From CNN via AP:
The movie “Murderball” has all the makings of a big hit: Tough guys, violence, a little sex and a U.S. sports team overcoming long odds. Reviews have been fabulous.
So why aren’t more people going to see it?
“Murderball” is the true story of the U.S. wheelchair rugby team, and the stars are real-life quadriplegic athletes. Their sport, also called quad rugby, is as much demolition derby as anything.
Ticket sales have been slow in comparison to the movie’s buzz, and the distributor worries that America just isn’t ready for a frank documentary — even a really good one — about guys in wheelchairs.
“The only explanation is that people don’t want to see something about handicapped people. There is some resistance,” said Mark Urman, head of the theatrical division at the New York-based THINKFilm.
The majority of people make a decision to go to a film based on two or three top-line cues. The name “Murderball” immediately appeals to exactly the audience who has no interest in this particular subject matter, they think “Woo-hoo! The new Van Damme pic!” and are disappointed when it’s not. The audience that would like to see a film like this sees the name on a marquee and thinks “Oh no, the new Van Damme pic.” It sounds like “Rollerball 3”.