Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
September 9, 2014
Kim Hollis: As Above, So Below, the latest found footage horror flick, opened with $8.6 million over the three-day portion of the long weekend. It has earned $16 million after 11 days in release. What do you think of this result?
Brett Ballard-Beach: About on par with the almost-forgotten Apollo 18 only with not quite as virulently venomous reviews. With a low production budget, it's no money loser, but it brings the summer to a close with a whimper, and guarantees that the horror crowd will be chomping at the bit for what October has to throw their way (and with no Paranormal Activity 5, that means Annabelle, Ouija and possibly Horns)
Edwin Davies: It's decent in terms of how much the film cost to produce and, considering how anemic the advertising was in the weeks leading up to release, to market, but it's a pretty ignominious end to a pretty crappy summer. I know that Labor Day is traditionally a dead zone as far as the box office is concerned, but when a 5-weekend-old film is able to rise to the top of the chart one week and remain their the next, while earning twice as much as the nearest new opener, you know that Hollywood is failing to provide anything that audiences might want to see.
Jason Barney: Despite last weekend being full of press about not much action at the box office, the results for As Above, So Below really are very strong. The risk for the studios was minimal, even with opening during the graveyard known as Labor Day. The budget of $5 million is very cheap, and we have seen this formula work very well over the last couple of years - spending pennies and then putting a film out there to see what happens. Normally I would say an opening in fourth is not very good at all, but this film has set out what it was meant to accomplish – to exceed the production budget in a short amount of time. This formula continues to work. We will likely see more of this.
David Mumpower: Jason touched upon the important point, which is that it cost so little to create and market that it is already a profitable film. I consider this an impressive feat for a simple reason. Watch an ad for As Above, So Below. Is there anything about the project that distinguishes it from the type of programming one would see on any faux-ghost chaser show on television? This “movie” would fit right in with the ordinary late night programming of SyFy. Ergo, the fact that consumers were somehow enticed into watching it at the theater is a win.
Kim Hollis: The November Man, a spy flick starring Pierce Brosnan, earned $7.9 million from Friday-to-Sunday and has accumulated $18.4 million since debuting a week ago last Wednesday. What do you think of this result?
Brett Ballard-Beach: It's interesting that this is the 2014 "action film slotted for adults action that Focus normally releases over on the Wednesday before Labor Day, only Focus isn't involved this time around (this project is from Relativity). The reviews I have read were a strange mix of positive and negative: that there were elements of the film for a more thoughtful, contemplative audience, mixed in with wild tonal shifts and violence that ran the gamut from two-handed guns blazing slo-mo squibs to visceral someone takes a smash to the face and you feel their hurt. As with Above/Below, this probably had a low budget and so may make it back domestically. It's interesting that a sequel was announced when this opened as it will likely top out below $30 million and I don't see it being a huge hit overseas (unless Brosnan is huge the world over?)