Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
September 11, 2012
[Insert Generic Movie Title Here]
Kim Hollis: The Words opened to $4.8 million over the weekend. What are your thoughts on this result? Also, can you come up with a lamer title than this one?
Matthew Huntley: Normally I would deem such an opening - from such a large theater count (over 2,800) - somewhat of a disaster. But then I learned the film only cost $6 million to produce and CBS Films only paid $2 million for the distribution rights. So, with these two figures in mind, my initial reaction has been mitigated from "disastrous" to merely "poor." Surprisingly, the film may actually show a profit when all is said and done...eventually.
I actually saw the film and it's decent enough entertainment. While the title is appropriate for the subject matter, I agree that it's lame. Here are some potential worse contenders: "The Book"; "The Lie"; "The Literary People".
Jason Barney: It is not like expectations were huge for this. John Hamann's weekend wrap-up giving information on the lack of audience faith in Labor Day and the following weekend was very eye-opening. CBS Films may not have put up much money for this one, but allowing it to be released at this point in the schedule is an indication they didn't think it would get much attention. $5 million is a very weak opening, but it appears they won't take too much of a hit. I didn't think this would be a breakout film or anything, but this opening is low. As for the name.... "Fingers and Keys".
Max Braden: $5 million for a movie like this isn't terrible, considering that a lot of its audience probably saw it for free on the film society circuit. They'd also be the ones who would take the time to look up what the movie was about, because the trailer was all over the place. Is it all psychological? Is his life in danger? I can't tell. 2800 screens was overly ambitious. How about "Type Cast"?
Kim Hollis: This is a movie that no one will remember in six months, maybe not even in three. It's obvious that the studio had little faith in it, and this is another one of those situations where the film's theatrical release will serve just fine as an advertisement for the inevitable DVD. I think an apt title might be "Nondescript".
David Mumpower: This is the equivalent of signing a player for the league minimum then watching that person perform at a marginally better than average level. Alternately, it's like making a $10 bet. If you win, you get $11. Eleven is better than ten but you will not be retiring on your profit. I could keep talking on the subject but I feel like I am just going through the motions, saying The Words.
Reagen Sulewski: I prefer to think of the title as truth in advertising. Sure, it's tough to think of a more boring title, but it's also tough to think of a more boring subject than literary plagiarism. Even Jeremy Irons didn't really want to talk about what this film was about. That said, I agree that this film did OK for what it was, and we have to not make the mistake of requiring every film to be Transformers in order to be considered a success. Where these kinds of films really make money is when they're Oscar-caliber, and this one is... not. But making some money is better than not making money.
Tim Briody: You know, every single weekend, you can find someone totally interested in one of that weekend's new films. Except this one. I admit I had zero awareness of this weekend's releases, and I track this stuff. Obviously we need to recalibrate our expectations now that the summer is over, but I don't think anyone expected one of the worst box office weekends in the history of this site would be possible in 2012.