Monday Morning Quarterback
By BOP Staff
February 2, 2010
He's getting too old for this sh*t
Kim Hollis: Edge of Darkness, Mel Gibson's first starring role since...the unpleasantness, opened to $17.2 million. Is this a good enough result for an actor of his (former) popularity?
Josh Spiegel: If you take this result by itself, it's kind of a disappointment, in that 20th Century Fox was obviously positioning this movie to be a cousin of Taken. The fact that it couldn't do as well as Legion is just sad (though I've not seen Edge of Darkness, I really can't imagine it being worse than Legion). However, when you take into account that this is Mel Gibson's first starring role in eight years, with or without his potentially career-ending snafu from a few years back, the result is maybe not as disappointing. Gibson is certainly trying a similar tack from previous roles, but with his tabloid troubles, $17 million may not be too terrible a result.
Michael Lynderey: It's a respectable enough number, though I'm aware many were expecting more. Really, though, Edge of Darkness looked like just about an average January thriller - as critics have confirmed - and Taken probably clouded our minds about how well such a movie should perform. As for Mel's shady shenanigans, it's pretty much impossible to know the degree to which they hurt the box office on this one. My guess is, the numbers wouldn't have been all that different had the film come out on, say, January 24, 2003, just a few months after Gibson's last starring role (Signs) and before his off-screen exploits. Looking at Gibson's upcoming slate, he seems fairly determined to get back into acting, and Edge of Darkness will work itself out to a baby step in that direction, if not much more.
Jim Van Nest: Mel Gibson isn't MEL GIBSON anymore. $17 million for a crappy looking rip-off of Taken is a pretty solid result, in my opinion. Anyone expecting more probably had their expectations set a little high. Unfortunately, Mel has likely tainted himself for good. Hell, Tom Cruise's crazy has hurt his appeal at the box office and he hasn't really done anything as offensive as Gibson. If Mel wants the best shot at reviving his career, he might want to think about Lethal Weapon, part...um, whatever part they would be on now.
Jason Lee: I agree with Michael. This is a respectable and solid number . . . though in today's celebrity world, "respectable" and "solid" also means "boring" and "not interesting." This will be a profitable movie (but not in a big way), this will help Gibson prove that he can once again open a film (but not in a significant way) and might help some people forget about his little incident with the police (but not totally). I think this is the box office equivalent of "meh."
Reagen Sulewski: Honestly, I think this says a lot of good things about Gibson's star power - very few actors could essentially take eight years off acting and still opening something to a respectable number, especially when we're talking about something as generic looking as this, and given the numerous reasons that people could have for not wanting to see a Mel Gibson film. Ten years ago this would have starred Al Pacino and have done about half as much.