Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
August 13, 2013
Kim Hollis: Elysium, director Neill Blomkamp's follow-up to District 9, debuted with $29.8 million this weekend. What do you think of this result?
Jason Barney: This opening is just fine for Sony and everyone involved with Elysium. While it is not the breakout success that every project hopes for, this will be a money maker. I think the comparisons to District 9 are okay, but they can be a bit overdone. If you take Elysium on its own, a pretty good science fiction film released over a very crowded weekend, you can’t be disappointed with much. Sure it underperformed by a few million, but as the weeks play out and the international numbers come in, this should be a decent plus for Sony. The $115 million dollar budget will be met and surpassed, maybe a little slower than hoped.
Felix Quinonez: I think it's a fine opening. I believe that people got a bit carried away with their expectations. Yes, District 9 was a big success and a lot of people were excited for the director's next project but it takes more than one hit for a director to become known enough that his name alone will draw crowds. I believe that a large part of the mainstream audience doesn't normally pay attention to the name of the director. I feel confident in saying that I know more about movies than the "average Joe" and I can't even remember the director's name right now without googling it. As for Matt Damon, he's never been a huge draw. And as for the plot of the movie I think it's a little heady for some people and the reviews weren't good enough that they would convince people to see it if they were on the fence about it.
Bruce Hall: I think it's a solid result, for a thematically dense, R-rated sci-fi thriller starring Matt Damon as a cyborg and Jodie Foster as a villain. It's going to need some legs to cross the $100 million mark domestically, and a solid international result wouldn't hurt if we eventually want to call this a success. I'm not holding my breath for either, but it's certainly possible.
Kim Hollis: Since it looked fairly inscrutable from the trailers, a $30 million debut is more than okay. It was pretty clear that the movie had a significant political message, and I think that a certain segment of the population is going to be automatically turned off by that since they're being beaten over the head with it in the news and in their social media. Also, the message didn't really look subtle. With that said, I totally want to see the movie, but I can understand why it wasn't the breakout some were hoping for.
David Mumpower: Okay, I'll take con on this one. As I mentioned in the Friday Numbers Analysis column, I consider this result disappointing. I understand why all of you are viewing the project through the lens of a new property without a built-in base. A roughly $30 million debut for such a title is acceptable. The problem is that we know that this director is capable of much more. Elysium's advertising did everything but shout from the rafters that it was the de facto sequel to District 9, at least thematically. Another science fiction action film from Neill Blomkamp should be marketable enough to open much better. And that is before we introduce the presence of legitimate A-list actors Matt Damon and Jodie Foster. Why did the sum prove to be less than the parts here? I just cannot describe Elysium as anything other than a missed opportunity. Yes, the movie will probably wind up in the black but $30 million is a lukewarm result rather than the blockbuster this should have been.