Monday Morning Quarterback
By BOP Staff
September 29, 2009
At least Bruce's movie did better than Rumer's earlier this monthKim Hollis: Surrogates, the Bruce Willis sci-fi/action flick from Touchstone, opened to $14.9 million. Is this more than, less than, or about what you expected?
Pete Kilmer: It's about where I thought it'd land. The graphic novel, while quite good, is not that well known at all. Plus, for whatever reason, Bruce doesn't quite seem to be the draw, in terms of opening a movie, that he was years ago. He's an engaging actor who's only gotten better over the years.
Josh Spiegel: Yeah, this result is about where things would have come down, in my opinion. Frankly, the marketing for Surrogates was iffy in general, so this result is maybe a bit better than I expected. Bruce Willis is usually a solid star, but the ads didn't specify who he was in the movie, how action-y the story was, and so on. It's unfortunate to see a film from Jonathan Mostow get shafted at the end of September, but something just didn't click with people.
Max Braden: That's about what I expected. Maybe if the same trailers had been played for a June release it would have performed a little better. But mostly this looked like a poor man's I, Robot without the big set pieces and without Will Smith. The last time Willis had a big opening from a starring role in an action vehicle other than Die Hard 4 was with Armageddon. 16 Blocks opened at about $12 million, Hostage was $10 million, and Tears of the Sun was $17 million (each of these was a March release).
Reagen Sulewski: What I want to know is how Nicolas Cage let this script get by him. This feels like it would be right up his mediocre, dimly-lit alley. I do still wonder if basically revealing the end of the movie in the commercials was a boon or a burden to its chances. It probably helped, which depresses me slightly.
David Mumpower: Max is right that this is right in line with Willis' recent non-yippie-kay-ay performances in this vein. The one thing I'm taking from this is that audiences aren't that engaged by the premise, which could be problematic for James Cameron's Avatar. We'll see later this year if this is an issue of perceived quality or one of uninteresting subject matter.
Sean Collier: Reagen, I think they had no choice but to display a bit of the climactic shot - there was barely anything else to show, with surprisingly little eye candy for a purported sci-fi film. What they had was more like an hour-long cop show barely stretched to 90 minutes, with very little in the way of plot development and no character intrigue whatsoever. The marketing department was tasked with selling it basically on Bruce Willis and robots, and that's not really enough to pull me away from football for the weekend. They're lucky they made as much as they did.