Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
March 3, 2015
Kim Hollis: Focus, the romantic con film featuring Will Smith and Margot Robbie, earned $18.6 million this weekend. What do you think of this result?
Jason Barney: This opening is solid, perhaps a bit on the light side. For Warner Bros there is a bit of a risk the film will not be able to achieve decent holds over the next couple of weeks. For a project with a budget in the $50 million range, it has some serious work to do. Anything is possible, but the RottenTomatoes rating of 56% is not going to create a lot of buzz. Even if the holds are respectable, it won’t start cracking into its marketing costs for three weeks, and by that time its screen count will be in serious decline. Will Smith will have to rely on the overseas numbers for this one to see profitability, and that is an open question. Foreign audiences were much more open to After Earth than domestic, so the numbers from overseas should be respectable.
Matthew Huntley: Its numbers are mediocre, to be sure, but far from disastrous, especially when you consider the time of year, the genre and the R-rating, which likely made the opening lower than if it was rated PG-13. I don't think Focus will have a problem reaching profitability in the long run, not when international numbers are taken into account, but I do think it will be another "blow" to Will Smith's reputation as a guaranteed box-office draw, a label which he no longer owns. To his defense, though, no movie star has ever really maintained a lifelong career as a theater seat-filler. Times change, people change, the industry changes. To say that one point you were king of the box-office is a major lifetime accomplishment and I'm sure we'll still see hits from him in the future, just not as consistently as a decade ago.
Felix Quinonez: I think it's a perfectly fine opening and it has a decent shot at matching its production budget with domestic grosses and overseas could prop it to some profitability. It's certainly not the disaster that I'm thinking some headlines will try to paint it as. But it sure has to be a little disappointing that it shot under the already modest predictions.
Ryan Kyle: Looks like Denzel Washington is the last movie star left who can vault over the $20 million mark on opening weekend with no questions asked. For being heavily marketed and released on IMAX, this sexy con thriller (or comedy, depending on which marketing materials you got bombarded with) should have reached closer to $30 million than the high-teens it wound up with. It's not a disaster by any means, but it is certainly a disappointment. I think The Judge is a fair comparison - another R-rated WB flick headlined by an A-lister's star power over the marketing. That opened to $13 million, but with a much less sexy premise. The legs will be what's important for this film (The Judge quietly picked up $47 million by the time all was said and done). If it can match its $50 million production budget; my money is on "yes."