Go see it…while you can!!

‘Ghost Town’ vanishes at box office
HOLLYWOOD — It looked like a can’t-miss proposition.
There was that proven Topper-meets-Heaven Can Wait premise, an enviable 86% favourable rate on the Rotten Tomatoes review site, and Ricky Gervais, in his first lead feature role, was being hailed as a bona fide big screen comedy star.
But when it hit the megaplex over the weekend, Ghost Town was all but dead on arrival, scaring up an eighth place-ranking $5 million take.
So why the vanishing act?
Good question.
Paramount, the studio distributing the DreamWorks picture, began smelling trouble a few weeks ago when audience tracking figures revealed there was little anticipation for the film and scaled back the number of theatres lined-up to show it.
Could it have been that the movie’s “He sees dead people …and they annoy him” tag-line sounded more like a Sixth Sense spoof than a romantic comedy?
And if it was supposed to be a romantic comedy, shouldn’t they have shown co-star Tea Leoni in the ads, instead of just Gervais and a see-through Greg Kinnear sitting on a park bench?
Or maybe, despite the accolades, the general public considers Gervais more of a television commodity and chose, accordingly, to wait for Ghost Town’s DVD arrival?
All of the above could have played a role in the movie’s box office no-show, but a more likely reason had to do with a crowded marketplace that was targeting the same, adult, female-skewing audiences.
You had the Coen Bros.’ Burn After Reading with Pitt and Clooney, Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys, and even the critically savaged The Women all drawing bigger crowds than Ghost Town.
Of course, good word of mouth could still provide some life support for the next few weeks, but the initially disappointing results just go to show that in the ever-shifting world of movie release scheduling, timing is everything.