Cloverfield = Monster Hit

Cloverfield, the monster movie produced by Star Trek producer/director JJ Abrams and Star Trek exec. producer Bryan Burk, scared up over $40 Million in its opening weekend (domestically). This makes it the biggest January opening of all time. The film is also playing strongly in the handful of foreign markets where it has opened so far. All in all the low-budget film has grossed over $50 Million (which means it has already in the black…very rare for an opening weekend).

Of course the millions seeing Cloverfield are also seeing the new Star Trek trailer. This is good exposure as many of the target market for Star Trek are general film goers. For the most part Cloverfield is getting good reviews — currently ranking 70% on Rotten Tomatoes. This is an indication that the film will have good word of mouth and therefore have ‘legs’ as they say in the biz.

Bottom line for Trekkies is that Cloverfield proves that JJ Abrams (and Bryan Burk) can deliver a well-made and well-received product. In this case it has the added benefit of increasing the exposure for the new Star Trek. Plus this is JJ Abrams first project as part of his multipic deal at Paramount and so his stock is up at the studio, which means that he will will have the power to be left alone to finish his Star Trek movie without the interference from the suits.

Have you seen Cloverfield…and did you stay until the end of the credits? If not you missed something, although it takes some clever sound manipulation to fully understand it….as this video shows.

Related: review of Cloverfield

Data Source: Box Office Mojo

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First. Cool I can’t wait to see the movie.

No “I’m first!” comment Muahahaha!

Cloverfield rocks! Let the sequel being!!!

Of course Cloverfield opened BIG….look at the trailer it had to pull people in!! :)



producer/director JJ Abrams haves a great furture ahead of him, i hope if the next star trek is good , he will come back and do more .

Whoa. Just happened to be on-line, and caught a new thread. Never saw one born before.

Haven’t seen Cloverfield.

I took the three little ones to the Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything/Veggie Tales movie today. There was a big controversy over bringing back the original cucumber who played Larry the Cucumber. Larry had been sliced for a Greek salad a few movies back, and the new director said they couldn’t figure out a way to have Original Larry appear with out feeling like it was just a VeggieFanBoy- move to shove him in there. (Having been sliced and all). There were a few Larry supporters outside the theater dressed as pickles, but it they were pretty quiet. The new Larry seemed fine to me.

I’m really looking forward to the music in STXI. The Cloverfield Overture that played over the credits was pretty frakkin’ sweet. Michael Giacchino seems to be a pretty good composer.

I actually wasn’t a huge fan of the movie. The camera work made a friend of mine nauseous and she had to leave. Despite people being pulled into it from the previews, I would not recommend it (then again, that is just my taste in films).

I got it! The monster is going to be in Star Trek!

it was my own personal conspiracy theory that it would be Godzilla, but i wasn’t disappointed. and i just have to say that poor monster has got history’s worst case of crabs!

This was one of the worse movies I have ever seen in my life. You spend more time seeing spoiled hipsters whining than you see monsters…the camera work maked me want to vomit.

#10 – LOL! That thought hadn’t crossed my mind, haha.

I was the monster Saturday afternoon.I thought it was a lot of fun and far less gore than a slasher film. NOT seeing the monster that much added to the suspense. Anyone thinking this was going to be an academy award film need not bother going. If you what a bit of a’s cool.

I DO NOT advise taking small children. I saw a couple with 5 and 6 year olds and felt that was almost child abuse.

* I saw…typo or freudian slip?

#7: Thought the same thing. Yeah, frakking sweet. Star Trek’s music should be killer.

Anthony, thanks for clearing up that little transmission-thingie . . . we stayed past the credits, and couldn’t figure out what it was.

#6 & 10: LOL!

I went to see this and I got royally screwed – no Trek teaser at all!!

This is a love it or hate it kinda movie. For me it worked, and I was able to suspend my disbelief long enough to enjoy the ride.

I liked the movie, and the driving force behind the trio going ‘closer’ tot he disaster was exceptionally well played. The party before the disaster strikes was also very realistic and believable.

