Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
September 1, 2009
We're serious this time! This is *the* Final Destination!Kim Hollis: The Final Destination improved significantly from its predecessors in earning $27.4 million for the weekend. How did Warner Bros. inject new life into a franchise that seemed past its expiration date?
Josh Spiegel: The easy answer is, of course, 3-D. However much money this film made, it would have probably made a little less had the film not been shown in the 3-D format. It's important to note, though, that this franchise only "seemed" to be failing. The third film actually grossed more than the first two films in the series, if only by a few million dollars. Creatively, it would seem that the idea is a bit stale, but financially, this series isn't as old hat as we might think.
Tim Briody: I don't think it was past expiration, really. It has been three years since the last one, and less renowned horror films and franchises have thrived over the last couple years. The bump up from the $19 million of Final Destination 3 is a surprise and is most likely attributable to the 3-D but to say that the Final Destination franchise had run its course is inaccurate.
Max Braden: I really think it was the one clip in the trailer where the girl gets nailed by the flying tire. Wanting to see bratty characters get killed in creatively different ways must be a universal desire.
Jason Lee: I half wonder if the ability of Final Destination to maintain box office longevity is due to two factors: an entertaining (if predictable) gimmick and the staggered release schedule of the four films. Seeing hapless teenagers get skewered by rube goldberg machines is never boring and if you cough up $13 to see a Final Destination film, at least you know what you're in for. And if you look at the dates of the past releases (2000, 2003, 2006, 2009) and the three-year gaps between films, you are marketing the next film to a completely new set of high schoolers every time. Combine these two advantages and I think it accounts partly for the endurance of the Final Destination franchise.
Reagen Sulewski: Not to give away the game, but as analysts, our tendency is to look for the complicated answer to explain things, because otherwise what do you need us for? But in this case, it really doesn't have to be any harder than it has to - we're still in the beginning period of 3-D being enough of a novelty to get people to see movies they wouldn't otherwise. Compare this to the period about five or six years ago when anything they slapped together with computer animation opened to $40 million. Lest we forget the double-down effect earlier this year - Ice Age 3 is now the highest grossing animated film in worldwide box office history largely on the back of 3-D. I think we're going to look at this period of box office like Barry Bonds' home run records.