Killers -- Released on June 4, 2010
Trailer Hitch Part II
By BOP Staff
April 29, 2010
David Mumpower: Part of the clip alongside the trailer feels like the world's strangest Maalox commercial.
Josh Spiegel: As I watch anything Katherine Heigl's in now, I always assume that, because she's known for being highly critical of the TV show and movie that helped her get huge (Grey's Anatomy and Knocked Up, a movie that, while not solely her film, helped her film salary go skyward), she's choosing her projects with a very critical eye. So I'm absolutely sure that Killers is a highbrow film that isn't in any way sexist or provides weak material to Heigl. Right?
Seriously, this looks terrible. There are certainly similarities to Knight and Day (I'm not sure if they were pointed out here or elsewhere, but I've seen the comparison), but here we not only have to buy Ashton Kutcher as an assassin, but Rob Riggle. While Riggle's got the muscular body, he's not...you know, scary. I'll gladly skip this one.
David Mumpower: I see the film as Mr. & Mrs. Smith as a pure comedy. The other notion I cannot shake is that someone watched Mission: Impossible III and loved the ending of that film wherein Cruise was disabled and Michelle Monaghan had to defend him rather than vice versa. In fact, their final discussion as the credits started to roll might as well be the summation of what The Killers intends to be. A derivative Katherine Heigl film. What a shock.
My hope here is that I will be pleasantly surprised by this just as I have been by three prior Ashton Kutcher films, Just Married, Guess Who and What Happens in Vegas. I thought all three of those titles looked weak from the ads yet I wound up enjoying each one. What Happens in Vegas might be the most direct comparison for me because while I am generally inclined to like Ashton Kutcher (my wife and I always watched That 70s Show despite the show creator's feud with our beloved Judd Apatow), Cameron Diaz bugs me. And I like her night and day more than Heigl, who redefines spoiled brat. So, this project is one I should hate and her character carrying around the jar of Maalox is a baffling inclusion yet I still think this is a $75 million winner with an outside shot at $100 million.
Sex and the City 2 -- Released on May 27, 2010
David Mumpower: Please let this be another Miss Congeniality 2. Please.
Josh Spiegel: David, do you mean that because you assume that this movie will be as terrible as Miss Congeniality 2 was? Because that movie was....well, granted, I'm not the target audience for that movie or this one, but that was an awful movie. I sat through the first Sex and the City, and at times, I dearly wished that I could just completely shut down my brain. This movie....no thanks. I'm sure it'll make a boatload of cash, but I'll skip out; bad news, perhaps, for my wife, who'd be stuck seeing it with her mom, but good news for me and my taxed brain.
Michael Lynderey: Very clever, this trailer. I was thinking a large chunk of the first film's box office was going to be bitten off this time around, but after seeing that, I'm not so sure. The preview really excels at pointing out the new stuff they're bringing in - the celebrity cameos, the desert setting, and the John Corbett character from the show (I am blissfully unaware of his name) - and that's exactly what they needed to do, lest the film just look like more of the same.
David Mumpower: Well, the two Samantha sex jokes kill, so that's a good start. As Michael indicated, I had expected this film to be the most transparent money grab in the 2000s. And let's be honest that it is. Sex and the City as a movie was never guaranteed to happen and when it did, almost everyone was caught off guard by the tracking. I actually made a bet with someone about the film's opening weekend and I'd won it by around 7 PM on Friday. I always expected that one movie to be the ultimate Girl's Night Out and was gratified when that's exactly what occurred.
The problem with a sequel is that since everyone involved with the show knew that a movie was almost a freak accident, they never in a million years thought they'd get a second one. So, they tied off every storyline. I mean everything. Even Jennifer Hudson's character, who was introduced just for the movie, got a decent send-off. The idea of making a sequel to a feature where every character gets a happy ending is borderline impossible.
To their credit, the filmmakers made the correct determination that there is a certain amount of preaching to the choir to be done here. Most of the people who went to see the movie during its spectacular first Friday were just looking to have an excuse to have a good time with their friends. They will need only a little motivation to repeat that behavior and I think this trailer largely accomplishes that.
Do I expect it to be a $150 million domestic performer? No. Then again, how much does it matter? They're already playing with house money and have been since Sex and the City earned back its budget in its first three days of release. Plus, this gives the owners of the show a chance to re-sell it on Blu-Ray. There is simply no downside here for anyone involved save for that Miss Congeniality 2 scenario wherein stink of failure would damage the property. I believe they've deftly avoided that fate, which is an impressive feat in and of itself.
Toy Story 3 -- Released on June 18, 2010
David Mumpower: Behold the world's first license to print money.
Josh Spiegel: Yes. This, now. I don't want to wait for two more months, I can tell you that. I will be genuinely surprised if this is not the highest-grossing film of the year and (I'm willing to make this bold statement) the highest-grossing Pixar movie, by a wide mile. If this movie doesn't hit $400 million, at least, I'll be shocked. The opening weekend will be massive, and probably would've been even if it wasn't in 3-D. I was 11 when the first one came out, and a generation of then-kids are probably just as ready to see this as I am. Count in all the kids who've grown up with Cars or WALL-E, and all the adults who watch Pixar movies, and...yeah, this one's going to be huge.
David Mumpower: The highest Pixar debut to date is $70.5 million. Even if we adjust for inflation, the biggest opening weekend is still only $87.4 million, which is a strong number but still not one of the twenty best of all-time. For whatever reason, Pixar titles have been stuck in the same $60-$70 million range since 2001 save for the one box office misstep, Ratatouille.
Back in 1999, Toy Story 2 was different in that it shattered box office records of the day with an $80.1 million performance over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend. Keeping in mind that there is precedent for this particular property to perform differently and better than other Pixar works, I am expecting Toy Story 3 to surpass Shrek the Third's $121.6 million to become the best animated debut of all-time. This of course assumes that Shrek Forever After (or whatever they're calling it this week) doesn't beat it first.
I know that there is a lot of reason to doubt this as it seems like each Pixar film has new cause for opening weekend optimism only to fall back into the Pixar range. Even so, I believe that the 3D ticket pricing that didn't help Up enough at the start but did allow it to become the second biggest Pixar film to date will factor in much more heavily this time out. Toy Story is THE Pixar franchise and this trailer kills from start to finish, particularly the Ken/Barbie bit and the heel turn.
On a sidenote, why does Andy have a Barbie doll in the first place?
Reagen Sulewski: What's interesting to me about this is that Pixar has finally found a way to create great trailers for these films, which have previously been pretty lackluster relative to the reputation of the films. The original one is basically "look at the shiny! And we've got Hanks and Allen!". The second is "Hey, you loved the first one ... here's some pants falling down jokes!". Here they're actually bringing elements of the rich story line into the trailer so that we actually know what the film will be about. I think it's because for the most part that Pixar's films tend to be about ideas rather than plot that they've had so much trouble compressing that into two and a half minutes, but this trailer represents a giant step forward in this series.
Josh Spiegel: David, my guess is that it's his little sister's Barbie; the character only shows up in the second film from the toy store, so I'd bet she just went to Molly (Andy's sister). Yes, I'm a Pixar fanatic.