The stoners were unusually focused on Wednesday
Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
August 11, 2008
Kim Hollis: Pineapple Express, a film with a $27 million budget, earned $41.3 million in five days. What should Sony take from this result?
Shane Jenkins: Always bet on Huey Lewis?
Tim Briody: Pot comedies are money? First the cult success of Harold and Kumar, and now this.
Max Braden: It's more than the pot angle, or Escape from Guantanamo would have grossed more than $40 million. I think August is a good time for buddy action comedies (see Rush Hour) and Pineapple Express demonstrates that you can center a movie around a couple of dumb but nice regular guys and make money. I think they got lucky though because the more recent trailer was far more buddy than the first action trailer and had me guessing about what the movie's tone was going to be like.
Reagen Sulewski: They should continue to do everything they can to make Judd Apatow happy. If that means giving him $50 million to make a biopic of Victoria Principal, then so be it.
Pete Kilmer: That's right, Reagen. Keep the Apatow/Rogen crew happy and make piles of cash. It was a fun movie.
Scott Lumley: They should be sending Seth Rogen that solid gold bong and a lifetime subscription to "Cookies of the Month". Does anybody else in the business do so much with consistently so little? This was essentially a Cheech and Chong movie and it paid off its investment in three days!
Daron Aldridge: I really want to work a "puff, puff, pass" reference into my answer but am coming up blank, so I digress. They should be stoked about this performance. Even with half the money of Knocked Up, Pineapple Express walks away with $75 million, which is nearly triple its budget.
Brandon Scott: Its another moneymaker but its legs are suspect. This thing might get hit with a Misery-esqe mallet to the ankles. You bring the 2 by 4, I've got the hammer.
Batman would probably put Franco and Rogen in Arkham, anyway.
Kim Hollis: Pineapple Express earned $12.5 million of its $40.5 million on Wednesday, an indication of front-loading. Did Sony mess up with the Wednesday opening, preventing the film from knocking The Dark Knight out of first place on the weekend?
Tim Briody: I've long felt that except in rare occasions, Wednesday openings are dumb. Sure, Pineapple Express pulled in $40 million over five days. But it's really only the three-day number that's going to get headlines. I don't see why this wouldn't have taken in the same amount over three days, and it sadly robbed us of a great answer to a trivia question. But Tropic Thunder will do, I guess.
Max Braden: I think Wednesday might have been the smart play after all, giving word-of-mouth a little time to help the weekend numbers. Plus they got ahead of the opening of the Olympics. Pineapple Express isn't really the tentpole type of film that requires #1 bragging rights.
Reagen Sulewski: They probably passed up a #1 weekend, but if you can open a film strong on Wednesday, it's my opinion that these are free money days.
Pete Kilmer: I think Sony made extra money with all the positive word-of-mouth by opening on Wednesday. While I think they would have loved to have taken the top spot from Dark Knight, they'll take the money happily.
Brandon Scott: From a marketing standpoint, perhaps Sony dropped the ball, but Batman is flying without the aid of medication. Express is going to draw what it's going to draw, regardless of its day of release in the past week. I'm not certain that it earns $40 million in its first five days without the Wednesday release, so in some ways this might have actually helped.
Daron Aldridge: If it was theirs goal to beat The Dark Knight, then yes it was a mistake. But I doubt they could have foreseen that The Dark Knight would still be number one when they scheduled it for an early August date. Especially considering the Mummy sequel was already expected to have bumped Bruce Wayne from the top the week before.
Scott Lumley: I think they might have screwed up the release date, not the actual day of release. I might have waited until Labor day weekend for this one as that weekend might have been huge. There's another big comedy around the corner in Tropic Thunder and that looks to be some fairly tough competition. At this point, we know something is going to knock the Dark Knight out sooner or later, but really, what does it have to prove at this point?
Kim Hollis: You might be right about date of release, Scott, but Labor Day is never a particularly good time to release a film so I'm going to have to disagree with you there. If you're not Jeepers Creepers, there's no good reason to claim Labor Day.
I can promise that when he was on Freaks and Geeks, we totally knew Seth Rogen would be a huge star. Okay, we loved him, but this is utterly unexpected.
Kim Hollis: Given the success of Knocked Up, Superbad and now Pineapple Express, should we start considering Seth Rogen to be a box office draw?
Max Braden: I'm sure the college age demographic will see anything he's cast in but I wouldn't go throwing blank checks his way just yet.
Reagen Sulewski: You could probably call him "the Auteur version of Jack Black".
Pete Kilmer: Seth Rogen has a lot of goodwill with audiences now. And with his turn coming up in Green Hornet, it should be interesting to see how crowds react to it.
Scott Lumley: Considering the minuscule budgets and the less than well known casts those films went with, Seth is moving into some pretty rarified air. Every time he walks through the door at a major studio the door probably makes the "Cha-Ching!" cash register sound.
Daron Aldridge: Since we gave Steve Carell some of the credit for supporting roles in other successful movies like Bruce Almighty, we shouldn't forget about Rogen's voice work in Kung Fu Panda and Horton Hears a Who. Rogen appears to positioned as the slacker actor that could be the heir apparent to the late '90s/early 2000s Adam Sandler for today's teenage and 20s audience. He really does seem like a guy that we all might know, stoned and all. Though I think he risks losing that niche with the Green Hornet in 2010, but who knows.
Brandon Scott: Do we consider weed as something that gets us high? While I don't think Rogen was the main attraction in Superbad (from an acting standpoint) even though he wrote it, Knocked Up really put him on the map and his Apatow cameos have gained him some steam. He's not Will Smith or even Brendan Fraser, but okay, he's a bigger draw than Sir Anthony Hopkins...there I said it. The answer to the question appears to be, yes.