Monday Morning Quarterback Part II

By BOP Staff

July 16, 2014

This is so much better without commentary from Chris Berman.

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Kim Hollis: Begin Again expanded into 939 theaters this weekend, earning $2.8 million along the way. It has earned $5.2 million after 17 days in theaters. What are your thoughts about this project?

Matthew Huntley: Unfortunately, I think this would-be "small film that could" made a break for audiences too fast. Its per-screen-average (less than $4,000) is too sub-par to probably warrant further expansion and I have a feeling it might not get far beyond $10 million in total. I'm still curious to see it, but I think the Weinstein Company should have let word-of-mouth build more before releasing it into nearly 1,000 venues. Has anyone on this thread seen it?

Jason Dean: I have just seen it and I think most viewers will find it an entertaining meet cute (of sorts) set against the backdrop of independent music and NYC. Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley do well. Adam Levine makes a fine villain. Hailee Steinfeld and Catherine Keener are their usual fine selves in smaller roles.

At the same time, I don't think that I can give an objective review as I watched it with laughs through the tears. So I guess there's a vote that it made at least one viewer feel something.




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Edwin Davies: I watched it last night and I enjoyed it, even though I spent the whole film thinking either a) this is reminding me of how much better Once is, b) Adam Levine is a terrible, terrible actor, or c) is Haillee Steinfeld really tall or is Mark Ruffalo really short? (Judging from the film, he's shorter than Cee Lo Green!) It's a charming, funny film and I think it has a chance of being a sleeper hit in the way that Chef has been, but like Matthew I think it might have opened too wide, too early, since there hadn't been much buzz around it before this weekend. Even if it doesn't break out in a huge way, I still think it has the right mix of crowd-pleasing polish and genuine heart to connect with audiences, and it'll probably end up being one of the more successful art house films of the summer.

Felix Quinonez: I think it is doing fine, not spectacular. But it doesn't feel, to me, like it has much buzz amongst general audiences. I would say that most (or a lot of) casual viewers don't even know about this movie. And its performance so far isn't gonna grab anyone's attention. I think it will do decent business but pretty much come and go without making a lot of noise.

Max Braden: I don't think the box office is quite living up to the positive perception of the movie, which is a bit of a 'better to be asked why there's no statue of you than to be asked why there is one' victory. I imagine home video business will be stronger, and we may see it among top ten and nominees lists at the end of the year. I do think it is a decent enough performance to keep writer-director John Carney in business for the future. Even if the numbers don't add up, the perception I have is that it's similar to a Woody Allen project. That's not terrible company to be in when it comes to establishing a fan base.

David Mumpower: What I would also note is that for all of our collective praise regarding Once, that movie earned under $10 million domestically. The expected bump for Begin Again primarily stems from the leads, franchise co-leads in The Avengers and Pirates of the Caribbean. Neither of them has ever demonstrated that sort of box office pull, though. What we have left is a good movie with a solid cast, and it is directed by the genius who crafted Once. That is a wonderful recipe for quality entertainment. It does not move the dial much on the box office upside.


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