Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
October 16, 2012
The hell of it is that Argo would probably have been better than Ishtar.
Kim Hollis: Argo, Ben Affleck's latest directing effort, debuted this weekend with $19.5 million. How should Warner Bros. feel about this result?
Edwin Davies: They should feel very positive about this one. It's slightly less than The Town managed two years ago, but that film had a much simpler plot that was easier to sell (bank robbery vs. bizarre political history) as well as a romance angle that, by the nature of its story, Argo does not have. The difference between the two films lies almost solely in their respective first days (Argo took $5 million, The Town $8 million) which demonstrates just how strongly Argo performed on Saturday and Sunday. This suggests that there is already some very strong word-of-mouth building - it has an A+ cinemascore - and it skews older than a lot of other films in release. As Hope Springs proved over the summer, that's an audience which is often underserved, but who can give a film great legs. Factor in the great reviews and this seems like a very strong start to what should be a great run.
Jason Barney: This is a nice win for Warner Bros and they have to be very pleased with this opening. It did not win the weekend, but that really does not matter here. With a budget of $45 million, taking in $20 million in the first weekend is great news. The positive word-of-mouth will only help, and it will be interesting how much current events positively influence the box office here.
Felix Quinonez: I think they should feel very good about this performance. As has already been mentioned, the subject matter doesn't have an immediate appeal to the general audience so the fact that it made almost $20 million is very impressive. When you add in its relative small budget and great cinemascore (A+) I think it's clear the studio has a winner on their hands. I suspect this will show great legs and get some attention during the awards season.
Bruce Hall: The subject matter sure doesn't scream "box office gold", but the positive word-of-mouth this film is getting may worth just that at Oscar time, or so I'm sure it is hoped. Argo will be an interesting story as we get closer to year's end. It also marks two polished, solid starters in a row Affleck has produced for Warner Bros, and they have another project in the pipe. I think they love him over there.
Max Braden: It's an interesting coincidence that this movie arrives during a time of tough talk about Iran in the political campaign for the U.S. presidency, but I don't think the public had any reason to associate the two and make an extra effort to go see the movie. I think the ones that did recognized that Affleck continues to make strong movies as a director, and the ones that didn't just didn't find the material attention grabbing. Bell bottoms and sideburns are never going to sell unless they are mocked by Will Ferrell, and a rescue operation without the neck-cracking and explosions of Taken 2 just looks like a mixup with the travel bureau. I think the movie was delivered correctly to its target audience, and it brought in decent money for it. I think the bonus is that they get to count this movie in their catalog, and it make get some extra press around award nomination time.