Monday Morning Quarterback Part I

By BOP Staff

April 11, 2011

See you in the NBA, big guy.

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Extra! Extra! Teen girl assassin takes out billionaire drunk!

Kim Hollis: Hanna, the thriller about a teenage assassin, earned $12.4 million. How should Focus Features feel about this result?

Brett Beach: Up until a few days ago, I didn't realize that Focus was going so wide with this. I was expecting low to mid single digits at that point. Considering that this wound up as the best-reviewed film of the weekend, this was a good call on their part. Comparing the per screen average for this with Arthur ($4,880 vs $3,731) provides the most succinct answer for how they should feel. A film that the trailers managed to effectively sell as an action film (but a weird action film) with a teen killer is off to a good start and, with a couple of weeks of modest declines, could come close to rivalling Atonement as director Joe Wright's highest-grossing film. Saoirse Ronan has officially arrived.

Shalimar Sahota: Those waiting for Hit-Girl: The Movie have to contend with this as the next best thing. It certainly looks intriguing, though the reviews suggest that the trailers and tv spots make it look more action packed than it really is. Nevertheless, this is a good opening. As the best reviewed film over the weekend, it'd be nice to believe that this will stick around in the top ten, but after seeing what happened to Source Code, I'm getting the impression that audiences aren't going for supreme originality and would rather see something they're comfortable with.


Josh Spiegel: I am genuinely and pleasantly surprised to see Hanna do so well, and I will also be surprised if it stays in the top ten for a couple more weeks. Why? This is easily the strangest movie I've seen since Black Swan, and I'd wager that it's even stranger than that. I loved it, and it deserves the praise it's getting, but I can see a lot of audiences being mixed on it. Still, what Hanna offers is something that's slightly different, but familiar enough to check out. Just be warned: even though there's enough action, this is nowhere near director Joe Wright's previous movies.

Edwin Davies: Focus should be really pleased with this result since Hanna has gone from being that weird action movie/arthouse hybrid that everyone was expecting to only do okay to a pretty solid result. They seem to have repeated the same trick that they managed with The American last September, admittedly on a smaller scale, by emphasizing the action elements in a film that is not a traditional action film.

David Mumpower: BOP's Dan Krovich mentioned recently that Focus Features was showing a lot of confidence in Hanna with that strong, largely out of nowhere advertising campaign that sprang up at the last moment. The numbers bear this out as the film was a blip on the tracking radar until recently, but it then started a quick ascension, eventually surpassing the most optimistic of expectations. For a film every bit as strange as Josh has discussed (if not more so), this is an epic triumph. Shalimar mentioned Hit Girl and (of course) so many people are comparing it to Leon aka The Professional, but I see it more along the lines of Donnie Darko, Assassin. It's that weird. There is absolutely nothing commercial about this project on paper. Given how I was just describing the distaste the studio system has for new products these days, the way that Focus Features went out on a limb for Hanna is exemplary.

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