Monday Morning Quarterback Part I

By BOP Staff

July 11, 2011

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Can a touchy-feely Jennifer Aniston for a boss be horrible? Really?

Kim Hollis: Horrible Bosses, quite possibly the most relatable title ever, opened to $28.3 million. Should Warner Bros. be pleased with this result?

Matthew Huntley: Yes and no. Yes because the movie reportedly only cost $35 million to make, and for a movie to make up the bulk of its production budget on opening weekend means it will likely show a profit by the time its domestic run is over.

No because the ad campaign and premise, not to mention the reviews, suggested it should have opened higher, perhaps in the mid-30s range. I remember first seeing the trailer for Horrible Bosses and Bad Teacher on Bridesmaids' opening weekend, and the reaction to Horrible Bosses was much more promising, yet Bad Teacher opened higher. In any event, Bosses will probably show better legs and, if it's lucky, go on to bank $90-$100 million when all is said and done. For a brisk summer comedy with a relatively low negative cost, that should please any studio.


Edwin Davies: I'd say this is a really good result given that none of the three leads have ever opened a film to these sort of numbers when their names have been above the title (even in the case of Jason Sudeikis, Hall Pass only opened as well as it did - i.e. not very - because of Owen Wilson and the Farrelly Brothers' involvement). Given the easy to grasp, relatable premise and the strong reviews, I wouldn't have been surprised if it had opened to more than $30 million, but I think that any money left on the table over opening weekend will get picked up over subsequent ones as word-of-mouth - something that has so often proven essential to the success of this spate of R-rate comedies - brings more people to it. It's not a spectacular start, but it is a more than solid one that could bode well for coming weeks.

Bruce Hall: I'll go on record as agreeing with the idea that making up this much of your production budget opening weekend qualifies as a win. It's a sensible theory, and I'm going to go out on a limb and further suggest that a sizable portion of this film's target demographic was otherwise occupied this weekend. Horrible Bosses is certainly not going after the same audience as Transformers 3 or Zookeeper. But if my circle of friends is any indicator, much of the top half of that 18-35 space was too busy suffering for the sake of their children. Transformers 3: Dumberer and Dumberer will continue to suck the air out of the room until Super Boy Wizard VIII opens next week. And if you have little ones, there's a fair chance Paul Blart: Zookeeper was on the docket for this weekend. I know a lot of people who wanted to see Horrible Bosses (myself included) this weekend, but aren't going to get around to it until next month. This phenomenon plus positive word-of-mouth should give Horrible Bosses good legs, and a good bottom line when all is said and done.

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