Monday Morning Quarterback
By BOP Staff
October 12, 2009
What is wrong with people?Kim Hollis: Couples Retreat opened to $34.3 million in 3,000 locations. How did Universal turn this into a must-see opening weekend comedy?
Josh Spiegel: Looking at other recent Vince Vaughn comedies, it would seem like Couples Retreat is in line with the others. Unlike Four Christmases, though, Couples Retreat was emphasizing the big cast of generally funny people (Vaughn, Jon Favreau, Jason Bateman, Ken Jeong, Kristen Bell, among others); also, setting your film in a tropical paradise probably helps arouse audience members' interest. Granted, the previews and reviews were tepid, but as an escape (visually, at least), this movie did pretty well, all the more so after Universal Studios had some recent turnover among its top execs.
Max Braden: The trailers made Couples Retreat look like it has about the same tone as The Hangover, which was hugely popular this summer. But where The Hangover probably had a biased appeal to men, Couples Retreat seems more accessible to women, which I think helped boost the box office this weekend. Of course, Couples Retreat isn't going to come near The Hangover's $275 million gross.
Pete Kilmer: The casting here really did the trick, I think. With the past movie history of Vaughn, Bateman and the others I think it made it okay for the guys to be dragged to it by the girlfriends and wives. Plus it really was right time and right placement of the film.
Eric Hughes: I think people were just ready to see Vince Vaughn loaf his tall self around the big screen again for two hours. As a friend was saying to me, people have a fascination in watching Vince motor his mouth through disgusting amounts of dialogue. I think she's right. "Oh, Vince talks fast in this one? Then let's go spend $20 on a crap movie by seeing Couples Retreat."
Michael Lynderey: Couples Retreat is a textbook case of a meticulously-prepared studio package. You've got an A-list comedy star, some recognizable female leads, a funny character actor or two, a good-looking setting, and a trailer with a handful of money shots. That adds up well. Besides, who doesn't want to go to an exotic, sun-drenched resort right in the middle of cold, windy October? That's half the attraction right there.
Tim Briody: If you look up "broad comedy" in the dictionary, you'd find the one sheet for this movie. Younger audiences, older audiences, date movie audiences, whatever. Couples Retreat, as meh as it looked, was going to be the number one choice for all of those groups. Also, you could argue that the box office has been pretty devoid of comedies lately and this was due.
Jim Van Nest: I think Tim just nailed it. There haven't been many comedies rolled out in the last few weeks. And the trailers worked. I feel confident saying that all the funny parts of the movie are probably IN the trailer. But it's still funny and showed exactly what it needed to to attract an audience. My wife, who never cares to see a movie out, actually may end up dragging me to see this...all based on the trailer.
Jason Lee: Sounds like I'm in the majority but I found neither the trailer funny nor the commercials. I will say, however, that they both succeeded in telling audiences exactly what they were getting. All Vince Vaughn has to do is utter one line and then have the title of the film splashed on the screen and every customer knows exactly the type of movie experience that they'll be paying for. Promise and then deliver, that's all you need to do.