Monday Morning Quarterback Part Two

By BOP Staff

August 16, 2005

Now I have plenty of time to catch up on my movie-watching!

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BOP kicks Rob Schneider while he's down. Repeatedly.

Kim Hollis: Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo opened to $9.4 million, a decline of 30% from the 1999 original. In that time, ticket prices have inflated by 25.5% in the interim. Why were audiences not enthusiastic about seeing Rob Schneider return to his man-whore ways?

Joel Corcoran: Is this a trick question?

David Mumpower: Why do I think people don't want to see people pay Rob Schneider for sex? My question is 'who were the people who wanted to see that in the first place'? I mean, this is the Internet era. We've got webcams for that sort of thing now.

Reagen Sulewski: Honestly, I think this is a treading water result and a pretty good metric for determining how many people will wait for DVD over going to the theater.

Kim Hollis: I have seriously never understood the appeal of Schneider. As David has said, unless he's saying "You can do it" in a Sandler film, I have no use for him.

Tim Briody: It's been six freakin' years.

Joel Corcoran: The whole Deuce Bigalow plot is one of those storylines that works really well the first time, but just isn't worth a repeat. Kind of like Smoky and the Bandit.

Tim Briody: The one note stopped playing a really long time ago.

Reagen Sulewski: I'd see it for Eddie Griffin. I find him completely hilarious.

Joel Corcoran: I think the six-year delay had something to do with it, too.

David Mumpower: What I take from all of this is that it's not too late for Fox to kill Garfield 2. Learn the lessons of 2005 box office trending.

Joel Corcoran: Precisely, David. Precisely.

David Mumpower: Of course, when you look at its foreign receipts, Garfield is up there with Jerry Lewis in terms of international appeal.

Represent, White She-Devil!

David Mumpower: I would have much preferred Undercover Brother 2.

Kim Hollis: Solid.

Reagen Sulewski: I get the feeling Jennifer Love Hewitt would make Garfield 2 for scale, judging by The Ghost Whisperer.

Kim Hollis: Heh. And yet she's only going to be slightly available for filming. She's got a TV show in production at the same time.

Tim Briody: Box office inflation notwithstanding, I don't find European Gigolo that big a miss, given the really low expectations. It's no Miss Congeniality 2.

David Mumpower: That's a fair point, Tim. Another good example is Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason. Both of those sequels are genuine busts. Deuce 2 was always a joke.

Tim Briody: It only cost $25 million...which it might not make back, but still.

Kim Hollis: I do think that Reagen's point about DVD is well-taken. The first one was a massive hit in that regard - it made more than the original did at the box office.

Tim Briody: I still think the time is right for the Copy Guy movie.

David Mumpower: Rob Schneider's career is a source of constant amazement to me. Have you ever really looked at the guy? You will see a dozen people at the grocery store tonight who are more "TV pretty" than him. And they can say "making copies" just as cleverly as he can.

Tim Briody: Friends in high places can get you pretty damn far.

David Mumpower: All of us made a mistake back in the day by not befriending Sandler.

Reagen Sulewski: He's as successful without Adam Sandler as Clint Howard is without Ron.

Joel Corcoran: I guess ... . Either that, or he has the uncanny ability of being in the right place at the right time.

David Mumpower: Like this weekend?

BOP's always ready. We won't let you out of our sight.

Kim Hollis: The Dukes of Hazzard declined 57.6% with $13 million. With a running total of $57.5 million after ten days, is it a hit or not?

Tim Briody: Hey, remember when a $30 million opening weekend meant you were a mortal lock to hit $100 million?

Reagen Sulewski: I think it's going to be a massive DVD seller and run on a constant loop on Spike TV.

David Mumpower: Sadly, $40 million does not even guarantee that any more.

Joel Corcoran: I was trying to figure that out earlier, Kim. I'd say it's still a hit, but a weak one. It has very frail legs.

Tim Briody: I'd call it a hit, but a movie everyone will have completely forgotten about until we start seeing ads for it on DVD six to eight months down the line.

Joel Corcoran: That's a great way of putting it, Tim.

Tim Briody: It's already profitable.

David Mumpower: With a budget of $53 million, it's going to wind up in the black after negative cost just from North American receipts. As such, it's a hit and a moneymaker. It is not, however, the home run Warner Bros. was hoping for. I don't see it making much internationally. In fact, I think this is exactly the sort of film that makes the rest of the world hate us. "So, they are inbred idiots who evade police custody by whoring off a cousin?"

