Monday Morning Quarterback

By BOP Staff

April 17, 2012

Great manager, terrible public speaker.

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Kim Hollis: The Three Stooges, Fox's reboot of the legendary comics of 1930s/1940s comedy trio, opened to $17 million. What do you take from this result?

Tom Houseman: For a movie aimed at kids based on a several decades old TV show, with no big-name star (Except Sofia Vergara, I guess) this is a number that Fox should be very pleased with. The most obvious comparisons are the one-two punch of The Rocky and Bullwinkle Movie and Dudley Do-Right, which had combined budgets of $145 million and combined grosses of $36 million. I'm no mathematician, but that first number seems much higher than the second one. Clearly there is no guarantee that these kinds of adaptations are going to find audiences. The Three Stooges was never going to be a huge hit, but it will be a money maker and it should have solid legs.

Bruce Hall: I think that this film with Carrey, Penn and Benicio Del Toro might have been better, but the odds of that film being profitable are the same as the odds of me achieving my childhood dream and becoming Secret Agent Quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. What's been clear for a long time is that this was probably going to be a niche film. Making the picture with a physically suitable set of stunt doubles allows The Three Stooges to live up to its middlebrow roots while still somehow ending up in the black when it's all finally over. Someone deserves at the very least, a good pat on the back for this better than expected but not entirely impressive result.

Edwin Davies: My main takeaway from this result is the knowledge that somehow the ads for this one didn't horrify enough people. Seriously, the marketing for this film has - at least until recently - been horrible, and I can only assume that the recent shift away from showing clips from the film to joking about the film convinced people that the people behind it might have produced something that was as kind of clever as those adverts. Yeah, more fool them.


This is neither a good result nor a worst case scenario. The Three Stooges isn't going to be troubling us much beyond the next two weekends - except in our collective nightmares, obviously - but it's made over half its modest budget back already, so the studio will be woop-woop-woop and nyuk nyuk nyuking all the way to the bank.

Matthew Huntley: I think it's safe to say we're all generally surprised by this result, especially considering, as Edwin suggested, the "horrifying" ad campaign. But the trailers notwithstanding, it's not THAT much of a shock, because I'm willing to bet most kids, particularly boys aged 10 and under, DID like the trailer and therefore asked Mom and Dad to take them. Fox worked the same twisted magic with the Alvin and the Chipmunks movies. But unlike Alvin, Stooges, believe it or not, is actually funny and appealing for adults too. Yes, I just wrote that and I must admit I laughed during this movie. Maybe it's because I was expecting it to be disastrous and wasn't pleasantly surprised when that wasn't the case, but regardless, it works as a comedy. If it does turn out to be a moneymaker from here on out, I can at least sleep easier knowing it's a semi-decent movie instead of an unbearable one.

Tom Houseman: Matt, you should read my review when it gets posted. I say almost the exact same thing. The suffocating dolphin and the peeing babies were awful, but other than that I was thoroughly entertained throughout the film.

Tim Briody: I think you guys nailed it. We heard about a Three Stooges movie, went "really?" and then lamented on the descent of humanity as we saw the trailer and ads. But it's not for anyone who may have stumbled upon an old Stooges episode on some lazy weekend afternoon back in the day. It's targeted at the 12-year-old demographic. And it hit pretty solidly with them.

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