Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
August 6, 2013
Kim Hollis: 2 Guns, the Denzel Washington/Mark Wahlberg action-comedy, earned $27.1 million this weekend. It's the sixth time this year that a Universal film has held the #1 spot. What do you think about this result?
Brett Ballard-Beach: Consistency, thy name is Denzel (well, and Universal this year at least). Since 2000 (and discounting his two directorial efforts) all but one of Denzel's films have opened above $20 million. That's 14 films in as many years. And with that one exception, they have finished with no less than $65 million and several have made more than $100 million. And, most importantly, the majority were R-rated and/or Denzel was playing an anti-hero. Factor those all together and that is a run as impressive as the uber number of $100 million action and comedy blockbusters that Cruise and Sandler have had in the same period. Without Denzel and Mr. Wahlberg, this might have been looking at R.I.P.D. grosses. But with them, it became if not an event pic, at least a guarantee of an enjoyable action-comedy caper. And since the budget on this remains reasonable (well below $100 million), this should end up as a winner in the long term as well. (Trivia answer: the one exception? 2003's Out of Time. Opened with $16 million, finished with $41 million).
Felix Quinonez: I think it's definitely a win for everyone involved. I also think that it is really impressive how reliable Denzel Washington is. It's been a real popular argument lately that star power doesn't mean what it used to but I think it's hard to deny the fact that the presence of the leads added a significant amount to the opening weekend gross. The movie itself almost went out of its way to look generic and kind of boring. But the real draw was the chemistry of the stars and that definitely got some butts in those seats.
Bruce Hall: It's a win, albeit a tepid one. Let's be honest, if 2 Guns had cost $91 million to make instead of $61 million, we'd be having a slightly different conversation right now. Then again, an R-rated multicultural action picture opened the same weekend as a (partially) animated family film and came out on top by a pretty handy margin. I'm not sure when or if that's ever happened before. However, Universal pushed this one HARD in Latino and African American communities, and the response seems to have been lukewarm at best. I should also mention that Washington and Wahlberg are two well-liked stars who have pulled in over five billion dollars in combined domestic office during their time as leading men. I don't mean to directly compare the two as actors (you my boy, Mahky-Mahk), but I'd have liked to see a bit more muscle out of this title.
It's all academic, though. Universal continues their stellar year, Denzel adds to his legend as a reliable box office performer, and Wahlberg continues to be the second most successful rapper turned actor in film history.