Thursday, December 07, 2006

Smart City on indie movies

Worth your time is a visit to the Smart City Memphis blog.

It reports that the organization CEOs For Cities has issued City Vitals -- indicators about the largest 50 MSA’s in several categories.

An excerpt:
Memphis tended to rank in the lower middle in most of the rankings, but in the category of distinctiveness, we recorded our strong marks. One of these was the Weirdness Index where we were 19th among the 50 metro areas.

In ... the distinctiveness category, Memphis achieved its highest ranking - #4 in the category of “Movie Variety.” For this, cities were ranked according to their variances between local movie attendance and national movie attendance for the top 60 motion pictures nationally. Perhaps, here, we should call this the Craig Brewer Factor, because clearly, Memphians are drawn to off-beat, indie productions, which should be a pretty obvious hint to the competitive beachhead we could establish in that industry.

1 comment:

Preston said...

This doesn't make sense, Jon. "Hustle & Flow" ranked at #109 in the 2005 box office rankings. See:
http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=hustleandflow.htm
... so it couldn't affect variation among the top 60 films.
I'd venture that the statistical deviation has less to do with "weirdness" than with sociological reasons like race, economic class, education, etc. Looking at the top 60 films of 2005:
http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?yr=2005&p=.htm
... for example, I'd bet that in Memphis, Tyler Perry's "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" (#57) probably did much better than "Memoirs of a Geisha" (#45).
So I'd say you can't really measure the "weirdness" of a city's movie-going audience by looking at just the top 60 films. You'd also have to look at things like the number of "art houses," specialty screening events, museum film programs, festivals, etc.