If you're looking for someone to feel sorry for in the aftermath of Snakes on a Plane's disappointing™ opening weekend, we ask that you look past Samuel L. Jackson, whose Snakes on Two Planes sequel pay raise has been imperiled, or the bloggers who may never again find themselves flown out to fancy Hollywood premieres and handed expensive electronic tokens of appreciation for their viral hitmaking ability, and consider doling out some compassion for New Line's president of distribution, who had to face the media after a disputed $15 million first-place showing:
"The expectations were so inflated that no matter what we had done we'd be having conversations about how it should have been better," said David Tuckerman, New Line's president of domestic distribution.
Tuckerman said the picture, which cost about $35 million to produce, would be profitable for New Line. More than 90% of audience members in studio surveys rated it "excellent" or "very good," he said, which bodes well for its box-office prospects in the coming weeks. And he predicted the movie would be a "huge" success on DVD thanks to its loyal following.
"We're going to make money — we're just disappointed that it's not as much money as we hoped," Tuckerman said.
If complaints about crushing expectations that could never be met (except, perhaps, by at least outgrossing the debut of J.Lo/Ice Cube vehicle Anaconda by a few million) or diminished profits don't tug at your heartstrings, consider that after Tuckerman hung up the phone with reporters, he had to arrange to return the tens of thousands of dollars in champagne and rubber snakes he'd purchased for this morning's abruptly canceled office party. If that thought doesn't bring a tear to your eye, you are clearly a soulless monster.