Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
June 27, 2005
All This And She's Getting Run Over By Paparazzi, Too.David Mumpower: There isn't one big story this week as much as there are several good ones. I guess the most surprising is that North America has taken a stand against Lindsay Lohan.
Reagen Sulewski: Overexposure: it's not just for talentless heiresses anymore!
David Mumpower: Freaky Friday earned $22 million in 2003. Herbie: Fully Loaded only brought in $12.8 million this weekend. Is Freaky Friday that much more beloved a concept or are audiences actively put off by a family-friendly film starring a dirty skank?
Reagen Sulewski: I think Herbie had a bit of dust on the concept, for sure. The mother-daughter swap is something that has a lot more legs in people heads than a Bug doing crazy magic things.
David Mumpower: Body swapping films are generally foolproof with regards to box office. Even so, Parent Trap inflation adjusts higher than what Herbie did. Is it possible that LiLo was more appealing at 12 than she is at 18?
Kim Hollis: She can't be any less appealing than she is right now.
David Mumpower: For the record, Reagen, I strongly disagree that Herbie is not an appealing concept. I like it a lot more than body swapping, an overused concept. I mean, come on. It's a Volkswagen that acts like a cute puppy! Of course, the Disney movie I would most like to see remade is Gus, and it's in last place in our BOP poll. I might just be that far out of touch with mainstream movie-goers.
Kim Hollis: I definitely think it's mostly the skanky Lindsay factor. Had she been as fresh faced as, oh April of last year, this would have worked.
David Mumpower: If Lohan is such a negative association, though, why did Mean Girls do so well? Was that movie the precipice just before the fall?
Kim Hollis: That would be my contention, anyway.
Reagen Sulewski: And again, Mean Girls had a real concept behind it.
LiLo Took Super-Size Me Too SeriouslyDavid Mumpower: I am of the opinion that Lohan's shenanigans did make this a marketing nightmare for Disney. And it's clear that Disney punished her for her rowdy behavior. They apparently stopped feeding her.
Kim Hollis: I think her Girls Gone Wild behavior and insane sudden slim down to Calista Flockhart size were a big issue.
David Mumpower: How do you sell wholesome entertainment when the lead makes Page Six every third posting?
Kim Hollis: She's on all the magazines at the checkout lane in every grocery store. It's unavoidable that parents will see this stuff and think, eww. Not for my kids.
David Mumpower: Is it possible that Lohan fans want her to be sluttier rather than more huggable? There's a scary thought.
Is NASCAR Not Feminine Enough?Kim Hollis: The other thing is that it's probably a lot easier to relate to a teenage girl swapping bodies with mom or joining the big clique, while being a race car driver is a bit out there.
David Mumpower: Are you calling Danica Patrick weird? Because dem's fightin' words.
Kim Hollis: Also, you know, Disney did remake this for TV not that long ago.
David Mumpower: If there is a prior Herbie re-make, you might be the only one to know about it, Kim.
Reagen Sulewski: With Bruce Campbell!
David Mumpower: Hmm, maybe not.
Kim Hollis: Keep in mind that the past Herbie movies have had men as the central character.
Reagen Sulewski: I think that's an interesting point. Do cars automatically make it a boy film?
Kim Hollis: I don't think it's that it's automatically a boy film. With past Lohan films, though, she's been a girl that other girls her age can easily relate to.
Less G, More NC-17?David Mumpower: With a $50 million budget, the film is not in that bad a shape anyway. It should wind up around $40 million and as long as Lohan stays out of jail, DVD sales should right the ship. She's not in jail right now, correct?
Kim Hollis: It will be just fine profitability wise. Honestly, this opening really didn't surprise me much.
Reagen Sulewski: Maybe her J.Lo nickname should double as career advice. Lie low.
David Mumpower: And hit a buffet every now and again. Exoskeleton ain't sexy.
Kim Hollis: She's doing an Altman film shortly. That should maybe help. She's playing Meryl Streep's daughter in Prairie Home Companion.
David Mumpower: Good craft services?
Reagen Sulewski: As long as it's not Dr. T and the Women 2.
David Mumpower: What amuses me is that co-star Justin Long, the bratty kid from Ed, did better with Jeepers Creepers (!) than he did with a Disney re-make. Who had that in the betting pool?
Reagen Sulewski: Well let's not forget the Scarlet G-rating. You're instantly turning off a huge portion of the market, although this theoretically should be what Disney excels at.
Kim Hollis: Yeah, I actually would normally think G would be perfect for that sort of thing.
David Mumpower: But not this combination of star and rating. There's a reason we never saw Traci Lords on The Muppets.
Reagen Sulewski: I'm not saying they should have had Michael Keaton dropping F-bombs, but anything G is going to be a tough sell to the young teen market.
David Mumpower: We all agree that it's time for Disney to cut the ties with Lohan and develop a new teen sensation, right?
Kim Hollis: Does this make Kevin Dillon the more successful Dillon of the moment? And yes, let's put Raven in a few films instead.
