Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
January 19, 2011
Kim Hollis: The Dilemma opened to $17.4 million over the three-day portion of the weekend, with $20.6 million over the four-day portion. Is this a good enough result for a Vince Vaughn/Kevin James/Ron Howard comedy?
Josh Spiegel: As time passes, I am more and more baffled by the success of Vince Vaughn. Or Kevin James, to be honest. I get why they're popular, to a degree (James, in particular, is a friendly, likable actor whose appeal to families makes sense). But I don't know why The Dilemma (which certainly does not refer to whether I want to see the film or not) was meant to be an exciting option at the movies. Howard's name is most perplexing, though, as the trailers do not belie a movie that is compatible with Howard's recent output. The result's not that great, but for this time of year, it could have fallen farther.
Bruce Hall: This is January, the Season of Lowered Expectations in the film world. So, banging out half the production budget over the first four days of release should probably be considered a positive. But the stink on this project is just appalling. Ron Howard is a well respected director with a distinguished body of work, so he's certainly earned the right to stretch his legs a bit - but this material seems a bit beneath him. I consider myself a fan of Vince Vaughn but I am a nostalgic person, and am probably more a fan of the overgrown frat boy shtick he cultivated back in the '90s than anything else. But as he ages it wears thin and while films like Wedding Crashers played this frayed persona for ironic laughs, I wonder if it isn't time for Vaughn to expand a bit as well (no pun intended). Perhaps the debacle that was Psycho left him gun shy but sooner or later he's no longer going to be able to pull off 40 going on 14, and some would say that time has already come. Vince has some very credible dramatic roles on his resume, and unlike many other popular character actors I feel comfortable believing that this one is capable of more. The Dilemma is simply a poor film, and that certainly has to be taken into account here. But perhaps the time has come for Vaughan to try spreading his wings once again.
Max Braden: This is the kind of project that feels like you could put together with a roulette wheel: Vince Vaughn... Adam Sandler... Matthew McConaughey... Ben Stiller... Will Ferrell... Todd Phillips... Seth Rogen... Judd Apatow. The only person who seems out of place here is Ron Howard, like he's jumping on the bandwagon two decades after "his" era. So for the generic mashup, $17 million is typical where you might get twice that if you find magic like in The Hangover.
Matthew Huntley: Definitely not a good enough result given the cast and filmmaker. What's more disturbing than the low numbers is the poor critical reception. The movie is not good and it tries to piece together two different movies that just don't go together. Every few scenes, it stalls and becomes awkward, so unfortunately it deserves its box-office, which I assume isn't going to get much better in the coming weeks. For a $70 million movie, I can't see it grossing more than $40 million, which is unacceptable.