Monday Morning Quarterback Part I

By BOP Staff

March 16, 2009

Keep your hands off my mustache, you filthy cow!

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Fewer people smelled the Rock's cooking than expected.

Kim Hollis: Race to Witch Mountain won the box office weekend with $24.4 million. Is this more, less, or about what you expected the movie to make?

David Mumpower: I think that this was around the range Disney had anticipated for the film when it was in the planning stages. After the warm reception to early trailers, however, as well as the strong early year performances of so many wide releases, I have to think they had bumped that number up a bit. This means they got left somewhat high and dry when the film wound up doing mid-$20s instead of mid-$30s as looked possible if not likely a month ago.

Kim Hollis: I have to think there was money left on the table somehow. Given the fact that people seem to have warm fuzzies about going to the cineplex this year, I think there should have been a better way to capture that family audience on opening weekend. With that said, though, this is pretty much in line with The Game Plan, Dwayne Johnson's previous Disney family film. That movie debuted to $22.9 million and then legged it out to a $90.7 million finish domestically. I think it's possible we could see similar behavior here, though the fact that Witch Mountain targets a slightly older audience than The Game Plan might damage it somewhat.

Jason Lee: Personally, I cannot for the life of me imagine this film opening much higher. The premise of the film and the advertising demonstrated that the demographic of this film was almost certainly going to be very young . . . and they're rarely able to take films into blockbuster status (I'm ignoring Alvin and the Chipmunks for now). This just seemed like it was destined to be a lackluster film from the beginning.


Pete Kilmer: I think this is about right for this movie, and I believe it's going to have legs. It will be a solid hit for Disney and The Rock.

Joel Corcoran: It's pretty much exactly what I expected -- a good, solid opening based on fans of The Rock and those of us who grew up with Witch Mountain. This film has an interesting mix of modern adventure thriller and nostalgia. Those of us who were growing up in the late '70s remember the two Witch Mountain movies, and now we're taking our kids, nieces, and nephews to the remake. The fact that Dwayne Johnson is establishing quite a career in kid-oriented action movies is probably a bigger draw, but I think the nostalgia aspect will give this movie longer legs than we might expect.

Max Braden: It was close to what I was expecting, but I think they could have pulled in a little more if they'd cut the trailer differently. All you really saw in the trailer was the cab ride. I don't think this will perform as well as The Game Plan. Witch Mountain's reviews are as dismal as Pink Panther 2's, which has only earned $34 million in five weeks.

Kim Hollis: That might fly, Max, if The Game Plan's reviews were better. They're not. It was 27% fresh at RottenTomatoes, while Witch Mountain has it beat at 37%. Reviews for these sorts of movies really don't matter a lot of the time. People ignore them if kids think the movie is entertaining enough.

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