Monday Morning Quarterback Part II

By BOP Staff

November 6, 2013

This guy is pretty good.

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Kim Hollis: Last Vegas, which is basically The Hangover for the senior set, opened to $16.3 million. What do you think of this result?

Jason Barney: Continuing the theme of not writing off older performers, Last Vegas is going to be a huge success. Kline is really the only second level actor here, the other three are all household names, in the twilight of their careers, but used in the right way, they can still deliver. De Niro has been very active lately, although a bit up and down. Silver Linings Playbook isn’t that far in the rear view mirror, but The Family was barely a success and The Big Wedding was a complete flop. It is good to see Douglas back on the big screen, as his health issues sidelined his career for a while. The fourth in the group, Morgan Freeman, continues to be involved in projects that make money. Being in the Batman movies certainly helps, but even the smaller projects have made their money back or fattened the wallet. Oblivion, Olympus has fallen, and Now You See Me were all 2013 successes. This makes four good outings for him this year.

Matthew Huntley: I was surprised by this film's performance, especially because its distributor, CBS Films, has such a poor track record at the box-office. Not that a distributor is, or should be, an indicator of a movie's success; it's just refreshing to see CBS is on the other side of the coin this time around. The other reason I was taken aback was because I didn't think the movie was very publicized, but then again, I'm not the target demographic, so maybe it was marketed to those 40 and older in arenas with which I'm not familiar (during shows like NCIS perhaps?)

In any case, this is a welcome hit due to the depth it lent the box-office this weekend, and given that it's already made roughly 2/3 its production budget back, and will likely show strong legs in the face of more adolescent-driven titles coming out later this month (Thor,Hunger Games: Catching Fire), it should be able to top $50 million at least. Congratulations, CBS, this is a certifiable success.

Felix Quinonez: I think this movie did great. Its audience is usually a crowd that doesn't rush out on opening weekend, so I believe it still has plenty of life in it. But aside from the fact that it's already a pretty strong opening, the budget is pretty low too and its Cinemascore "A-" suggests that strong leg are a possibility.

Bruce Hall: I guess this was supposed to be the septuagenarian answer to This is the End? These kinds of movies exist for a reason and if they make good on their objective, they win. Last Vegas cost $28 million to make, and it took in more than half that opening weekend. That's winning. There's also nothing wrong with openly pandering to your demographic, especially a fiscally cautious one that will give your movie legs because they only invest in winners.


Edwin Davies: I think this is a great result within the very modest parameters the film had assigned for itself. It's a relatively thrifty film designed in the Bucket List mold; take a few old, familiar actors, place them in a slightly risqué and silly comedy and watch the older audiences very slowly flock to it. This is a very solid start, but the real success for the film will lie in the weeks ahead as it remains one of the few lightweight films aimed at adults. This makes it perfect counter programming to both the blockbusters aimed at kids and the more serious, depressing awards contenders, which is a potentially very profitable niche to occupy.

David Mumpower: We have conversed recently about the under-served Latino market and the way that studios have started to target them more directly. The older movie goer is in that same category. Whereas the under-25 demographic has always driven the film industry in the past, we are witnessing landscape change in that behavior. Just as television has suffered the fate of cord cutters who watch programming on their computers, that is the direction movies are heading as well. The people least likely to adopt are the ones indoctrinated to a different behavior, and that is the over 50 crowd.

CBS Films has cleverly and effectively sold them on a premise that delivers exactly what it promises. Last Vegas is either AARP Hangover or The Bucket List meets The Hangover, whichever you prefer. Over the years, audiences have clearly indicated that they love this sort of premise. Space Cowboys, Grumpy/Grumpier Old Men and Hope Springs are all examples of this idea. Not coincidentally, all of them were pleasant box office surprises. Last Vegas is performing similarly. To wit, it has a legitimate chance to surpass The Woman in Black to become the biggest domestic hit in CBS Films history. After a struggle the first few years, the rising studio has started to deliver frugal but attractive projects that movie goers want to watch.

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