Monday Morning Quarterback Part III
By BOP Staff
January 22, 2015
Kim Hollis: Kevin Hart's latest comedy The Wedding Ringer debuted with $20.6 million this weekend. What do you think of this result?
Edwin Davies: This is fine, but it's mainly interesting as a test of Hart's appeal. The trailers weren't especially funny, and the concept wasn't as clear as Ride Along's, Josh Gad is not a name in the way that Ice Cube is, it was R-rated, and it didn't have a brand like Think Like a Man to boost its opening. So this was pretty much solely on Hart's shoulders, and he managed to push it to $21 million despite everything arrayed against it. That's a pretty decent endorsement of his appeal, especially since it will have covered its production budget by the end of Monday.
Felix Quinonez: I think if you compare it something like Ride Along, this might seem disappointing but that's not fair. If not for Kevin Hart, this movie might have opened in the low to mid teens. So if anything it keeps Hart's winning streak going, especially when you consider it's relatively low budget.
Kim Hollis: It's an okay result, but I can't help but feel that Screen Gems left some money on the table here. Hart did a fine job of stumping for The Wedding Ringer, but I wonder if the marketing could have been more aggressive. Even though I like Josh Gad, I think the film could have been propelled with a bigger name.
Michael Lynderey: I never really thought of Ice Cube as a box office draw, but looking at some of his starring roles, perhaps that was an omission on my part. As for The Wedding Ringer, it seems just to be marking time between Kevin Hart movies - something you could say for a lot of his films. I'm not sure exactly if Hart has yet matured into the kind of A-list comedy star that Will Ferrell (his future co-star) and Steve Carell (his future co-star?) have been for years now. His absolute breakout vehicle, both critically and commercially - an Elf or a The 40 Year-Old Virgin - still seems ahead of him (I really wouldn't rank Ride Along there). By the way, having seen the film, I still don't know what a "wedding ringer" is.
Kim Hollis: Paddington, the adaptation of the beloved British children's books, debuted with $19 million. What do you think of this result?
Edwin Davies: I think this is very good considering the lack of familiarity with the character in the US relative to the UK, and that the early trailers made it look pretty bad and spawned a derivative Creepy Paddington hashtag and Tumblr. Clearly the trailers worked for the target audience while the good reviews overcame any reticence that parents might have had. Those reviews might also help it in terms of legs going forward, especially since the slate for movies for kids is pretty sparse in the weeks ahead. Regardless of that, the film has already done spectacular business overseas, so its success in the US was primarily supplementary.