Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
September 24, 2012
David Mumpower: The aspect of this I find most impressive is that while a pair of other distributors (Relativity Media and Warner Bros.) chose to lie a *lot*, at least percent wise, Open Road estimated a $13 million opening that proved to be $150,000 low. They could have rightfully boasted a much larger estimate yet they were honest, which is refreshing in this industry.
In terms of the movie itself, I *HATE* this film. You have no idea how much I hate it. Regal is based in our town so we see almost all of our movies at Regal theaters. This trailer has been attached to everything for what feels like eight months now. I remember thinking in July that I couldn't believe that End of Watch was yet to be released due to the onslaught of trailer advertising for it. I am relieved that I no longer have to suffer through it. This is regrettable in that I had a negative disposition toward the film before I ever saw it, and I am pretty much THE target audience since Dark Blue is one of my favorite films of the 2000s. This is the same writer creating a new story in the same genre yet I can muster no enthusiasm for the project due to the ubiquity of the trailers for it. This is a cautionary tale for future Open Road releases. A commercial can and will be run into the ground if there are no boundaries established.
With regards to the box office, I mentioned in the discussion for Lockout that Open Road has cleverly mined the industry for this sort of revenue arbitrage. They are unearthing titles that would slip between the cracks for other studios; then, those are released by a pair of exhibitors who can claim almost all of the revenue stream from ticket sales. This is a very clever business endeavor with End of Watch proving itself as the latest example of frugal investments leading to box office profits.
Tim Briody: Matthew, I don't know if you did that intentionally, but the three films you mentioned (Training Day, S.W.A.T. and Street Kings) were all written or directed by David Ayer, so he's carved out quite the niche for himself over the last decade. End of Watch's usage of dashboard cam and hand-held shots were a decent twist on the subject, even if it does end up looking like a high end episode of Cops.
Reagen Sulewski: I think the happiest person out of this is Jake Gyllenhaal, who proves that he can open a fairly generic title to solid numbers. He's typically needed a high concept to get him to larger opening weekends, but here he was, playing against type in a genre that has failed with recognizable names. Gyllenhaal is a guy who has lots of exposure but little marquee power, and even though this isn't a blockbuster, it's a weekend win, and a profitable movie.
This year seems to be a race for most generic horror movie title
Kim Hollis: House at the End of the Street, a horror movie featuring The Hunger Games' Jennifer Lawrence, opened to $12.3 million over the weekend. What do you think of this debut?
Bruce Hall: Odd that this film should be just behind End of Watch, a movie that benefited from opening weekend in similar ways. House theoretically earned back its production budget, and for a day, it got to call itself the number one movie of the week thanks to creative estimates from the studio. The difference is that it reviews haven't been as kind to this film, and the future therefore not quite as bright. Still, it's the least you could ask of a horror flick. Open strong, pay your bills, and enjoy an afterlife on home video.