Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
February 4, 2014
Kim Hollis: That Awkward Moment, a comedy featuring Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan and Zac Efron, earned just $8.7 million this weekend. What do you think about this result?
Edwin Davies: It felt like a very confused film on a number of levels. It seemed to be pushing itself as simultaneously a romantic comedy that would appeal to women and a raunchy comedy for young men who would unironically refer to themselves as "bros". It might have been able to overcome that disparity if the ads were uproariously funny, but they seemed more obnoxious than anything else, and the toxic reviews and weak word-of-mouth only seemed to confirm that there was nothing new there for people to check out.
It also didn't help that while Teller and Jordan are supremely talented up and comers, they are hardly household names, while Efron's star has waned a little since the heights of the High School Musical days. I also don't think people were quite ready to see someone associated with squeaky clean comedies and romances trying to be dirty. Throw a film with so much working against it on one of the worst weekends of the year and you have a result like this.
Having said all that, this is not a horrible result since the film's budget was only $8 million, but I think they'll struggle to cover the marketing costs since it'll be all but forgotten by Valentine's Day, which would have been its last, best chance of getting a decent final total.
Felix Quinonez: I think this opening is pretty much what should have been expected. Not only did the ads look terribly unfunny, it got horrible reviews as well. The marketing seemed completely clueless as to who this movie was trying to target. It seemed like they were trying to court and simultaneously turn off as many viewers as possible. But in the end it will be saved from being a disaster by its low budget. Even with its low opening weekend, the movie's gross has already surpassed the amount spent to make it. After you factor in the marketing costs, the movie probably won't be very profitable but it won't be a huge loss. No one's careers should be too hurt by this. But at the same time no one will really benefit from it either.
Jason Barney: This was about what I expected. I didn't think this film had much of a chance to break out. It was a small film, designed to capitalize on counter-programming. It did well enough against its budget. A lot of studios would like a film to be approaching the break-even point after a week and a half of release, and that is what Awkward Moment will accomplish. This is a pretty small opening, and it will be gone soon, but it will make money. Not much, but it will make a profit.
Reagen Sulewski: Straight-forward relationship romantic comedies are a bit of a lost art these days. I'm hard pressed to think of one that's been a hit that hasn't been some sort of giant ensemble cast, in large part because they don't feel special enough to go to the theater for. They've been epic-ed out of the market. When you add in that two of the three male leads aren't that well known *and* that you're pitching a romantic comedy at dudes, who are the least likely demo to go one, and you've got a lot of problem spots for trying to sell this movie.