Monday Morning Quarterback Part II

By BOP Staff

January 31, 2011

Cue hard rock music to celebrate an awesome save.

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Another PG-13 rated exorcism flick? Hooray!

Kim Hollis: The Rite, an exorcism movie featuring Sir Anthony Hopkins, earned $14.8 million this weekend. How should Warner Bros. feel about this result?

Josh Spiegel: Boy, did this look cheesy. So, while we can chalk it up to nothing too new or exciting being at the multiplexes, and the East Coast being stuck under a pile of snow, I'm sure Warner Bros. is just happy that this movie came out and didn't tank. And, hey, Anthony Hopkins can buy himself that third yacht he'd been hoping for under the Christmas tree.

Matthew Huntley: I think Mr. Hopkins (or is it Sir Hopkins?) could have bought that third yacht in spite of The Rite. God knows he's made his fair share of cheesy mainstream Hollywood movies, and this one seems no one different. I stress "seems" since I've yet to see the movie, but based on the trailer, one wonders why such a talented and versatile actor wouldn't be more selective with his projects.


Anyhow, I highly doubt Warner Bros. was expecting much from this movie when they decided to release it in late January, so to open at number one and make up almost half the production budget ($37 million) on opening weekend, they should be relatively satisfied. When international numbers are taken into account, the movie should reach profitability by the time it hits the home market, where it will no doubt find a larger audience.

Bruce Hall: I admit I don't know anything about Sir Anthony's finances or his motivations. But The Rite is based on material that takes itself pretty seriously, and some of the people behind the film apparently do, too. I imagine the role seemed like an appealing challenge. In any event, watching Anthony Hopkins become the latest distinguished gentleman to tackle the "Priest Struggling With His Faith" thing wasn't going to draw me out of the house this weekend. Apparently most of America was in agreement. Or, buried under four feet of snow. But as Matthew pointed out, any time a film makes back half the bank on opening weekend, it's hard not to be pleased. January is a cold, unforgiving place where movies are often sent to die, so when yours survives, God be praised, indeed.

Edwin Davies: They shouldn't be singing hosanas over the result, but neither should they be reading the film the Last Rites. (Man, I am really coming up against the limits of what I know about Christian rituals.) It's a perfectly fine, unspectacular result for a not particularly good, unspectacular horror film. Considering how unoriginal it looked - especially compared to the similarly themed The Last Exorcism, which at least had the faux-documentary aspect to help the studio sell it - $15 million isn't a bad start, especially considering how cheap it was to make. It'll probably struggle to make its budget back domestically, but it'll probably be fairly close and overseas grosses will probably help it earn its budget back with a little extra change on top. Ho, and indeed, hum.

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