Monday Morning Quarterback Part II

By BOP Staff

November 25, 2015

A flip phone. How quaint.

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Kim Hollis: The Night Before, a pre-Christmas comedy featuring Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, earned $9.9 million this weekend. What do you think of this result?

Jason Barney: This is probably a disappointing opening, I have to imagine that Rogen and company were hoping for a little stronger number. There was no indication that this was going to open anywhere near its budget, which was around $25 million. However, that budget number is pretty cheap, and there is definitely a chance it could match it over the course of its run.

Beyond that, there is not much here. A $10 million opening gives it a shot, but we don't know the marketing costs involved, so it would have to have an impressive run over next weekend and stick around for a couple of weeks. With the Rotten Tomatoes score of 63% fresh, it might get some positive word-of-mouth, but I think it will be gone pretty quickly.


Max Braden: I would have liked to have seen it perform better but I don't think I'd call it a significant disappointment. I see this mostly as a Seth Rogen comedy, and he's typically more of a summer draw. Last year's interest in The Interview was more about the international affairs news it generated than the movie itself. Three years ago he had a weaker opening with The Guilt Trip at Christmas, but viewers then were more interested in seeing it for Barbara Streisand. I think I was hoping for something bigger because Joseph Gordon-Levitt is continuously underrated by audiences, and Mackie seems to have been flirting with a bigger piece of stardom for a while.

Edwin Davies: This strikes me as a decent result given how crowded the marketplace is at the moment, and the nature of the film itself. A seasonal comedy like this doesn't need to make a huge amount of money on opening weekend. Instead, it needs to make enough of a splash that people start talking about it, then ride out the Thanksgiving/Christmas craziness to profitability. This opening suggests that The Night Before won't be a huge hit, but it's done enough to get people's attention, has decent word-of-mouth so far, and it presents an irreverent alternative to festive cheer which could play well in the weeks ahead a la Bad Santa. We're not looking at another Neighbors here, but a somewhat leggy performance like the last Levine/Rogen/Gordon-Levitt team-up, 50/50 ($8.6 million opening, $35 million finish, 4.0 multiplier) seems pretty achievable.

Ben Gruchow: I agree that it's not terrible; when accounting for ticket-price inflation, it grossed roughly the same amount as 2011's 50/50. You have to go all the way back to 2008 and Zack and Miri Make a Porno to find a similar genre, release date, opening figure, and cast bankability. The release date may let it simulate similar legs to that, but the audience for it is going to have a lot vying for its attention over the next couple of weeks.

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