Monday Morning Quarterback Part II

By BOP Staff

May 5, 2009

There's a lot of afterglow to be had here.

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Oh, they have A Christmas Carol in the movies now. How creative.

Kim Hollis: Ghosts of Girlfriends past opened to $15.3 million with a per location average of $4,827. What should Warner Bros. take from this result?

Josh Spiegel: First of all, counter-programming the first major summer blockbuster with Matthew McConaughey may be a bad idea. Second of all, having Matthew McConaughey in a major movie is a bad idea. Okay, I'm not his biggest fan, but none of his recent films are huge hits and this one hasn't been heavily marketed, as opposed to the late-summer counter-programmer, The Ugly Truth (not a movie I want to see, but I've seen ads since Christmas). But, again, the biggest lesson to learn is that counter-programming doesn't always work.

Brandon Scott: I don't know, the counter-programming isn't going to stop anytime soon. Maybe all the ghosts of McConaughey's girlfriends past came, but since they are ghosts, didn't buy tickets? It's another ho-hum result from a movie most pegged as bad and simplistic from the start. This result tells me nothing, nor will it ultimately tell WB much. I think the idea Josh hints at could have merit though, that it is a risky proposition to counter the first big film of the summer.

Pete Kilmer: Unless you put Matthew McConaughey in a Sex and the City project, he's got to stop making rom-com's. They don't work.


Reagen Sulewski: Well, define "don't work". I don't have a budget number for this, but Failure to Launch cost $50 million to make, and if this cost more than 10% over that, I'd be surprised. They're never going to be blockbusters, but they don't need to be.

Max Braden: Maybe this would have worked if they had cast Kate Hudson. Maybe it would have worked if they didn't base the story on such an obviously predictable plot device.

Tim Briody: Perspective, people, perspective! This is fine for something that couldn't have have been terribly expensive. And look, people still remember who Jennifer Garner is!

Sean Collier: It's becoming my greatest hit, but once again, I'm calling failure on the marketing. There was something of a gimmick to this one - for those of you fortunate enough to have not seen the film yet, it's a romantic comedy version of A Christmas Carol, with Michael Douglas as the Marley character - and that was sort of glossed over in the preview and commercials, in favor of trying to sell a generic, dime-a-dozen romcom. I don't even remember seeing Douglas in the previews. If they had made it clear that this one had a hook, they could've done a bit better, I think.

David Mumpower: The fact that this wasn't pushed more tells me that Warner Bros. knew they didn't have it. Instead, they created a low key campaign around the film's proven box office draw, Matthew McConaughey (what are you people smoking in saying he's anything else?). The result is a modest debut and a probable final domestic performance around $50 million for a film that was relatively cheap to make. Circling back to the earlier discussion, this is what would pass for a huge hit for Hugh Jackman outside of the mutton chops look. So, everything is relative.

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