Monday Morning Quarterback Part Two
By BOP Staff
August 30, 2005
The moral of the story: people love breastsKim Hollis: The 40 Year-Old Virgin repeated as box office champion this weekend. It fell only 23% from its debut frame. It's becoming one of the big winners of the summer after only two weeks of release. Exactly how many raunchy comedies should we expect in summer of 2006?
Reagen Sulewski: I fully expect eleventeen dozen National Lampoon's movies to be greenlighted in the next two months.
Kim Hollis: Joining the eleventeen dozen National Lampoon movies that were already in the works.
David Mumpower: I expect 17 raunchy comedies next year. Oddly, Vince Vaughn will somehow manage to star in all of them.
Joel Corcoran: I really need to go see this movie. I offer my apologies to Mr. Judd Apatow yet again this week. I promise I'll go this week. Is 40 Year-Old Virgin really that raunchy? From the previews, it looks fun and fluffy, not raunchy.
Kim Hollis: Yes, it is fairly raunchy. I'd say it's on a par with Wedding Crashers in that regard.
David Mumpower: Horror and Porky's wannabe movies really are the safest cyclical plays in Hollywood. It's in Movie Production for Dummies, I'm sure. Wait a couple of years for a gap of them. Then, release a good, cheap one. It's one of the best plays in the industry.
Reagen Sulewski: No points, however, will be awarded for predicting that the copycats will miss what made Wedding Crashers and 40 Year-Old Virgin special, fail, and spawn a thousand "I guess audiences were tired of comedies" articles.
David Mumpower: You're saying the upcoming Cole Hauser/Ashlee Simpson raunchy comedy, Spooning and Splooging, will fail, Reagen?
Kim Hollis: I'm sure it will be fine if they can sign Paris Hilton.
Joel Corcoran: Oh dear God ... if that actually happened, I would be forced to leave the country.
Reagen Sulewski: Any theater that shows that film would be at risk of being sucked into a black hole.
In which BOP gets a sequel idea for The Butterfly EffectKim Hollis: On a side note, Cole Hauser is in Vince Vaughn's next film.
David Mumpower: Is it called The Beginning of the End for Vince Vaughn?
Joel Corcoran: We'll need to come up with a new concept -- "The Cole Hauser Effect."
David Mumpower: It's like The Butterfly Effect only instead of re-living your past, you have your will to see the future forcibly removed.
Joel Corcoran: We'll have to run a statistical analysis of The Cole Hauser Effect on The Break Up (Vince Vaughn's next release) when it comes out next year.
Finally, a romantic drama with a body countKim Hollis: Red Eye dropped 36% and sits at $32.7 million after ten days. Do we give all the credit to Wes Craven for this performance or do Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy matter more than we'd been thinking?
David Mumpower: I think we credit the marketing department for understanding the strength of the concept. Like Four Brothers, it is what it is and it should be sold that way.
Reagen Sulewski: Star power, if it's there, really only gives you the opening weekend. Everything after that is up to the movie. So you have to give Wes Craven a lot of credit for this.
Kim Hollis: The initial commercial that started out like a romantic comedy before moving to the "real movie" was gold.
Joel Corcoran: We should also give some credit to Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy. I don't think Red Eye was a film where just anyone could be cast in those parts, but Wes Craven - and the marketing geniuses behind the film - should be given the majority of the credit for its success.
David Mumpower: That's very true, Reagen. Craven is an underrated directing genius and one of the finest in the world. He seems to have a preternatural ability to deliver thrillers which tap into the North American zeitgeist.
Reagen Sulewski: Like our natural fear of odd-looking red-haired people.
Joel Corcoran: I think Craven just understands his talents, skills, and interests better than most directors and plays to them in a very strong way. As opposed to Ang Lee, for example.
Self-fulfilling propheciesKim Hollis: I don't know about the Craven factor. Have we already forgotten Cursed, which just came out a few months ago? Doesn't he deserve the blame for that one as much as he deserves any praise for this one?
David Mumpower: Cursed just went wrong. We knew that when the film was practically re-shot. That does happen from time to time. To his credit, at least he made the effort to try to fix it (even though it didn't work).
Joel Corcoran: Every director stumbles, and Cursed was a dog. But Cursed also had an awful release date, if I recall correctly.
David Mumpower: Any release date would have been an awful release date for Cursed. Like Undiscovered, it was aptly titled.
There's something about McAdamsKim Hollis: It really should be noted that McAdams has a stunning ability to pick good projects. Mean Girls, The Notebook, Wedding Crashers and Red Eye have all been financial *and* critical successes.
Joel Corcoran: That's a good point, Kim. She's either very shrewd or very lucky.
David Mumpower: And the same compliment may be given to Cillian Murphy. He's had 28 Days Later, Cold Mountain, Girl with a Pearl Earring, Batman Begins and Red-Eye in the past three years.
Kim Hollis: I do think that a thriller on a plane is an ingenious idea. Though of course now stuff like FlightPlan and the Snakes on a Plane movie with Samuel L. Jackson will probably be seen as copycats.
David Mumpower: As Kim has said in a prior MMQB, FlightPlan is nothing more than Forgotten on a plane.
Reagen Sulewski: I can't wait for the inevitable follow-up to Snakes on a Plane, Scorpions on a Boat.
Joel Corcoran: Can't we have Wild Dingos on a Dirigible, just for a little variety?
David Mumpower: And Rats on a Sinking Ship. Or was that Stealth?
Dinosaur was the Denise Richards of moviesKim Hollis: Valiant has earned only $11.6 million in ten days. Was it a mistake for Disney to pick up the rights to this movie?
