Monday Morning Quarterback Part II

By BOP Staff

September 16, 2015

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Kim Hollis: The faith-based film 90 Minutes in Heaven started this weekend with $2 million. What do you think of this result?

Jason Barney: The path for success is going to a bit different for this one. Even with the limited budget of $5 million, at best this is going to be a push. Weekend number one needed to have an opening just a little bigger; at this point it has earned only half the budget back. It was never intended to be a huge opening, and the theater count is pretty low, so its chances were limited from the start. It may be out of the top 10 by Monday or Tuesday. Who knows, perhaps Christians will want to see this, along with War Room, over the next few days, and drops end up being insignificant. I would think it is going to be gone pretty quickly, though.

Ryan Kyle: As an opening weekend, this is quite disappointing. With a targeted release in only 848 theaters, the PTA should be in the $3,000 range at the bare minimum. I feel like next weekend's drop is going to tell the full story if this is a break-even success or a failure. However, once again, an opening like this shortly following the War Room shows how fickle the Christian-faith flick audience can be.

Kim Hollis: Eh, it's okay. I don't know how much they were realistically expecting here. This one is probably too close on the heels of War Room, I suppose. I admit that I never understand which of these faith-based films will break out.

Edwin Davies: Since the film stars Hayden Christensen, I can only assume that this means that even Evangelical Christians aren't ready to forgive him for the Star Wars prequels. There's some stuff that even God can't forgive.

More substantively, I think this reinforces a pattern we saw last year which was that the success of Christian films tended to help out Christian films, but only if there was a suitable gap between them. Coming immediately on the heels of War Room, which has been a bigger hit than most people expected and seems to be connecting with the faithful, meant that 90 Minutes in Heaven got largely overshadowed, and didn't come with the same credibility with its audience that War Room had coming from the Kendrick brothers.


Kim Hollis: A Walk in the Woods, the Robert Redford/Nick Nolte dramedy, debuted last week with $8.2 million for the three-day portion of the weekend and has accumulated $20 million to date. What do you think of this result?

Jason Barney: A Walk In The Woods, even though it opened during the graveyard shift of movie weekends, was perfect counter programming. This project did not light the world on fire, but the path to making money is going to be real enough. It was only made for $8 million and even on the deadest of the dead weekends at the box office, it almost surpassed its budget. The real key here will be how long it can hold onto the limited number of screens it has right now. If the senior crowd does show up for this one, and they don’t have to in large numbers, the holds could end up being pretty interesting.

And cheers to all involved. This is Broad Green Pictures' first wide release, and it will be a success. Nick Nolte has been off the map for a while, but Redford continues to remain relevant. Captain America was a huge feather in his cap, and it is nice to see he can push a truly new project like this to success.

Ryan Kyle: Much like The Gift's debut was impressive given it was the first wide release from a new mini-distrib last month, a lot of kudos goes out to Broad Green for having its first wide release get out of the gate without sputtering. AWITW has a very defined audience, making the strategy of walking into a tad under 2,000 theaters work in its favor (and keeping the marketing costs down). While a 44% drop is seemingly steep when compared against Woman In Gold, Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and Hundred-Foot Journey, given that it came off of a holiday weekend where audiences were more free than usual, it isn't too bad. The next few weeks will see if this light fare will hold up against the darker dramas fighting for the same adult audiences to walk its way into the $40 millions instead of the $30 millions.

Edwin Davies: Like everyone else, I think this is an immensely solid result for a film from a (figuratively and eponymously) green distributor. It's not a smash, but for a film based on source material that is long past its peak of popularity, and starring actors who are in pretty much in the same boat (though like Bill Bryson's work they're still popular with older audiences), this is pretty good, and is a testament to a shrewdly assembled and released project. Nothing about it is particularly exciting, but everyone involved did their job pretty well and the end result is a decent one.

Kim Hollis: I felt like this might do a little better considering there haven't been many great options for audiences from the 55+ demographic, but the result is really fine. I wonder if it might not have been better off as a platformer, but since it's not an awards contender, I guess releasing it Labor Day weekend makes sense.



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