Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
May 17, 2010
Ho! Haha! Guard! Turn! Parry! Dodge! Spin! Ha! Thrust!Kim Hollis: Robin Hood became the seventh biggest opening of 2010 with $36.1 million domestically, and a global total of $111.1 million. Given all the factors at play, including the $200 million production expense, do you believe this film will prove ultimately justifiable for Universal?
Josh Spiegel: Yes, but only because of how well it is doing and will do overseas. I am shocked, to say the least, that this movie cost (without the money taken out for tax credits) $237 million. The number one movie at the box office over the past two weekends is about a guy who makes a metal suit that flies, has weapons, and beats up other men and/or robots in similar suits. And that movie cost less (apparently) than a movie about a man who fires bows and arrows. Where is the money going in Robin Hood? Anyway, the overseas grosses will likely help Universal out, but the domestic opening is only a little higher than I'd have figured (I'd have pegged the opening at $30 million).
Tim Briody: This is Kingdom of Heaven on a much larger scale. An epic flop domestically ($47.3 million), worldwide grosses ($164 million) saved it from being a complete disaster. With its laughable production budget, it's going to need those foreign dollars to try to break even. I'd figure it to top out at about $100 million domestically, pending what it does next weekend.
Matthew Huntley: To speculate on Josh's question - why was the budget for this movie so high? - I would say it's because a lot of the production seemed practical. Unlike Iron Man, the sets and effects for Robin Hood appeared built from the ground up and/or shot on actual locations, which, from what I understand, inflates the costs. Iron Man has the luxury of CGI and a green screen. Plus, when you add in the salaries of Crowe and Scott, $200 million seems more justified. That would be my guess.
Ultimately, no, I don't think this will be a profitable investment for Universal. Most of the reactions coming from the theater were mixed at best, so I don't think word-of-mouth will take it very far, either domestically or internationally. The studio will have to wait until the home market and ancillary sales to make their money back. If this was an effect-filled extravaganza like, say 2012, which blew up overseas, it'd be one thing, since these tend to do very well abroad, but just as the practical effects burgeoned its costs, the lack of CGI may cost it even more.
Michael Lynderey: The executive who greenlighted this project is braver than I will ever be. But really, if Universal had always intended for this to play well mostly just overseas, then they'll probably win out in the end. If, on the other hand, Robin Hood was made to compete with the big guns on the summer arena, then that was never really in the cards. Either way, the budget on this one isn't easily justifiable, or explicable. It's not like they added fire-breathing dragons and big CGI trolls, something I would have certainly insisted upon if anyone suggested we remake Robin Hood again.