film 'opened to' rave reviews: weird collocation?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by meero, Mar 19, 2010.

  1. meero

    meero Member

    Arabic - Egyptian
    Hello everyone,
    I hope you get me a good member amongst you in such a great forum.
    I lost my temper with these two difficult-to-absorb issues, and i am urgently in great need for your help (I hope I'm clear enough):
    1. I cannot justify the collocation in "opened to review" in the sentence i found in Longman dictionary under the headword "review": "The film opened to rave reviews". I'm completely comfortable with saying "The film got excellent reviews", which i suppose gives the same meaning, but ,for god sake, how anything opens to a review? what is the mindset of selecting such words together? I think of it as saying "the car eats petrol"; inappropriate!

    << second question needs its own thread ;) >>
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 19, 2010
  2. sound shift

    sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    "The film got excellent reviews" does not tell us when the film got these reviews.
    "The film opened to rave reviews" means that the film got rave reviews right after its first showing.
  3. Dialogue Hog Member

    This construction is used only for movies and plays, but it is often used in that context. You can't apply it to anything else, but you need to know what it means. Every movie or play has an "opening night" which is the first night that it is publicly shown or performed, so the verb "to open" has a special meaning in the entertainment industry. To say "the file opened..." means that you are talking about what happened when it was first shown. The construction is "The file opened to <noun>" where <noun> is somehting like:
    "rave reviews"
    "blistering reviews" (meaning bad ones)
    "enthusiastic audiences"
    "sparse crouds"
    "mostly teen-age audiences"

    I suppose a new business location can also have an "opening day", and so you might see:
    "the new Wal-Mart opened to the public yesterday", but except for that, you'll almost never see "opened to" outside of references to movies or shows.
  4. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    English - South-East England
    The preposition 'to' here means something like "accompanied by". It has some other uses in this meaning, for example with music:

    The Queen of Sheba entered to the sound of trumpets.

    So the expression 'opened to rave reviews' seems to mean that the opening was simultaneously accompanied by the rave reviews. In fact, of course, the reviews came in the newspapers the day after the opening - but this is considered close enough in this expression. They're almost simultaneous.
  5. meero

    meero Member

    Arabic - Egyptian
    This was really much helpful. Thank you all.

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