Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
October 3, 2012
At least it's good for a Tom Petty earworm.
Kim Hollis: Won't Back Down earned a pathetic $2.6 million from 2,515 locations, good for a location average of just $1,074. What went wrong here?
Edwin Davies: I can only speak for myself, but this film struck me as painfully generic, with little to distinguish it from a thousand other vaguely inspirational films about inspirational teachers being all inspirational. It also didn't help that hardly any critics had anything good to say about it, and this is exactly the sort of film that needs solid reviews to get people interested. There was nothing special about Won't Back Down other than its ability to make me hear Tom Petty songs in my head, and that's not enough to sell a movie to the public.
Matthew Huntley: Edwin more or less said everything that had to be said. Besides its generic premise, though, it also had a generic title. Won't Back Down? Really? True story or not, the trailer made this one seem more obnoxious than anything and all too easy to predict how it would transpire from start to finish. Movies like this are what TV is for.
Reagen Sulewski: It's kind of like that old trope from sitcoms where it's "Hey kids, let's put on a show!" Except here it's "Hey, let's put on a school!" I don't quite know who that's entertaining to, and very few people are looking to be preached at for two hours at $12 a ticket. Maybe in 3D, who knows.
Max Braden: I have the biggest crush on Maggie Gyllenhaal ever and I didn't realize she had a movie open this weekend? What's wrong with this picture? Let's not blame it on the picture, let's blame it on the marketing.
Felix Quinonez: I think the marketing is definitely partially at fault here. If it weren't for this site, I don't think I would have even been aware of it. But you can't overlook how generic - and terrible - this looks. I feel like they were going out of their way to make this look bland. Even the title is completely generic. So I think it's kind of a snowball effect with marketing, the way it looks, and judging by the reviews, the actual quality of the movie all at blame.
David Mumpower: This title has unexpected similarities to last year's Altas Shrugged Part I. As Sean Collier chronicled the other day, a billionaire with a stated position on privatized education. He became a patron of this film, which created a good news/bad news situation for Hollywood. Studios try to pay as little as possible for their movies via tax credits, corporate shells and especially wealthy financiers. So Won't Back Down was a low risk investment. The film also features a point of view that most people in the industry dislike and it's a hot button political issue as well. This creates a multitude of marketing challenges. The lackluster quality due to the rigorously preachy nature of the subject matter is also problematic. In the end, there wasn't much of an advertising push with the end result being a failed project. People get plenty enough politics every time they read the internet. They are not going to spend their hard earned money to watch a polemic unless it is heavily hyped and preaching to the choir. Won't Back Down simply does not fit those parameters.