Monday Morning Quarterback Part II

By BOP Staff

November 30, 2010

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If the movie lasts longer than four hours...

Kim Hollis: Love and Other Drugs, the Fox release that reunites Brokeback Mountain stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway (and gets them very naked), took in $13.9 million over the Thanksgiving holiday, including $9.7 million from the three-day portion of the weekend. Should the studio be satisfied with this result?

Josh Spiegel: I said this when Morning Glory came out and I'll say it again with Love and Other Drugs: releasing movies that aren't clear-cut blockbusters (such as Tangled, which may not have been a sure thing, but is a family movie coming out on a holiday weekend) on Wednesdays is like moving TV shows to Friday nights. Love and Other Drugs, thus, is the new Fringe. This movie has had some solid reviews, so it may be able to stay alive for the next few weeks, but Fox did nothing to help the film with its weak marketing campaign; I saw maybe a handful of ads, but none were memorable enough to make me remember when to see the damn thing.

Bruce Hall: Josh, are you saying that "Friday night is where television shows go to die" = "Wednesday night is where baffling, unmarketable movies are asked to dig their own graves"?

I agree, and will again suggest that a movie like this released at a time like this is in a no win situation. A mid-week money grab is a good way to recoup some of your investment but all you're doing is padding the numbers. You're not fooling anyone.


While this is a disappointing result, the best part about it for Gyllenhaal and Hathaway may be that three weeks from now, nobody is going to remember it.

Joshua Pasch: I am very surprised by how weak this opening is. Granted, I thought the trailer was weak (right up to showing what I can only assume is a climactic scene where he stops her bus leaving for Canada and emotionally gives her a speech about how his life is incomplete without her and how he's sorry he let her get on the bus; then she cuts him off and says something like "you had me at 'i'm sorry i let you get on the bus'"). I also agree about the ridiculousness of opening a rom-com on a Wednesday - even if it is Thankgiving weekend (Four Christmases did well with that strategy but I'm convinced that Vince Vaughn defies all logical laws of box office expectations).

All of that said, every girl I know would ooh and ah at Jake Gyllenhaal when the trailer popped up and they all seemed to be into it. Also: Ed Zwick.

But, apparently not. And no, the studio should not be satisfied. A single digit opening weekend for a wide holiday release can rarely be spun into something overly positive. The most it can hope for now are some holiday-inflated legs that bring its total to a respectable or at least not glaringly low sum.

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