Monday Morning Quarterback Part II

By BOP Staff

July 1, 2008

Loooooooooser. (But she's so pretty.)

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Who doesn't want to rise up and destroy all humans?

Kim Hollis: Wanted, the nihilist action film from Universal, earned a surprising $50.9 million. How did the studio achieve such a strong result?

Reagen Sulewski: LOUD NOISES!

Les Winan: Well, Kim, it seems like Universal advertised the movie for what it is: loud fun that doesn't go any deeper than what you see. Reviewers seemed to like it for that same reason and it seems like audiences were interested in seeing on screen a taste of what it must be like to hang out with Angelina Jolie in real life. Random knifeplay, blood and general mayhem.

Joel Corcoran: I think Les pretty much summarizes it. James McAvoy isn't hard to look at either, so watching two attractive people engaged in random violence and mayhem is an added bonus. And Morgan Freeman does bring a touch of gravitas to keep it interesting. But let's be serious - this was pretty much the best parts of the Matrix trilogy condensed into two hours without a lot of burdensome "story" and "context." However, I'd still much rather see a movie adaptation that's true to the graphic novel.

Tim Briody: Yeah, but they fail to mention that along with the cool parts of hanging out with Angelina Jolie, there's also Brad Pitt hovering around and a whole lotta kids. Damn Hollywood always hides the truth.


Daron Aldridge: Wanted succeeds by giving its core audience exactly what they want and have been denied so far this summer. This is a loud, kinetic and effects-laden action movie that offers an alternate, extraordinary reality and has been described as style over substance, similar to Transformers last year. This time around we get Angelina Jolie and James McAvoy bending the laws of physics instead of Autobots and Decepticons.

Scott Lumley: I hand this result over to a combination of Angelina Jolie, a well-crafted marketing campaign, excellent counter-programming and just good timing. The only other actioner around right now is the Incredible Hulk, and despite its excellence, audiences are just not connecting with the big green dude. Wanted offers lots of gunplay, insane stunts and a sweaty, tattooed Andelina Jolie wandering around naked. Who doesn't want to see that? This is eye candy at its finest. It's the polar opposite to WALL-E and that's fine.

David Mumpower: Wanted's success struck me as a foregone conclusion the instant the trailer was aired during the Super Bowl. I am a bit surprised tracking was so low, although it's just another instance of tracking failing studios and exhibitors this summer. Wanted is a spiritual predecessor to Mr. & Mrs. Smith, so it played out like a sequel of sorts in terms of opening weekend box office.

Jason Lee: Wachowskis take note: THIS is how you successfully sell a movie based on extrodinary sights and new forms of visual storytelling. I honestly think that the product sold itself and all Universal had to do was to give people a taste of what they'd get. It promised a thrilling time, it delivered a thrilling time and found success at the box-office on the backs of its target audience. It's ALMOST the Pixar model of filmmaking, re-purposed for an R-rated graphic novel adaptation. (Now let's all recoil in horror at the idea of Pixar making Wanted 2).

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