Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
February 18, 2014
Kim Hollis: About Last Night, a remake of the '80s film featuring Kevin Hart, debuted with $25.6 million over the Friday-to-Sunday portion of the President's Day Weekend. What do you think of this result?
Matthew Huntley: This is a much-needed win for Sony, who had a rather disappointing 2013. With About Last Night pulling in $13 million on Friday alone, it was able to cover its production budget in just one day, and now, with an additional $13 million (and probably $16 million in total through Monday), it will eat into its advertising costs and profitability is all but assured.
With this said, none of it is surprising. After all, this is a romantic comedy that opened on Valentine's Day and features one of the hottest comedians working right now - Kevin Hart, who currently has two movies in the top 10. Plus, with a predominantly African American cast, which tends to have a very loyal fan base (at least on opening weekend), it's only natural the movie would succeed. This obviously mirrors Think Like a Man's performance, although I don't think this one will show the same legs. Either way, it's a hit, and now Hart has reason to start asking for a higher salary; clearly, he's a box-office draw.
Edwin Davies: I think this stands as an interesting comparison to RoboCop, in that both are remakes of '80s films, but RoboCop does the standard thing of going by name and brand recognition with a few tweaks, where About Last Night is basically unrelated to the original (which was, itself, barely related to the David Mamet play upon which it is based). It's entirely possible to go into the film not realizing it's a remake, but instead thinking it's just a romantic comedy with an appealing cast. That's basically the film's main strength: it presents itself as a fun, slightly raunchy romantic comedy with a battle of the sexes vibe. It doesn't hurt that it debuted on Valentine's Day, which is the perfect time for just such a film to come out. Throw in Hart's current hot streak and you've got a number of factors at play which helped it do pretty well.
Felix Quinonez: Any time a movie matches its production budget on opening night, I think it qualifies as a big win. And this is definitely a big win. The studio chose a great release date, a star on the rise and on top of it all, according to the reviews, the movie is actually pretty good. The movie will be profitable, Kevin Hart has another hit on his hands and perhaps Michael Ealy, who is great on Almost Human, will get some buzz from this.
Kim Hollis: I think it's safe to say that Kevin Hart is a bankable star at this point. He certainly wasn't the draw in Grudge Match, so I think you count that one as an anomaly. He has a loyal audience that is going to turn out for pretty much everything he does, and I expect for studios/producers/casting directors to take advantage for as long as the magic holds. He could have had a truly magical weekend if he had three-peated as the MVP of the celebrity game during the NBA All-Star festivities.