Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
January 30, 2012
I mean, who wants to see wolves that don't rip off their shirts and show us their abs?
Kim Hollis: The Grey opened to $19.7 million. What do you think of this result? And do you believe the wolves have been taught a very important lesson about dominion?
Reagen Sulewski: I just hope Liam had enough soul gems on hand ... sorry, I've been playing too much Skyrim lately. Liam Neeson becoming a credible action star at the tender age of 56 is one of the more interesting phenomena of the last little while, and with three of these under his belt, it's clear that it's just a matter of finding a screenwriter with a crazy enough premise to stick him in ("Okay, so Liam is a botanist with a secret, and he goes to the Amazon rainforest to kick some logger butt...").
Then again, maybe it's not that unusual a thing - after all, Charles Bronson was 50 when he started the Death Wish series (and hey, look at that, Joe Carnahan has said he wants to remake that, hint hint).
Matthew Huntley: The Grey's $20-ish million doesn't really surprise me. For one thing, the movie had a catchy trailer, promising action and thrills, on which it faithfully delivered. It's also "that Liam Neeson time of year," when the actor is the made the top draw of a January/February release whose plot is about a man trying to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. Such a formula is safe and familiar and makes a $20 million opening all but guaranteed.
Surprising or not, the figure is well deserved because the movie is quite good, and given that it carries a production budget of only $25 million, Open Road must be happy, especially since it's nearly double what their last movie (Killer Elite) opened with.
Max Braden: An office mate asked me on Friday for a list of Oscar nominated movies currently in theaters that she should consider seeing. Her response to my list was "Eh. Eh. Oh great, exactly what I need for a Saturday night out at the movies is a downer 9/11 story." A genre movie like The Grey is probably locked in at around $20 million anyway, but having a respected actor in the lead is just enough to allow audiences to go and turn their brains off without feeling guilty about it. I'd choose a wolf getting punched in the face by Neeson over a 9/11 story, too.
Brett Beach: At the risk of embarrassing myself, I think this opening is a big win, if only because I never saw any trailers, had only a bare bones plot description to go off of and the early reviews that I glanced at (which were in the negative minority) made it sound ridiculous and terrible, like The Edge 2: Wolf Pack. I would balance the downward trending of this opening vs. Taken and Unknown with the fact that I think this was a harder sell than "Man beats up thugs to rescue his daughter" or "Man beats up thugs who have stolen his identity". I had not heard about Carnahan's invovlement in a new Death Wish, but yea that would be the logical endgame for these types of latter-day Neeson movies.