Monday Morning Quarterback Part I

By BOP Staff

August 17, 2009

Everybody's hugging!

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If you're not human, move along. There's nothing to see here.

Kim Hollis: District 9, the science fiction film from Sony, earned $37.4 million. How surprised are you by this result?

Josh Spiegel: I am not at all surprised by this result, if only because Sony has been extremely effective in marketing this movie over the last few months. First, the mysterious teaser trailers, which only give a slight glimpse at a spaceship hanging over Johannesburg; then, all the viral marketing and the random "Humans Only" signs littering movie theaters. Add that to the fact that District 9 can stand alongside such summer hits as Star Trek and Up as being incredibly well-reviewed by most critics, big and small, and I feel like District 9 making this much money was just going to happen. Credit Peter Jackson for standing behind a new but obviously talented director and credit Sony for shoving this movie down people's throats without it seeming obnoxious.

Scott Lumley: I'm not surprised by this result at all either. District 9 looked like an absolutely perfect pure sci-fi film and Star Trek reboot notwithstanding, we haven't really had one in a while. The nerd and geek crowd had been buzzing about this one for some time, and when Sony cut those brilliant commercials that guaranteed lots and lots of violence in addition to a pure sci fi tale, I knew this one was a lock.

Eric Hughes: I, too, am not surprised. I don't do sci-fi, yet there I was on opening night to see what this thing would be. I blame the unique marketing. Living in a big city helps, but the "this bus/bench/billboard/restroom is for humans only" gimmick was just plain catchy.




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Jason Lee: Clearly I'm in the minority here but I frankly found most everything about this film pretty forced. The whole "keeping the plot a secret" and "pseudo-documentary" feel of the film was hollowly reminiscent of Cloverfield and the historical parable felt heavy-handed. Do this type of thing right and yes, I agree, the kids will come out in droves. I just didn't think it felt like this was going to be done right. Obviously, I was wrong.

Reagen Sulewski: Films like these are huge wildcards. I wouldn't have been "surprised" by anything from the teens to $50 million, but all the same, this is a bit more than I was actually expecting. This was a textbook case of how to get people interested in something they have no familiarity with - give out as little information as possible, go viral early and often... and have a top notch premise and outstanding FX sequences. I understand it's that last one that trips people up more often than not.

David Mumpower: I'm surprised by how unsurprised many of you are. If you had asked me three months ago if $37 million would be a solid result for District 9, I would have unequivocally answered yes. And I would have been discussing its final domestic take, not its opening weekend. This was as unheralded a mid-$30s opener as there has been in ages. Even ten days ago, most people were saying mid-$20s. I'm caught off-guard by how blasé many of you are about what I consider a marvelous result for Sony. This is as big a win as they've had in recent memory. District 9 is an instant masterpiece whose box office matches its quality.


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