Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
September 4, 2012
Shalimar Sahota: I hadn't really heard of this film till I started seeing ads a couple of weeks ago. They do seem to show that there's still new ways to scare the hell out you (fingers creeping up from inside someone's throat!?). And that poster of a whole hand emerging outside of someone's mouth is brilliantly grotesque! The overall impression I get is a more flashy version of The Last Exorcism. The Sam Raimi name probably had more of an effect than the "based on the true story" tagline. I'm sure it'll drop heavily next week as these films normally do, but to make your production budget back over the opening weekend is clearly a good result.
Felix Quinonez: Although I am not surprised that it opened at #1, it did beat my expectations. Labor Day weekend is notoriously slow at the box office, so a $17.7 million opening (and probably $20 million when you include today) is nothing to laugh at. And when you factor in the small budget, I think this definitely falls in the win category.
Reagen Sulewski: I had expressed some skepticism about whether exorcism stories still had any punch with audiences, but clearly they do, and sticking a little girl in peril with a boogeyman and/or devil taking over their body is a formula that they can't get enough of, apparently. The Exorcist was 40 years ago, people, get over it!
Relatedly, I haven't heard as many poor comments about a horror film since The Devil Inside, so while this is definitely an impressive debut, I think this could be an epic fall coming up.
Max Braden: All this proves is that humans have an insatiable desire to know what's inside a closed box.
David Mumpower: This reinforces one of the truisms of modern living. eBay items always sell for more than what you expect. The rest of the box office got sniped at the last minute.
I am going to go against the grain here in order to say that while I have full confidence that the movie is terrible, I consider this to be a genius concept. I always have. I fully expect that the author of the original eBay listing is a con artist extraordinaire yet I still give him credit for selling a product in a manner that had never been attempted before. He baited Hollywood into buying his concept. I applaud him for this. If North American audiences were briefly entertained, everyone's a winner on The Possession. If not, consumers always have the option to leave - wait for it - negative feedback.
Who wants some moonshine?
Kim Hollis: Lawless, the Shia LaBeouf film from the Weinstein Co., opened to $10 million over three days and $12.1 million since Wednesday. How does this opening match up to your expectations?
Matthew Huntley: No surprises here, so I'd say Lawless's opening matches my expectations almost perfectly. I write "almost" because I guess I did expect it to open slightly higher, but the difference is negligible. Everything about this Prohibition-era crime drama screamed "standard" or "conventional," and it looks like most audiences felt the same way and decided to pass on it. I saw the movie, and it's good from a directing and performances standpoint, but there are really no real surprises when it comes to the narrative. I'm not sure we can attribute its numbers to the time of year, either. Would there ever have been a good time to release this movie so it opened bigger? I'm not sure, but I really don't think so.