Monday Morning Quarterback
By BOP Staff
June 25, 2007
Perhaps Evan should have stuck to newscastingKim Hollis: Evan Almighty opened to a disappointing $32.1 million, far short of the $50 million opening it needed to have a shot at making money. Is this anything other than a disaster for Universal Pictures?
David Mumpower: I can't see any cause for positivity here, no. The movie had a lackluster first day, saw no increase from Friday to Saturday, and is probably overestimated as is. It's not Stealth or The Island by any stretch, but it's the biggest disappointment of summer 2007 thus far.
Joel Corcoran: Yes, it's a lesson to every other motion picture studio on the planet.
David Mumpower: What's the lesson, Joel?
Reagen Sulewski: With that ridiculous budget, they really needed a Thanksgiving or Christmas release to catch the family audiences.
Joel Corcoran: Reagen just said it. If you're going to release the most expensive comedy ever made in the entire history of movies, do it around the time that families will flock to see it.
Tim Briody: Pretty much, but I'm wondering what they were expecting when you attempt to turn a biblical story into a broad comedy.
Joel Corcoran: And even worse, Tim, the same type of broad comedy that has been done and re-done before.
Kim Hollis: Considering how much was spent on the film, there's just no way to spin this in an upbeat manner. What a mess.
David Mumpower: Reagen brings up a great point. With a negative cost in excess of $200 million, I have to wonder if Michael Scott was in charge of the accounting on this one.
Reagen Sulewski: That, and don't let Steve Oedekerk near anything that can produce the written word.
David Mumpower: To be fair, he did brilliantly with Bruce Almighty. Between this and The Barnyard, however, it's looking like he should avoid animals like a zoophobic.
Joel Corcoran: I want to return to Monty Python for a brief moment. If you're talking about The Life of Brian or The Meaning of Life, those are classic comedies that rely heavily on social commentary about religion in public life. Evan Almighty simply used a biblical story as a construct for cheap laughs.
Tim Briody: And computer generated animals.
Kim Hollis: No, real animals. It would have been cheap if they were CGI.
David Mumpower: You're not thinking like Michael Scott would, Kim. Why choose a cheaper solution when you can have real *and* CGI animals for only twice the cost!
Reagen Sulewski: The other thing to look at would be the Doctor Dolittle movies - which weren't great cinema by any means. But they still made double their budgets.
David Mumpower: I think that's the crux of the discussion about why this is such a failure, Reagen. Both of those movies combined were roughly $30 million cheaper than Evan Almighty is on its own. Had there been some budgetary discretion, we would be describing this one as a nice, solid opening weekend. A likely $90-$100 million opener that cost twice that, on the other hand, is a bloodbath.