Monday Morning Quarterback Part II

By BOP Staff

July 7, 2009

One of these guys is happy. The other one...not so much.

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With ten nominees for Best Picture, it has a legitimate shot.

Kim Hollis: Public Enemies, the Johnny Depp/Christian Bale gangster film from Michael Mann, earned $25.3 million over the holiday weekend and $40.1 million over five days. Should Universal be pleased with this result?

Scott Lumley: It depends on what they expected from this. This had a $100 million production budget so I have to assume that this sort of opening is not what they had in mind. This will probably see profit in the long run, but I really bet that Universal was hoping for a heck of a lot more than this.

Josh Spiegel: Considering the fact that Christian Bale (an actor who, despite the fervent attempts to tell us otherwise, is actually in Public Enemies) is still persona non grata in parts of this country, Johnny Depp's iffy box office status outside of being Captain Jack Sparrow, and Michael Mann's past history at the box office, Universal should be relatively pleased with this result. Collateral and Miami Vice both made about $25 million in their opening weekends, so the three-day result lands right in the middle of where Mann's most accessible movies deliver. The fact that this one's got $40 million under its belt is a good thing. Of course, it's important to note that Miami Vice, thanks to the bad word-of-mouth, did pretty poorly after that opening weekend. Still, I think that Public Enemies may hit $100 million by the time all is sad and done; there aren't many movies for people who aren't teenagers in the near future, so this movie may benefit from that specific, empty market.


Sean Collier: Josh is right - there's really no competition on the horizon, so Public Enemies will probably park at theaters for much of the next couple of months. I wouldn't be surprised to see a lot of small drops in the film's future, and a respectable total at the finish line.

That being said, there had to be a good number of executives crossing their fingers for a surprise this weekend. Realistic expectations were met, but I get the feeling that Universal's expectations may not have been purely realistic.

Daron Aldridge: If it can keep its declines relatively small, then Universal is likely pleased. Those type of declines are going to be vital to even come close to $100 million budget that Scott mentioned because I fear the overseas pull for a movie about an American gangster will not be as lucrative as other Depp titles. He is reliably good for double the domestic (like Secret Window and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) or more (like Sweeney Todd's $152 million worldwide with only $53 million of that coming from North America) but I don't see it for this film based solely on the subject matter. While the reviews are positive but not universally glowing (currently at 60% fresh for top critics), those adult moviegoers might still give it a chance during the drought that Josh and Sean mentioned. At least, that's is probably what Universal is praying to happen.

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