Monday Morning Quarterback Part Two

By BOP Staff

August 23, 2005

Nic Cage, meet...Nic Cage.

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That's like $20 million a brother!

Kim Hollis: Four Brothers fell 39% to $13 million and has accumulated $43.6 million after ten days. Are we putting it on the summer hit list?

David Mumpower: Absolutely. For an action film like this, a drop under 40% is exceptional news these days. Combined with the big opening last week, Four Brothers has nothing but good news so far.

Reagen Sulewski: In a summer like this, studios will take any wins they can get.

David Mumpower: Like the Kansas City Royals...

Kim Hollis: Since it had a budget of about $45 million, I'm definitely calling it a win.

Joel Corcoran: I will go so far as to say it's a hit. It seems like the drop is about average for action flicks, and I don't see why it won't earn around $100 mil.

Reagen Sulewski: I think that's a little optimistic, but $80 to $85 million will make a lot of people happy.

Joel Corcoran: Okay, but I think it will have great legs going into September.

The hidden subtext here: GO SEE SERENITY!!!

Kim Hollis: Speaking of which, Labor Day is only two weeks away. Does this mean the end of quality films for a while or is there a September/October release that excites you?

David Mumpower: I actually find those two months to look better than July and August did. The weekend of October 21st alone would make for a good month of films.

Reagen Sulewski: Serenity, obviously, for me.

David Mumpower: As Joss Whedon fans, I think we get in trouble for answering anything else.

Reagen Sulewski: I'm probably the only person left who still likes Antonio Banderas enough to be excited for Legend of Zorro.

David Mumpower: I'm very much looking forward to Zorro. The original film is the one of the best action films of the past decade, an underrated gem.

Kim Hollis: The trailer is terrific for Zorro. And for that matter, Two for the Money and The Weather Man both have great previews, too. These are two more fall releases that easily look more engaging than most of the summer fare.

David Mumpower: Two for the Money's trailer surprised me because the premise sounds so bland. Pacino really does make everything better, I guess.

Officially, Catherine Zeta-Jones was born in 1969. Julio Franco was in the next cradle.

Joel Corcoran: I thought "Zorro" was fantastic, and I hope "Legend of Zorro" is at least as good, if not better. But I wonder why it took eight years to get this film made.

David Mumpower: What's most surprising is that Catherine Zeta-Jones' bio indicates she is three years younger now.

Kim Hollis: On a personal level, I'm really looking forward to The Corpse Bride, Serenity, Wallace & Gromit, In Her Shoes, Shopgirl, and most of all Elizabethtown. And that's just amongst the wide releases. There's a *ton* of limited release films that I'm hugely anticipating as well.

Joel Corcoran: Like Kim, I'm actually much more interested in a lot of the smaller, limited-release films. "Green Street Hooligans" in particular seems rather interesting. But the only major releases I'm really excited about are Serenity and The Corpse Bride.

David Mumpower: Shopgirl, The Corpse Bride, Elizabethtown, Wallace and Gromit, Doom and Derailed are all releases that could have made the summer cinema much more bearable.

Reagen Sulewski: Do you think there were some angry letters exchanged between the producers of Lord of War and The Weather Man when they saw each other's posters?

David Mumpower: Limited/platform releases have a golden opportunity here. There is legitimately nothing from the first eight months of the year that should be an Oscar contender. So, the field is wide open for another Million Dollar Baby.

Kim Hollis: Can Clint get Flags of Our Fathers done in time for a December release? Oscar gold for Paul Walker, baby!

Joel Corcoran: I'm also looking forward to "Good Morning, Night" and "Keane."

David Mumpower: I even think Dreamer, the horse movie with Kurt Russell and Dakota Fanning, looks great. Frankly, there were miscalculations about which productions made for better summer releases this year. The early fall stuff looks significantly better on paper.

Skeleton Key will wind up making more than Almost Famous. BOP staff outraged.

Kim Hollis: Skeleton Key fell 54% to $7.4 million and is sitting at $30.1 million after ten days. Was it hurt by Red Eye or is it just behaving more or less normally for a horror flick?

Reagen Sulewski: I think that's pretty normal behavior. These usually go one of two ways; one weekend and done, or run for 27 weeks in the top ten.

Joel Corcoran: I think Skeleton Key just dropped like any horror movie does. Red Eye seems more of a suspense thriller with elements of horror than a traditional horror flick.

David Mumpower: Skeleton Key is going to wind up around $45-50 million, and I think that if you name that total to Universal before production began, they would have gladly made the movie.

Kim Hollis: It can't have been particularly expensive, anyway.

David Mumpower: $35 million is the number I have seen floated around the most. So even after negative cost, it will be almost in the black before it ever hits the lucrative DVD market.

Send in your penguins jokes. If we use them in a column, you get a free hat.

Kim Hollis: March of the Penguins was only off 2% in week nine, earning another $6.7 million. Do you have any remaining penguin quips?

Reagen Sulewski: I hope they have their tuxedos ready for the Oscars. Hey, stop throwing things!

Joel Corcoran: The Penguins just rock my world. I hope they break into the top five before the box office decline hits 'em.

Reagen Sulewski: What's $7 million times infinity?

Kim Hollis: Maybe with the money they have earned, someone can build them some public transportation to make their journey easier.

David Mumpower: Titanic, Reagen. Also, James Cameron's asking price for his next movie.

Kim Hollis: Aquaman is go!

David Mumpower: You like Entourage just a little too much, Kim.

The Prime Directive states that no Starfleet officer may interfere with the natural development of a primitive society.

