Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
June 19, 2012
Jay Barney: I would say that Rock of Ages has to be seen as a big disappointment. Just look at the numbers and compare it to the other options already released in previous weeks. In its opening frame it didn't even earn half of the Madagascar 3 total of $35 million and that film is in its second weekend. It was $6 million behind "Prometheus", also in its second weekend. Those are just not good numbers and the creative and marketing people have to be hoping for significant legs. To take it a little further and examine things a bit more, it barely beat Snow White and the Huntsman, which had been out for three weeks. I know it is a musical, but the people involved had to have been hoping for a better opening. The only positive they can look at is that it did outperform the new Adam Sandler movie. However, that is universally being accepted as a bomb. Rock of Ages will have to be seen as a miss.
Edwin Davies: This is a bad result any way you slice it. If the film had been made for, say, half as much with a cast of unknowns, this would not be terrible, but with that budget and a selection of big-names attached, and considering that it is going to get lost in the shuffle very quickly, then this has to be thought of as a bad result for a bad idea. (I don't think Cruise's presence made all that much of a difference either way since he wasn't terribly central to the marketing. In fact, nothing and no one was, which may explain why no one bothered to see it.)
I think that Brett and Matthew make very good points about how the film could have done better if it had been released a couple of years ago. '80s nostalgia was at its height in the mid to late '00s and has been waning since all the major albums/films/cultural events of the '90s started celebrating their 20th anniversaries. Coupled with the oppressive ubiquity of Rock Band around the same time, Rock of Ages could have been a contender. Now, it looks like a film that is trying to ride a wave long after it has broken against the coast.
David Mumpower: Since we have formed a consensus opinion regarding the opening weekend of Rock of Ages, I have one addendum to our overall philosophy. I believe that this is the breathing definition of a "wait until DVD" release. We have mentioned the Glee analog, and I will add a data point to this. Glee: The 3D Concert Movie earned a paltry $6 million opening weekend with that amount representing over half of its final domestic take of $11.9 million. Rock of Ages will be leggier than this; I believe that Reagen's $60 million is too ambitious, but $45-$50 million is reasonable. Where the movie will find life is when all of the people who rarely go to the theater any more give it a chance. These consumers will not love the movie - no one does - but I expect it to become a guilty pleasure selection along the lines of Grease 2 and Xanadu. Rock of Ages is by no means a hit. I believe that the box office will not be the best manner to evaluate this particular title, though. Anyone born before 1980 will have at least casual interest in the project. There is also some money to be made through soundtrack sales, diminishing the potential financial danger of a $14.4 million debut. While this is almost a least case scenario result, it's not a total disaster.