Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
July 16, 2013
Kim Hollis: Grown Ups 2, starring a bunch of comics whose popularity has not translated to the social media era, opened to $41.5 million. Why do you believe audiences gave Adam Sandler the benefit of the doubt on this one as opposed to his other recent fare?
Jay Barney: He got a pass basically because he went back to something that worked recently. Enough people saw the original Grown Ups and accepted it as a normal Sandler offering.
This is a small victory for Sandler and everyone involved with Grown Ups 2, as they had the least press going into the weekend. Pacific Rim had considerable buzz inching into last Thursday. On the critical end there were predictions that it would be the third action film in a row to underperform; on the other end there was some speculation it would play like World War Z had several weeks ago. Then there was Despicable Me 2, one of the true giants of the summer, sliding into its second week.
The result is a bit of a surprise, as Sandler was on a bit of a cool streak because of creative choices and recent poor box office. The opening for Grown Ups 2 isn’t huge, but it equals/surpasses the original. Despite the very negative reviews this is a solid opening for Sandler and establishes that he is back on track. Sony/Columbia invested $85 million in Hotel Transylvania and that scored almost $350 million worldwide. Jack and Jill and That’s My Boy aren’t that far in the rear window. Doing a sequel to Grown Ups was a fairly safe gamble, and it will make money when all is said and done.
The drops will be significant, though. If it plays anything like the original, Grown Ups 2 will lose more than half of its audience going into the July 21st frame. The Heat is still going strong, and next week there are four new releases. A film that has such terrible reviews will suffer considering the number of choices out there.
Bruce Hall: Sandler and pals are a known quantity to a pretty wide audience, both young and old. Pacific Rim is not. I know which one I'd rather see, but something tells me Joe Moviegoer is a little less discriminating than I am. The movies aren't necessarily a cheap date any more. With only two major releases this week, most people went with what they knew, and presumably got what they were hoping for, if not exactly their actual money's worth.
Tim Briody: While one can argue that every Adam Sandler film is exactly the same, he finally makes his first sequel and is rewarded with his best opening weekend in years. I have to admit I'm surprised that Grown Ups 2 was able to hold its audience from the first film to the sequel despite some of the worst reviews of the year. He's certainly not as bulletproof as he used to be.