Monday Morning Quarterback Part II

By BOP Staff

September 14, 2010

They're married in New Jersey now.

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Kim Hollis: Machete, the unlikely spinoff from the Spy Kids series, slashed another $4.3 million from audiences this weekend, giving it $20.9 million against a $20 million budget. Why do you think this genre pic succeeded when so many fail?

Josh Spiegel: I'm not sure the movie succeeded that much. The fake Machete trailer at the beginning of Grindhouse is arguably one of the best and most memorable aspects of the two-part film, but it's been over three years since Grindhouse came out. So, yeah, this movie made more than I thought it would, but it's not tearing up the box office; moreover, its weekend-to-weekend decline was worse than The American's, and the Cinemascore here isn't nearly as low. Obviously, Robert Rodriguez is the kind of filmmaker who makes cheap stuff, so Machete's not going to lose a lot of money, but I'm not sure it's worth a lot of praise.

Brett Beach: I also wouldn't classify this as a win, except from the standpoint of making back its budget. It will end up grossing slightly more than Grindhouse did, but I think it will inspire a lot less fervor and affection (and perhaps heated debate) going forward than did its precedent. I saw it Saturday and was pleased and shocked with how much relevant political and social text there was, but would have preferred a film that built to a gonzo conclusion rather than stick the most extreme parts in the first five minutes and the middle. It was more wearying than giddy-ing. Danny Trejo is, along with Clint Eastwood, the most imposing senior citizen I know (Trejo is 66) and he does infinitely more for the film than the film does for him. Rodriguez knows the genres where his bread is buttered (exploitation homage and kids films) but I yearn for him to use a different knife (or machete) in the future.


Matthew Huntley: I agree with Josh and Brett on this one (the first question that popped in my head after reading Kim's post was, "Machete succeeded?"). Nevertheless, the movie's relative success can be attributed to its modest budget and low expectations. Comparatively, Grindhouse was expected to be more successful since it also had Quentin Tarantino's name attached, but the awareness and hype for Machete were not as high.

On a side note, I think Machete is the kind of movie that exists for the home market. An unrated DVD/Blu-ray is practically guaranteed, along with an in-depth commentary by Robert Rodriguez. It's here, I think, where we'll see it truly succeed.

Reagen Sulewski: Guys, guys, guys! Different comparative standards! Machete doesn't have to make $100 million, or $75 million, or even $50 million domestically to be a success, given its listed budget (and the fact that two sequels are planned is another testament to the idea that it's a success). Give Robert Rodriguez $100 and a camera, and he'll make you a feature film.

David Mumpower: I agree with Reagen. This title is infinitely playable, because it's timeless, mindless violence. And I say this with certainty after noticing that Desperado was showing on one of the pay channels the other night. This is the type of movie that made Robert Rodriguez famous, and I'm thrilled that he occasionally goes back to it. With regards to how much money it actually makes as well as how successful it is over time, the other thing to keep in mind is that this low budget title will do great on video prior to its indefinite existence filling late night programming. And there are not one but two sequels under consideration. This doubles as a franchise launch and while it clearly isn't for everyone, it has deftly filled a niche.

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