Monday Morning Quarterback Part II

By BOP Staff

July 6, 2010

On to the US Open.

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Maybe people saw it because it was the *last* airbender. I mean, c'mon! The last one!

Kim Hollis: The Last Airbender earned $40.3 million over the Friday-to-Sunday portion of the weekend, with a total of $69.3 million since it debuted on Thursday. What should Paramount Pictures take from this result?

Josh Spiegel: I think they should be pretty pleased, for a number of reasons. From a critical standpoint, they should be thrilled that the toxic reviews didn't convince enough people to avoid the film. I do think it's worth pointing out, though, that I don't think this number would be greatly improved had the reviews been rapturous. I've heard of the source material, but I don't think that mass audiences would flock to the film, even if it turned out that M. Night Shyamalan still had a good movie in him (which, apparently, he does not). Finally, Paramount should be pleased because this movie seems like a perfect international performer; since the word-of-mouth is probably going to destroy the film's future grosses, they should hope the movie does well everywhere else.


Daron Aldridge: While this number is good comparatively to the apparent quality of the film and the Twilight monster taking up headlines and screen space, Paramount has to be only mildly happy with this return because it was outrageously expensive for them to make. Wow, a reported budget of $150 million. From what I have seen on Facebook and heard from the Target employees I was eavesdropping on, that is a lot of coin for a film that either alienates the fans of the cartoon series or bores its audience. Where did the money get spent? Making Dev Patel a true millionaire, many times over? For Paramount's sake, I hope that you are right, Josh, and this thing pulls in the overseas money big time.

Matthew Huntley: Paramount should be breathing a huge sigh of relief because numbers like these suggest the movie won't be a total loss for the studio. Don't get me wrong - it will still be a loss (by this time next weekend, we'll see just how badly word-of-mouth killed it), but it won't be an outright bomb. I saw this movie today and I'm afraid the reviews are not exaggerated. It is indescribably bad, and I'm not trying to be humorous. It is sincerely and truly awful. It's as if M. Night Shyamalan has never seen another movie or read a book in his life to grasp basic storytelling fundamentals (establishing a time and place, cutting to appropriate reaction shots, properly delivering exposition, etc.). I'm not spoiling too much when I say the movie sets itself up for three more installments, but the original will have to gross about $300 million in total to justify this. I am hoping it does not get there because neither I nor other moviegoers should be subjected to any sequels that could be just as bad, although it would take a lot to get there.

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