Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
August 17, 2011
Hey, if Final Fantasy can get up to XIII or more, why can't Final Destination?
Kim Hollis: Final Destination 5, the Final Destination film after The Final Destination, opened to $18 million. What do you take from this result?
Brett Beach: Quite obviously, it suggests that interest and grosses have peaked after the last installment, and that this may end up throwing under FD2 as the lowest grossing of the series (it wound up with the worst opening since the second as well.) The budget was only around $40 million, which it should make back domestically. Even with a dropoff here, any uptick on the foreign front should push this one over $200 million globally, which would be a first for the series. Another upside is that over three-fourths of the grosses came from 3D locations, suggesting that the fans were willing to pay for some 3D horror (although this in itself may not be as meaningful, since it went mostly out as 3D. There were only three out of 20 odd screens in Portland playing it in 2D so I had to actively seek out a playtime in which to see it as such.)
It is ironic as this is the best-reviewed of the bunch, and, in my opinion the second best of the series after FD2. Eric Heisserer (A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Thing) is apparently the go-to guy for reboots and he pays appropriate homage throughout, leading up to an especially audacious finale that delivers a massive WTF even as it opens up a whole slew of questions. The bargain-basement last one may have hurt the momentum but this restores some goodwill and keeps me, for one, on the hook (pun intended).
Edwin Davies: Interest in the series seems to be waning, since even the genuinely interesting catch of saying that characters can trade off their fates by killing other people didn't seem to be enough to get casual fans of the series out in the same way that The Final Destination did. With that film, the obvious draw was the chance to see the Rube Goldberg death scenes in 3D, and even though it has been a mere two years, people have generally become jaded towards 3D. A large proportion of the audience may have seen it in 3D, but then again that audience was far smaller than the one that saw the last one in 3D.
Jason Lee: I gotta say, I expected this film to AT LEAST break $20 mil this weekend, if for no other reason than the fact that the commercials and trailers featured the most icky, eww-y, visceral scenes (lasik surgery, acupuncture, etc.) that I can remember from the franchise. I wonder if Warner Bros will have the guts to bring back a sixth installment, or if they'll send the next one straight to video.
David Mumpower: I am diametrically opposed to everyone else regarding the performance of Final Destination 5. I had considered this to be a nearly impossible marketing assignment. As Kim mentions, it's the movie after a title explicitly advertised as the last of its kind. We have seen this twice recently and the Saw franchise is a great example of how the scenario should play out. It died. Final Destination 5's $18 million is in fact the median performance for the franchise and is only about $1.2 million away from being the second. The data point that is out of the ordinary is the debut of The Final Destination with its $27.4 million opening reflective of the marketing cheat of finishing the saga. Yes, I just called this a saga. Deal with it. With the fifth entry, what Warner Bros. has proven is that demonstrating the right tone with the ads (Kenny Rogers' Through the Years being impeccably implemented) brings out consumers, even if they were grotesquely misled by the prior advertising campaign. I feel this debut is not only a win but an exemplary marketing achievement, all things considered.