In estimates we have at press time, trending figures indicated about 570,000. In looking at certain systems that we have contacts with, the numbers were a little above Liddell vs. Franklin (which did 520,000), which would indicate 550,000 to 600,000. But keep in mind both of those indicators pointed to far larger numbers for Silva vs. Sonnen then ended up materializing, but have been accurate predictors in the past. DirecTV numbers, which are the first real figures to come out, indicated a final figure around 600,000, but those numbers indicated a much bigger number than materialized last time. But as we say every time, any figures in the first two weeks are at best estimates.
Based on the reaction we got, the show didn't do all that well at the movie theaters. ...
Bar reports we had were that places were packed for the most part. About half were strong, one-quarter were way down and one-quarter were usual for a non-major show.
I had originally predicted 750,000 buys when the show was announced, but I was counting on the boxer vs. MMA gimmick catching on bigger than it did. Unlike the 8/7 show, where the buildup made me rethink upwards, I was down to thinking 550,000 by fight time, thinking the only boost would be that ESPN Sports Center was playing up the boxer vs. MMA fighter angle, and that could lead to late curiosity buys. But when Toney showed up looking out of shape, I could sense people thinking back to all the bad boxing heavyweight matches with older guys that were such a turnoff. Plus, when Toney took off his pants and his underwear rode down, it made him a comedy figure instead of a really hated guy people wanted to pay to see get shut up by the beloved veteran who did show up in shape. The dynamic I expected to be there wasn't. Plus, even though B.J. Penn has been a big draw the past two years and is one of the company's most popular fighters, and his losing his title and trying to regain it is on paper a strong drawing dynamic, people didn't care about Edgar. Edgar comes from the amateur wrestling mentality when it comes to promoting a fight and himself, and it makes him a tough sell as a headliner. Plus, their first fight was exciting in the sense it was a close fight and you didn't know who was going to win, it was not the kind of fight most fans want to see.
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