When Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World hit theaters in the summer of 2010, it didn’t necessarily have the makings of a pop culture phenomenon, failing to make its budget back at the box office. However, thanks to strong word of mouth, the adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novels gained a wider audience after the DVD release and has become a favorite early role for stars like Aubrey Plaza, Kieran Culkin, and Brie Larson.
“I’ve said this to other filmmakers since who’ve maybe had a similar initial reaction to a film like Scott Pilgrim did is that the three-day weekend is not the end of the story for any movie,” director Edgar Wright says in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “People shouldn’t buy into that idea. Rating films by their box office is like the football fan equivalent to films.”
It shouldn’t be a novel idea that something as subjective as a movie should not be broken down into pure statistics, but it’s definitely still relevant. While there’s been plenty of chatter about Bros debuting fourth at the box office this weekend, there’s also still potential for it to pick up steam later on. Like Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, it’s a romantic comedy, a genre that has primarily shifted to streaming in recent years.
“Most of my favorite films that are considered classics today were not considered hits in their time,” Wright continues. “You can point to hundreds of classic movies, whether it’s Citizen Kane or Blade Runner or The Big Lebowski. So how a film does in its first three days is never the end of the story, and the further we get away from that discourse about box office numbers being the totality of a movie, the better.”
Many things have changed in the film industry since 2010–like that whole pandemic thing that’s still happening–but it remains true that flopping at the box office doesn’t always translate to a release having no impact. (Hey, look at Avatar!) As for streaming and statistics, maybe Scott Pilgrim will fare better as a Netflix show.