Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
October 19, 2011
Birdwatching is as boring as it sounds
Kim Hollis: The Big Year, a movie that makes me embarrassed for Steve Martin and Owen Wilson, earned only $3.2 million over the weekend. What was the problem here?
Matthew Huntley: After first seeing the trailer for The Big Year, I remember saying to my friends, "What is that movie even about?" Right there, I think you can say the problem is nobody had a clear idea of what the story was; whether it was supposed to be a comedy or light-hearted drama; and if it was supposed to be a comedy, is it a gentle family one or silly slapstick? So, of the little marketing there is for it, it doesn't summarize the movie very well. On another note, there's hardly any marketing for it to begin with. I saw the movie yesterday and people I've talked to have never even heard of it. Did Fox have any faith in this movie at all? Considering the cast, it's surprising they didn't put more muscle behind the ad campaign. What's interesting is that it's a pretty good movie - light, sweet, pleasantly entertaining, and it probably could have had decent word-of-mouth - you know, if people actually were aware of it and saw it.
Bruce Hall: Matthew isn't kidding. If there was any kind of marketing campaign for this flick, I sure as hell missed it. It first appeared on my radar Friday morning when I saw someone making fun of it on a film blog. I thought it was a joke. Jack Black, Owen Wilson, Steve Martin and John Cleese in a movie together? Why have I not heard of this? Maybe it's because someone clearly assumed that putting Jack Black, Owen Wilson, Steve Martin and John Cleese in a movie together and letting them act like Jack Black, Owen Wilson, Steve Martin and John Cleese would be enough.
Apparently, it wasn't. I'm not saying it might not be a good movie, I'm saying that a big part of the problem appears to be that nobody had any idea the thing even existed. So I guess the moral of this story is that if you make a movie, and you want people to see it, then tell someone about it!
Samuel Hoelker: I really wish this movie did well/was good. We had "that Facebook movie" turn into an Oscar-winner; why couldn't "that birdwatching movie" have been good too? Imagine what topics would be turned into films from there!
Brett Beach: Problem A) Three funny gentlemen doing a PG-rated "middle-age crazy" comedy that wants to be - it would seem - Robin Williams-esque sentimental goo. Problem B) An early trailer that shows almost nothing about being a "birder" in a bird-watching competition, and a poster that does. What is this film about?
This will most likely be the lowest-grossing wide release of Martin's, Wilson's and, Black's careers to date. For Martin, this throws back to his worst openings, back to back in 1994, for A Simple Twist of Fate and Mixed Nuts (and the former of those only opened on 300 screens!).