Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
September 13, 2011
Wash your hands, people.Kim Hollis: Contagion opened to $22.4 million. Is this more, less or about what you expected for a Warner Bros. project with a top-notch cast?
Bruce Hall: Contagion is exactly the type of movie Morgan Freeman would have been in, if he hadn't done it back in 1995. I disliked Outbreak but like Contagion, it boasted an impressive cast, and had little real competition the day it opened. Almost by default, it won the weekend. It's not all that impressive to defeat a totally inferior opponent, but a win is a win. The question is, what happens now? We don't exactly have a slate of blockbusters coming up next weekend so Contagion could end up a winner by default again. It's almost like getting to play the Colts on opening weekend without Peyton Manning. What luck. What incredible luck...
Brett Beach: I think this is about the upper limit of what I expected. It does have an impressive cast of Academy/Emmy award winners and nominees and for anyone who hasn't seen a lot of ads, there is the guessing factor about which members of the cast will be alive at the end. I didn't feel it would hit much higher than mid-$20 million because it was being truthfully sold as a more realistic end-of-the-world "what-if" and not a Scott-esque souped-up action film, Emmerich-esque end of the world apocalypse, or Aja-esque gross-out. Was it a smart move to switch it from mid-October where it was originally slated to the weekend after Labor Day, typically one of the deadest? I think so. It didn't hurt its opening weekend take (I would argue) and allowed it the full benefit of being seen by enough people that a positive word-of-mouth might sustain for a few more weekends.
Shalimar Sahota: A film about a virus that doesn't have any zombies or any action and appears to be more about actually getting to the root of the problem and finding a cure. Coming off the whole bird flu, SARS and swine flu epidemic, this film at least seems to tackling the idea of dealing with such an outbreak head-on, though having not seen the film I don't know if it has anything sensible to say about it, but am curious to know how it all ends. That it made over $20 million I'd say is a good result. Given the aura of quality around the whole thing I think it'll hold nicely over the coming weeks.
Max Braden: Considering how other movies not titled The Help have struggled over the last few weeks, I'd say this is a good result. Certainly Matt Damon and Kate Winslet were important to the financial outcome, but my gut tells me that the hook was just as important, if not more so. I think most of the audience recognized this as a little more close to home and a little less "fast zombies" and went to see how something like this shakes out in the end. (Having seen it though, I would have preferred a little more fast zombie to it.)