Monday Morning Quarterback Part Two
By BOP Staff
May 11, 2006

Raja Bell clotheslines and eliminates Kobe, all in the same week.

Todd Zeile had a lifetime average of .265 with 253 homers and zero Oscar nods

Kim Hollis: There were a couple of other films released this week. An American Haunting earned $6.4 million. How should Freestyle Releasing feel about this result?

Tim Briody: I had never heard of them prior to this weekend. I'm guessing pretty good then.

David Mumpower: With An American Haunting, Tim drilled it with his Saturday column. For an unknown distributor like Freestyle Releasing, this is a huge win.

Kim Hollis: They distributed Dirty Deeds last year. Surely you remember. Lacey Chabert from Party of Five, Jess from Gilmore Girls, Harold from Everwood, and Todd Zeile?

David Mumpower: Todd Zeile the baseball player? Seriously?

Kim Hollis: Seriously. He played "the bum". (And not particularly well.) He also produced the film.

Joel Corcoran: Harold did a great job, though. And yes, I saw the film for reasons I won't go into now. But back to the main question, I think Freestyle Releasing was the big winner at the box office this weekend. I just hope they continue to put out quality movies - American Haunting was even better than I expected.

Won't someone please think of the Owls?

Kim Hollis: As for the third release of the weekend, New Line Cinema put Hoot on over 3,000 screens, where the film earned $3.4 million. Given that Walden has had some success in the genre (Holes, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe), what could they have done to better promote this one?

David Mumpower: Hoot breaks my heart, but I can't say I am surprised. Carl Hiaasen books are like Dave Barry books, hilarious to read but hard to adapt.

Tim Briody: All I can come up with is calling it "The Chronicles of Narnia: Hoot".

David Mumpower: NOT starring Tom Cruise!

Kim Hollis: Oh, well. I was excited about the movie. I guess I was the only one.

Joel Corcoran: I don't think I saw a single ad for this movie anywhere, so I guess my answer to your question (What could they have done better in promotion?) would be "Anything."

Kim Hollis: I guess Jimmy Buffett just doesn't appeal to the pre-teen crowd.

David Mumpower: I think this will prove to be like Big Trouble, entertaining as all get out but only funny to fans of the book and Floridians.

Tim Briody: Damn Gators fans.

David Mumpower: "What I am saying is when the Gators lose, I never hear from Gators fans." Big Trouble is such an underrated classic.

Joel Corcoran: As a native Nebraskan and devout Huskers fan, it is my sword duty to boycott anything remotely related to any Florida school. I don't care if the Huskers have never played the Gators, they're in the same state with Miami and Florida State.

RV should have featured a cover of Holiday Road.

Kim Hollis: Last weekend's winner, RV, accumulated another $11.1 million, giving it a running total of $31 million. Given the reported budget of $65 million, is it safe to call this one a disappointment?

Tim Briody: It held better than I thought it would, but it pretty much is, yes.

David Mumpower: I think it just goes to show that North American audiences could recognize a cheap National Lampoon's Vacation wannabe from a mile away and decided to pass it on the freeway.

Kim Hollis: It'll be fine with DVD numbers added in, but it's nothing special.

Stick It is like a modern update of American Anthem...but good!

Kim Hollis: The surprise story of the last ten days is Stick It. The small-budget film has a running total of $18.0 million. Is the combination of teen spirit and T & A still one of the safest plays?

David Mumpower: Stick It is just good, clean, campy fun. There had not been a light-hearted, well-natured teen film like this in a wild. So, its success is not surprising to me.

Joel Corcoran: I love this movie.

Tim Briody: Absolutely. It evokes Bring It On memories.

Kim Hollis: I enjoyed it, too (and will probably own it on DVD). It was silly and fun.

Tim Briody: And I still giggle at the "Call me." "Stalk you." line from the ads for no reason at all.

David Mumpower: And it is the same writer, so the comparison is perfect, Tim. Jessica Bendinger seems to have kept the fuzzy memories from her formative years better than most of us have. That shows up in her work.

Kim Hollis The "Stalk you" line and the "Put down the phone" line are gold. That chick gets all the best lines in the film, too.

Joel Corcoran: I hope Bendinger keeps writing these movies. They're fun, playful, and hit on all the teenage angst and confusion without getting crude or raunchy. I could easily take my nieces to see Stick It or Bring It On (assuming they were ten years older), but I don't think I could sit through American Pie with them.

Too soon? Hard to say.

Kim Hollis: Speaking of low-budget hits, United 93, a $15 million-budgeted production, has a running total of $20.l million. Considering the sensitive nature of the subject matter, is this number about the best Universal could expect?

David Mumpower: I think so. United 93 has always been pressured by the tricky balance of wanting to tell the story in a heroic yet honest fashion without alienating anyone. That is a hard sell. Factoring in the advertising costs, this one will not be in the black when it exits theaters. Getting close, though, feels like a win.

Tim Briody: Regardless of how you feel on whether it was too soon or not, it's the benchmark for tough sells for years to come.

Joel Corcoran: I think Universal hit the sweet spot between "pleading" and "preachy" when marketing this film. It really is a good movie - very good acting and direction - and the marketing piques interest without going overboard into "For the love of God, it is your patriotic duty to see this movie!"

Kim Hollis: I just don't know if there's ever a time that people would feel comfortable watching this story on the big screen. I think Oliver Stone's upcoming film has a pretty tough hill to climb.

Joel Corcoran: Only because Stone has only one way to promote his films - beat people into submission. He'd be jumping all around Oprah's couch right now if it hadn't been done before. I think the best we can hope for is for someone to give 9/11 a similar treatment that Spielberg gave the Munich Olympics, but we might have to wait another 30 years for that to happen.