Monday Morning Quarterback Part III
By BOP Staff
March 24, 2009
Perhaps people just thought it was a remake of Multiplicity, but more simpleKim Hollis: Duplicity, the Clive Owen/Julia Roberts spy romance, opened to $14 million. What do you think of this result?
Tim Briody: Um, yikes. I remember seeing the Super Bowl ad and was ready to pencil this in for $100 million-plus. Either everyone is completely over Julia Roberts or Clive Owen has just been rejected by American audiences for good.
Jason Lee: To me, the main problem with the commercials and trailers was that it seemed like Julia Roberts' character was going to spend the entire movie playing Owen's character. That's not much of a joust to me. Without this type of parity in terms of abilities and tactics, it just didn't seem like a really engaging film.
Brandon Scott: Jason is right in large part. And the possibility that Tim raises is a real one. Are audiences over Julia and/or burned out on Clive? I was/am interested in the film, as it appeals to a more mature film-going segment, but that being said, I kind of see it as an Ocean's Eleven with two people. I expect a cool movie, breezy and fun, but ultimately forgettable. I haven't seen it (yet) but I suspect that it had a bit of a high-brow nature to it that kept it from reaching a broader audience. It wasn't a romantic comedy and Clive was just in The International which had a similar "look" to it, even though I know they are drastically different films. Plus, Michigan was playing in the tourney this weekend (robbed by the refs, by the way) so that kept some fans from turning out right away.
Joel Corcoran: I think Jason nails it. Based on the trailers and TV ads, this movie seems to be little more than a couple scenes of Ocean's Eleven (with Clive Owen playing the part of George Clooney) put on repeat and stretched into two hours. The "heist-with-a-romantic-twist" formula has long been successful in Hollywood (see: The Thomas Crown Affair), but that storyline depends on the romantic leads coming together to battle some bigger opponent or enemy. This movie seems like a less coherent version of Intolerable Cruelty, so I'm not that surprised at its soft performance at the box office.
Sean Collier: Julia Roberts needs another megahit and Clive Owen needs a mainstream project that raises his cache as a household name. Neither one of them have done much money lately; if they both had just had a monster hit and Duplicity came out, it would've done the $100 million that Tim was expecting. We film dorks have a long memory - the public at large does not.
Max Braden: For any other pair, this result would have been acceptable, but for Julia Roberts it's a huge disappointment. Forbes' industry survey ("Star Currency") of most bankable movie stars put her at number 11 out of 1400 last month. Duplicity offered viewers the kind of Roberts they remembered from Notting Hill, The Runaway Bride, and Erin Brokovich, which each opened to $27-35 million. Sure those titles were a decade ago, and Clive Owen doesn't have the same draw as Clooney or Hugh Grant, but to pull in less than $20 million is a surprise.