Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
August 13, 2012
Everything old is new again.
Kim Hollis: The Bourne Legacy, Universal's attempt to reboot the franchise with a cheaper actor, opened to $38.1 million. What is your evaluation of this performance?
Jason Barney: I think it is good opening, although I wish it would have been higher. I have heard reviews are mixed, which is unfortunate, as the Bourne series is one of those under the radar franchises that gets a ton of respect. For example, BOP compared it to the Bond franchise a few times this week. There is a certain status that goes along with that sort of comparison. I know this one was never pegged to reach the level of Matt Damon's movies, but still, they were the definitive spy thrillers of the last decade. Thus, a fourth film with a new actor is significant. I have not seen it yet, but I have to admit I am pulling for it. The Bourne films were very action oriented, but they went so far beyond explosions and senseless violence. In my mind they are near classics, so I appreciate the studio rolling the dice on another movie.
$38 million isn't great, but it is solid. Taking the weekend's top spot is noteworthy, but it will be very interesting to see how this one does going forward. I'll probably see it this week.
Matthew Huntley: Just like The Amazing Spider-Man from a month ago, Bourne's opening proves about two-thirds of audiences are still willing to pay for their beloved franchises, despite new filmmakers and actors filling old roles. Like Jason, I haven't seen the movie yet, so I can't say whether I think it's a career-making role for Jeremy Renner or if it's going to have strong legs based on my own opinion (the critical and audience thus far suggests they'll be so-so), but I would like it to do well, too, because it's been a solid, enduring franchise these past 10 years and it could likely continue to deliver the same kind of entertainment.
I think a comparison to James Bond is appropriate and I wonder why a different actor can't play the title character just like Mr. Bond. Do each of Bourne's adventures have to connect to an overall story line? I'm thinking each film going forward could be independent of the others.
A $38 million opening is nothing to write home about, to be sure, but it's a good start for a movie that cost roughly $120 million to make, and if it can double its budget with international numbers, I think we'll see another Bourne movie sooner rather than later.
Reagen Sulewski: While I understand the Spider-Man comparison, this is a little different situation. We're not taking a series that floundered in its last outing and trying to rejuvenate it - we're instead taking a franchise whose star got bored with it and fleshing it out. It's like they said "Oh, so you liked that story... we have some... other stories in this world, would you like to hear them?" And a significant portion of the people who heard that question said "yes," which indicates a large trust in the brand and some hope that it might survive. While the Bourne series does have some life outside the movie world, it's minuscule compared to Spider-Man's, and getting a respectable summer opening weekend is a start.