David Mumpower: Raven's already 20, Christy Carlson Romano aka Kim Possible is 21 and Michelle Trachtenberg from Ice Princess is 19. Disney needs a new wave of teeny boppers, all of whom can past a random drug or alcohol test.
A Sum Less Than Its Parts?David Mumpower: Bewitched failed to win the weekend. It earned $20.2 million despite having one of the best male/female combos this summer. Wha happened?
Reagen Sulewski: I think we've safely found Will Ferrell's comfort zone.
Kim Hollis: Remakes are tired, and the marketing didn't do anything to make this one look special. I mean, at the very least you're wanting Jessica Simpson to say she thinks something got up in her undercarriage.
David Mumpower: I find it fascinating that Ferrell's last film made the same amount without Kidman. I am also blown away by the fact that Kidman did better with The Interpreter than she did with Ferrell in the re-make of a beloved TV show.
Reagen Sulewski: Nicole Kidman is beloved by all but tiny portions of Hollywood, but she's almost never opened anything to special numbers. And I can further qualify that to "never", excluding Batman Forever.
David Mumpower: Yet The Interpreter did $22.8 million with her being the only real draw. How bad does Bewitched have to look if it can't even match that?
Kim Hollis: This one *always* felt very much on par with Stepford Wives to me. It was kind of crummy looking, had so-so reviews, and there were no real "ah" moment in the trailers to draw people in.
Fat Albert's LawDavid Mumpower: This is a gripe I have about Hollywood remakes of TV shows. The attempts to tweak the idea are oftentimes painful. I call this Fat Albert's Law.
Kim Hollis: Maybe going with the Meta was a mistake? Just go with the original concept and have fun with it.
Reagen Sulewski: But then you have The Honeymooners.
Reagen Sulewski: And I may have to turn in my cineast's card, but I liked both Brady Bunch movies, which were as Meta as you could get.
Kim Hollis: What if they have two Darrens and everything?
Reagen Sulewski: That was one of the earlier plans, from what I remember, Kim.
Kim Hollis: See, *that* would have been clever
David Mumpower: I think that's the causality, Reagen. People saw The Brady Bunch and didn't realize that was what should have been a one-off success. Trying to duplicate it is a mistake.
Reagen Sulewski: I said this in my forecast, but I really think it would have been worth it for them to pay Jim Carrey bucks. The difference between this and Bruce Almighty is slight...though I can understand Carrey passing
David Mumpower: Also, I hate for us to generalize here, but what is the signal to noise ratio on all re-makes lately?
Kim Hollis: I was just thinking this. I mean, I want to hurt someone at Disney for greenlighting Underdog - with a *real live dog* as the superhero.
David Mumpower: Combining the two thoughts, I fear that Carrey will get his way and the Six Million Dollar Man will get made as a comedy about how little superpower a cyborg gets for $6 million.
These Boots Are Made for Walking Yet Jessica Simpson Won't LeaveKim Hollis: With this many remakes, they don't seem special at all, and I do think that's somewhat of a factor.
David Mumpower: I know that a lot of people love the trailers and I want for it to do well since I love the director, but I live in fear of Dukes of Hazzard. When she says that undercarriage line, I try to remember which one of my teeth has the cyanide tablet in it.
Kim Hollis: I hate her in the trailer. I love Knoxville and Seann William, though.
David Mumpower: "We converted" is funny but the beauty of the TV show was that the Duke boys weren't idiots. Apparently, another generation of in-breeding had a dramatic impact on their intelligence.
Pitch Meeting HilarityReagen Sulewski: All three releases this weekend were based on things that originated in the '60s. Who says Hollywood is out of ideas?
David Mumpower: At least with the Romero film, it felt like a proper nod. There is a zombie month each quarter. We really owe it to Romero to give him a budget and make one.
Kim Hollis: Capcom in particular owes him.
David Mumpower: I am declaring a moratorium on Hollywood doing any insider movie characters for the next two years. They're officially in time out.
Reagen Sulewski: Which is another good point. Racks of tabloid magazines aside, the public really doesn't care to see behind the curtains.
Kim Hollis: And next weekend, we'll throw back to 1898! I'm pitching Little House on the Prairie tomorrow. But with laser shooting robots instead of pioneers.
Reagen Sulewski: No, no, no. You make it like Pioneer House, where they're leaving the city to reclaim their roots.
David Mumpower: If Princess of Mars can get re-made without the guy who suggested the project directing, anything is possible. Take it to the people who greenlighted Doom, Kim. They're suckers for that sort of thing.
Reagen Sulewski: Only, the prairie is now in the middle of downtown Kansas City! Hilarity ensues. It's like a reverse Beverly Hillbillies.
Kim Hollis: Excellent. I'll see if I can get The Rock attached to the project.
Reagen Sulewski: Can a remake of Voyage dans la lune be far away?
Kim Hollis: I'm actually afraid to publish this stuff. I don't want to give anyone any, you know, ideas.
David Mumpower: As ridiculous as this sounds, at least it doesn't have a fading Hollywood actor discovering that the unknown he has cast to play a witch is really a...wait for it...witch.
Check back for Part II tomorrow!