Joel Corcoran: I don't think it was a mistake in a business sense, Kim. I think Disney needed to plug something into the hole left by Pixar's departure. But it was a huge mistake in the artistic sense.
Reagen Sulewski: More importantly, will anyone hire Ewan McGregor for voice work ever again?
Kim Hollis: Well, Reagen, Robots 2 is already in the works. And this time it's supposed to have a story!
David Mumpower: What I wonder about Valiant is how inexpensive the acquisition of rights was. I have not been given that information but even if it was cheap, the damage to the Disney name seems to outweight it.
Kim Hollis: I think Disney would have been better served to make Chicken Little their big CGI debut. It looks charming, at least. And you know, the subject matter doesn't involve flying rats.
Joel Corcoran: Chicken Little would've been a great CGI debut for them. I think they rushed into the public relations vortex way too fast by taking on Valiant.
David Mumpower: Actually, Dinosaurs was already their CGI debut, though it's already forgotten.
Kim Hollis: At least it was pretty.
David Mumpower: That's a shame, too. I remember the glee Ash Wakeman and I had when we first watched that trailer.
Kim Hollis: That was a gorgeous trailer but a CGI film that had all the charm and originality of a Land Before Time sequel.
David Mumpower: What drives me crazy about CGI films is that they take 4-5 years to make. How does nobody in that life cycle step up and say "shouldn't we hire a professional writer or something?"
Kim Hollis: Why does nobody learn from Pixar's example?
Joel Corcoran: I think someone is learning, Kim - Phil Knight and Laika Entertainment. They seem to be moving quietly beneath the surface, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Laika break out with some good films after The Corpse Bride.
Kim Hollis: Coraline, baby.
Reagen Sulewski: If they could have seen the future, they would have made it a fake documentary and hired Morgan Freeman to be the narrator.
Kim Hollis: Which is funny because a CGI film that is coming up in 2007 is Surf's Up, a fake documentary about...you guessed it, penguins. Sony's probably chomping at the bit on that one.
No.Kim Hollis: Supercross fell 72% from last week. Does it even merit further mention?
David Mumpower: No.
Joel Corcoran: No.
Kim Hollis: No.
Reagen Sulewski: Nothing that Nelson Muntz wouldn't say about it.
Joel Corcoran: Well, one mention - please encourage the studios to include hotter guys and more scenes of them shirtless the next time they do a Supercross-style movie.
David Mumpower: Moving along...
International redemptionKim Hollis: The Island has now earned roughly $85 million internationally. Oddly, it is showing freakish popularity in South Korea, earning almost $21 million there and possibly tracking to earn more there than it has in North America.
David Mumpower: Does this mean that South Korea is the cloning capital of the world?
Kim Hollis: It does make me curious about Korea's future plans. Meanwhile, Stealth is currently sitting at just under $20 million from overseas venues. Would you like to revise your vote as to which of the two is the bigger disappointment this summer?
Joel Corcoran: I still say Island is the bigger disappointment because Michael Bay fell so hard, so fast, and so flat.
David Mumpower: Josh Lucas is probably the only guy in the world who agrees with you.
Joel Corcoran: Fine. I'll take that.
If elected, BOP promises a Scarlett Johansson and Ewan McGregor in every homeDavid Mumpower: I think $21 million in ticket sales is a small price to pay in order to clone an army of Scarlett Johansson twins.
Joel Corcoran: I'm suddenly getting a vision of The Island crossed with I, Robot.
Kim Hollis: A Ewan and a Scarlett in every home. It makes a lot of sense if you think about it.
David Mumpower: I'm guessing Google is somehow involved with this conspiracy, Kim.
Kim Hollis: I'm really awaiting the inevitable horror/thriller, Google vs. Amazon.
David Mumpower: Which makes me consider buying Google stock. Seriously, an army of gorgous pink-wig clad women...I would gladly wave the white flag to them.
Joel Corcoran: I just shudder at the thought of a climactic battle scene of Jeff Bezos vs. Page and Brin.
David Mumpower: It would be a slap fight for the ages. With ample hair pulling.
Kim Hollis: The Island 2: Even more Scarlett-er.
David Mumpower: Also hopefully with ample hair pulling.
Stealth vs. The Island: No matter who wins, stockholders loseJoel Corcoran: I mean, after Bad Boys, The Rock, Armageddon, and Pearl Harbor, didn't we all expect more financial success from The Island?
David Mumpower: We did but it's earning money, just not here. The Island's worldwide receipts are in the $110 million range against negative costs in the area of $170 million. Stealth has brought in less than half of that against the same costs. If we're arguing expectations, both are dismal. If we're talking hard numbers, Stealth has now officially won the race to the bottom.
Kim Hollis: The Island is now looking at the possibility of profitability, though. Stealth can't even approach that at this point.
Joel Corcoran: True, David, but Rob Cohen has never been as successful a director of summer blockbusters as Michael Bay. I mean, the rule in the past is that if you give Bay lots of special effects, explosions, and a budget close to $100 million, he'll turn around and deliver something that returns a hefty profit.
David Mumpower: Unlikely as the thought was a month ago, The Island will be bringing in a hefty profit after DVD and cable monies are factored in. Or at least a respectable one.
Joel Corcoran: The poor U.S. box office has to be a huge disappointment, though. I think Bay still is going to suffer more than Cohen.
Kim Hollis: I really don't, Joel. You can forgiven a proven director like Bay a slip if it winds up profitable in the end. For Cohen, he's got a huge strike against him now that studios will see and simply think The Fast and the Furious and xXx were all Vin Diesel.