Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
March 6, 2012
Let's just go ahead and get the Matthew Broderick ape jokes out of the way.
Kim Hollis: Project X, the found footage teen party comedy, opened to $21.1 million. What are your thoughts on this performance?
Tim Briody: You could probably make the argument that this opening is an even bigger surprise than The Lorax's opening. We did just have Chronicle kind of do the same thing a month ago, but that had a super-hero/sci-fi hook. This just felt like another "one wild and crazy night" and not the sort of thing that would star nobody and make $20 million.
Shalimar Sahota: Not exactly breakout spectacular, but good. To me, the initial teaser trailer with its confessional intro and shots of a whole street on fire had me hooked, suggesting that maybe there was something more here than just a party film. However, the reviews would suggest that I'm wrong. I've also seen adverts for this running on TV almost every day during the last two weeks (sometimes two during the same commercial break). Also, for some people, I imagine just reading why it's R-rated may have been reason enough to go see the film.
Reagen Sulewski: It's kind of an interesting reflection of the social media age - teens are used to living their lives on Facebook and Twitter and texting naked pictures of themselves to their entire school, so it makes sense that this sort of film would connect with them. This is the kind of party that they'd probably all like to attend. American Pie probably feels impossibly quaint at this point.
Brett Beach: Shalimar, the MPAA explanation for the rating was fabulously verbose. I thnk it is riding the Chronicle wave to some extent (curiosity about how the found footage genre would be reflected in a teen party comedy milieu) and found a way to market The Hangover to an even younger bunch for which new sensory-assaulting kicks are always the rage. Looking at the ads made me think of nothing so much as Underworld's still prophetic mantra from "Born Slippy (Nuxx): "Shouting lager lager lager shouting mega mega white thing mega mega white thing."
Max Braden: How do you compete after years of American Pie knockoffs and YouTube fail videos? You make your movie *dangerous.* Project X combines both the party and the found-footage look, and dangles the idea: "imagine the biggest party you've ever seen, and it got out of control. Now double it. What would that be like?" I think people just went to find out.
Jason Dean: There was the aspect of wanting to see a party just get completely out of hand but I have to admit that I wanted to see the how and why of the bouncing dog in the promos
Edwin Davies: To echo points that were made about Act of Valor last week, a key part of the success of Project X was probably the novelty value of seeing the found footage style applied to a comedy. There have been plenty of mockumentaries over the years, but the idea of a film purporting to be real footage of the most out of control party imaginable probably interested people a lot more than if they had just made a film on the same subject using a more straightforward style. This was probably the case with Chronicle, too, in that both films applied a familiar form to a genre that it had not been applied to, generating a lot more interest along the way. I also think that people were probably intrigued to see how far the film would go with its almost apocalyptic tone, which made the film seem like a disaster movie in some of the trailers.