Monday Morning Quarterback Part II

By BOP Staff

June 3, 2015

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Kim Hollis: The disaster flick San Andreas opened this weekend with a better-than-expected $54.6 million. What do you think about the debut of this Dwayne Johnson film?

Edwin Davies: This is an impressive start, and strikes me as a "two great tastes that taste great together" situation. People love The Rock and they love disaster movies, and combining the two seems to have reaped dividends this weekend. The spectacle promised by the trailer probably would have roped a decent number of people in regardless of who the star was, but I think that Johnson's charisma, coupled with the fact that he is a genius when it comes to using social media to promote his projects, and the afterglow of Furious 7's dominance, meant that he was the perfect choice to entice people into a movie that could have been blandly generic.

It also helped that, unlike Tomorrowland, the ads for San Andreas laid out the story in incredibly simple terms. They showed that a whole lot of destruction was going to happen, but also sold it as a story about a family trying to survive in extraordinary circumstances. The same tactic worked for The Day After Tomorrow and 2012, and it worked again this weekend.


Felix Quinonez: I think this is a great result and because audiences seem to like it, San Andreas has an actual shot at decent legs. But more importantly it is a big win for The Rock.

Michael Lynderey: It's Dwayne Johnson's biggest opening outside of all the pre-established franchises he's helped maintain (The Mummy, Fast and the Furious, Journey, and G.I. Joe). I think a lot of people underestimated the film, which had one major factor going for it even outside of Mr. Johnson: it's a disaster movie, a genre that is almost totally failure-proof at the box office (as long as you don't set your expectations too high). I remember some were surprised at how big Deep Impact opened in early May 1998, and I personally was shocked by how well The Day After Tomorrow and 2012 did. A disaster movie basically guarantees a large scale and a lot of special effects, and that's what San Andreas and the rest blatantly deliver (Into the Storm's shaky-cam style, while interesting, defeated that basic point of the genre - its grandiosity). As I said about Pitch Perfect, I think San Andreas would have been better served opening over Memorial Day, where its scale would have been better appreciated.

Ryan Kyle: Edwin hit the nail on the head with his analysis. People love the Rock. People love disaster porn. Why would people not love disaster porn starring the Rock? Competently shot and animated, although the same can't be said for the script, San Andreas is another serviceable entry into the sub-genre of mega disaster flicks. In fact, the only surprising thing about the standard fare is that the genre's modern-day godfather Roland Emmerich didn't helm it. Without much competition on the horizon until Jurassic World, San Andreas shouldn't struggle to clear $150 million and reap a bounty overseas.

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