Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
March 20, 2012
Might as well jump
Kim Hollis: 21 Jump Street, the movie incarnation of a TV series that made Johnny Depp famous (sorry, Richard Grieco), opened to $36.3 million. What are your thoughts on this result?
Matthew Huntley: Like most people, I was not impressed with 21 Jump Street's initial trailer. It made the movie seem sloppy, unfunny and...it starred Channing Tatum. But the more I saw of it, and the more the buzz grew, so did the movie...on me, and apparently on a whole lotta other people. So far, based on what I've seen, and what others have told me, the movie is a riot, with more than its fair share of laugh-out-loud moments, and Sony's marketing clearly made this a selling point and a surprise must-see for the third weekend of March. Given the hard R-rating, they did a superb job of reaching out to a demographic that went beyond just the typical teenage demographic and may have even reached fans of the original TV series (they'd be about, what, 40 by now?) that were looking for a laugh. But for those not familiar with the show, the studio probably picked the two most recognizable names that audiences are willing to pay to see -- Jonah Hill and the aforementioned Mr. Tatum. These guys have been having fantastic years and should there be a 21 Jump Street sequel, you can be sure their salaries will probably double, and if this movie shows legs and reaches $100 million or more (on a $42 million budget), those figures could be justifiable.
Kim Hollis: I'm not so sure how much the marketing for this reached fans of the original series (I am one, and always thought the trailer looked pretty horrible), but when a lot of people who I trust started having a lot of good things to say about the film, I wondered if it might be fun after all. I have a feeling a lot of that sort of thing was going on this weekend.
Tom Houseman: This is the second time I assumed a movie would be terrible based on its trailer, and later found out it was directed by the two guys who created Clone High. Both times that was the sole reason I decided to see the movie, and both movies are hilarious (the other was Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs). From now on movies they direct need to be advertised as "From the Guys Who Made Clone High, Just So You Know, Tom Houseman."
I'm sure everyone at Sony is blissfully happy with this opening. This is a movie targeted towards people in their 20s that also appeals to older audiences and teenagers with fake IDs. The spectacular word-of-mouth will lead to very good legs, as it will serve as counter programming to both Hunger Games and Wrath of the Titans. $100 million seems to be in the bag.
Bruce Hall: As much ink as was spilled last week over the atrocious marketing for John Carter, some should be devoted this week to the strategy for 21 Jump Street. I once considered myself a fan of the original show, but like most of the things you enjoyed in high school, you eventually realize that it sucked eggs. And 21 Jump Street the TV show did suck eggs. But do you remember what I said a few weeks ago when The Vow surprised most of us? Like him or not, C-Tates is hot stuff right now. People like him. I don't, and personally, Jonah Hill gives me hives. But sadly, like most of the things in life, this is not about me. An R-rated version of a barely PG television series that played like an extended public service announcement starring two of the most popular young actors in Hollywood right now went off exactly as Sony planned. And in retrospect, it's the only way they could have played it. A serious film about 30 year old cops pretending to be high school kids would most likely have backfired, just as it does when you try to watch reruns of the original. The trailer was terrible but ultimately, playing the concept for laughs was a stroke of genius. Go ahead and prepare yourself for a sequel. Prepare yourself for more C-Tates. It's coming.