Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
October 19, 2010
Max Braden: It's The AARP Expendables. Oh wait, Willis is a decade younger than Stallone. In any case, this opening is bigger than some of the year's other notable action flicks like The Losers, Killers, and Knight and Day (A Tom Cruise movie! A Tom Cruise *action* movie!) and isn't far off what The A-Team opened with. Last October's action movie was the Foxx/Butler thriller Law Abiding Citizen, which opened to $21 million. I think Summit can be satisfied with this result.
The commercials beat all these people down. That has to be the case.Kim Hollis: Hereafter, the second Clint Eastwood/Matt Damon project opened to $220,322 in six locations, giving it a per location average $36,720. Do you expect this to be a box office hit? How strong an Academy Awards contender do you expect it to be?
Josh Spiegel: I'll take the second question first. Since it's a film directed by Clint Eastwood, starring Matt Damon, and was written by the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of The Queen, there's no question that Hereafter has a shot to be a contender. The critical reactions have been a bit mixed, though; those who like the film pretty much love it, and those who don't like it...well, don't love it. This number is impressive, but I'm curious to see if it falls on its face when it goes wider. The previews and poster make the movie look a) unlike anything Clint Eastwood has ever directed and b) this close to a crappy movie-of-the-week. Maybe it's just me, but that poster seems like a parody. Obviously, the star power could help, but the numbers we see this weekend may only be reflective of film buffs wanting to check out a new Eastwood film as soon as they can.
Matthew Huntley: I saw the film (review coming soon) and while it is a bit on the slow side (typical for Eastwood), it does add up to something that's uncommonly...interesting (I'd rather not say "profound" or "emotional" because I think "interesting" is more suitable). With this in mind, plus the star power that Josh mentioned, along with the inherently intriguing subject matter, I think word-of-mouth will be strong and will propel the film to mid-level hit status. Plus Eastwood's films tend to show legs because of his adult demographic. It won't be a blockbuster like Gran Torino, but it also won't struggle like Invictus. If I had to predict its final gross, I'd go with $70 million.
As good as the film was, though, I don't see it becoming an Oscar contender. It's just not as, for lack of a better word, special as it needs to be. But the Academy's admiration and respect for Eastwood may give it a few default nods, perhaps for screenplay. I'm sure Warner Bros. will do all they can to make sure it gets something to prolong its life in theaters even longer.