Monday Morning Quarterback
By BOP Staff
November 12, 2007
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.
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.