Monday Morning Quarterback Part IV
By BOP Staff
January 10, 2013
Kim Hollis: Parental Guidance, the grandparent comedy starring Billy Crystal and Bette Midler, earned another $9.7 million. It has grossed $52.4 million since Christmas Day. What are your thoughts on this performance?
Bruce Hall: Aside from wondering what kind of CGI they used to make Billy Crystal look so young, I don't have a lot to say about this one. It's a pretty conventional family film - snarky kids vs. out of touch grandparents who are unaware of things like answering machines and airline security! Har har! Let the obvious, lukewarm hilarity commence! Am I wrong, or could this movie could have been released at any time in the last ten years - using the same two leads? That said, people love Billy Crystal and Bette Midler, and this is the sort of bland, inoffensive fare both can pull off in their sleep. Plus, Parental Guidance has pretty much had the family demographic all to itself since it dropped on Christmas Day.
This is a good enough result at a tough time of year to all but guarantee a sequel, so...just prepare yourselves.
Felix Quinonez: I think anytime a movie grosses double its budget in less than two weeks, it's in very good shape. Clearly there is a market for bland, inoffensive comedies and this seemed to benefit not only from the holidays but the under-performance of The Guilt Trip. But seriously, this looks like it should be a made-for-TV movie and could finish with over $80 million domestically. Mind=boggled.
Max Braden: It's a head-scratcher all around. Did someone go down a call list and get past Steve Martin before getting the roles filled? Or was this a back-burner pact, where Billy said, "Okay Bette, if, in 25 years, you're not making movies, and I'm not making movies, let's make a movie together." Can there be a sequel starring Danny DeVito and Lily Tomlin? That there's any audience still alive who would leave the house to push the box office this high is amazing.
Brett Ballard-Beach: I honestly thought that The Guilt Trip would trip beat this. And even with diminishing returns of 3D re-releases, I believed that Monsters, Inc. would beat this (but not by much) and that Billy Crystal would be 0 for 2 to end his 2012. Now it's on tap to be one of his highest grossing non-animated films ever. With 10 years away from the big screen for him, that's a pretty solid return. It wound up as the Cheaper by the Dozen 2 of this holiday season. On a side note, it is set in (and did a few days of second unit shooting in) the dirtiest city in America (aka, Fresno, CA), where I spent the holidays with my wife's extended family. Thank god for Zyrtec. And that no rugrats whacked me in the balls with a bat and made me vomit on them.
Edwin Davies: I'm a little perplexed by this turn of events, though nowhere near as much as I would be had the film come out any other time than Christmas. I think it benefited from being the third or fourth choice for people at a time of year when they actually have time to see all the films available. For families who have already seen The Hobbit, whose kids are too young to see Django or don't care for the singing in Les Miserables, it provided a bland, agreeable alternative. Had this been released at any other time of the year, I am convinced that it would have been slaughtered.