The initial takes on the monster – much better than your inital ‘man in suit’ type of effects. The ‘sea lice’ were easily the most firghtening portion of the movie, especially when the service men start shouting ‘BITE’ like it was a bomb about to go off.

I left the movie wanting to know more.

The military seem well versed in dealing with the lice, in fact too well versed. Like some of them had trained for this.

Maybe the soon-to-be-greenlighted sequal will start with a FRONTLINE inspired segment talking about ‘the inital days of the attack, what we learned, and why our future is so bleak’.

Anyways a great, fun movie.

No soundtrack – anyone else notice that? Although you get used to it, the maelstrom of camera movements was hard to take. Once scene where Hud is too scraed to move, as his friends from across the road shout for him to look at what was coming down the street. As an audience member I wanted to grab him, and force him to look at what was coming. Very well played – a missed moment to see the monster, but you get the idea and really feel the tension.

david, good post

Glad it did well. Still, I’m always wary when I see “greatest [whatever month] box office of all time” because it’s usually due to ticket prices today being much, much higher than in the past.

Adjusted-for-inflation lists are much more representative of how many people actually went to see the top titles.

I took my wife and oldest son to it and we all three had a great time. We were all into the viral websites and build-up and thought that it added to the experience. I often would go to and check out all the latest info that was coming out and saw some great videos that never made it to the final movie. If you happen to go to the site, check out the videos of the Chuai station oil rig being destroyed by something unseen under the water. I am also wondering what all the connection to the fictional Tagruato Corp. and Slusho and T.I.D.O. Wave have to do with the monster. Maybe in the sequel we will find out.
That monster was a complete freak! And the character of Hud was a great comic relief for the flick, in my opinion.

I plan on seeing it soon…but if I don’t see it in theaters I’ll definitely be buying it. Straight up, I already know I’ll like the film. Plus, I don’t mind helping out JJ Abrams one bit!

One of the arguments that people make for hating this movie is that they think the camera in “unnecessarily” shaky. Honestly, if you were in the same situation, would you hold the camera for long, still shots? I for one would’ve cr*pped my pants and wouldn’t even be holding a camera. Another thing is that the movie has no story or character development. I think I’ll go through some people home movies and complain that I don’t fully understand nor care for their two-year old son’s birthday party. Bottom line, it’s just a movie designed to scare in a different way, which I felt it did. It was a great movie IMO.

I was wondering what they said at the end. Thanks!

“It’s Still Alive!”

#9. Dick Tracy –
Well of course the monster is going to be in Star Trek.
And everyone will say “That is the Coolest Monster that Kirk ever fought.”
And then in Cloverfield2, it will be revealed that it is Shatner in a rubber suit.

# 6. Gene L. Coon (Etc., Etc., Etc…) –
Man you better be glad that you didn’t say anything bad about my friend,
Bob the Tomato. Poor kid get squeezed on all the time.
And, he has had a rough couple of months. First, his brother, on a world tour, disappears somewhere in Italy. And just last week his favorite aunt was in a horrible V-8 accident.

I liked Cloverfield a lot. Though I sat too close to the screen and almost puked!

Cloverfield isn’t in the black yet. The marketing for the film probably cost as much as the film itself did, and the theaters do get *some* of that revenue as well. (even if its only a bit)

#6 this is now the second time I have posted in a fan site.

OH MY GOD YOU HAVE SOOOOO FIGURED OUT what all this about….It’s not about how big the nacelles are or how the hell is it’s going to get into the air/space. Its all about how the hell to get Larry back into the dam thing, ROFL!!. Oh and by the I liked the new Larry also even though I think Cucumbers are not as cute as as Bob the Tomato….HEY I am in touch with my vegetable side!!!

#26. Prologic9 –
Well, if Anthony says it is in the Black already, I believe it.
After all, he does have inside info.

It’s good that lots of folks got to see the Trek trailer, for whatever reason :)

Cloverfield was a very good movie. Those complaining about the shaky cameras need to man up and not be sissies.

Actually, I won’t complain about the shaky camerawork when trying to survive the monster attacks throughout the city; that was very effective.

