Monday Morning Quarterback
By BOP Staff
February 22, 2011
I'll never be able to keep track of the name of this movieKim Hollis: Unknown, the Taken-ish film starring Liam Neeson, opened to $21.9 million for the three-day portion of the weekend. What do you take from this result?
Edwin Davies: I think it proves that a) people won't blindly go to see any film with James Cameron's name on it, but they will go and see a film if it tries its darnedest to look like another movie that they liked a couple of years ago; b) that they has been a dearth of halfway decent thrillers on offer for people - I would cite the previously alluded to Sanctum as Exhibit A for that argument; and that c) there is a demand for Liam Neeson: Action Hero, so long as he sticks to a very particular set of roles.
Josh Spiegel: I'd agree with Edwin here. Liam Neeson has become, inexplicably enough to me, a middle-aged action hero these days. Some times, it doesn't work so much (see The A-Team), but on a relatively weak holiday weekend, Neeson playing the Bourne-esque hero works again. From what I've read about the film's many twists and turns, this isn't really Taken 2, but the marketing was focused enough on Neeson's previous work that audiences, especially more grown-ups, had their interest piqued.
Brett Beach: It has been marketed, is being critically received and performing so far like a pseudo sequel to Taken. Since it isn't I don't think it will suffer from any sort of dramatic sequel-esque second weekend dropoff, but the legs of Taken repeating themselves also seem unlikely. This will once again come down to word-of-mouth, with the caveat of whether it compares favorably enough to Taken for the older moviegoers who came out for the former. I see this having $100 million potential, but just barely. I, for one, embrace Liam Neeson near-60-year-old action star, like that he has made a career of embracing all genres and levels of box office success and actually want to catch Taken 2: The Unknown Boogaloo (soooooooorry!) in theaters.
Shalimar Sahota: This feels kind of in line with expectations. The trailer has been attached to almost everything I've seen so far this year, and it effectively builds up the mystery. I think releasing two action blockbusters on the same weekend was a strange move, even if they are marketed to different audiences, and there's more action on the way next week with Drive Angry. Nevertheless the way people are going on about the surprise twist could mean good word-of-mouth. Also, I'm sure that the audience of 50+ guys are happy with what they're seeing. Watching Liam Neeson, playing a doctor doing some very un-doctor like activity; it will get them thinking, "Well, if he can be an action hero, then so can I". So they'll go out and take back their life. The one that was wasted away from getting married. They'll take that trip to Berlin and purposely get involved in a car crash made to look like an accident, and end up in hospital, and blame Liam Neeson.