Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
November 7, 2011
Kim Hollis: Tower Heist, the Ben Stiller/Eddie Murphy comedy that promised a return to Murphy's glory days, opened to $24.0 million. Is this more, less or about what you expected for the film? Is it a good enough result?
Edwin Davies: This is towards the lower end of expectations for me and I can't help but see it as a disappointment considering the stars, the director (say what you will about Brett Ratner, like how his films are bad and he should feel bad, but he's had more than his fair share of hits) and the reviews, which were a lot more positive than I anticipated. This seemed like it was going to open above $30 million, and whilst $24 million isn't a complete disaster, it does suggest that people are getting a bit tired of Stiller and Murphy (more so in the case of the latter than the former).
David Mumpower: As a child of the 1980s, I am one of those pop culture dinosaurs who remember a time when Eddie Murphy was the edgiest comedian in the world or, at the very least, marketed as such. Seeing his later life as a fat-suit wearing, transvestite-hooker driving, day care providing toothless paycheck performer is depressing to me. The moment I saw the Tower Heist trailer, I was excited because THAT was the Eddie Murphy I remember from the days of 48 Hours (NOT Another 48 Hours), The Golden Child and Beverly Hills Cop 1 and 2 (NOT 3). Teaming him with Ben Stiller struck me as a masterstroke and that's why I had high expectations for Tower Heist. This is not the worst case scenario result (Ben Stiller *and* Eddie Murphy both have the occasional box office disaster), but it's also quite a bit less than I had expected. I feel like money was left on the table here, at least on opening weekend.
Bruce Hall: I keep hearing this is about $10 million under expectations for this film. I keep thinking it's about $10 million more than a Brett Ratner film even deserves, so nobody in America should be sad about this. I do think there will be disappointment at Universal, and not just for the dollars and cents. Ben Stiller is not what I'd call a superstar, but he's a known quantity. Eddie Murphy has been in more punch lines than he's delivered lately, but I think there was hope this film might help springboard his career back in the right direction. Matthew Broderick plays the likeable neurotic guy. And they're all comfortably typecast. Slam dunk, right? Well, I think that audiences in general are a little more savvy than they were a decade ago. They weren't entirely fooled.
What's this? A generically titled film from the maker of the amazingly suck-tastic Rush Hour 3? Starring generically inoffensive funny man Ben Stiller, 80's icon Eddie Murphy, who is apparently still alive, and that guy married to Sarah Jessica Parker who I swear was in War Games but that couldn't be him because he looks so different now? Yeah. No. I'll take the talking cat.