Monday Morning Quarterback Part II

By BOP Staff

May 15, 2013

We're impossible!

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Kim Hollis: Relative to expectations, which performance impresses you more - Iron Man 3 or The Great Gatsby? Please specify whether you're talking about domestic or global box office.

Jay Barney: I don’t think the executives at Paramount are worrying about the Iron Man drop one bit. The international revenue is so enormous at this stage, and the numbers from last weekend were so good, that Iron Man is still going to be seen as one of the unqualified successes of the year. To put it in perspective, its second weekend take is larger than every other film released this year except Oz the Great and Powerful. That is an amazing accomplishment. It is a week old and Iron Man nearly tripled the openings of films like A Good Day to Die Hard, Jack The Giant Slayer, and Pain & Gain. The drop is significant, but the goal is making money. It has already done that, so at this point, it is just a matter of how high it can go. Domestically it is still probably a lock for the $400 million club, and internationally it is already knocking on the door of $1 billion. The budget was exceeded very early. 58% is a significant drop, but nobody cares.

Brett Ballard-Beach: The Great Gatsby - domestic. First, some prefatory comments (which have no basis in anything other than my own meandering existence). I must take umbrage with some of the smack talking Mr. Mumpower tossed in the general direction of English Lit. I was an English major and your words are fightin' words, sir! The Great Gatsby is my favorite novel of all time (second place goes to John Irving's The Hotel New Hampshire). For anyone out there who may have been dissuaded from reading it by some critics referencing the book as a "slog", pay no heed. It is the least sloggiest novel in the canon of highly praised 20th century English language novels. (For comparison, Middlemarch and Moby Dick, great though they are, are not at all easy to wade through.) It also has the most perfect closing line in all of literature.

For a literary adaptation of a nearly 100 year old novel that has no fantasy or fantastical elements to trump the debuts of all but Iron Man 3 and Oz in the last five months is gobsmacking. This simply isn't the sort of material that achieves blockbuster status other than once in a blue moon. I understand that the material itself takes a backseat to the visuals, the soundtrack, and Leo D. in reasons why people wanted to see it, but the movie doesn't replace the book and it will get some people to read it. My theory is the youth raised on Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge! were primed to enjoy this. Even if a big dropoff occurs next week, it doesn't negate the success or impact thereof this weekend.




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Matthew Huntley: Tough call, since both are so impressive, but I'd say the most amazing figure is Iron Man 3's global box-office take, which just keeps growing at a rapid rate. In just three weeks time, it's closing in on the billion dollar mark, which, granted, isn't as new a concept these days, but the fact that Tony Stark and friends are doing it without the other Avengers is pretty amazing. Gatsby will have its moment in the sun this weekend only because it wasn't eclipsed by IM3, but the latter will be what sticks in people's heads a lot longer.

Edwin Davies: Gatsby, domestically; Iron Man, globally. I was expecting Iron Man 3 to outperform Iron Man 2 but not top The Avengers in the US, so its opening, while huge and impressive, was pretty much what I thought was going to happen. For the reasons I stated earlier, Gatsby's performance strikes me as the one that most exceeded expectations. They may have been more modest expectations, but the result took the film from being a potential disaster to a moderate hit, whereas the question about Iron Man 3 was never whether it was going to be a hit, just how big.


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