Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
December 3, 2014
Kim Hollis: Horrible Bosses 2 earned $15.5 million from Friday-to-Sunday and $22.8 million since its Wednesday debut. What do you think of this result?
Matthew Huntley: This result is disappointing, yes, but not altogether surprising. The studio simply chose a really bad time to release a vulgar, R-rated adult comedy into the marketplace, not only because of its content (audiences are typically looking for feel-good and/or action-adventure films this time of year) but also because there's so much competition right now, particularly for mature viewers. You can't say they didn't take a risk, but it unfortunately backfired and the result was a five-day opening that couldn't match the original's three-day opening. If it was up to me, I would have slated Horrible Bosses 2 for April or late July, when it could have had an audience more to itself, but late November?! It seems fairly obvious this was too much of a gamble and the numbers support the losing end of this.
Edwin Davies: I would say that this is a slightly stronger result than the one for Penguins of Madagascar since it cost only a third of what the DreamWorks film did and, as Matthew pointed out, it was working in an environment that isn't particularly friendly to R-rated comedies. That could play to its advantage in the long-run, though, because people might decide to check the film out next weekend once they're away from their families and are free to enjoy some filthy laughs. It should recoup its $43 million budget in the next two weeks, and then it'll probably get lost in the holiday shuffle, particularly if The Interview becomes this year's counter-programming Christmas movie of choice, a la The Wolf of Wall Street. It probably won't lose money, but it has to be considered a disappointment for the studio, both on its own terms and in relation to its predecessor.
Jason Barney: In 2011 the original did quite well, and it is clear Warner Bros. wanted to try and cash in on some of that good will. It still might happen, but it is going to be difficult to replicate anything close to the performance of Horrible Bosses. The budgetary numbers are shaky from the start. The original earned $117 million against a budget of $35 million. The overseas take added another $92 million. Nothing indicates the numbers will be anywhere close to that with this entry. It cost $43 million to make and has opened to a weak, holiday-inflated $22 million. If the formula for success is that a film must earn more than double its production budget to be profitable, Horrible Bosses needs to cash in big time overseas.
Bruce Hall: Compared to the $28 million opening of the original, this is no doubt a weak start. A five day haul of $23 million makes it look better, and when you add the international cume we're looking at almost $35 million. I have to agree that this was probably not the best time to release an R-rated comedy - but despite barely cracking the top five opening weekend, Horrible Bosses 2 should post a modest profit by the end of the year. This is far from a triumph, but it's hardly a disaster, either.
Safety tip, though - I wouldn't hold my breath for Horrible Bosses 3.