Monday Morning Quarterback Part I

By BOP Staff

August 10, 2009

Do the watusi.

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The Rise of Cobra is actually *not* a euphemism

Kim Hollis: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra opened to $54.7 million in an ultra-wide release of 4,007 venues. Should Paramount be happy with this result?

Josh Spiegel: Absolutely, Paramount should be happy...with THIS result. I would not be surprised if this movie doesn't hit $175 million domestically, though, based on the Cinemascore rating, and the drops the movie had from its opening-day gross. Still, considering the extremely bad buzz, to the point where major newspapers were only writing about G.I. Joe to discuss how terrible it apparently was, the number is pretty good.

Scott Lumley: They should absolutely be thrilled. This film had the worst buzz I had ever seen, a B-level cast and some sub-par effects. That this was over $30 million at all has to be considered a solid victory. I guess this isn't that surprising. I really expected a fanboy rush to at least make this marginally successful, but this is more than I was expecting by a wide margin. This film may also be benefiting from some reverse buzz on this, as the group that I watched it with indicated that they also had heard that it was supposed to be terrible yet they went anyways.

Tim Briody: Sure, they should be thrilled. But I wouldn't be surprised with a final domestic take of around $110 million or so. And I might be high.


Max Braden: That's the fourth highest opening weekend for an August release, and the first two placeholders were sequels. That's a great result for something that was widely panned.

Sean Collier: If we ever see a movie get a bad-buzz bump, it'll be this one. As Scott pointed out, early word about GI Joe was so bad that some portion of that audience may have gone just to laugh at it; the vast majority, of course, were likely fooled by the full-court press by the marketing department, but still. Whatever the reason people are buying tickets, Paramount should be thrilled. The question, though: in a summer full of gigantic drops, will we see the biggest next weekend?

Reagen Sulewski: To borrow some gaming parlance, Paramount made a saving throw with the switch up in the tone of the ads in the last couple of weeks. Early on, it looked ridiculous, like nothing anyone over the age of 13 would want to be caught near. They managed to rebrand it as a testosterone-fueled action film by de-emphasizing some of the things like the super-suits, etc. Compared to Transformers, this probably feels like a loss, but there's something inherently sillier about this kind of action with humans than with robots. Long term, I think Tim is right on target that it'll be lucky to double this weekend total.

David Mumpower: There is this quirky little phenomenon in the movie industry where the entirety of North America occasionally gives a studio a mulligan, for lack of better terminology. For whatever reason, the occasional well established property breaks out almost in spite of the way that it looks rather than because of it. A really good example of this was Fantastic Four, a film everyone was certain would fail due to its terrible buzz. Fox correctly made the determination that they should focus on Chris Evans as the anchor draw, and the film opened huge, stopping an epic box office slump. With G.I. Joe, a new commercial was cut that did something truly amazing. Almost the entirety of the dialogue from previous clips was eliminated. They released what was effectively a videogame cut scene with hard rock musical accompaniment. It was a cynical move that smacked of desperation, but I think that it proved to be a successful Hail Mary pass. This was never a film I considered anything other than a woefully misguided joke of an adaptation. The $54.7 million opening is remarkable, even if Tim is right about the film's Dorf-esque legs.

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