Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
February 25, 2015
Kim Hollis: The teen movie The DUFF earned $10.8 million this weekend. What do you think of this result?
Jason Barney: Keeping things in perspective, I am going to say the opening for The DUFF is pretty impressive. No records were set, and no one will be talking about this one in a week or two, but you can’t argue with the success. First, of the top seven films, two others also being new openers, The Duff only had 2,575 screens. It wasn’t a lot, but Hot Tub 2 and McFarland USA both had slightly more screens. This is one indication that The Duff brought out its target crowd. Second, for the type of movie this is, I’d have to agree with comments from Reagen Sulewski in the weekend forecast. High school comedies are a very specific genre and not many studios "go there" in the current movie industry. Finally, the numbers are going to be great for the studio. The investment for Lionsgate was pretty small, in the $9 million range. I can’t imagine marketing costs being much for this one. So this weekend, where The DUFF did well against the other two openers, beat its own tracking, and nearly paid back the investment and marketing cost. I’d say it is a pretty clear success.
Matthew Huntley: This is a commendable performance indeed, not least because it has no major stars; was, as Jason indicated, not playing on too many screens; and was relatively low-profile marketing-wise. CBS/Lionsgate should be more than happy about these numbers and perhaps the former can start to gain more clout as a studio. I'm not sure how long The DUFF's legs will be given the target demographic likely "rushed" out on opening weekend, but it's got me curious, especially because of its better-than-average reviews. I can see this thriving even more on the home market and making stars out of its cast as a result. In the grand scheme of things, I think it will be a sleeper, but one that people will look fondly over after seeing it.
Edwin Davies: I'd go so far as to say that this is a great result for all the reasons that have been mentioned so far. The DUFF was basically considered a non-factor going in to the weekend, and while it didn't cause a huge upset, it did do better than pretty much anyone predicted and covered its budget in its first weekend. I think this result is at least partly due to the rarity of these kind of high school comedies adding a sense of novelty, and the efforts of the cast, who plugged the film relentlessly on social media. Mae Whitman and Ken Jeong were especially active about spreading the word on Twitter, and while they aren't the biggest stars in the world, they do have a significant number of fans and they were clearly able to motivate a lot of them.
Ryan Kyle: All things considered, this is a very impressive opening for the struggling CBS Films. Making its budget back by the end of the weekend is always an accomplishment for a film starring only faces that the target demo of tweens care about. Well received by critics and audiences, I wouldn't be surprised to see The DUFF slowly collect a tidy sum of money and finish closer to $40 million than $30 million, especially since Cinderella is still a few weeks away. Heavily marketed through social media and lightly through traditional means, I can't imagine that the P&A spend will prevent this from seeing profit at the domestic box office (which is very important since overseas should be a non-factor on this one).