Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
March 30, 2009
The movie that *needs* to be made is Cavemen vs. Astronauts.
Kim Hollis: Monsters vs. Aliens, the latest DreamWorks Animation release, opened to $58.2 million this weekend. What do you think of this result?
Pete Kilmer: It's a great opening. This thing will have some nice legs in the IMAX as the 3-D effects are getting great reviews.
David Mumpower: We will touch on the way this impacts the industry in a later topic. With regards to Monsters vs. Aliens in particular, this is a huge success all around. It's the largest opening of the year and it almost duplicates Kung Fu Panda's $60.2 million debut last year. Given that we're talking about the largest original DreamWorks Animation opening yet and that it wound up with $215 million domestically and $632 million worldwide, mirroring that performance is phenomenal. I'm surprised that a Monsters, Inc. clone did this well and I'm even more surprised that it opened better than Watchmen, a film that was always designed to max out its first three days of box office. I give a lot of credit to the marketing team for crafting a clever campaign with a particular tip of the cap going to the people who came up with the Super Bowl 3-D spot. It may not have been the greatest trailer ever, but it was memorable. Establishing the brand in front of the largest possible television audience was a masterstroke. DreamWorks Animation and Paramount spent $175 million to make a film that is going to bring in at least half a billion before it exits theaters. This is a monumental box office accomplishment and the branding elegantly allows for sequels.
Max Braden: I'm not going to go ga-ga over "the biggest opening of the year so far" - someone has to hold that title, and we've come to expect that a big, animated, kid-friendly movie is going to be in the year's top ten. With an easy-to-sell concept and a funny trailer featuring Bob, I actually expected Monsters vs. Aliens to open at $70 million. I'm interested now to see how it does over the long run, because I was really let down by the characters after seeing the movie. The effects were great but the characters barely showed off any of what supposedly made them monsters. I left the theater not feeling a need to see it again. I suspect the multiplier is going to be lower than the Madagascar and Ice Age films.
Brandon Scott: I'm with Max on the opening aspect of it. Yeah, beating Watchmen says something, but these animated kid pics always seem to destroy at the box office. I think the confusion aspect of Monsters, Inc., though they are not related, played a role too. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a nice opening, but of course, I wouldn't see this if I was begged to go by my nephew and niece. Every time I watch animated movies, I wish I had two hours of my life back, WALL-E included. They just have nothing to offer someone like me even though others love them. These are nice numbers, though, so they will continue to get made til the end of time, and yeah, I suspect sequels will be on the way.