Monday Morning Quarterback
By BOP Staff
November 4, 2014
Kim Hollis: Nightcrawler, the creepy Jake Gyllenhaal movie, earned $10.4 million this weekend. What do you think of this result?
Jason Barney: This is a great result on many levels. As always, the basic analysis depends on the budgetary numbers. Nightcrawler was a low risk/high reward type of project, and the numbers certainly are very nice for Open Road Films. With a reported budget of only $4.3 million, this addition to the box office easily started making money less than 24 hours after release. The marketing costs will probably be in the rear view mirror by the time BOP readers see this column. That is a very enviable position for a movie to be in. What studio wouldn’t want that result?
The Rotten Tomatoes rating is exceptionally high, which is going to allow word-of-mouth to spread substantially. This is the type of flick that could get substantial viewership just based on positive buzz. This was never intended to be a huge film anyway, but it won’t take much to get some attention.
Finally this is another nice win for Gyllenhaal, who has recovered nicely from Prince of Persia. And even that project had considerable international support. Source Code was a nice, mid-level hit. End of Watch made a great deal of money for Open Road Films. Prisoners got a great deal of attention about a year ago. He is involved with praiseworthy efforts of late. Specifically with Nightcrawler, his performance is supposed to be quite good.
Edwin Davies: I think this is very good for most of the reasons Jay already listed. Nightcrawler was a very low-budget film that managed to turn the bleak desolation of the Halloween weekend to its advantage. Even though Nightcrawler ended up being the #2 film for the weekend, it already made its money back and got the headlines saying that it was the number one film, even if only briefly. That and the great reviews have put the film on a lot of people's radars, and that will help it to stay afloat among the other heavy hitters that are coming out in the next few weeks. That could lead to possible awards attention for Gyllenhaal, but at the very least opening it on such a quiet weekend has made a big enough splash that the film will earn multiple times its slender budget before it leaves theaters.
Reagen Sulewski: I'm actually slightly disappointed by this one for reasons I laid out in my forecast. While yes, this material is a bit tough to make a connection to audiences with, Gyllenhaal has had a strong streak of opening weekends, and this shoots well under the high teens-low 20s that he's been hitting. You sort of hope that as an actor makes a transition to bigger starring roles that he pulls these tougher projects along with him into being hits. This opening weekend isn't really a knock against him per se, but merely a realization that he's not *quite* there yet in terms of being able to open anything.