Monday Morning Quarterback Part I

By BOP Staff

March 28, 2011

He feels for you. He thinks he loves you.

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Forget Rodrick. It should be Rowley who rules.

Kim Hollis: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules pulled off one of the biggest upsets in box office history, winning the weekend with $23.8 million. What do you take from the Wimpy Kid's triumphant second outing?

Josh Spiegel: Kids are bored. And this series must be popular. That, to me, is the mix of what happened this weekend for this movie to make so much money. I don't think that Sucker Punch lost any money from this movie's audience, honestly. Part of why Wimpy Kid 2 did so well is because - and I'm guessing here - the kids who saw the first film were satisfied enough to check it out. Now that all the kids in the country have seen Rango, it was time for another family movie to step up to the plate.

Bruce Hall: I think that there are a lot of families with younger kids still on spring break and if families were going to go see anything this weekend it was going to be Diary. Zack Snyder's main demographic is the developmentally arrested 18-35 male and that's just not enough people to make for a blockbuster opening weekend. Wimpy Kid was an inexpensive film to make and stands to end up with a stellar bottom line unless for some reason the bottom falls out next week. There's at least one kid friendly film opening around the corner but I'm not sure it has the same audience, so I think this is definitely going to be a true success story.


Matthew Huntley: In my opinion, there are two reasons why this movie opened to such big numbers: 1) It was made and distributed within one year of the original, which was well-liked and still fresh in people's minds. This was a very smart decision on Fox's end. They delivered a sequel while the franchise was still hot. 2) Kids haven't really had anything to call their own lately. Yes, Rango is a terrific family entertainment, but some parents have said they won't take their kids to see it because of the adult content (namely the violence and language), which sounds ridiculous, but to some parents, those things are important; and Mars Needs Moms probably looked too stupid for parents to even consider buying tickets because it would mean they'd have to see it too. Wimpy not only looked harmless for kids but it's something parents could tolerate as well. So I attribute the movie's success mostly to the other family films not living up to parents' expectations. With Wimpy, parents pretty much know what they and their kids are going to get and that probably gives them peace of mind.

Tom Houseman: This makes sense as an opening for a film aimed squarely at a young demographic. You get fans of the series, their parents, and nobody else. Plenty of other movies aimed at this demographic have had similar openings and were considered bombs (Hoot, and more recently Mars Needs Moms) because for some reason they were greenlit with mammoth budgets that they couldn't possibly make back. Wimpy Kid is the Saw of the preteen audience. It makes money because it's made on the cheap and has a built-in audience.

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