Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
November 19, 2013
Kim Hollis: The Best Man Holiday, a sequel to a 14-year-old romantic comedy, opened with $30.1 million this weekend. How did this happen?
Edwin Davies: I read a couple of articles over the weekend that pointed out that while the original Best Man didn't set the world alight, it did very well on home video and became something of a touchstone for African-American audiences. (It's also proven to be fairly influential, since it served as the model for much more successful films like Think Like A Man.) That suggests to me that while there wasn't a great clamor for a sequel, there was an audience who fondly remembers the first film or grew up watching it, as evidenced by the fact that The Best Man Holiday had a great Friday, suggesting there was a fan rush to see it as soon as possible. In addition to the reputation of the film, the cast has all gone on to have fairly successful careers in their own right, so seeing them come together again appealed to old fans, while new ones might have been brought in by the tried and tested "Ooh, so many famous people!" factor.
Jason Barney: The Best Man Holiday doing this well certainly was not on my radar screen. This film pulling in $30 million surprised a lot of people, and it continues a crazy run of success for Universal. Pretty much everything they have released this year has made money. Their larger projects, like Fast and Furious 6 and Despicable Me 2, basically over performed and did better than expected. Now, even their smaller projects are bringing in a lot of dough. The Best Man Holiday continues a remarkable 2013 for them.
Felix Quinonez: This is a really great opening but I think it's something that shouldn't be so surprising anymore. Time and time again it has been proven that there is money to be made from movies aimed at African-American audiences. If you release it, they will come. And aside from that, the release date turned out to be great. Because of release date changes, Best Man Holiday wound up being the only new release and it was also great counter-programming against Thor.
Matthew Huntley: I have not seen the original The Best Man, although I do recall it being released, and because it's been so long, I guess I never put two and two together that The Best Man Holiday was a sequel to the 1999 film. With this in mind, and not that I serve as any kind of benchmark, I wonder how many patrons of the new movie actually knew Holiday was a follow-up. The point I'm trying to make is I think this movie would have done just as well had it been the first of its kind, especially considering, as Felix mentioned, the loyal demographic and the time of year (Christmas comes earlier and earlier every season). No doubt the original's home video/cable run played some role in the new one's success; I just doubt it played THAT big of a role. In any event, I was glad to see this movie lend some depth to the overall selection of movies in the marketplace. I think we're in for a big second half of November.