Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
June 29, 2010
Sofa jumping just does not pay.Kim Hollis: Knight and Day, Tom Cruise's latest attempt to beg for forgiveness, opened to $27.4 million over five days, including $20.1 million over the weekend. Was it a mistake for Fox to give this film a $125 million budget?
Tim Briody: $125 million? Someone's getting fired. Clearly, Hollywood execs are still trapped in 1996. This is not the same Tom Cruise. America is convinced he's crazy, and doesn't want to see him as "Tom Cruise" anymore. I bet he jumped up and down on Oprah's couch when they floated the idea of a Les Grossman movie.
David Mumpower: Honestly, I cannot blame Fox for going all in on this one with the lofty budget. That's the cost of doing business for potential tentpole action films and they certainly covered their bases here. They put Cruise in a role where his overhead is co-opted as part of the overall joke. On top of that, they gave him a legitimate top tier actress whose presence in movies enhances their box office. Better yet, Cameron Diaz was experiencing a career renaissance of sorts with the very well regarded What Happens in Vegas/My Sister's Keeper combination of funny romantic comedy and stellar drama. Fox did what they could to offset the risk of the project in this manner and as
Josh Spiegel (who is on vacation this week and thereby cannot speak for himself) recently chronicled in A-List, Hollywood loves few things the way that they love a comeback. Giving him the right script and a worthy co-lead positioned Cruise to succeed. The fact that this didn't happen goes a long way in demonstrating just how much Cruise's reputation has fallen apart in recent years. At this point, perhaps the only thing that could save his career is to dump Katie Holmes and marry Kristen Stewart.
Brett Beach: I'm not sure if an action movie with Cruise and Diaz could come in for much less than $125 million, unless they were doing it Cloverfield style. I think it was a dreadful mistake to open the film on a Wednesday. There is an art to doing that outside of leading up to a weekend with some form of holiday in the Fri/Sat/Sun and while it may have been intended to "build buzz", that seems to me to be a crap shoot time and again. 20th Century Fox seems to believe in this strategy, though, as they are opening Vampires Suck (the latest opus from Friedberg and Seltzer) in August the same way. Come to think of it, they did the same thing with The Rocker two years ago. The film will easily make its budget back with overseas revenue (which I think has become a go to line much like "Our band is really big in Japan.") I will look forward to reviews from BOP-ers.
Tom Houseman: Clearly the majority of that money went into Cruise and Diaz's pockets, as the special effects in this movie were very weak. But didn't someone realize before they started making this movie that they weren't going to have any clue how to market it? Should they play up the action? The comedy? The romance? It didn't fit into a neat box, so other than showing the stars' dazzling smiles this wasn't going to be an easy film to convince people they wanted to see. I don't blame the marketing team, I blame the people who greenlighted the film with this budget, as they should have known it would be a tough sell.