Monday Morning Quarterback
By BOP Staff
September 16, 2014
Kim Hollis: No Good Deed, a Screen Gems thriller featuring Taraji P. Henson and Idris Elba, opened with $24.3 million this weekend. What do you think of this result?
Brett Ballard-Beach: Against a $13 million budget and playing at only 2,200 theaters, this is nothing but a huge win. Screen Gems and producer Will Packer once again found financial success, this time with a film that A) had been on the shelf for two years; B) was released to almost universal critical drubbing (I think its Rotten Tomatoes score is lower than any of Packer's other productions); C) appeared to be the sort of Lifetime "woman in jeopardy" flick that someone might choose to watch at the last minute on a Saturday night as opposed to shelling out $12 to see on the big screen; and D) managed to be the antithesis of National Violence Against Women Awareness week. After the lost weekend of last weekend, a fair number of people were looking for an excuse to come out to the theater and the lowbrow thrills here proved to be enough. Plus, the fact that the majority of the audience was over 30 (and thus the film shouldn't be front-loaded) means this could play for four to six more weeks and wind up in the $70-80 million domestic final range.
Edwin Davies: This is a pretty fantastic result for all the reasons Brett mentioned. This film cost relatively little to make, is apparently pretty awful, and offers little that we haven't seen many times before, but they managed to earn nearly double the budget in three days and broke out in a big way. Clearly casting two appealing stars with sizable fan bases and taking advantage of a fallow period in the release schedule paid off in a big way.
Jason Barney: This is an exceptional opening. The numbers tell most of the story. A $13 million budget would have made money with a very meager opening. To come out of the gate with $24 million on opening weekend is pretty nuts. Marketing costs have been exceeded already, so this one is going to make a lot of money. Considering the relatively low screen count, the success is even larger.
With four new releases next week it will get lost in the shuffle pretty quick, but this film has exceeded everyone's expectations and made a lot more money than anyone thought.
Felix Quinonez: It's hard to call this anything but a win. When you make almost twice your budget in three days, you're off to a great start. Even if doesn't have legs, it will make a good profit.
Max Braden: That's a big win for screen gems. I didn't see much advertising for this movie, and from the trailer I would not have been surprised if it had failed to break over $20 million for the weekend. On the other hand, home invasion thrillers can sneak into first place that way too. The Purge sequel was the number one new movie (second to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) its opening weekend in the middle of the summer with $29.8 million. You're Next opened to $7 million in late August last year, not a high number unless you note that it was made for only $1 million. Breaking and entering seems to be where the money is.
Kim Hollis: I think that it's obviously a success, and yet another example of how Screen Gems has learned how to market its films to precisely the right audience. We've talked about how the African-American demographic is pretty consistently under-served, and Will Packer seems to have the magic touch when it comes to producing films that they enthusiastically support. One surprise for me was that the audience for this film was 60% female - are women really that excited to see someone like Taraji P. Henson in peril? I have to say that I'm a little surprised it opened quite so well.