Monday Morning Quarterback Part II

By BOP Staff

December 1, 2009

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He's out. And you're out, too. And I don't think I'm in, either. No gang!

Kim Hollis: Fantastic Mr. Fox, fittingly enough a Fox release, earned $9.5 million in five days. Why didn't this one strike more of a chord with North American audiences?

Josh Spiegel: It's a Wes Anderson movie in stop-motion animation. Honestly, that this movie has made this much money is impressive enough. I'm not sure how much money Fox was hoping from Mr. Fox, but Anderson is always going to be a niche director, someone who some people (such as myself) love and some people (such as my wife) hate. Fantastic Mr. Fox is a really enjoyable movie, but I'm not sure that kids are going to be lining up to see this, nor are many parents, especially with all of the other options available to them. Only The Royal Tenenbaums has made more than $25 million domestically, so this isn't too shocking. Also, with George Clooney as the star, I'm sure the international grosses won't be too disappointing.

Sean Collier: This is right about where I thought the film would land. One of 2009's many not-really-but-looks-like-a-children's-movie offerings, the audience for Fantastic Mr. Fox was mostly hip parents of young kids and particularly youthful Wes Anderson fans. I think this got all the audience it had any chance of grabbing.




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Tim Briody: I'm not sure much of the target audience knows who Wes Anderson is, Josh. That said, even though it's been out for a few weeks, A Christmas Carol was still the number one family option and there was still Planet 51 out there too, meaning this didn't really have much of a prayer over the holiday weekend.

George Rose: I hate to say it, but stop motion animation isn't that attractive. I thought having a known story, cast and director would help but I guess the visuals are too awkward for most audiences. It would have done better, like Coraline, if they used the 3D gimmick to help make the style more appealing. Then again, the recession is also easy to blame. With so many films out over the holiday weekend, do I really want to spend my only movie time and $10 to see what I can create myself with dolls? No, I'm going to support Team Edward or Sandy B's Blind Side. Hopefully it develops legs, as I expect a quality product like this will do, and becomes a surprise hit for the medium. Awkward as it may be, it really is fascination when done right, and Fantastic Mr. Fox appears to have all the right pieces.

Tom Macy: It's always disappointing when a film that aims to show audiences something new gets the cold shoulder. But it doesn't surprise me that that Wes Anderson's style over substance approach (that's right I said it, bring it bitches!) coupled with this ambiguous children's film thing induced a collective "huh?" from moviegoers. I think audiences did the "I don't understand it so I'm going to ignore it" thing. Personally, I found it to be enjoyable but not particularly memorable. So I know I'm not spreading positive word-of-mouth.


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