Thing was, it was just as shaky during the party segment at the beginning. THAT’S when it bothered me. Come on dude, settle! :)

But no bigs. That was a killer movie. I’m such a Godzilla fan, I’m gonna be thinking about this one a while. Probably see it again in the theater.

I liked the movie a lot, herky-jerky motion of the camera and all.. the “Blair Witch”type of photography added to the “you are there” feel for the movie.

This is what the “Godzilla” remake of a few years back should have been.

The sparing use of showing the monster was quite effective. I’m of the old school that says “less is more.” Oft times what you don’t see is far more scary than what you do (which is why I prefer old scary movies to the new gore fest of today’s horror genre).

All I can say is that if I lived in NYC, I would not be able to watch this film as some of the scenes are extremely reminscent of the events of 9/11.

I kept thinking that being in NYC at night with these events going on would be horrifying…. and quite claustrophobic, especially when the city’s lights started going out.

I highly recommend the film.

Lets not underestimate the buying power of the Star Trek fan base. I, for one, only went to Cloverfield because of the teaser. I’ll bet that the decision to add the teaser to Cloverfield helped the bottom line.

now, I’m glad i saw the movie, but just to be clear, i saw it because of the star trek connection.

Oh, and we took our 7 month old, he slept through most of the movie… (dont yell at me, he had ear plugs)

Re: the bit after the closing credits. (Yes, I stayed for the whole film, and had NO idea what was said… neither did the two elderly couples who were the only ones to wait that long. Playing your cards to close to your chest, Team Abrams!)

Anyhow, seeing what the creepy voice actually said, only one thing came into my head:

“We do what we must because we can
For the good of all of us
Except the ones who are dead.
But there’s no sense crying over every mistake
You just keep on trying till you run out of cake
And the science gets done and you make a neat gun
For the people who are still alive.”

Yes, the oversaturation of the Internet with Portal jokes continues onto Star Trek sites. Bwahahaha.

As for Cloverfield: my girlfriend and I between us came up with several theories: the monster was Godzilla (mentioned above), the monster was Cthulu (making it the greatest nerd joke in history), the monster was the Stay Puft Marshmellow Man, and, my personal favorite, the monster was The Monster from Lost, and Cloverfield would prove to be essentially nothing more than an incredibly elaborate clue for the Lost ARG. The eventual revelation of what my girlfriend called a “gigantic deformed camel fetus from space” was something of a letdown.

It was an okay movie. I’m not huge on monster flicks, but the characters were written in a style that has become increasingly recognizable to me as I’ve studied Abrams’ works: interesting enough but with an air of superficiality. What made me happiest about the movie was that I really had no idea what was going to happen from one moment to the next, and that kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. The ending was a bit of a downer. But, while I was watching, I was still bitter about the failure of the Movie Theater Lords to include the Star Trek trailer, so maybe I didn’t give Cloverfield a fair shake. The camera work did not bother me at all, and the special effects were -very- impressive to my unprofessional eye.

What’s certain is that its success bodes well for Star Trek.

#6 – As someone who works in a certain field in which Veggie Tales is an oft-used movie, I appreciated your joke very much.

That hand-held camera stuff has got to go. Hack.

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. I loved the idea of the hand-held camera, but in the end, it made me ill. I’d see it again, but I’ll take some dramamine first.

Cloverfield is a great film. I still can’t believe all the complaining of the “shaking camera” and the “no story” camps. What were people expecting? War and Peace?

I am in agreement with #22 Ryan:
“I think I’ll go through some people home movies and complain that I don’t fully understand nor care for their two-year old son’s birthday party. Bottom line, it’s just a movie designed to scare in a different way, which I felt it did. It was a great movie IMO.”

