Monday Morning Quarterback
By BOP Staff
April 10, 2012
You never forget your first slice...until you're so old that you forget it.
Kim Hollis: American Reunion opened to $21.5 million. What do you think of this result?
Matthew Huntley: This figure isn't as strong as I had hoped. When inflation is taken into account, it's the lowest opening weekend for the 13-year-old franchise, so either the core fan base has moved on or it wasn't the right weekend to open it. I think the latter is a more valid explanation. Had Universal waited until August to open American Reunion, I think it would have had a better chance to have a $30 million+ weekend all to itself (plus, it would have been consistent with the previous American Pie theatrical releases).
Another reason it's disappointing is because the movie is actually funny and entertaining. It reinvigorates the series after American Wedding and offers broad humor that's vulgar yet enjoyable and works hard to appeal to non-AP fans. Bottom line: it deserved to open bigger.
Brett Beach: I echo Matthew's disappointments (though I am glad to hear I may yet enjoy the film when I see it). And these are the times where it becomes hard for me to sever my hopes for a film to do well from the reality of how it probably will do/the excitement that others may or not feel. Would it have reached the $30 millions in the summer months? I rewatched the trilogy for this week's Chapter Two column and I found that I loved the first one as much as I did in 1999. The affection I have for the characters (and to an extent the actors) has always been enough to rose-tint over the lesser moments in the following films.
This opening is, to me analogous to Scream 4's from last year where a long-dormant franchise was "continued" rather than being re-booted/imagined/furbished. All those DTV films may have kept the name alive, but they did diminish the brand as well, as did the successively lackluster (though popular) Pie 2 and Wedding. I don't see this doing more than $50 million, which would at least make the budget back domestically. Still, in 15-20 years, I would be up for American Middle Age (aka American Viagara).
Max Braden: I'm of the opposite mind here. I'm really surprised that American Reunion broke $20 million. The series is so old now that it's into Hall Pass territory (which opened to less than $14 million), but with less well known actors. For younger viewers who hadn't even been old enough for a sex ed class when American Pie was first released, this must have looked tame and tired compared to Project X. Scream 4 at least offered a genre movie with a kick, for those also unfamiliar with its origins. I'm going to say they got lucky and benefited from some Hunger Games box office overflow.
Tim Briody: I had forgotten that all three American Pie releases broke $100 million ($101, $145 and $104 million respectively) so going back to the well for a high school reunion was probably a no-brainer. That said, too much time probably passed to go to that well one more time, though I'm sure Jason Biggs was thrilled to find work again. Scream is a pretty decent comparison. The audience this was going for was in kindergarten when this American Pie was released. The appeal/point of this franchise was probably lost on most of them.