Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
February 10, 2016
Kim Hollis: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a movie that is exactly what it sounds like, earned $5.3 million this weekend. What do you think of this result?
Edwin Davies: This is about what I expected since the film took much too long to come out and it missed its moment in the zeitgeist. The book became a surprise hit in 2009 and the film was quickly announced, and that initial version was meant to star Natalie Portman and be directed by David O. Russell, hot off the success of The Fighter. That was the very definition of striking while the iron was hot, but that version fell apart almost as soon as it started, and the project cycled through a lot of different writers and directors for the next six years. Interest in literary mashups flared and died pretty quickly during that time, as evidenced by the failure of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter in 2012, so it was apparent four years ago that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' time had probably passed, but too much time and money had been invested for the film not to come out at some point. Maybe it could have overcome that delay if it had been able to attract big names or if the film had actually been good, but neither of those outcomes were likely once it became clear that audiences had moved on and the joke had stopped being funny anymore.
Felix Quinonez: I think this is a great result simply because it could mean we don't get any more of these mashups. I might be one of the few people who don't find zombies entertaining or interesting in any way so simply adding them to a Jane Austen story has no appeal to me. Even with its relatively low budget it might lose money.
Max Braden: I am surprised that this only made a third of the amount Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter made for its opening. As I understand it (having never watched), iZombie is a pretty popular television series. It would be interesting to see if demographics had any effect between the different properties. I mean, let's face it: I'm a dude, so you can dress up the undead in pretty much anything including historical drama and get me to see it... except corsets. You could try a mashup of Sense and Sensibility and the Fast and the Furious, but you're still going to have trouble dragging the boyfriends to see it.
Ryan Kyle: I think that Edwin hit the nail on the head that the hotness around these "mash-up" properties is long gone and the stench of Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter just further extinguished it. Also, the major down-casting from the originally announced Natalie Portman and director David O. Russell really diminished excitement (and expectations). Playing in nearly 3,000 theaters, $5.3 million is a terrible opening and next weekend's double header of Deadpool and Zoolander 2 should be a deathblow to P&P&Z as they are going after the same audience. I will admit that I am surprised how low this opened, but I guess as we learned with The Finest Hours last weekend, when it comes to certain genres, audiences just aren't interested.