#36 “As for Cloverfield: my girlfriend and I between us came up with several theories: the monster was Godzilla (mentioned above), the monster was Cthulu (making it the greatest nerd joke in history), the monster was the Stay Puft Marshmellow Man, and, my personal favorite, the monster was The Monster from Lost…”

According to those paying far more attention than me (I was still on a high from the Star Trek teaser), the Dharma Initiative from Lost was seen both at the beginning, and apparently the symbol of the Dharma Initiative can be seen at one point on the monster. So, thinking it’s the monster from Lost might not be too far of a stretch…

I think hand held camera work, used to punctuate a certain action scene is a good thing. Hell, TOS used it all the time….The scene is taking place…nice and even…then a fight breaks loose and they bring in the hand held. It’s a time honored technique that works. Using it from the first frame to the last, however, in order to to make it look real, like Mission Impossible 3 or a host of modern TV shows, is a bit annoyting.

Cloverfield was no exception, only it was Mission: Impossible times 10. Shaky cam…? More like jerky cam. I undersand WHY they did it, for the whole “Blair witch” effect..I just don’t think it worked. I think this movie would ve made a great movie, in the traditional movie sense, but the great experiment of making it look like real home video failed because the people didn’t seem real. The acting and dialog was right out of a scripted movie…so it felt like a scripted movie shot with a handy cam rather than someone’s home movies..which was the intent.

Interesting experiment, but after hearing reactions after the film ended, I’ll be most interested to see if this film has legs to last.

So Cloverfield is actually a LOST spin-off? Sounds neat. Have to see it ASAP…

As for the success of the film. It’s a relief the name JJ Abrams brings in the masses. Excellent “rehearsal” for the launch of Trek…man, Cloverfield made more on one 4-day-weekend than Nemesis did throughout its entire run!

I don’t mean to be insensitive, but it’s beyond me how someone can look at a work of pure fiction – i.e. a monster attacks NYC – and draw parallels to 911. Oh, you can if you step back with a dry eye towards deconstruction, but seriously, we ALL know what Godzilla movies are like. He smashes things, just like Hulk. It’s unrealistic to think that the monster’s not gonna do that out of some respect for 911. And yes, I fully support the location; the head of the Statue of Liberty is a nice touch. Not only iconic, but a great homage to Escape from New York (the poster, as J.J. has said in interviews) as well.

The shaky camera never made me feel ill, but I guess if you are prone to that sort of thing it would kind of suck. I really quite enjoyed it and actually was in favor of the lack of resolution and kind of shallow New York hipster characters. It was a brief snapshot of a really sucky night in New York and it didn’t ask you to sit through hours and hours of the super extended version of “JFK” or “The Lord of the Rings” (not that there is anything wrong with that). I took as nothing more and nothing less than a short, stylish suspense/monster movie that didn’t have to resort to buckets of gore. And it had the funniest line I’ve seen in a movie in quite a while – “Are you aware of Garfield?”

Anyway, the Trek teaser did bring a chill up my spine!

… I dunno… I guess it’s once again OK to destroy them thar buildings in NYC on film? I think it a bit distasteful and probably won’t see the film fur that… so ya can take my uniformed opinion outta here fur me being pig-headed.

Oh, I know it just be a movie…

NYC is the main locale for disaster films fur we all know the landscape.
But really? It seems to me that the Statue of her Liberty and thar Golden Gate Bridge take a’banging in every other action film that comes out… What’s wrong with the St. Louie Arch? Chuck that in the next film…

That audio clip is great. Didn’t stay to the very end of the credits, but love the overture!
This movie is destined to be studied in film schools for years . People don’t realize that every frame of the “shaky camera” effect was meticulously composed for maximum effect.
The visceral effect of this movie was far more intense than I expected. The initially boistrous crowd in the theater went silent soon after it started, and clapped at the end.
For anyone else who liked it, check out my comments at #49 here-

Oh yeah, the trailer! Loved the style it was shot in. It worked!
I now have no doubt that we’re in for something very special.



BND, I think you mean the Brooklyn Bridge. Golden Gate is in San Francisky.

And I’ve been to New York. Played a lot of gigs there. New Yorkers are tough. The folks I know aren’t going to let a monster movie get them down. Hell, they were up and doing business shortly after 9/11, so I like to give them more credit than being so sensitive that fiction is too much to bear.