Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
October 21, 2014
Kim Hollis: The World War II film Fury, which features Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman and Shia LaBeouf, earned $23.7 million in its opening weekend. What do you think of this performance?
Edwin Davies: I think this is pretty good given that World War II films, with a few notable exceptions, tend not to be huge breakout hits. This is in line with what The Monuments Men did earlier this year, which makes it a little disappointing considering that Fury got much better reviews and a stronger audience response than the Clooney film did, but that also bodes well for its future. A straightforward World War II movie should appeal to older audiences so it should have decent legs and finish north of $70 million, while Pitt's involvement guarantees that it will earn more than that overseas since almost every film he's headlined has grossed more internationally than domestically.
Jason Barney: This is a respectable opening. Brad Pitt certainly is a major draw, so it could have been a little higher, but this is by no means disappointing. With five films earning over $10 million and the sixth barely missing that mark by less than $20,000, it is a crowded field.
By the numbers, this started right about where it needed to. It has knocked off about a third of its budget with the opening, and it has two or three things going for it over the next couple of weeks. First, Pitt is bound to bring people to the theaters. There are not zombies in this one, but Pitt has earned enough respect where fans will show up. Second, the word-of-mouth on this is going to be pretty good I think. It doesn't need to have crazy good holds, it just needs to keep more than 50% percent of its audience each weekend. It should do that. Finally, the path to profitability is going to be fairly easy. The budget here isn't too expensive, only $68 million. With Pitt's ability to bring in foreign moviegoers, the overseas receipts will provide some nice gravy.
Finally, as far as WWII movies go, this is a clear winner. Over the last half a dozen years we have been treated to some fairly good films that explore the sacrifices of the greatest generation. Surprisingly, not all of them opened very strong. The screen count was lower, but Flags of Our Fathers opened to only $10 million. Valkyrie opened with $21 million. Defiance started as a limited release and then expanded. Pitt's own Inglourious Bastards was the most successful with $38 million. And last year's Monument's Men opened just above the $22 million. So for a very specific genre, it certainly opened well enough.
Matthew Huntley: I agree Fury's opening weekend numbers are good, but they're hardly spectacular, and given its budget, which I don't necessarily view as low, I think it'll need a lot of staying power to show a profit. And with more potential award hopefuls opening from now until the end of the year, I just don't see that happening. There will just be too much to choose from that I feel Fury will get lost in shuttle. Additionally, I saw the film today, and I was honestly less than impressed. It's a sound and capable action movie disguised as a World War II drama, but as an action movie, it's rather standard and I don't think the word-of-mouth will carry it very far beyond $60 million total, which won't be enough when you take into account the theaters' shares and P&A budget.