Monday Morning Quarterback

By BOP Staff

November 12, 2007

Oskee-wow-wow!

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Santa and his brother should have gone to Vegas. They would have been so money, and they don't even know it.

Kim Hollis: Fred Claus opened to $18.5 million despite ultra-wide release in 3,603 theaters. How big a disappointment is its third place finish?

Pete Kilmer: I actually don't think it's too bad. Bee Movie had a crazy amount of promotion behind it, Jerry was everywhere pushing it, and American Gangster is THE drama of the season so far....Fred Claus will do fine, I suspect, in the long run.

Tim Briody: Fred Claus was being set up to be another Wedding Crashers. Someone forgot that this was a harmless holiday family comedy, however. Vince Vaughn's presence may very well have hurt its performance with families, as he's very much associated with Wedding Crashers, a film that is very deserving of its R rating. It's going to fade pretty quick from here.

Joel Corcoran: I'm a rider on Pete's bandwagon. I think Fred Claus will end up having a resurgence around the holidays when families are looking for a movie palatable to everyone in the group. And, of course, after the marketing juggernaut (a.k.a. Bee Movie) fades from the public mind. So, in the end, I don't think it's a big disappointment at all. Any opener this week would've had to tangle with American Gangster and Bee Movie, so I think a near $20 million opening is pretty good. Not great, not fantastic, and maybe just above "satisfactory," but still not a disappointment.




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Reagen Sulewski: While I think Fred Claus will be OK in the long run - it's a family film near Thanksgiving - the comparisons to Elf are pretty hard to avoid. Vaughn is better known now than Ferrell was pre-Elf and this is almost like a spiritual sequel. I think you're on to something Tim, that there probably were families that were put off by Vaughn's reputation, though.

Max Braden: The opening is surprisingly small to me because it seems like a silly-fun holiday movie that kids would flock to. Maybe it suffers from being The Santa Clause 4. (Santa Clause 3 opened the first November weekend last year to $19.5 million). If audiences are like me, they're refusing to accept anything Christmas until at least Thanksgiving feels closer.

Kim Hollis: I was hearing *so* many people talking about wanting to see this movie. Usually, if I hear a bunch of co-workers discussing how much they want to see a film, it's a sign that it will be big. I'm just not sure what happened here, other than that more people realized it looked terrible than I would have given credit for.

David Mumpower: This is a wildly disappointing result. Consider the following performances for comparison films: The Santa Clause made $144.8 million; The Santa Clause 2 earned $139.2 million; Elf was the big winner of the bunch with $173.4 million. Those are the ambitious goals for any new holiday title. Fred Claus fell a million short of the wildly disappointing The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, and it even had some ticket price inflation going for it. Warner Bros. was hoping to get another Elf. They couldn't even manage a Christmas with the Kranks ($21.6 million opening on the way to domestic receipts of $73.7 million). Pathetic.


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