Reagen Sulewski: Hey, Baywatch was once the most popular show in the world.

Kim Hollis: It's amazing David Hasselhoff doesn't get more work.

And now we come to the 'science nerd jokes' portion of our discussion.

David Mumpower: And will soon be a movie produced by Steven Spielberg! What's the temperature in Hell anyway?

Joel Corcoran: Depends on if Hell is exothermic or endothermic these days.

David Mumpower: We've got the makings of a plot for The Core 2! Hey, if Deuce Bigalow can get a sequel...

Reagen Sulewski: You're going to make science advisors the world around cry, David.

David Mumpower: But not as much as if I made them watch Dukes of Hazzard.

Hee Haw is huge in Belgium.

Joel Corcoran: The thing about Baywatch is that it has California style.

David Mumpower: Right, Joel. I would imagine that California is a lot more interesting to Eurasian audiences than Kentucky is. Unless we're talking about NCAA basketball.

Joel Corcoran: Exactly. California is just one of those pieces of Americana that everyone around the world can enjoy. A bunch of hillbillies running around Georgia ... not so much. Although I did see a special on Country Music Television that said there are a dozen General Lee cars - with full paintjobs and everything - running around London.

David Mumpower: eBay has changed our culture in the most unexpected ways.

Reagen Sulewski: Yeehaw translates pretty well.

David Mumpower: I was once a Tennessean in Paris. Yeehaw did *not* translate very well in my experience.

Kim Hollis: I'm pretty sure that Cooter's message just finally got through. It's just a tad late, is all.

David Mumpower: That's -congressman- Cooter to you, Kim.

Scripts vs. Star Power

Kim Hollis: As Tim Briody noted in his wrap, a lot of late July and early August releases will recoup their budget during their domestic theatrical run. The ones that will do so are all smallish budgets whereas Stealth and The Island...well, you know. Do you expect studios to take note of this trend? Are tentpole releases with $130 million budgets going to be reducd in number the next couple of years?

Reagen Sulewski: Unless you have someone like Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks or George Clooney in a lead role, yes.

Joel Corcoran: I disagree, Reagen. Look at some of the really good $100+ movies from the past few years that didn't have major stars in lead roles. Spider-man ... The Mummy ... Batman Begins ... .

Reagen Sulewski: OK, that's a fair point. Some properties have a built-in audience that don't require stars, necessarily. But stumbling onto the next Lord of the Rings isn't the easiest thing.

David Mumpower: I think that's a To Be Determined in some ways. The two biggest releases remaining on the calendar are King Kong and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Harry Potter films are bulletproof, so that's a non-issue. If King Kong disappoints, though, the age of Naomi Watts, Jessica Biel and Scarlett Johansson frontlining $130 million films is over.

Kim Hollis: I say no, because these behaviors take a long time for companies to comprehend. Witness the very slow evolution of the music industry.

Joel Corcoran: I hope not, Kim. There are some stories that can be told only with a big budget supporting special effects, CGI, and location shooting. Instead, what I hope is that the studios realize that big budgets have to be supported by good writing, solid storylines, and decent dialogue.

David Mumpower: The creative process for cinema right now is so bizarre to me. How can you spend $150 million on the film yet have a dozen writers involved? If a script isn't ready, anybody with a business degree should know their hundred million is in jeopardy.

Tim Briody: But look at these dailies! It's gold, baby, gold!

Reagen Sulewski: Quote-unquote original ideas might have trouble getting $150 million budgets unless they have impeccable star power.

David Mumpower: That's right, Reagen. And I don't think that is a bad eventuality, either. I would prefer to see more understated productions. After all, films get into the most trouble when they think throwing money at the problem will solve everything.

Joel Corcoran: That's a good way of putting it, David. Money does not change everything (contrary to what Cyndi Lauper said).

Tim Briody: They'll start to learn their lesson, and then one of those $150 million budget event films will rake in over twice that, and then the cycle will repeat itself.

Joel Corcoran: Exactly. The point is further illustrated by some fantastic movies with small or even miniscule budgets. Mystic River had a $25 million budget, Million Dollar Baby had about the same, and if I recall correctly, "Crash" (from a few months ago) had a budget of less than $10 million.

Tim Briody: Every movie in Hollywood should be made by Clint Eastwood and Robert Rodriguez. They'd all be moneymakers!

David Mumpower: Or Roger Corman.



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