David Mumpower: Having now seen the film, I simply want to express my disgust for the filmmakers. Several of these poor penguins are begging them for help yet they just stand there and watch the little tykes die. This isn't Star Trek and there is no Prime Directive. You can interfere to save the day, Mr. Cameraman.

Joel Corcoran: David, "nature is red in tooth and claw." I think it's good to show the tragedies of nature as much as the wonders. If you want, I can start singing "The Circle of Life," too.

Kim Hollis: I agree, Joel. We have fictional movies to sugarcoat life for us already.

David Mumpower: See, I don't get that. I have no interest in seeing cute lil' creatures of God suffer and die. If you can help them but don't, that's pathetic. It's not sugarcoating when you try to make the life of somebody else better simply because you can. Have you people learned nothing from Spider-Man?

Joel Corcoran: If you are going to shoot a nature documentary, you have to show what happens in nature - including death.

Kim Hollis: But it's a blessing *and* a curse for Peter Parker.

Reagen Sulewski: The lesson of Spider-Man is that chicks dig bad boys, so I don't know that I follow there.

Joel Corcoran: I would not want to see a documentary just about clubbing seals or penguins getting eaten, but neither would I want to see a documentary where animal deaths are completely sanitized.

Kim Hollis: Right. I mean, anyone who saw Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom back in the day is completely aware that this is the generally accepted technique for nature stuff. I'm guessing David will enjoy the ending of Grizzly Man much, much more.

David Mumpower: Why, does Jimmy Fallon die in it? Grizzly Man made Parade Magazine this week for the second time. Unfortunately for him, this time it was an "I told you so" about the bears eating him.

Reagen Sulewski: Maybe there's time to work this into the Darwin Awards movie.

Valiant makes Robots look like The Lion King.

Kim Hollis: Disney-distributed Valiant opened to $6.1 million and seventh place. This is the suck, right?

David Mumpower: I think the movie is the actual suck. The box office is merely emblematic of that.

Joel Corcoran: What movie?

Reagen Sulewski: Will anyone hire Ewan McGregor for voice acting ever again?

Kim Hollis: I hadn't even seen a commercial or trailer for it until last week, at which point I got ticked off about how much the mice looked like the ones from The Rescuers. It just looked so...crummy.

Joel Corcoran: I had no interest at all in seeing Valiant, and I was a huge fan of Chicken Run.

David Mumpower: That trailer has to break some sort of record for most poop jokes in a 60 second spot. I mean, even the producers of Baby Geniuses had to be impressed. It was like the family of Roger Maris watching Mark McGwire shatter the home run record.

Kim Hollis: "From the producers of Shrek" would explain the scatalogical humor, of course.

Reagen Sulewski: For a studio that's losing its relationship with Pixar and trying to groom a replacement, this is not really the way to go. Even a modicum of promotion could have vaulted this into the mid-teens.

David Mumpower: I'm not sure Disney wanted to get stuck with the stink of failure associated with Valiant, though. A few million more opening weekend wasn't worth the damage to the Disney reputation.

Joel Corcoran: It just seemed like Valiant was a rushed project. Unrefined, far too crude and rough around the edges.

Kim Hollis: Right, David. And I do think they might still be trying to hedge their bets with Pixar. There's always that faint glimmer of *maybe* as long as Jobs and Co. don't hook up with someone else.

David Mumpower: Vanguard Animation will be lucky to get work after their 2007 release, Phreex, unless it dramatically spikes in both quality and appearance.

Kim Hollis: And unfortunately (or fortunately as the case may be), it sort of looks like Open Season might be beating that film to the punch.

Reagen Sulewski: As well as something called Over the Hedge (with Steve Carrell!).

Kobayashi, Devourer of Hot Dogs: the Movie!

Kim Hollis: Supercross made $2.0 million in five days. How does this affect the X-Games...err, 20th Century Fox?

Joel Corcoran: I'm surprised Supercross even made $2 mil.

David Mumpower: I saw Supercross in an empty theater Friday and it was *not* a critic's screening. As the credits began, I realized that North America had loudly spoken about the idea of this film. It's a lot of fun to MST3K, though.

Reagen Sulewski: Somebody had pictures of someone important doing something filthy to something to get this film a wide release.

David Mumpower: And to be fair, Joel, it only made $1.3 million over the weekend. It needed -five- days to get all the way up to a lofty total such as $2 million.

Joel Corcoran: I'm a huge fan of motocross racing, and nothing - absolutely nothing - about this film appealed to me. At least "Driven" had some great shots of racing, but Supercross just had nothing going for it at all.

Reagen Sulewski: This looks like the sort of film you see debuting with one copy in the seven-day rental section of Blockbuster.

David Mumpower: Supercross is a propaganda infomercial disguised as a movie anyway. It had no business getting any sort of theatrical release, especially not a wide one.

Kim Hollis: Hell, I think my Blockbuster would even say, "No thanks."

Joel Corcoran: They couldn't even come up with a hot young cast, a la House of Wax.

David Mumpower: Mike Vogel has now done this and Grind. What X-sports movie does he need to do next to complete the trifecta?

Kim Hollis: People have surely forgotten OutCold by now. A snowboarding movie is an idea whose time has come (again)!

Reagen Sulewski: I think a tobogganing movie is long overdue.

David Mumpower: Hidden Tattoos and Sexual Piercings: the Movie?

Joel Corcoran: Basejumping or sky-surfing should be next on the block, I think.

David Mumpower: Dude, Where's My Surfboard?

Reagen Sulewski: Extreme Eating Competitions are very hot right now. They should look into those.

Kim Hollis: Amusingly, Reagen, there is an eating competition movie in the works.

Reagen Sulewski: I look forward to making fun of it.

David Mumpower: "It makes me want to vomit...and I'm not even a contestant!"



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