Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
July 30, 2014
Kim Hollis: Hercules, the Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson version of the story of the mythological hero, earned $29.8 million this weekend. What do you think about this result?
Edwin Davies: This is better than I expected since the ads for this looked pretty terrible and The Rock, despite being one of the most likable and popular actors working today, has often struggled to open films as a lead; he tends to do best when being the highlight of a broader ensemble. That doesn't mean that it's a particularly good result compared to the cost, since a sub-$30 million opening makes it unlikely that it'll cover its $100 million production budget in America. However, it got off to a decent start internationally this weekend, so I think this one will probably end up being a draw for Paramount. Considering how big of a disaster this could have been, this has to be considered one of the better outcomes.
Jason Barney: I don't think this is a particularly good opening, but Paramount has to be sighing in relief that it did not turn into a disaster. I saw some estimates going into the weekend that it would underachieve to the level of $19 million, and with such a large budget that would have been truly awful. Now, Paramount at least knows over the next several weeks that Hercules can fight to earn most of its money back domestically. They probably didn't want to be watching the international numbers so much, but that is the position they are in now.
To be honest, the international numbers are a little better at this point than I would have expected them to be, so maybe signing someone like the Rock to the project will indeed work out in the long term.
Reagen Sulewski: Yes, there was a pretty deep floor possible on this one, so what ends up being a pretty respectable number actually seems like a large win. It's also great news for Johnson, as his career has been kind of swingy, and with the Fast and the Furious franchise looking like it's probably wrapping up, he needs something to leap to. I think a lot of this performance can be credited to it looking just enough like the 300 films but being "something else" in that genre. As much as I bemoan copycatting in the entertainment industry, it works so often that studios are crazy not to do it. In this case, there's a bit of luck with timing, but whatever works.