Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
August 21, 2013
Kim Hollis: Kick Ass 2, the sequel to the nihilistic comic book-based film from 2010, earned only $13.3 million. Why didn't this one do better?
Jason Barney: I was a little surprised when the first Kick Ass did so well, but its run was successful, no doubt about it. That one was produced for $30 million and brought in $96 million, so everyone involved was happy. This sequel is not likely to lose money, but I can’t imagine a formula where it outperforms the original, especially with this opening. There are no real heavyweights at the box office right now, considering the last film to open north of $50 million was Wolverine, but it is just saturated with a lot of new entries. Kick Ass 2 was one of those new entries and it still only opened in fourth. Next week there are three new openers, so this one is going to get lost in the shuffle pretty quickly. It won’t cost anyone anything, but will be gone pretty quick.
Brett Ballard-Beach: It didn't do better because nobody was really asking for it. I will admit I fell victim to the "buzz" and "chatter" that suggested this might open at or slightly above Kick-Ass, but as with the first one, the b/atter (or chuzz) was all being made by the people who went to see it on opening night (or in this case at 10 p.m. on Thursday). As with Jobs, this isn't terrible because the budget was relatively low ($28 million) and it should make that back domestically. For my part, I haven't seen either, but seeing the trailer for KA2 suggests the larger issue problem: tonewise, this is all over the place. Maybe the Coens could make a dark comedy around this material and straddle the tonal issue, but the tone here seemed to be, "We're still mocking superhero cliches, but we are also giving you all those cliches as well. We have ridiculously violent action, but now that the 13-year-old girl is a 16-year-old girl, you can't get quite the same jollies watching her swear and kill people." At least, that was my takeaway.
Max Braden: I think the series just struggles from pushing the boundaries of both types of potential audiences. I know some people were bothered by the violence of the first movie and I would say that the issue of violence determined the public reaction to the movie. I remember hearing about that but I also remember not being bothered by the violence, though it earned the movie a very strongly deserved R-rating. In the hands of producers for high-school movies like Superbad or American Pie, it might have been less violent, funnier, and more appealing to older high school and college kids. Had it been a more serious revenge fantasy about bullying, something indie in the vein of Election, the violence would have suited the message. And in the hands of Disney producers it might have been a wacky Spy Kids-esque adventure. But where sex and violence typically go hand in hand, there wasn't much to appeal to older kids, and it was way too violent for kids younger than high school. The movie finished filming before Moretz turned 12-years-old. So I think the reaction to the first movie averaged out to be "Okay, that happened..." but nobody was asking for a sequel. In Kick-Ass 2, Moretz at 15/16 oddly seems too old for the role now. The tone seems to have softened the violence but still resulted in an R rating, which means it's still no more appealing to older kids or accessible to the Spy Kids audience. I'd say the only reason this movie managed to break $10 million was because of the curiosity factor in seeing if Jim Carrey's post-production complaints were valid.