Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
February 4, 2015
Kim Hollis: The Loft, a film dumped by Open Road Films into release on Super Bowl weekend, earned just $2.7 million. Why was this such a doomed project?
Jason Barney: Of the openers, this is the one that will truly be a part of the ash heap very quickly. It has zero chance of even remaining in the top ten for more than a couple of days. The budget looks to be in the range of $12 million, so it will be a financial failure. It’s Super Bowl weekend. The studios put some weaker projects out there and let the chips fall where they may. This one fell first.
Bruce Hall: This film was actually shot back in 2011, and issues with the distributor delayed its release until this year.
It reminds me a little of the circumstances surrounding "All the Boys Love Mandy Lane", except that movie was shot for the cost of a well appointed five bedroom suburban home. So while it also wasn't particularly good, it can at least claim to have made a tidy profit in the near decade since it was filmed.
The Loft could stay in theaters until the sun cools and still end up in the red. However, it does have a nice one sheet. I'll give it that.
Edwin Davies: Even though this is terrible, it still feels like Open Road is getting away with something with The Loft. This is a film which went into the weekend with a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes because, of the 18 people who bothered to review it, they all thought it was garbage. It has now crawled its way up to 9%, but the two positive reviews are of the "well, it beats a kick in the balls" variety, so is hardly a ringing endorsement. It also kind of fell into theaters after being on the shelf for, as Bruce pointed out, years. There is no reason that this film should have made more than $1 million this weekend, so to make two and a half times that has to be considered a victory of some sort.
It probably won't hurt Open Road much since, if I understand correctly, they didn't pay for the film to be made, just to distribute it, so they might cover the cost of thrusting it upon an unsuspecting (or at least uninterested) public.
Kim Hollis: Considering that it's been languishing for a couple of years, this debut is probably about the best that Open Road probably could have hoped for. It's a dreadful result and banishes the film to "and it was never spoken of again" status, but with a muted release strategy, no one involved is going to come out of it too terribly.
Michael Lynderey: This number and Mortdecai's proves Karl Urban is every bit the leading man Johnny Depp is. They should use the cast of The Loft in the next Pirates movie. Couldn't hurt, might help.
David Mumpower: We have chronicled this behavior at various points over the past 15 years. Films that are left on the shelf for more than a year rarely perform adequately at the box office. I can totally see the appeal from Open Road's perspective as it's the ultimate example of buying low. If the film had shocked the world and opened huge, it would have been pure profit for the evolving distributor. They were free-rolling here, and even free gambles can be losers.
Kim Hollis: HBO/Warner Bros. released the final two episodes of Game of Thrones most recent season into IMAX theaters, where it managed $1.5 million. What do you think of this result?
Edwin Davies: That's very good. Not only did it have the second best per-screen average in the Top 20 (behind only American Sniper) but it was for content that its audience had already seen. This is found money as far as HBO and Warner Bros. are concerned, but it's great advertising for the upcoming season and reaffirms how passionate the Game of Thrones fan base is.
What I can't help thinking about is how much they would have made had they released the first two episodes of the new season in IMAX. Obviously there's a ceiling for releasing something that people could watch without an extra expense in their home, but a chance to see episodes early on the big screen probably would have fired up the fan base more, and maybe allowed the release to crack the top ten.
Michael Lynderey: Tell that darn dirty television show to get off our lawn! Movie theaters are for movies.
Kim Hollis: I'm put in mind of Homer Simpson's comment at the beginning of The Simpsons Movie: "I can't believe we're paying to see something we get on TV for free! If you ask me, everybody in this theater is a giant sucker! Especially you!" I think I would have been more interested if the episodes hadn't been up-converted for IMAX. Even though I'm a big fan of the show, I have to agree with Edwin that I think there was a missed opportunity here. Show the *first two* episodes of the new season in IMAX and kick it off right.
David Mumpower: I don't see this as a missed opportunity in the least. Instead, I view it as a trial run of the new Event Pricing program best established with The Fault in Our Stars last year. They converted an already established program that is the most torrented show on the planet, meaning readily available everywhere, into a solid three-day total. This isn't the last, best shot for Game of Thrones in movie theaters. It's simply a foot in the door.