Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
February 14, 2012
Surprisingly, Journey 2 does not refer to the band minus Steve Perry
Kim Hollis: Journey 2: The Mysterious Island improved upon Journey to the Center of the Earth with a $27.3 million opening weekend. Why do you think Warner Bros. pulled off such a strong result from such a questionable sequel?
Bruce Hall: Was it The Rock, or the fact that this is the first kid oriented adventure film of the year, released at the tail end of winter, when your tots are probably tearing the paint off the walls to have something to do every weekend? Maybe a little bit of both. As an action lead, Dwayne Johnson has the rare ability to pull off almost anything from rating G to R in relatively convincing fashion. And the story - while hardly groundbreaking - is pleasantly inoffensive enough to avoid alienating anyone between eight and 18. I'm not sure if the peculiar title was an effort to disengage from Brendan Frasier, or simply to avoid winning the Oscar for Most Awkwardly Long Film Title of 2012. Either way, probably a good call.
Jim Van Nest: The TV commercials for this one were great and The Rock sells. Now, Rock can't sell everything...but an action packed kid flick? I don't think he even has to try. Do the pec dance, raise the eyebrow and punch a few people...that should be good for at least $15 million. Add in the fact that theaters haven't had a ton of kid fare recently and this one was perfectly timed to break out.
Brett Beach: I am not sure I entirely share Jim's enthusiasm, but I think the incredible nearly 100% jump in receipts from Friday to Saturday suggests there were a lot of people on the fence about spending money for the 3D who got good word-of-mouth from family and friends. I also would have thought that the first film, though a rare film with legs nowadays, may not have excited people that much for any kind of related followup. But perhaps the demand was there. The Rock amazes me with his balancing act between family friendly and adult roles and his ability to get people to see him in both (um, Faster aside). I saw an interview where he said it was all part of a plan with the next stop down the line being the political arena. Governor Rock is coming.
Reagen Sulewski: I'd agree that this is dividends from Johnson's sidetrips into family adventure. If it was simply him + action, then we wouldn't all look at Faster with a bit of chuckling. I think this ultimately proves the value of innovation and branding. Journey was basically the vanguard of new 3D, and it gets grandfathered in, much in the same way that the Ice Age movies got to hang with the Shreks and Toy Storys of the animation world even though they were quite terrible. They got in on the ground level. This means the lesson for studios is just to invent the new 3D. Easy as pie, right?