Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
July 9, 2014
Kim Hollis: Deliver Us from Evil, a horror/exorcism film starring Eric Bana and Olivia Munn, earned $9.7 million over three days and $15.3 million since opening on Wednesday. What do you think of this result?
Edwin Davies: This is pretty middling for the genre, and especially when you factor in the lack of horror films throughout the rest of the summer. Either no demand had built up from having nothing scary in theaters, which might be the case since this year has been a pretty underwhelming one for horror films and people might not want to risk seeing a bad one, or it was just a case of horribly bad scheduling. I'm not sure who thought it was a good idea to release a fairly dark looking horror/detective film over the 4th of July holiday. I can't help but wonder if the film would have done better if they hadn't focused on a holiday that is so often about family and NOT about demonic possession. As is often the case with these films, the stars are negligible, so I don't feel like this can be blamed on Bana and Munn - you could have cast two unknowns and you would have got a fairly similar result.
Jay Barney: Despite the lack of screen time for the genre, I think this is a pretty disappointing result. I see pegging it to the 4th of July weekend, even if this one is a bit muted compared to others, as an attempt to get some attention, some buzz. With this result, the interest the studio was hoping to garner is not going to materialize. The best chance was a good opening, creating word-of-mouth, even just a little bit. That has not happened, and now it is going to really struggle to even approach its budget. If this is going to have any chance of being a push, it will have to have fairly strong holds over the next several week days. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes arrives next week, and the Purge sequel comes after that. It didn't get much attention during its opening, I wouldn't expect great interest over the next several days. It will be gone soon.
Bruce Hall: Supposedly, this movie cost around $30 million to produce. This means the guys who wrote it are already sitting at a dive bar in Reseda, trying to convince everyone they used to work for Jerry Bruckheimer. It's a crash-and-burn opening, but there's still an outside chance it'll turn a profit down the line, once it hits home media and VOD.
Max Braden: Not just Bana and Munn, but also Community's Joel McHale, acting as a tough cop. I know this because I heard him interviewed by Terry Gross on NPR. That right there is the double whammy you know will lead to low box office numbers. I'm surprised to see from Wikipedia notes that Mark Wahlberg was initially set to star in the lead Bana role. I think when you put it in that hypothetical framework, it helps highlight the unlikelihood for this premise to make any serious money.
Reagen Sulewski: I've never really been one for the whole “genre/time of year” debate, but it kind of has some merit here, as it just looked like it was about to get lost in the shuffle of the summer season. Low budget horror works in the fall because it has space to itself, not so much in competition with other films as much as competition with other films' advertising. Attention spans are way too divided to really get that saturation you need for low budget horror to work. That said, this really isn't too too terrible, other than in comparison to how well these typically do. And maybe it convinces studios to make fewer of these films. So cheers all around!
Kim Hollis: It’s a pretty blah result, and there’s no chance it has any legs, so let’s just throw that notion out the window. It’d be one thing if there were good reviews or even if audiences were talking about it, but instead it’s just… sort of there. This one is going to have a tough time being profitable even by the time it hits home video, and that’s a pretty tough place to be considering that there’s been no competition in the genre for a while. Horror fans are inscrutable. It has to be maddening for studios.