Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
July 3, 2012
Bruce Hall: Someone had to get squeezed out. Chris Pine is a rising star but Tom Cruise is a proven one, and his presence didn't keep people from dropping his latest film like a handful of ants. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that People Like Us is a better film than Rock of Ages. But this is one of those films where, unless you read Variety or something, you might not even been aware of it. And even if you were, Tyler Perry has a legion of fans who will respond to new material opening weekend every time. C-Tates taking his clothes off takes care of most of the ladies. And if you're a guy, and you're not with Seth MacFarlane's talking teddy bear movie with Mahky Mahk and Mila Kunis, then you're with the terrorists.
There just wasn't enough of the pie for an intimate drama starring Captain Kirk, Catwoman, and The Hot Girl From Tron. Hmm...that does give me a great idea for a graphic novel...
Edwin Davies: The only thing that was particularly interesting about People Like Us (other than its title is a godsend for people who want to make fun of its box office performance by responding with, "Clearly They Don't") was that the premise of the movie - Chris Pine receives an inheritance from his father but discovers that he has to share it with a sister he didn't know about - was spelled out incredibly clearly, but the trailer made it look queasily like the two siblings were going to get romantically involved at some point. Apparently that isn't what the film is about at all, but maybe enough people saw that trailer and got involuntarily creeped out by it.
Alternatively, it may just be that it was a film without a particularly strong hook released into a weekend when every other film had a strong hook, so it was easy for people to look at People Like Us and say, "Eh, I'll see it on Netflix at some point."
David Mumpower: I disagree with Jay in that we witnessed just how much the marketplace will expand when quality products are released. This wasn't a situation where the presence of other films hurt People Like Us. To the contrary, if GI Joe 2 had kept this release date as originally expected, it would have performed acceptably as well, even as a movie that was in desperate need of re-shoots. Instead, the issue is with People Like Us itself. As was the case last weekend with Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, this was a difficult movie to market. A dude doesn't know his sister, who is a drunk. He doesn't want to give her money because he has debts yet a will tasks him to do it. Exactly which part of those two sentences screams summer blockbuster? Or even watchable drama? In reality, this is one of those modest productions we see from time to time where a studio does a favor for one of their talents as a thank you for previous services rendered. The writing team of Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci have worked their way up the ladder in the industry. After the box office triumphs they delivered with Star Trek and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Kurtzman was afforded the opportunity to direct. He was given $16 million to create a slight drama about family and he brought his buddy Chris Pine along for the ride. There were virtually no expectations for this movie and it still bombed worse than predicted. All will be forgiven once Star Trek 2 comes out next year.
Max Braden: I think the movie earned that much box office despite the premise. I don't no how you'd sell the movie any more convincingly with a different cast - it's obviously sappy. But Pine doesn't really work in this movie either. He works as an action hero full of himself, or an action hero who cares, but I don't think he's developed yet to be convincing in a story like this.
Kim Hollis: It's a difficult film to sell, to be sure. Also, I wonder if Disney hadn't hoped it could play as counterprogramming but lost out to the Magic Mike crowd unexpectedly. I don't think it's a bad looking little film. Perhaps it would have been better off as a limited release.