Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
August 27, 2013
Kim Hollis: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, the latest attempt to capture the attention of teens via a Twilight-esque adaptation, earned only $9.3 million from Friday-to-Sunday and $14.1 million since debuting on Wednesday. What do you think of this result?
Brett Ballard-Beach: It may make more than The Host or Beautiful Creatures when all is said and done, but being king of the also-rans in the failed supernatural teen romance franchise launcher sweepstakes of 2013 isn't much of a consolation prize, I would imagine. From what I gathered, at least one problem was that all the advertising was spent on having to explain to the uninformed masses what the hell this was all about rather than showing them a money shot that might just have gotten the non-fanbase into the theater seats.
Bruce Hall: I agree. This movie had to suffer the same indignity that befell Beautiful Creatures, which was having to explain the fun out of it to get non fans to see what it was, and once they did they were as likely to dismiss it as a Twilight knockoff as anything else. It looks like it's outperforming that movie, though. So the good news is this is a $60 million movie that should recoup its cost by the time its international run is eventually completed. The bad news is it doesn't look like there's exactly overwhelming interest in the series. These kinds of films are always front loaded, so go ahead and wave goodbye to City of Bones now, before it disappears over that slippery slope. And while I inherently dislike the idea of giving up on a series right out of the gate, I wonder that kind it international numbers it'll have to draw to guarantee the series continues?
Edwin Davies: It's a pretty terrible result considering that a lot of the recent advertising seemed to be geared towards selling the idea that the film was part of some big cultural phenomenon, showing scenes of fans going crazy for the cast in malls and such. That struck me as a little desperate since it seemed that the studio had given up on trying to explain what the film was about - something which I never really got from the trailers anyway - to saying, "These people are excited about this, why aren't you?!" I think that level of presumption seemed to really sink the movie for non-fans. Unlike Twilight, which did a good job of selling its conceit in an accessible way, the people behind Mortal Instruments: City of Bones seemed to assume that people would know what it was and just show up, in the process forgetting to make a movie that looked interesting to people. Even the subtitle suggests a degree of arrogance on their part by straight out saying this is the first one, we're going to make a bunch of these whether you have heard of them or not.
I imagine that things will work out once international numbers come in, besides which they are due to start shooting the sequel in about three weeks, so unless the studio want to completely cut their losses and cancel that one, I think we'll see at least one more of these films. Well, one more of these will exist, but whether or not anyone sees it is another matter entirely.