Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
August 13, 2014
Kim Hollis: Which is the bigger shocker, the opening weekend for Guardians of the Galaxy or the debut of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?
Edwin Davies: Guardians of the Galaxy still strikes me as the more surprising, in terms of both the scale and the level of awareness around the two properties: Everyone knows who the Ninja Turtles are; hardly anyone knew who Star-Lord was a year ago. Back at the start of the year, I said to a friend that I had no idea if Guardians would be a success or a flop because it was so weird and so obscure, and that the best it could hope for would be a success on the level of the first Thor and Captain America movies. It's far exceeded that, and continues to perform better than anyone had any right to expect even a few months ago. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles always struck me as a film that could do moderately well, and while this result is better than pretty much everyone expected, it's not that far outside the realm of reasonable expectations as what Guardians has achieved.
Tim Briody: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and it's not close. Granted, Guardians of the Galaxy is an incredible opening and was unthinkable six months ago, but the marketing hit all the right notes and there's a lot more faith in the Marvel brand than we initially thought. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles looked absolutely terrible, got slaughtered by reviewers and despite a currently running animated series, there is no connection between that and this movie. The last TMNT film opened to $24 million and finished with $54.1 million, and the new film has already topped that. Hands down, $65 million for the Turtles reboot is the bigger stunner.
Brett Ballard-Beach: Another tick in the TMNT column. The reasons for GOTG's breakout success last weekend could be broken down, analyzed, and explained. A $65 million opening for this defies analysis or explanation. Now mind you, I approach this, like a lot of popular culture, as a mystified and befuddled outsider. I was 14 when the first big-screen adaptation came out in 1990 and had as much interest in the brand then as I do now: nada. So I don't have nostalgia for this and I sure as hell would not take my kids to it. The trailers I had seen for this made the film look somewhere between joyless and stupid (apologies to Spinal Tap) and not even the kind of noisy, joyless escapism like the latest Transformers film, but more akin to the Platinum Dunes' reimaginings of The Hitcher or Texas Chainsaw Massacre/The Beginning where things are just uglier, more violent, and more soul-suckingly cynical than they need to be. (This will in fact wind up Platinum Dunes' highest grossing effort worldwide by a large margin.) Now that Bay has cornered the markets for adults, teens, pre-teens, action figures and boardgames (I'm looking you at Ouija), all that's left is to turn some other property that 6- to 8-year-olds and dudes in their 20s/30s currently adore into a PG-13 live actionpalooza and build another vault for all the bank: Sometime in the next two to three years, I am predicting the Bronies will have their day with Michael Bay's My Little Pony.