDS BARRED on DVD already?

  6. Royal B. says:

    Preach:

    “That may be so, but Kane starred in a horror film. And that’s exactly why “See no Evil” didn’t bomb at the BO. You see, Horrorfans are one of a kind. They’re rabid. A film can be torn apart by the critics in advance – they still go to see for themselves. That’s why even disasters like the “The Fog” or “When a Stranger calls” remake made double or triple it’s budget at the box office. No-one went to the theater to see Kane. They went to see a horrorfilm. But Vince just didn’t get it, thinking that it’s because a WWE “Superstar” is in it. Hell, they could’ve dug up Tiny Tim and let him play Jacob Goodnight, and the film would still have made all that money.”

    SNE didn’t make 15 mill off of horror fans. It made 15 mill because a couple recognizable television personalities were in that same movie. The same with The Fog and When A Stranger Calls. It’s not the horror fans supporting these things. It’s the teen beat crowd who get creamy all over Clark Kent from Smallville and the OC kids.

    Please do not partake in any of those sweeping generalizations again.

  7. Preach says:

    “SNE didn’t make 15 mill off of horror fans. It made 15 mill because a couple recognizable television personalities were in that same movie. The same with The Fog and When A Stranger Calls. It’s not the horror fans supporting these things. It’s the teen beat crowd who get creamy all over Clark Kent from Smallville and the OC kids.”

    Yeah, right. “Recognizable television personalities”.

    “The Fog” had Tom Welling of “Smallville” and Maggie Grace of “Lost”. Welling has some name value, and most probably put a few asses in seats, but not Maggie Grace, who played only a minor character in a ensemble-driven series. If an actor from a hip tv-series would equal money, “The Breed” wouldn’t have gone straight to dvd, starring Michelle Rodriguez (who played a far bigger role on “Lost” then Grace) and Hill Harper (of “CSI:NY”).

    Seriously, the attention span of teenagers is shorter than that of a casual WWE fan. So all these people went to see SNE for Christina Vidal, whose greatest claim to fame was a nickelodeon series that ended 5 years ago? Or a bunch of no-name australian actors not one american has ever heard of before?

    Same for “When a Stranger calls”. The only “names” in it are Derek De Lint, whose greatest “success” was “Poltergeist: The Legacy” and Tommy Flanagan, “That dude with the scar” from “Gladiator” and AVP. Hell, the lead actress “biggest” roles were in 97/98 at the age of 11, with small roles in films like “Practical Magic”.

    It’s absolutely no “sweeping generalizations” my friend. Horror equals money, it’s as simple as that. Why do you think all the majors are branching out and creating their own genre-companies? Like Universal (Rogue Pictures) or Warner (Dark Castle & Raw Feed)? Because apart from porn Horror’s the only genre that always brings in a profit.

    @Zack Nelson: I wouldn’t hold my breath for it. New Line is known for being very slow with releasing their back-catalogue, and they’re making too much money with s2dvd sequels like The Butterfly Effect 2 than to waste time and resources on NHB.

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