Monday Morning Quarterback

By BOP Staff

June 10, 2014

Sadly, this photo finish was not for first place.

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Kim Hollis: The Fault in Our Stars, based on a book written by internet sensation John Green, debuted with $48.0 million. How impressed are you by this result?

Edwin Davies: I'm very impressed with pretty much every aspect of this result. Even the potential negatives, like the fact that it earned more than half of its opening weekend on Friday (with some Thursday sneaks thrown in), are kind of amazing to consider. I don't think I've seen an opening weekend quite that frontloaded since Cloverfield, which was a very different situation since everyone rushed to see what the mystery was all about. I'd guess that the majority of the audience for The Fault in our Stars knew how it turned out, which is a testament to how passionate its fans are.

Probably the most notable thing about this result is the role that those Thursday previews played. We've seen an increasing number of films opting to have "midnight" screenings that actually happen at 7 or 8 p.m. on Thursday, which is a development that I think is already significant since it allows more people to see anticipated films without having to stay out until two or three in the morning. The Fault in our Stars really did something special with them by charging a premium price that allowed fans a degree of interaction with the people who made the movie. This strikes me as a more novel and effective way of getting people to see films in the theater and to pay extra for the privilege than 3D, and I fully expect every adaptation of a beloved property to do the same thing from here on out. Can you imagine how much The Avengers 2 could make in three days if they applied this approach?

I'm not sure how well the film will do from here on out. It could easily burn out completely after satisfying the demands of its core audience and fail to really reach beyond the people who already love the book, or this success could convince other people to check it out and make it even more of a phenomenon. I think it might be closer to the first outcome than the second, but only because theaters aren't likely to let a small drama hold screens when so many blockbusters are still to come. A finish north of $125 million (possibly far north of it) seems possible, though.


Matthew Huntley: I'm also very impressed by this result, especially when the trailer makes it seem like such a heavy-handed, patronizing tearjerker (I haven't seen it yet, so I can't judge). I'm obviously out of touch with this movie's fan base, though, as I never saw a near-$50 million opening being even remotely possible for The Fault in Our Stars (I would have been surprised if it ended up with this much in total). I think Edwin's prediction for the film's final finish is a little bullish, as I don't think the movie will live much beyond this weekend and will probably tap out at about $80-85 million, which is still a huge win for the studio, not to mention Shailene Woodley, whose asking price will most definitely gone up.

Felix Quinonez: I'm pretty shocked by this result. I was beginning to think that people were getting carried away with their expectations. I knew it was going to make back its budget over the weekend but didn't dream that it would be this big. This is a huge win for everyone involved. I do believe that it will be frontloaded because of how passionate the fanbase is. I don't think it's a sure thing to cross $100 million domestically but it doesn't even matter.

Jay Barney: Just looking at the numbers, this is a pretty amazing opening frame. Even if this ends up being front-loaded, even if the next couple of holds are not as spectacular as the debut, The Fault in our Stars has accomplished what every film wants to do, be profitable. And it did it while people were still in line during the first full day of release. Even if the advertising and marketing costs double the $12 spent on making this film, by Saturday morning it was making money. In today's world that happens less and less. The $48 weekend take is just gravy, and from here on out it is just going to make a lot more money. The buzz is strong. The ratings are fresh. You don't see this kind of box office performance very often.

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