Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
September 27, 2010
Apparently, "Money Never Sleeps" was a big plot point in the original Wall Street. Who can remember back that far?Kim Hollis: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps awakened to the tune of $19 million. Should Fox be satisfied with this result?
Tim Briody: Sure. They made a sequel that nobody was exactly clamoring for and came away with almost $20 million. I'm sure they were hoping for more (make your own "greed, for lack of a better word, is good" joke here!) by using one of the most inexplicably bankable actors of this generation in Shia LaBeouf, but I think much of his target audience at this point was not alive when Wall Street was first released. That left nostalgia to sell it and the resulting box office was something a little bit lower than was forecasted.
Josh Spiegel: I'm with Tim here. Despite the fact that the topic matter is timely, the original wasn't in need of a sequel, and the marketing kind of died down when the release date got moved back. I think Fox could have maybe helped the movie get to $25 million, but the ceiling wasn't very high here, what with The Town taking away the mature audience business away from this one.
Bruce Hall: Agreed. Basically Oliver Stone made a film that nobody other than Oliver Stone thought was necessary, but Oliver Stone thinks that everything he does is necessary. You have to give him points for chutzpah. But to come out of this weekend with the number one film despite such a modest haul has got to be a win. I do think someone was a little gun shy on the marketing end and left five to seven million on the table but when you release a completely unnecessary sequel almost a quarter century out - with no giant fighting robots OR Glenn Close - and you still take the weekend, you have an accomplishment.
Brett Beach: I am all about noting personal records, even if they are "meaningless," and Stone and Douglas both came away with the best opening weekends of their respective decades-long careers (based on the early estimate.) Fox should be pleased with a #1 opening even if it did make less than it might have made at one of its earlier scheduled opening dates. I had heard mid-20s opening bandied about which seemed possible if not probable. The timeliness of the topic was possibly counteracted by it being "too" real world for/not escapist enough for audiences whereas Douglas' battle with cancer brings with its own kind of positive/negative advertising. I give Tim props for using the full "Greed. . ." quote which is considerably more nuanced than the shortened version. I think the sequel, while not necessary, is a brilliant idea to bring back an iconic character (like Norman Bates or Fast Eddie Felson) to attempt to survive in a world that has passed them by.
Tim Briody: Right, Brett, something that we've been saying for years on this site (and I alluded to again in the Friday Box Office column) is that movies are supposed to be a form of an escapism. We don't want to pay our $9-15 dollars for a ticket to be reminded of how things are in the real world. Sometimes we'd like to forget it exists for a few hours. Wall Street is a reminder of the current economic situation and thus that may have hindered its box office this weekend.