Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
September 15, 2015
Kim Hollis: The Perfect Guy debuted with $25.9 million to finish in first place for the weekend. What do you think of this result?
Jason Barney: This is a perfect opening for a project that was not made for much, is targeted somewhat to a specific demographic, and has an open playing field because the competition is from the ash heap of late August. The Perfect Guy is an instant success, as everything involved in putting the project together has been paid for in the first weekend. The film’s budget, which came in at a paltry $12 million, was essentially neutralized by the first shows on Saturday morning. By the end of the weekend, any marketing and advertising costs were swallowed up. By sometime on Sunday afternoon it was making a real profit, which is so rare in the movie industry. I know there are low budget horror films that achieve this sometimes, but this opening is much larger and this project has a greater potential audience. Right now the Rotten Tomatoes rating is a bit low at 33% which isn’t great. Even if the holds are not impressive from here, every cent it brings in is pure profit. It will be interesting to see how well it holds up against its present competition and the three openers next week.
Matthew Huntley: The Perfect Guy mirrors last year's No Good Deed in so many ways it's scary, or perhaps that was the studio's intention all along considering the latter's success. Think about it: both movies were released by Sony; both have a target demographic of African-Americans, particularly African-American women; both feature a strong female lead; both opened on the second weekend of September; both carried a price tag of approximately $12 million; both opened at or around $25 million; and both will probably earn back about five times their production costs. Is this 2014 all over again?
Whatever the case, I agree with Jason in that this is a solid victory all around, especially for Sony, which has been struggling this year. Granted, the money The Perfect Guy brings in will be mere pocket change, but it's always good to have extra pocket change. Given this trend, I'm curious if there will be another movie like Guy and Deed in 2016.
Ryan Kyle: Matthew stole the words out of my mouth. Screen Gems has always had success with this B-movie "blank-from-hell" genre whether it be Obsessed, No Good Deed, The Roommate, When A Stranger Calls, Lakeview Terrace, or The Stepfather; particularly with the ones led by African-American casts. Now it seems as if they have found the ideal date to release these films with year-to-year victories. The low $12 million budget probably went to the three leads, who got a nice payday for material they are all way above, but audiences love it and it gets great replay on TV. Thus, it's a win for everyone (including the critics who didn't need to suffer through it, as it wasn't screened in advance for them).
Edwin Davies: Screen Gems seem to have set themselves nicely as a slightly higher-budget Blumhouse. They specialize in a particular genre, gear their projects and marketing towards specific audiences, and then keep costs low enough that even a fairly modest performance guarantees them a profit. That approach has made them pretty consistent when they stick to thrillers or the odd comedy like About Last Night and The Wedding Ringer, and they struggle when they try other things like Mortal Instruments and the Carrie remake, but they've clearly carved out a niche that works for them, so we should probably see more of these kind of films in the future.