Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
May 13, 2014
Kim Hollis: Neighbors, the Seth Rogen/Zac Efron comedy, earned a mighty $49 million this weekend. What do you think of this result?
Edwin Davies: This is a real surprise. I thought going in that Neighbors would have a chance of beating Spider-Man, based on the likely drop for a superhero movie and the heat the film had generated, but I thought that any victory would be a close one of maybe $1-2 million, not a complete shellacking of more than $10 million. I think this speaks to the strength of the concept, which is easy to grasp and plays nicely on the personas of its two stars, and a marketing campaign that has been brilliantly handled, not only in terms of the very funny trailers, but the confidence the studio showed in showing the film at South by Southwest and holding plenty of previews prior to release. They knew they had a solid film on their hands and that approach really helped get the word out there that the film was pretty funny and pretty good, an idea that was backed up by the decent reviews. Everything came together for Neighbors, turning it into one of the biggest films of Seth Rogen, Zac Efron and Nicholas Stoller's careers after just one weekend. Not shabby.
Jay Barney: I don’t think beating Amazing Spider-Man is the major story here, I think the amount of money Neighbors made is the shocker. Spider-Man was bound to be big. Last weekend was huge. We should not get stuck thinking the Amazing Spider-Man movies really compare with the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man of about a decade ago, though. Despite the decline in the web slinger’s totals, the international receipts will especially be fine.
The real story is Neighbors’ strong entry into the early summer box office. This is an R-Rated comedy, one of the first summer films, and it just had the fifth best opening for the year. Admittedly there are only a couple of films that have come out of the gate this strong, but almost half the calendar year is gone and Divergent, The Lego Movie, Captain America, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 are the only films to achieve more than what Neighbors did this weekend.
It had a great spot in the schedule, a pretty decent marketing campaign, and positive buzz. Rotten Tomatoes currently has it at 75% fresh, and there were enough laughs for viewers to recommend it to others. That apparently happened quite a bit this weekend. The ads were noticeable, particularly playing up the theme that almost everyone has experienced; the uncomfortable relationship with those next door.
Lastly, Neighbors benefited from how things panned out with the schedule. Competition is everything, and the stars aligned. The other two openers this week were never really on anyone’s radar screen. Spider-Man opened huge, but action flicks commonly fall 50% or more in weekend two. The movies that opened in the last weekend of April are pretty much old news now, the strongest being The Other Woman which was under $10 million. The stars just aligned.