Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
June 14, 2010
Kim Hollis: The Karate Kid, starring Jackie Chan and the spawn of Will Smith, became the third biggest opener of the summer with a staggering $55.7 million. How surprised are you by this result and how do you explain it?
Josh Spiegel: I'm not surprised that The Karate Kid topped the box office, but the result is higher than I'd have expected. How do I explain it? There are a lot of reasons. The reviews made the movie seem more appealing than the initial ads may have; Jackie Chan is always a welcome screen presence; there is a dearth of family entertainment at the box office; a large, large number of people still have an abiding love for the original franchise. All of these reasons are why the movie has done well, and there are, I'm sure, plenty others. I've got no idea why everyone loves the series (and I gotta be honest with you: a lot of people who like this new movie are basically saying it could've sucked hard, and it didn't. Not a wild endorsement), but they do, and showed it this weekend.
Matthew Huntley: The Karate Kid remake is one of those movies that wouldn't have surprised me by either how high or how low it opened. It seemed like it could have teetered in any direction, based on whether the built-in fan-base was willing to accept it or reject it. Obviously, they accepted it, and then some.
Here are the reasons why I think this movie succeeded: a) the said built-in fan-base, who's continued to love the original for the past 25+ years, and now they have kids of their own; b) the family-friendly PG rating; c) the diverse cast, which, if I'm not mistaken, doesn't contain a single white person (Rush Hour, also starring Jackie Chan, was sort of similar, and look how successful that franchise was); d) effective trailers and TV spots, which showed the filmmakers were willing to take the premise seriously and not treat it as some speedy, unsophisticated cash grab with low production values; and e) it starred the son of a Hollywood superstar (a lot of the kids who saw Karate Kid this weekend probably remember Jaden from The Pursuit of Happyness).
With a modest production budget and overseas numbers still to come (the film will probably be huge in China alone), this is a big win for Sony.
Tom Houseman: Does anyone else really want a crossover movie in which Jaden Smith beats the crap out of Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner? I mean seriously whale on them... karate style.
Reagen Sulewski: It's interesting how quickly this project changed from potential disaster to breakout hit. Those initial ads couldn't have rubbed people more the wrong way, but they quickly figured out what people actually wanted from a Karate Kid reboot - namely a compelling reason to care about this kid - and gave it to them. I never expected it would catch on to this degree, but it's not a surprise that they were able to take what seemed like a marginal idea and turned it into a hit.