Monday Morning Quarterback Part I

By BOP Staff

June 19, 2012

Why do people love this Opie Taylor wannabe?

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Gunter glieben glauben globen.

Kim Hollis: Rock of Ages, the latest big budget Hollywood musical, opened to $14.4 million. Is this a good enough result for a film with a $75 million budget? How do you think this film will ultimately be remembered?

Reagen Sulewski: Keeping the budget "reasonable" makes this less of a gut punch than it could have been but there's really no circumstance under which opening a big budget film to $14 million in this many theaters is good news. At an optimistic guess, we're looking at maybe $60 million domestic, and I can't see this being a particularly attractive property overseas (though - aren't they just getting Bon Jovi now in Eastern Europe? Cross your fingers, WB). Moreover, when you look at the names on the marquee - particularly Cruise and Baldwin, this is close to an embarrassing result. I'm not sure this would have been a hit at any point, but I do think it would have done a bit better a couple of years ago before Glee became a bit of a punchline. The novelty of seeing stars sing famous songs adequately only goes so far, you know?

I think the film will be lucky to be remembered at all, but if for anything it'll be those ridiculous shots where it tried to pass off Cruise as a rock god.




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Matthew Huntley: When I first saw the trailer for Rock of Ages, my gut instinct was that it looked loud, incoherent and its plot/story were something I probably wouldn't care too much about (what is the movie really about, anyway?). Don't get me wrong: I'll give it a chance, but it seems I wasn't the only one who was skeptical and now most of America has chosen to avoid it (perhaps for the same reasons I mentioned). One of the questions I have is, why would anyone want to see A-list actors merely impersonate great bands by singing their songs? Why not have them sing original songs? Wouldn't that be more interesting?

Anyway, Reagan made a good point about the Glee factor and how the show is yesterday's news (it hasn't held up as well since its first/second seasons), and I'd like to add to that. If Rock of Ages had been released two or three years ago, it might have benefited not only from Glee's novelty, but it would have utilized the popularity of Guitar Hero and Rock Band, which have also faded away since then. The movie just seems to have arrived late to a game that's already been played. The cynical part of me thinks it won't gross over $40 million total, which, when coupled with the lackluster performance of Dark Shadows, probably has the WB execs feeling blue. The Dark Knight Rises can't come soon enough for them.

Brett Beach: It's a weak and disappointing opening. This will probably wind up grossing exactly what Footloose did last year, and it shows Julianne Hough won't be breaking out on the big screen just yet. Writing my Chapter Two this week has also made me consider that at some point in the recent past, thirst for '80s nostalgia has shifted to '90s nostalgia (running on a 20 year cycle, this makes sense), and that that may have been another factor in the window of timing that ROA seems to have missed. But, the poor trailers and ads I saw which make the film look quite terrible have me convinced that this is a musical meal best served along with a pitcher or two of beer with my best friend at a second run theater in about five weeks time. This will be remembered for killing the "jukebox musical" on the big screen... at least for a year. Bring on Moving Out!! (Piano Man!!!!!)


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