Monday Morning Quarterback Part II

By BOP Staff

October 10, 2012

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It's a very un-happy Halloween for Mr. Burton.

Kim Hollis: Frankenweenie opened to $11.4 million. Why did this Tim Burton movie throw under even Dark Shadows?

Felix Quinonez: To compare it to Dark Shadows is completely unfair because Dark Shadows had Johnny Depp. But I definitely think it under performed, just not as much as people will make it out to be. When you really think about it, it almost feels like they went out of their way to limit their audience. I mean its subject matter (the dead pet) doesn't exactly scream family fun. And as we've seen before, stop motion animation isn't really embraced by mass audiences. If that wasn't enough, it's in black an white. Also, I don't think that anyone expected Hotel Transylvania to be as strong as it is, so opening Frankenweenie just a week later might not have been a great move.

Max Braden: Kids love cuddly animals...except when they look like they popped out of Pet Sematary? I wonder if there were parents out there who dissuaded their kids from going to see it. As an adult, I see the appeal of Edward Scissorhands and The Nightmare Before Christmas, but this mashup didn't appeal to me. Aside from that, I think given the choice, families went to Hotel Transylvania instead.


Edwin Davies: The dead pet angle is probably largely responsible - even Corpse Bride did better and that's not only macabre but boasts a really off-putting title - as well as the fact that the style is about as far away from mainstream as you can get without veering into Quay Brothers or Jan Svankmajer territory. Yet ParaNorman, which is not that dissimilar in tone and style, did much better, both on opening weekend and probably in the long-run, despite having nowhere the name recognition that Tim Burton has. As with Dark Shadows, I get the feeling that people are getting tired of Burton's schtick, especially since it resulted in one of the most hated yet successful films of all time, Alice In Wonderland. I don't think he's complete box office poison just yet, but I do think that his recent run of poor form (I say recent; I think he's made precisely two good films since Ed Wood - Big Fish and Sweeney Todd - and a whole heap of shit) has probably done a lot to erode the faithful audience that have otherwise kept even his smaller, personal films like Frankenweenie afloat. Even though the consensus seems to be that this is one of the better films Burton has made recently, I imagine a lot of people probably decided to wait until it comes out on DVD.

Jason Barney: I have to agree with the concern about theme discussed by some of the others. I think it is possible to do kids Halloween films that could be very successful, but I just think some of the material explored the last few weeks has been risky. I saw the ads for both Transylvania and Frankenweenie and just made the decision they were not something I wanted to take my seven-year-old to. Perhaps others are fine bringing there kids to these, and maybe the films are less dark than the ads portray, but we passed on both of them.

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