Monday Morning Quarterback
By BOP Staff
February 22, 2010
Jason Lee: I think a lot of adult moviegoers were excited to FINALLY have a horror/spooky/scary movie to watch that A) had a great director B) had an A-list star and C) had a story to get excited about. When's the last time grown up horror fans had something to look forward to?
Max Braden: When they first bumped the release date out of last year I thought they were blowing a huge Oscar opportunity, and even after all this marketing I still didn't expect it to open at more than $30 million for the weekend. I was turned off by the paranormal-ish aspects of the trailer, but I think it hooked audiences by keeping enough mystery to make people want to pay and see what happens at the end.
David Mumpower: The marketing team clearly wanted this film to be perceived as a modern day version of The Shining. The commercials also took a page out of M. Night Shyamalan's playbook by building a mystery while giving away almost none of the title. I have been saying for a while now that in taking Shutter Island out of 2009, they probably cost the film a Best Picture nod. I'm not sure that pedigree would have meant as much to the film's box office as this "What is Shutter Island" campaign managed, though. Like Mr. Lynderey indicated, I'm particularly curious to see if it holds like a quality drama from Martin Scorsese should or if it is heavily frontloaded a la The Wolfman.
He's king of the...oh, I can't say it.Kim Hollis: The term "movie star" is an ambiguous description. Using your own unique interpretation of this phrase, where do you rank Leonardo DiCaprio?
Josh Spiegel: I'd say he is someone who's managed to be very, very lucky and very, very shrewd. DiCaprio was a talented actor before Titanic, but that movie's storm of publicity could have easily thrown him into typical, heartthrob roles for the rest of his career. Over the past decade, he's managed to do roles that either play off his boyish looks (Catch Me If You Can), or roles that challenge him to grow as an actor. Back when he starred in Gangs of New York, I was unimpressed, but he's improved to be more an actor than a movie star. He's certainly very famous, but as evidenced by the fact that his biggest opening prior to Shutter Island was $30 million, he's never been a solid guarantee that people are going to flock in droves, akin to the Twilight movies. He's no Taylor Lautner, to be sure; he's almost a younger version of George Clooney.
Michael Lynderey: DiCaprio's no Taylor Lautner? Lautner hasn't opened anything outside of Twilight (and that Robert Rodriguez movie, of course). His solo box office mettle has yet to be really tested, and won't be until well into next year. Clooney is on a bit of a different level, because he hasn't headlined a non-Ocean's Eleven $100 million dollar earner since The Perfect Storm in 2000 (Up in the Air is more or less out of the running). DiCaprio does stick to those Oscary movies that fly in with Santa Claus every year in December, but DiCaprio's have tended to play out on a much bigger scale than Clooney's - Catch Me If You Can, The Aviator, The Departed, and if I had to guess, the 2010 twofer of Shutter Island and Inception. In that sense - my sense - DiCaprio's really a big pretty big movie star; kind of like Tom Hanks in the way he mixes box office and awards bait. His two 2008 movies didn't work out on either of those two levels, but it looks like he's back on track after this weekend.