Founder / Editor


Associate Editor


Assistant Editor











For "X-Files" Movie Box-Office Returns, The Truth Is Out There - And It's Brutal
July 28, 2008  | By David Bianculli

Just as in Vegas: you bet too often, you get too cocky, you lose big. Buoyed by my relatively accurate predictions for the opening-weekend box-office totals for the Sex and the City and Get Smart movies, I returned to the table to bet again, on the summer's third and final TV-to-film offering, X-Files: I Want to Believe.

I predicted an opening-weekend take of $50 million. I was off by... oh, about $40 million...


Yes, The Dark Knight continues to gobble up audiences at an amazing rate, but reviews for the new X-Files film were mixed at best, even from movie critics who were fervent fans of the series. But why the movie pulled only an estimated $10.2 million -- some $7 million below industry projections, and only 20 percent of my own guess -- is a mystery of sorts.

But that mystery may have been solved in advance by the TV WORTH WATCHING reader identified as Talbert, who was the only reader to come close. Only two others, Elisa and Phillip R. Crabb, offered guesses below the $20 million mark, and theirs were in the $19 million range. Talbert was much more pessimistic, and explained why:

"Have any idea how many flavors of the week have been on and off the cool menu board since X-Files charmed the fickle chasers of the trendy?" he asked. "Nor do I, but it's a lot." His prediction: "$12 million tops, and lucky if it gets that high."

The rules of the contest stated that the winner would be the person who guessed closest without going over. Since no one went under -- and since the prizes I'm offering are even cheaper than I am -- I'm announcing Talbert as the winner anyway. (No sense waiting for the adjusted totals on this one.)

Talbert, I'll contact you by email, so you can claim your prize from among such snazzy options as a Discovery Channel leather-bound writing journal and a Blue's Clues note pad. Two readers named Chris can verify that, eventually, I do send out these goofy little things.


Meanwhile, I have to slink back to my office with the realization that my imagined future career as an accurate predictor of movie grosses is not to be.

My dead-on guesses for Sex and the City and Get Smart? I now have to admit that, like one of the most memorable monsters of the old X-Files TV series, they were just a fluke, man...




Ken R said:

That's alright David... you still might have a career in predicting movie grosses... even the best ballplayers get hits only about once in 3 tries. Your batting average is still .667 and I'd say to keep trying. Even though you were way off it's still only one miss.

Comment posted on July 28, 2008 9:06 AM

Jon88 said:

I'm sure I didn't help matters by going to see the $6 10 a.m. show on Friday. (Am I the last person in the world to know about cheap morning movies? I was delightedly surprised.)

And I should have stuck to my original impulse, that "Step Brothers" would take in $20 million more than "X-Files" -- I wussed out and cut that in half.

Comment posted on July 28, 2008 4:24 PM

Chris Collins said:

Not only does he send them out, but mine came with a note on Arrested Development sticky note which was incredibly cool.

Chris (who gave his travel channel suitcase radio to his wife)


Leave a Comment: (No HTML, 1000 chars max)
 Name (required)
 Email (required) (will not be published)
Type in the verification word shown on the image.