Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
September 24, 2014
Kim Hollis: This Is Where I Leave You, a family film with an all-star cast that includes Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, Jane Fonda and a lot more, earned $11.6 million this weekend. What do you think about this result?
Edwin Davies: This is not a bad start for a film that only cost around $20 million, but it's not great considering that it has a cast loaded with actors who, in the case of Tina Fey and Jason Bateman, have opened films well in the past or, in the case of Corey Stoll and Adam Driver, have a certain cache from being featured prominently in acclaimed TV shows and movies. Like the similarly wordy A Walk Among the Tombstones, I think that the marketing wasn't quite there for This Is Where I Leave You. The ads never seemed to decide whether it was a raucous comedy based around a serious subject or if it was a drama with comedic elements. In either case, the jokes themselves weren't that strong - the number of jokes about Jane Fonda's character having breast enhancements suggested that they didn't really have any better material - and the lack of laughs probably made people wait until the reviews started coming in. Considering how mediocre those have been, that probably turned a lot of people off the film.
Matthew Huntley: Prior to seeing the film last night, I would have pegged This is Where I Leave You to open between $14-$16 million, which would have been in line with most analysts' predictions. Now, though, I can understand why it opened lower, because it's simply not that good, and it seems like its mixed-to-poor reviews and probably stale word-of-mouth caught up with it throughout the weekend.
Also, like A Walk Among the Tombstones, I don't think this ensemble dramedy was able to escape its "been there, done that" impression. Stronger reviews might have led potential viewers that it had, but this isn't the case. Granted, the movie didn't cost a whole lot to produce (a modest $19 million), so it should still end up in the black (eventually), but given the cast, who are generally liked, respected and popular, I'm sure Warner Bros. was banking on a stronger turnout. What could have been a $45-$50 million modest hit will likely only end up with $28-$30 million. I hate to say it, but it doesn't deserve more than that.
Jason Barney: It opened in third, which is okay considering the other two openers, but it came in just ahead of two films that were released last weekend. In the environment of late September, when films are lucky to garner any sort of attention, I don't consider this a very good opening at all. However, it was made for a very cheap $20 million, so with almost $12 million in the bank after three days, it should surpass the budget after weekend two. I don't think it will have much staying power. There are two new releases next weekend and three after that. If it stays in the top ten for more than three weeks it will be lucky. It will make money but will end up being a very forgettable entrant in the box office arena.