Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
March 22, 2011
Note: Not a Paul McCartney biopicKim Hollis: Paul, the latest film from BOP's beloved Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, opened to $13 million. Is this more, less, or about what you expected for the alien fanboy comedy?
Josh Spiegel: Hot Fuzz made less than six million bucks in its opening weekend in North America. That is pretty mind-boggling, but then again, Pegg and Frost have never fully hit the mainstream. So, all things considered, this is a really, really good opener. Obviously, having more well-known performers such as Seth Rogen, Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, and Sigourney Weaver involved helps things out. Though it didn't open as well as Superbad did (the last big box-office hit from Paul's director, Greg Mottola), Universal is probably pleased.
Edwin Davies: This is more than I expected but less than I hoped, if that makes sense. I love Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, so I wanted them to have a big breakout success on the par with what Seth Rogen did with Knocked Up, but I was also aware that they aren't big names to a mainstream audience and the film, despite being easily their most accessible work to date, is still too geek-centric to really make any sort of impact. This splits the difference nicely, suggesting that they managed to get a pretty decent sized audience interested. I don't expect the film to have the greatest legs because it is quite a niche interest, but it'll make a good amount to add to its already solid overseas earning. Good on them.
Reagen Sulewski: Pegg and Frost have shown consistent growth in their films, which is all you can ask for a comedy team targeting a very specific niche - if you want to look at how things could go wrong, check out the trajectory of the Broken Lizard films, or try and find that second Kids in the Hall feature. This film is also in the unusual case where the domestic box office is a bit of a sideshow - as you could imagine, it's doing a lot better in the UK already. So it's unlikely to match that $40 million budget States-side, but then again, it doesn't have to.
Max Braden: I'm a big fan of Pegg and Frost's previous two films because there's a lot of brilliance hidden in the stupidly funny premise, but Paul just looked stupid to me. Which on second thought means it should have opened to Jackass numbers. My guess is that any excess they earned over Hot Fuzz was due to Seth Rogen's attachment.
David Mumpower: I think so much of Greg Mottola's talent as a director that I was able to overcome my intense dislike of Kristen Stewart long enough to enjoy Adventureland quite a bit. I have been a huge fan of his going all the way back to his days working on Undeclared, one of the many, many Fox sitcoms that deserved a better fate. Combining him with the Spaced team is a dream project for me; I had been curious to see how receptive North American audiences would be to such an offbeat premise. I think I would call this a slight win as $13.0 million represents steady improvement from Adventureland's $16.0 million domestic result. This total also destroys Simon Pegg's last two North American opening weekends, Run Fatboy Run and Hot Fuzz, which combine for about $8.2 million *between* them. Max's point about the appeal of Seth Rogen is valid, though. I cannot dismiss the thought that any increase in performance from the prior works of the major talent involved is directly due to his presence in the project. Whatever the reason, it's a solid global hit, which is a good news for our staff's SPACED RULEZ crew of which I am a charter member.