Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
June 13, 2011
Let's just combine them into a super powerful being called Spielbrams.
Kim Hollis: Super 8 opened to $35.5 million. Is this a good enough result for an original property with the Abrams/Spielberg pedigree?
Max Braden: You might say that opening at half of Star Trek's number is problematic, but I'd say $37 million for any opening is solid, even with the pedigree. In addition to not being a sequel, I think this project was more difficult to market than your typical summer blockbuster. Unlike Transformers where all the money shots are in the trailer, Abrams obviously wanted to keep the key element of Super 8 hidden, which just leaves you with kids staring into the distance at night for your trailer. The title tells you nothing (unless you're trying not to jump to the conclusion that this is a Boogie Nights sequel), and it's difficult to tell if it's for kids or adults. I think ultimately Paramount can not be concerned about opening weekend because this feels like a movie that's going to have long legs despite any competition in future weeks.
Bruce Hall: I think that $35 million for what is essentially a vanity project is more than adequate. The Legend of J.J. Abrams lives on.
Matthew Huntley: I was surprised to learn Super 8 only carried a pricetag of $50 million (not including P&A costs), but such a figure makes it all the easier to answer Kim's question: yes, $35 million is easily a good enough result for its opening weekend. It will likely exceed its production budget by next Friday and without direct competition until Cars 2, which will steal away the family audience, it should become a solid, profitable venture for Paramount, who's in line to have a terrific summer season. "Solid." That's the word I think will be used to describe Super 8 going forward, both in terms of the quality of its content and its box-office performance. That's more than most movies can hope for.
Shalimar Sahota: Okay, it's not quite in the same league as last year's big original blockbuster Inception, but for a film with no big stars, relying largely on the names of its director and producer, this is pretty good. Yet, while I'm happy to see originality at the top of the box office, I can't help but compare it to Cloverfield, which had half the budget and opened higher. Even though Abrams was only a producer on that film, the marketing had his name scrawled all over it. I can only assume that those who walked away from that film disappointed didn't want to be subjected to Super 8. Despite this, I still expect the strong reviews and word-of-mouth to keep Super 8 afloat for the rest of the summer.
Edwin Davies: I wouldn't say that this opening was any sort of referendum on the quality of Cloverfield, but it is an indicator of how much of an easier sell Cloverfield was than Super 8. Cloverfield had the easy gimmick of being a Godzilla-type movie shot from a bug's eye view. It was something that people hadn't seen before, and the marketing created such a strong sense of mystery through its innovative viral style that it was imperative that people see the film opening weekend so that there wouldn't be time for the reveal of the monster to be ruined for them. It also had a teaser trailer that took everyone by surprise, creating an instant, almost deafening buzz and excitement about it. Super 8, on the other hand, doesn't look especially unique or new, which, given that it's an homage to the Spielberg directed and produced films of the '80s, is at least partly intentional. Without a clear hook in the ads to draw casual viewers in (as has already been mentioned, the trailers had to make do without any real money shots), it was never going break out. However, this is towards the higher end of my own expectations, and if word-of-mouth matches the reviews, this one could end up somewhere north of $120 million, which is very good for a film that cost $50 million, a paltry figure compared to most of the films released during this time of year.