Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
January 26, 2009
Brandon Scott: Poor enough that it won't recoup more than roughly 35-40% of its budget. I would say it's a big failure, other than the fact that awareness was (seemingly) minuscule and this type of thing has recently been done with Bedtime Stories still in theaters. I see this as a studio dumping a movie in a slot to make whatever it could and move on. At least it wasn't Delgo.
Reagen Sulewski: I think it'll be a solid DVD title, so it's not all bad news, but this is a victim of bad timing, vis a vis Bedtime Stories. I wouldn't rule out the idea that people are just sick of Brendan Fraser in these type of roles - how many "Brendan Fraser battles CGI creations" movies can you watch?
David Mumpower: We had the debate a couple of times last year about whether Brendan Fraser was a draw, and I asserted that he was. I still feel that way in the right kind of role, but it's been readily apparent since the January release date was confirmed that the dissolution of New Line had left this project relatively abandoned. The one key facet here is that it's already earned about $15 million worldwide before ever earning a dollar in North America, but it's still clearly a bomb. I do find myself wondering what would have happened had New Line not been absorbed by Warner Bros. On a side note, the next commercial I see for this movie will be the first, assuming that even happens.
Daron Aldridge: It's awful - especially when using the often and justifiably mentioned likeminded film, Bedtime Stories, as the yardstick. That movie opened to $27.5 million its first full weekend (minus Christmas Day) and has about a 3.8 multiplier for its current gross of $105 million. If Inkheart performs similarly, then this debut would still put it with less than $30 million from theaters.
David Mumpower: If we are going to look at Inkheart in those terms, Daron, a good example in terms of scale would be Space Chimps. That one opened to $7.2 million and wound up with $30.1 million domestically. It was aided quite a bit by summer legs, a benefit Inkheart will not have. As such, I think it's pretty safe to say that barring something unforeseen, $30 million is a best case result here and under $25 million wouldn't be that surprising.
Daron Aldridge: I knew it wasn't a perfect apples-to-apples comparison but didn't think it was too much of a stretch. If you compare to Meet Dave, a similarly budgeted ($60 million) bomb with a $5.3 million debut, the outcome is quite grim. With a laughably low multiplier of 2.3, that film ended with $11.8 million. Obviously, summer legs didn't apply. That would give Inkheart $17.3 million. As a side note, the only marketing I saw for Inkheart was a standee at a theater, so there might be something to the Warner Bros.-dumping theory.
Shane Jenkins: Inkheart always looked like a tough sell to me - it's hard to sum up its fantastical premise in a 30-second television ad. And, as Daron mentioned, the idea is startlingly close to that of Bedtime Stories. I feel like families kind of shrugged their shoulders and said, "Didn't we just see that?".
Tim Briody: Well, it's more than Monkeybone made in its entire run.
Sean Collier: Tim wins most forgotten movie reference for the week. I submit Inkheart as Exhibit Z that (unless your protagonist's name rhymes with Barry Kotter) kiddie fantasy is dead and gone.
Max Braden: That's a crappy average regardless of the budget. I guess the "moviegoers saw Paul Blart to escape Oscar downers" theory isn't a tide that lifts all boats.
Jim Van Nest: David's comment about not seeing any ads for this is dead on. Until looking at the topics for MMQB, I had never heard of this movie. That has to mean SOMEthing.
Ben Farrow: It went into the tank because 1) the books sucked after the first one and 2) the money shot of the house didn't look fantastic. Instead, it looked like a Sci-Fi Channel one-off.