Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
October 30, 2012
I can't control what kids like these days, what with their SpongeBob and Pokemon and Cloud Atlas.
Kim Hollis: The daring but complicated Wachowski family/Tom Tykwer release Cloud Atlas opened to $9.6 million. By now, we've all heard about the complex financial structure required to make the movie. Let's be more basic in our analysis. Do you believe this movie ever had the possibility of becoming a box office hit? In lieu of that, what went wrong here?
Edwin Davies: I think the release pattern for the film probably did it no favors. It was put out into only 2008 theaters at a time of year when an audacious, potential award-courting film probably is going to struggle, both of which suggest a certain lack of faith on the part of the studio. The studio could have put it out in more theaters at the height of summer, when the visuals might have been enough to drive curiosity, or put it out in limited release in late November to try to generate interest that way. Both of which might have had a better chance of creating more demand for the film.
However, I don't think that either would have been enough to make the film a hit, or at least not the sort of hit that would earn back the budget. I saw it yesterday and thought it was frequently brilliant if flawed, and it's just not a film that was ever going to have a huge audience. Really, the only thing that would have definitely helped it would have been if the original novel had been more of a phenomenon, since it would have created a larger built-in audience to begin with.
Jason Barney: I guess I am kind of shocked by this low total. There has been some buzz about this film for weeks, even months now, so a less than $10 million opening is really surprising. A few weeks ago it seemed to have everything going for it, a stellar trailer, weak competition at the box office, a great list of stars... all of that is now lost to the sub par opening, and the reality of just how blah this opening is. With the budget being over $100 million, this sort of opening is just embarrassing. We live in front-loaded times, and for this one to have any chance for success it needed to open far above these numbers. I'm not sure what went wrong. The screen count maybe...Hurricane Sandy...
This is an awful opening and there is no other way to characterize it.
Felix Quinonez Jr.: While there is no way to spin this opening into anything other than a loss I don't really know that anything went "wrong." I just don't think this was ever destined to be a hit and the fact that it was ever given such a big budget seems like a mistake. Maybe a more limited release could have helped it get some buzz. Or maybe even making a better movie would have been helpful. A movie like this needs really good reviews not just okay ones. But even so I don't think either of those things would have turned this into a hit.