Monday Morning Quarterback Part III
By BOP Staff
May 15, 2014
Kim Hollis: As we enter the heart of the summer box office season, let's take a moment to reflect on what has transpired thus far in 2014. What do you consider to be the biggest blockbuster, the most pleasant surprise, and the bomb of 2014 to date. Are there any other thoughts you want to share?
Edwin Davies: Biggest blockbuster is a tie between Captain America and The LEGO Movie. Cap will overtake Emmitt and Wyldstyle domestically at some point in the next week or two, and he's already well ahead of them worldwide, but he also had some considerable advantages and much higher expectations. The LEGO Movie, on the other hand, has performed so far above expectations that it deserves to be considered one of the most stunning success of the year.
The LEGO Movie would also be my choice for biggest surprise, but I'll also throw the worldwide success of The Grand Budapest Hotel out there as something I was not expecting at all. Domestically, the film has found the biggest audience Anderson has seen since The Royal Tenenbaums back in 2001, but globally the film has been kind of huge. None of his previous films have ever earned more than $25.5 million outside of the US before, but Grand Budapest Hotel has earned nearly four times that much to date. That's a huge uptick that I certainly hadn't expected based on the more modest success of the rest of his films.
Even though Dorothy's Return will no doubt end up losing more money, I don't think any film rivals Transcendence for biggest bomb of the year so far. Not only has it lost a staggering amount of money, but it did so despite starring Johnny Depp and having a sizable marketing campaign behind it. Dorothy, Hercules et al. never had much of a chance of being big successes, but Transcendence had so many things in its favor, none of which did anything to stop it crashing and burning.
Reagen Sulewski: When you consider what the worst case scenario for The LEGO Movie would be, it's hard to argue against it as the biggest hit of the year. I still boggle that a stop-motion animation movie about a toy is one of the biggest worldwide hits of the year, and with the significant handicap of selling a lot of discounted tickets at that.
If I'm not being boring and putting it in as the biggest surprise as well, I'd make a case for Ride Along, which revived the buddy comedy and launched Kevin Hart into the stratosphere. $130 million for that film has to be one of the biggest unexpected events of the year.
Transcendence is a good pick for bomb of the year so far, but I'd also put in a vote for Pompeii, which had just as big of a budget but did just as poorly. There was no big name to put this on, but it might signal the near end of disaster porn, or at least that studios are going to have to try a little harder to make these work.
Max Braden: Cap will outgross The LEGO Movie, but I think LEGO wins for dominating the box office longer and earning so much money on only a third the budget of The Winter Soldier. On the other hand, I do think Captain America did something more important than just earn a lot of money: it hit another home run for its franchise. I know there are Thor fans, but so far his movies have seemed to be pretty stand alone and I don't see much impact lost if they hadn't been made (this despite Thor's whole thing being responsible for what brought the Avengers together). Not only did The Winter Soldier deliver a well-received production, it helped advance the broader story of the Avengers with the S.H.I.E.L.D storyline. And not only was that done in the movie, it was done simultaneously on TV with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I don't think we've seen that level of success with TV and movie integration before. Marvel's cinematic universe brand is firing on all cylinders right now, and that's huge for its future.