Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
December 12, 2011
Happy New Year!
Kim Hollis: New Year's Eve opened to $13 million, well short of expectations. How surprised are you by this result? What do you think the problem was?
Bruce Hall: I hate to sound so unscientific, but I just don't think anybody really cared about this film. This just LOOKED like the kind of film that assumed your interest due to the cast while the trailers left the story looking like incomprehensible, sickening treacle. Maybe Garry Marshall was hoping for lightning to strike twice in the same place. Valentine's Day was more or less the same gimmick, but that particular holiday lends itself naturally to this sort of horrific fluff. I'm not sure stuffing the same trick into the same treat on a different holiday quite passed the sniff test with moviegoers, and I'm not sure there's even the same level of interest in a formulaic rom-com at this time of year.
But that's just my gut talking. I'll leave the science to my esteemed colleagues.
Tim Briody: In the end, it was released just a little too far away from the holiday it's named after. It might need a small miracle to be a box office factor in two weeks, which is when most of the money is to be made.
Brett Beach: In theory, this is the kind of film that can hold up during the holiday season where even a lackluster opening weekend can wind up with a final multiplier of between 4 and 8. And it may also be true that its primary target audience (women) might be busy in the days leading up to Christmas and catch up with it as it will be the only romantic comedy in town the rest of the month. But... I think that people (rightly) felt that it looked exactly like Valentine's Day, with only slightly different stars, and the dreadful reviews and opening weekend word-of-mouth and Flixter ratings bear this out. I wouldn't put this past making it to its budget ($56 million) and then some in the weeks to come, but I think it will be an afterthought by the time the dozen or so big ticket items and small indie films platforming out start hitting the multiplexes on the 21st.
Max Braden: Somehow (though I strenuously object to it), Christmas movies can play before Thanksgiving. But mid-December just seems too early to start celebrating the next year when you're not done with Christmas yet. Saturday Night Live also parodied it this weekend, noting the endless lineup of stars. How can there be any story there? It's like watching a red carpet promenade when nobody's wearing anything interesting.
Shalimar Sahota: I remember when this was called 200 Cigarettes. Valentine's Day had the benefit of opening on the weekend the day actually fell on. New Year's Eve has kinda started the party a little early by opening a few weeks before schedule. However, even if it was released appropriately at the end of the year, I think people would more interested in going out to parties rather than paying to see other people party. Plus, those who did end up viewing Valentine's Day weren't going to fall for the same film twice, as the trailer tries to convince us that New Year's Eve is also about "love." I guess the idea is to turn every holiday into a film about love. Now maybe if it were an action/horror film where you try and guess who will survive before the clock reaches midnight...