Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
January 26, 2009
Vampires are sooooooooo NovemberKim Hollis: Underworld: Rise of the Lycans opened to $20.7 million. Why do you think it didn't quite match the previous successes in the franchise? Should Sony be pleased with this result?
David Mumpower: Obviously, this had seemed like a franchise on the rise when Underworld: Evolution opened to $26.9 million, a solid improvement over the original's $21.8 million. The decision to focus upon a prequel with better actors was probably at least partially based on the fact that Len Wiseman wanted to do Live Free Or Die Hard and his wife, Kate Beckinsale, wasn't in a hurry to wear that saucy costume for another director. The end result is the return of Michael Sheen and Bill Nighy, characters who died in the original Underworld, and the addition of that sexy minx Rhona Mitra to wear the outfits Beckinsale wouldn't. Depressing though the knowledge may be, Sheen, Nighy and Mitra in combination simply do not mean as much to this franchise as Beckinsale does on her own, and I think audiences knew that. I actually see $20.7 million as a decent result given the circumstances in a vacuum, but it's a setback in a box office era where all things gothic horror are in.
Brandon Scott: I think this is a legit result. To echo David's comments, who doesn't want to see more of Beckinsale with less on? Or something skimpy and tight? Anyhow, I think when you figure in the fact that Rise of the Lycans is a prequel along with the knowledge that this is the third time through on a franchise that's never exactly been big with a new lead who is essentially an unknown, this is a pretty good result. I think this should signal the end for the series' theatrical run though. Stranger things have happened, but I liken it to the Saw franchise in the respect that there has been enough, even if the ticket buying public tends to disagree to some extent. That's my final answer and I am stickin' with it. Let's say this U3 ends at $40-50 million. It's a decent result but is there really a strong demand for another effort? I doubt it.
Reagen Sulewski: I think while part of this can be put on the cast (a lot of people still would probably ask what the gas mileage was when asked what they think of Rhona Mitra), but as I touched on in the forecast, taking this back to a prequel removes a lot of what people cared about with this series. The success of the first movie was based on "modernizing" werewolves and vampires, to some extent, and going back makes it like pretty much any other blue-filtered gothic film. They could get a fourth film out of this, but it would have to come back to modern times.
Scott Lumley: I like Reagen's take on this. The modern telling of these stories draws people in more than a historical look at the series. Granted, it looked like there were some pretty bad ass battles going on in the commercials, but if that was all it took to get people to come to a theater, The Incredible Hulk would be the box office king this year, and not The Dark Knight.