Monday Morning Quarterback Part III
By BOP Staff
October 10, 2013
Kim Hollis: Runner Runner, a film that features new Batman Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake, earned only $7.7 million this weekend. What went wrong?
Edwin Davies: Card shark movies in general aren't that big of a draw, and a card shark movie about online gambling seems like it would have even less of an appeal, especially since the online gambling craze cooled off several years ago. More than that, though, the problem was that whoever was in charge of selling the movie did a dreadful job of doing so. I saw quite a few trailers for this before other films and on TV, particularly in the last week, and if I didn't write about movies and keep abreast of things as a result, I would not have been able to tell you what the film was about from those trailers. It just seemed to be a very generic "guy gets in over his head" story with little to distinguish it from literally thousands of other movies.
Affleck is obviously on a high at the moment and Timberlake has proven to be a solid actor in the right roles, but this all looked like such a misbegotten endeavor that people decided they'd be better off elsewhere. It also doesn't help that the film is very, very bad and there are at least two other better options for adults in Gravity and Prisoners, which probably siphoned off anyone who might have been on the fence about Runner Runner.
Oh, and before I forget, that title is godawful. I know it's a technical term, but it just made it seem like the announcers in all the commercials had a stutter.
Matthew Huntley: Edwin essentially encapsulated all of my views on this one (thanks, Edwin, and well said!), and to top it off, I didn't even know Runner Runner was opening this weekend until I got to the theater for Gravity and saw Runner Runner's poster with a "Now Showing" sticker on top of the case. I too like to consider myself up-to-date on the movie beat, but this one slipped under my radar; that's how low-profile and mis-marketed it was (not that my awareness sets any standard).
Felix Quinonez: I think it has to do with the subject matter. Even Rounders wasn't a big hit. Aside from that, it wasn't really marketed that well but judging from the reviews, it could have been that the studio realized they had a turkey and tried to cut their losses.