Monday Morning Quarterback Part II

By BOP Staff

February 11, 2015

Another game, another fist bump celebration.

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Kim Hollis: Jupiter Ascending, the latest big budget action fantasy from the Wachowskis, earned $18.4 million this weekend. What do you think of this result?

Jay Barney: The Jupiter Ascending story is an interesting one, and you would have to think the decision to pull it from a prime summer weekend was the writing on the wall. If a movie is bad, and this one appears to be with a 22% fresh RT rating, a summer release would have made more sense. Perhaps moving it to February was necessary from an editing standpoint; maybe they did need the extra time. I can’t imagine what the studio was thinking.

First, if you just look at the numbers, summer just gives you more of a chance at earning money. Sure, there is more competition, but it is pretty rare for a film to break out in January or February. I think when they moved this they were probably just trying to get the project behind them and be done with it. It is going to be an expensive miss though, up there with some of the other major flops over the last couple of years. Put this one in the category of Jack the Giant Slayer ($195 million budget, $27 million opening), Battleship ($209 million budget, $25 million opening), 47 Ronin ($175 million budget, $9 million opening), and R.I.P.D ($140 million budget, $12 million opening). Jupiter Ascending has no chance of earning its budget back.


Felix Quinonez: I'm not very surprised at this opening. To me it almost felt that they were trying to get a flop. As has already been mentioned before, its move from Summer to February seemed like they were dumping the movie. But the movie itself seemed so weird that one has to wonder who not only greenlit this project but gave it an almost $200 million budget.

It seems like the studio really thinks the Wachowskis will hatch another Matrix golden egg. But I think this will probably wake them up to the fact that it's not going to happen again. I'm really curious to see if the Wachowskis ever get another big budget project off the ground. I'm also curious to see what the siblings will do next. Maybe they need to go back to stealing from Grant Morrison; that seemed to work really great for them on The (first) Matrix.

Michael Lynderey: I think it's very surprising a major studio agreed to finance this film. While we must always support artistic endeavors, a science fiction action spectacle with this plot and background is an incredibly risky proposition. I've seen both Jupiter Ascending and Seventh Son referred to as "fanboy" movies, but the whole problem with both is precisely that they aren't. There's no established base of fans for either film (perhaps minimally for Seventh Son). It's SpongeBob that's the real fanboy movie of the weekend, and once again we see brand names and the get-out-the-base strategy work at the box office. Between Jupiter Ascending's premise, which is difficult to explain and is perhaps even somewhat confusing, and the reviews, which were not favorable, $18 million doesn't even seem that bad a number. It's what's on the other side of the ledger, the budget, that needed to be reigned in.

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