Monday Morning Quarterback Part II

By BOP Staff

August 2, 2011

Are you still here, Orton? Elway has a better chance of being the starter than you do.

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Matthew Huntley: I second Brett's assessment - the movie is very loyal to the Western genre, which is more an observation than a compliment, but it's not terribly exciting or fresh. Essentially, it's a solid, albeit standard, example of its type. Unfortunately for the movie, I think this will only hurt its legs, because people will go into it expecting something "bombastically silly and ironic" (as Brett said), and when they're given something else, they'll be disoriented and start bad mouthing it, whether or not it's justified.

The movie does have a lot of special effects and some big names, but how did its budget burgeon to such a high figure? Universal must see this as a disappointment, because Cowboys & Aliens won't come close to recouping its costs by the time theaters start taking their share. If it can't gross more than $100 million domestically, it will be labeled a bomb for sure. And this likely won't have a lot of international appeal since the Western is classically a North American genre.

Shalimar Sahota: After all the hype, this is very disappointing. Maybe audiences learnt their lesson after the release of Wild Wild West and just don't go for strange western hybrids anymore, like Jonah Hex. Or they'd just like to go with something more familiar this year, given that so far, the top five highest grossing films at the US box office are all sequels. I'm guessing that some mummies and daddies felt that had to do their duty as a parent, and take their kids to see The Smurfs, when what they really wanted to do was see this. Cowboys and Aliens could still crack $100 million, provided it has a decent hold next week, but the mixed reviews aren't going to help.


David Mumpower: Matthew touches upon the most engaging aspect of this story from my perspective, which is the murky nature of international revenue. Bruce is right that I mentioned the other day that overseas revenue is crucial to the overall performance of this title, even more than is ordinarily the case for mega-budget movies. The problem is exactly what Matthew says: Westerns historically do not translate. Will international consumers make an exception for a project that stars Indiana Jones and James Bond? That's the entire reason those two are cast in this project yet I have serious concerns. And if the movie doesn't have the requisite overseas revenue to stave off disaster, we have just witnessed one of the worst bombs of the year. Despite this, I was STILL braced for worse. Nobody involved with the marketing seemed to have any idea how to sell this movie and I cannot really blame them. Frankly, I admire the fact that somebody had the courage to create Cowboys and Aliens. I'm sure there were a number of contentious discussions beforehand about the overall revenue potential for such an esoteric story. The fact that it was even given a chance is impressive to me.

Danger, danger, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

Kim Hollis: Do you consider Daniel Craig to be a star and/or a box office opener?

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