Monday Morning Quarterback

By BOP Staff

January 28, 2014

Remember when *you* used to be the best player?

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Kim Hollis: I, Frankenstein, a Lionsgate film from the same people who produced the Underworld series, earned just $8.6 million this weekend. What went wrong here?

Brett Ballard-Beach: If I may, quote from the press kit synopsis as posted on Rotten Tomatoes:

"Set in a dystopic present where vigilant gargoyles and ferocious demons rage in a battle for ultimate power, Victor Frankenstein's creation Adam (Aaron Eckhart) finds himself caught in the middle as both sides race to discover the secret to his immortality."

Until two weeks ago I was under the assumption that the film was a (misguided) attempt at creating a PG-13 horror film reboot of the Frankenstein creation myth. Then I was unlucky enough to see a trailer, and to read the above sentence. The problem, as I see it, is that Mary Shelley's corpse merely spun in her grave and her spirit didn't rise up from the beyond to punch all involved in their babymaking parts.

In all seriousness, I hope this is the dumbest plot description I read all year. I can only imagine that many potential audience members felt the cynicism involved (or if they lived in NYC, they didn't want to pony up $21.50 for a 3D IMAX ticket).


Jason Barney: I saw the trailer for this one several months ago and I think almost everyone in the audience either laughed or groaned. I am not trying to be mean here, as I usually give creative teams the benefit of the doubt and withhold judgment on films like this. I'm sure the folks involved were trying to capitalize on the success of flicks that have focused on fantasy and the fantastic, but this is about as far from success as you can get.

This opening is terrible. To have a new entry opening in sixth place, just ahead of American Hustle, which has been out for seven weeks, is awful. It was a weak performance at the box office all around, but I, Frankenstein is going to go down as one of the larger failures of the year. We are not quite talking 47 Ronin, but this is not good. It will join The Legend of Hercules as the early misfires of 2014.

The only reason this one may even still be in the top 10 next weekend is that the two new openers don't look to be garnering much interest. If I, Frankenstein keeps 50% of its audience after seven days I'll be surprised.

Matthew Huntley: Kim, I think your question is too broad. Perhaps you should have asked, "What didn't go wrong here?" because the list would be much shorter Not only does I, Frankenstein seem like a no-brainer of a movie, but the fact that it tanked also seems like a no-brainer. All I can think is the studio green-lit the film a while ago (perhaps two years), banking on an audience turnout the likes of Underworld or even Legion, but by the time dailies started rolling in, it was too late and Lionsgate decided to simply dump it in the final week of January, which is a week before Superbowl weekend no less, further damning this movie to make as little money as possible. Jason Barney and Brett both summed up how the movie's premise killed it before it had a chance, but I would also attribute the lack of star power to its dismal returns. No offense to Aaron Eckhart, who is a fine actor, but he doesn't bring people to the theater. Lucky for him, barely anyone will see this and therefore not hold it against him.

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