Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
August 27, 2014
Kim Hollis: If I Stay, another tearjerker based on a young adult novel, earned $15.7 million this weekend. What do you think of this result?
Matthew Huntley: This is a surprising and perfectly respectable result, especially since If I Stay is coming off the heels of The Fault in Our Stars and arrived in the marketplace with a comparatively lower profile, not to mention at a time of year when most people are not going to the movies. On top of that, it earned 1.5x its production budget back in three days. I've yet to see most of these "tearjerker" movies, but given this latest one's success, they'll undoubtedly become more prolific in the months/years ahead.
Jason Barney: There is no other way to describe this...it is a great success. The budget numbers are always the clear mark to look at. The $11 million cost has already been surpassed and marketing will be in the rear view mirror very quickly. Against lofty numbers and bigger movies this result isn't impressive, but it doesn't have to be. It will have a little buzz during the week. I will be curious how much the drop-off next weekend is, but this entry has hit the target early. It won't have to wait weeks to see a profit.
Also, accomplishing this in a relatively crowded box office field is impressive. That is not to say that the current slew of options is bringing in oodles of cash, but it is going to make money during a time period when there were five other wide releases in a two week time span. $15 million isn't huge, but this certainly is impressive.
Edwin Davies: The only real flaw with this release was that it was pretty noticeably front loaded - it was number one on Friday and had a $2 million lead on Guardians that evaporated by the end of the weekend - but other than that this is a solid result. It covered its production budget and should see real, if relatively small, profit while it's still in theaters, and will probably do very good business on home media as fans of the book get the opportunity to cry buckets in the comfort of their own homes. This reminds me of The Fault in Our Stars, both in the way that both combine teen romance and tragedy and in their ability to parlay a YA adaptation into a hit film, but with a lead actress whose profile isn't quite a high (Moretz has a longer career than Shailene Woodley but she's not coming off a Divergent-style hit) and a book that isn't as much of a phenomenon. The success is more modest as a result, but that's only to be expected.
Bruce Hall: Well, this is a significantly better start than The Giver on less than half the budget. And, the plot's a hell of a lot easier to explain. While I believe this result is slightly less than Warner Bros was expecting, there's nothing at all wrong with paying off the film in three days AND being able to say you're the top new release for the weekend.
Felix Quinonez: I think any time a movie surpasses its production budget in the first weekend, it is off to a great start. And judging by its strong "A-" cinemascore, I think it could hold up well. Basically everyone involved should be happy with the result. It's not a smash but it's a decent sized win.
David Mumpower: Since the entire country is currently celebrating Simpsons week(s), let me use an appropriate quote. "Making teenagers depressed is like shooting fish in a barrel." If I Stay provides exactly the right touch of melodrama about a new adult's place in the world. The concept is easily expressed in a few words, the cinematic equivalent of politicians creating responses that are 10 words or less. Such easily palatable marketing tactics are oftentimes the most effective ones.
Kim Hollis: I think you have to consider If I Stay a Success. It's obviously cut from the same mold as The Fault in Our Stars, but the book on which If I Stay is based didn't have nearly the same fan base. Also, John Green has carefully cultivated his community of nerdfighters to a point that they clearly had an impact on the earlier movie this summer. Given how fickle teen girls are in particular when it comes to movies, Warner Bros. has to be pleased that the movie got the level of support it did. It's going to be a profitable project that didn't require a big investment to start with.