Monday Morning Quarterback
By BOP Staff
July 8, 2014
Kim Hollis: Tammy, the latest Melissa McCarthy comedy, debuted with only $21.6 million from Friday-to-Sunday and $33.3 million over five days. What do you think of this result?
Edwin Davies: This is towards the upper end of my expectations for Tammy for a number of reasons. Foremost amongst them is the fact that there was no clear gimmick driving Tammy other than "Melissa McCarthy is in this!" which is markedly different to The Heat, Bridesmaids and Identity Thief, all of which paired her with an established star, had an easily marketable premise or both. Tammy, meanwhile, is the first film that has traded solely on her name as its main draw, and the fact that it pulled in more than $30 million over five-days, despite an almost totally laugh-free trailer, horrible reviews and terrible word-of-mouth says a lot about her drawing power at the moment.
However, I don't think it'll hold up as well as other, bigger comedies like Neighbors and 22 Jump Street have this year, or any of her previous comedies for that matter, because there doesn't seem to be that much support for it as far as audiences are concerned. It might see a small profit before it leaves theaters, so it's not a disaster, but it could prove detrimental to the next film she stars in since Tammy is exactly the sort of film that could hurt a star's brand.
Jay Barney: While the subject matter may be unappealing, I think this result is actually just fine. McCarthy has almost always been paired with established stars or shared the screen, and with the $20 million budget this is going to make money in the long run. Yes, this is not the type of film or audience reception I would expect from a 4th of July weekend, but Tammy, despite the lack critical support will not cause the studio to take a hit.
I think the reaction to the relatively low opening over this holiday frame is partly because she has had so many hits in a row. It is difficult to string together as many big time successes as she has had. With Tammy opening like this, it is nothing special. The other films she was involved in were hits, this one will be forgettable. People are just noting the first "average" outing for her.
Bruce Hall: It would be easy to say that this represents the upper boundary of Melissa McCarthy's appeal, and leave it at that. It's true, there was really no identifiable hook to the trailer, and the baffling one sheets made it look like a movie about a waterskiing waitress who thinks her fingers are guns. I tend to believe that she's the kind of talent who works best with others, but Tammy probably isn't a fair test of this theory. Despite its utter lack of appeal, the reviews aren't quite Uwe Boll bad, but....oh wait. Yes they are.
But I guess that's not fair, either. Since it opened Wednesday, all Tammy has done is amply cover its production budget and - despite being almost universally hated - still earn better reviews than Marky Mark and the Giant Robot Dinosaurs. Despite earning somewhat less than many were hoping, Tammy should be considered a disappointment in the same way it is when someone buys you a Camaro instead of a Corvette. It's less than you were hoping for but it's still pretty fast, and it's now acceptable for you to grow a mullet.