Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
November 1, 2011
Kim Hollis: Puss in Boots, the spin-off feature from Shrek, DreamWorks Animation's most lucrative property, opened to $34.1 million. This is one of the worst debuts since the early days of the production house. What went wrong and do you believe the film can still recover?
Brett Beach: Halloween most likely cut into it, and there may be some Shrek fatigue and burnout. Although since I have only seen the first Shrek, that is not the case for me. The Puss in Boots trailers/advertisements were spot on through and through, making me laugh more than any of the Shrek ads did and making me actually want to see this. Still, it must be noted that, this is one of the highest openings for any film ever on Halloween weekend, which showcases that it really is a tough time to launch anything. In three weeks, four family films come out over five days (Arthur Christmas, Happy Feet 2, The Muppets, and Hugo) so Puss in Boots needs to grab all it can now. I think it will be fine internationally, but lost a big potential chunk of change with this debut.
Bruce Hall: Was it the snowstorms? Was it Halloween? America didn't want a Puss in Boots film as badly as DreamWorks thought we did? Maybe it's all of those things. One thing I do know; DreamWorks titles tend to have good legs. That, plus the all important international take will probably make it hard to dismiss. Unless of course, it doesn't.
Edwin Davies: I think that timing plays a large part in this result. Opening it over the Halloween weekend, even if Halloween actually happened on Monday, hurt the film somewhat because it is such a box office black hole. That it opened to the level that it did regardless of the weekend is pretty impressive in a way, but you can't help but wonder if DreamWorks left a lot of money on the table by not opening it a couple of weeks earlier, if only because it would give the film more of a run before the glut of family films that Brett mentioned.
It also says a lot about how much people respond to the Puss in Boots character that a lot of them showed up for the film even though it seemed like an obvious cash grab. The reviews suggest that it's a good deal better than the last two Shrek films (although I suppose it would have to be, since they were, shall we say, not good) so I imagine that it will hold up reasonably well in the coming weeks (not How to Train Your Dragon well, but better than most) but this opening suggests that people aren't tired of Antonio Banderas' luxurious tones emanating from the mouth of a cute kitty cat just yet.
Jim Van Nest: I have to admit, I'm surprised the total was that low. But maybe I shouldn't have. Shrek 3 was so bad I never saw 4. And I heard it wasn't good either. Maybe people just felt a little "fool me once...er, twice...er three times, shame on me" with this one. With the way the reviews are coming in and Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks on the horizon, I have a feeling this one will hang around for a while.