Monday Morning Quarterback Part I

By BOP Staff

March 7, 2011

I hope the sex was hot, dude.

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Animated lizard westerns are a genre whose time has come

Kim Hollis: Rango opened to $38.1 million. Are you pleased with this result for a non-DreamWorks Paramount animated film featuring the voice of Johnny Depp?

Brett Beach: Coupled with the fairly positive reviews it has received that may spur more adults and cautious parents to check it out in the weeks to come, this should be considered a solid opening for an animated film that is not from DreamWorks, nor Pixar, is not based on any kind of existing property, is not in 3D, is a western, and looks to be intentionally, overtly weird. Johnny Depp has become the de facto go to guy for making the weird go down smoothly for the mainstream moviegoers. and his presence probably helped to bring in some who were on the fence about whether was too much for the kids and/or not enough for the adults. (I was more than a little puzzled that some predictions for the opening went as high as $50 million). As it stands, this is now the highest grossing film to feature the character of Raoul Duke, so it at least has that going for it.

Matthew Huntley: I think they should be very pleased...for now. If the reviews are valid, then I'd like the movie to gross five times its opening, similar to last year's How to Train Your Dragon. Allegedly, moviegoers aren't as gung-ho over Rango as the critics (perhaps they think it's too weird), but this just makes me more curious to see it, and maybe more people will feel that way and we'll have our first $100 million blockbuster of 2011. Regardless, based on the opening alone, we'll definitely see more animated features of this nature in the future, and certainly more that utilize the voice of Johnny Depp.


Josh Spiegel: I'll be shocked if Rango doesn't reach the $100 million plateau, but I'll also be kind of surprised if it makes five times the opening gross. While Dragon did so last year, even with its big word-of-mouth, it did have 3D playing to its advantage - and that's a film that was clearly enhanced by 3D technology. I think the opening is impressive, but any audiences who thought the movie was too weird must not have paid attention to the ads, which have done nothing but make it clear that this is going to be one strange movie. I'm interested to see this movie, but I'm mostly intrigued to see what Gore Verbinski will do next; his career is nothing if not eclectic (remember, he also directed The Weather Man).

Bruce Hall: Personally, I think that any movie with talking animals that wear clothes and use well worn pop culture references in adorably out of context ways qualifies as "weird." Come on, it's a movie about wisecracking lizards starring the guy who plays the world's most famously flamboyant pirate and directed by a man named Gore Verbinski. Of course it's weird. If weird is a problem then just be glad Terry Gilliam didn't direct it. But I'm thinking that if you took your kids to see it, as long as they were entertained the day goes down as a win. Beyond that it's hard to imagine the average moviegoer being surprised if something doesn't touch them the same way it does their children. In any event, a handy win on opening weekend is never a bad thing, and for something that is admittedly a little off the wall to have a legit shot at $100 million is good indeed.

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