Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
June 14, 2011
We're such better studio execs than the actual studio execs.
Kim Hollis: Now that we've discussed our satisfaction/dissatisfaction with the opening, do you believe there is anything Paramount could have done differently to ensure a much larger opening weekend?
Brett Beach: Having not seen the film yet, my answer may not be as informed, but outside of J.J. Abrams making a completely different film from the one he did, no. The Thursday "sneak" opening may have proved to be a win-win, but in any event, I don't think anyone on the money or numbers side of things was expecting this to open huge. And that's fine. I think it's very similar to District 9's opening where Peter Jackson's name meant something, and a sense of the unknown drew in the opening week crowd. Abrams may have been more of an established name, but he is directing his first original screenplay here and a "period" piece at that. Higlighting Spielberg's involvement was smart, and selling the mystery vs shooting their wad in the trailer was a risk, but ultimately a smart one.
Max Braden: Max Braden: They could have sold out with the trailer by showing a lot more of the climax, but that would have been a trade-off; a front-loaded opening with less impressive legs. I think the bigger payoff would have been to change the title (to what, I don't know).
Also, I will make the claim that if Abrams hadn't insisted on using his damn lens flare, he would have doubled his money. Ridiculous assertion? So is the damn lens flare, J.J.
Bruce Hall: I think I agree with the things that have been said so far. I would only add that I think genuine interest in this film was somewhat limited to begin with. For those who understood what kind of movie this was, the semi mysterious marketing campaign was self evident. For everyone else, it may have just been a little confusing.
Matthew Huntley: Getting back to Brett's comparison to District 9, I wonder if the movie would have opened bigger had it been pushed to late summer. Like District 9, Super 8 has positive reviews and a story-driven concept, so it might have come as a welcome relief to all the sensational, effects-driven fare that dominate the first three months of the summer season. Still, I can't imagine this would have made a huge difference. I think the marketing team did just about everything they could with what they had and I'm thankful the mystery wasn't revealed in the trailer, not for the film's marketing sake, but for simply preserving the surprise until audiences had a chance to see it.
Jason Lee: I agree with Bruce. As I wrote in response to the previous question, I think the appeal of this film was always going to be somewhat limited. Moving the release date to a period in which it wouldn't have required a summer blockbuster performance (September maybe?) might have been a smarter idea.