Monday Morning Quarterback

By BOP Staff

July 13, 2009

Where is his neck?

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We think that Borat used up all of Sacha Baron Cohen's sexy time

Kim Hollis: Bruno, the de facto sequel to 2006's blockbuster Borat, opened to $30.6 million this weekend. Should Universal be satisfied with this result?

Josh Spiegel: With the initial opening weekend result, I imagine Universal is relatively happy. If, however, we're looking at the big picture, Bruno has nowhere to go but down. The opening day gross for Bruno was just under half of the opening weekend take. Borat (which did have a smaller amount of theaters in its opening weekend) had a far better opening day and opening weekend. Also, considering the fact that the movie apparently got a C from the polling group Cinemascore...Universal should just be glad that Bruno didn't cost nearly as much as Land of the Lost did. I've got a bad feeling that Bruno will end up just a bit more successful than that flop.

Brandon Scott: Yeah, I think they are okay with it, but probably hoped for more. Initial projections of $35-37 million would have been nicer. (Master of the obvious, I know.) Bruno being "gay" really makes him a much tougher mainstream sell. It's one thing to offend the Jews, but the fact that this didn't open bigger still speaks to homophobia being an issue in America. This was the least funny of Cohen's three original characters, though, so if this bags more than $75 million, it's hard to be unhappy. The issue here is all of the marketing dollars spent and the fact that Bruno opened much wider with greater awareness.

Tim Briody: This is one of the biggest releases that I can recall of something that wouldn't play in Peoria (hi, Kim!). $30 million is pretty good, though it's clear from the big drop on Saturday that it's going to vanish incredibly quickly. The word-of-mouth that Borat had isn't here at all.


Kim Hollis: You're right, Tim. There's not nearly the same buzz there that there was for Borat. Not only are its reviews less kind, but audiences in general seem to be having some negative reactions to something that seems more mean spirited in tone. Still, $30 million is solid even if I'm sure the studio was aiming for something a little closer to $40 million.

Eric Hughes: Absolutely not. Universal paid over $40 million just for the rights to distribute. The studio's still waiting to pay that off before paying for the movie itself. Uni may have to wait for DVD sales before it sees green.

Reagen Sulewski: It's the ugly realities of increased expectations. There was no reasonable chance that Cohen (and director Larry Charles - who's always pretty much an afterthought in these films, but is more crucial than I think people realize) could catch audiences by surprise again. At the same time, audiences are demanding more or less the same thing as Borat, and then getting a little bored when they get it. Under these circumstances, and the more provocative subject matter, this is pretty close to a best-case scenario.

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