Monday Morning Quarterback Part III
By BOP Staff
March 28, 2013
Kim Hollis: Admission, the comedy featuring Tina Fey and Paul Rudd, opened with just $6.1 million. What went wrong here?
Brett Ballard-Beach: Two great, comic, subversive talents in a ... sincere, grown-up, conventional romance... set in the world of college admissions. If Focus felt they could have nurtured this into a minor hit, they would have started small. They seemed to know the reviews would be divided, and word-of-mouth wouldn't help, and they opted to get what they could while they could.
Felix Quinonez: I honestly think what went wrong was the fact that the movie just didn't look good and the reviews were terrible. Audiences like both Fey and Rudd but neither is a big enough draw to get people to see a movie just because they're in it. It's a shame, too, because they seem like a genuinely good pairing.
Bruce Hall: Tina Fey is brilliant. And Paul Rudd is like Kurt Russell - our primitive civilization is not yet advanced enough to fully perceive his greatness.
However, the trailer I saw for for Admission was really confusing, regardless of the number of Grammy nominated hits they crammed into the soundtrack. Wait...she's an admissions officer? For Princeton? I was a C student, so I always assumed that place was fictional, like Arkham Asylum.
So, like most female leads in romantic comedies she's an odd duck who throws herself into her job to compensate for being alone...but then Paul Rudd...is...some kind of...farmer? And wait, some kid might be Tina Fey's son, and...so she...wait...what? Is this about the kid, or about Fey and Rudd's characters falling in love at the end of the second act?
So let's recap: If I'm over 35 I should want to see this because Tina Fey and Paul Rudd and Lily Tomlin are in it. If I'm under 35, I will want to see this because I heard Of Monsters and Men were on the soundtrack.
Sounds like $6 million to me.
Edwin Davies: Bruce nails one of the major problems the film faced: its marketing was all over the place. The "I think he's your son" aspect didn't feature at all in the early ads for the film, which were otherwise fairly bland but not unappealing, which suggests to me that someone got cold feet and started trying to cobble together ads that emphasized the aspect of the film that was actually pretty unique, despite having spent months advertising the film as a bland, cookie-cutter romcom in a slightly offbeat setting. I think that probably hurt the film a bit by making it unclear what it was about, and sticking to just one aspect would probably have made it an easier sell to a broader audience. It still probably wouldn't have been able to overcome the reviews or the fact that neither of the two leads is a particularly strong draw on their own, but it might have done a teensy bit better, at least. Anyway, the film didn't cost all that much to make, and since the marketing push seemed to mostly involved getting Fey and Rudd to plea with people to see it, this won't go down as too big of a failure.