Monday Morning Quarterback: Part Two
By BOP Staff
October 4, 2005
Who's weirder, David Cronenberg or Tim Burton?Kim Hollis: A History of Violence earned $8.2 million and had the highest per venue average of any release in the top ten at $6,119. Does this number surprise you?
Reagen Sulewski: Not really. It's been receiving a tremendous amount of buzz, has a decent if unspectacular cast, and has been marketed really well.
David Mumpower: It's definitely a better opening relative to budget than Hidalgo was. This is the sort of career I expect Viggo to have from now on out. He's not a draw on his own but he'll always be that guy from that trilogy. That's enough to attract some curious onlookers.
Kim Hollis: Given the subject matter, I'm mildly surprised, but I do agree that this is the sort of stuff Viggo can hang his hat on. And if he wants a big money project, ensemble cast would be the way to go.
David Mumpower: This has a chance to be the biggest hit of David Cronenberg's career. Of course, that's relative since his last "hit" film was The Fly.
Joel Corcoran: I miss seeing Brundle-Fly around ...And I'm surprised only in that I'm wondering why it didn't earn a wider release. Did the post-production focus groups not accurately predict the success of the movie? Or is New Line trying to build up a buzz before putting it into a wider release?
Kim Hollis: It's not really a film that screams "wide release," honestly. It was always intended to be a platformer and to my mind, they've handled the release masterfully. Keep letting it build slow buzz and it has potential to remain on the radar for awhile. Especially if it gets awards consideration.
David Mumpower: Cronenberg hasn't made a movie that earned over $10 million since 1986. That's why it didn't get a wider release.
Reagen Sulewski: I'm not surprised at all, and I don't think you would have seen too much more in box office with 2,500 screens. This is the kind of film you need to build, and doubling your P&A costs for a couple million more opening weekend isn't going to help.
David Mumpower: That circles back to Serenity as well, Reagen. People don't seem to realize just how expensive the process of making a print is. When you are trying to keep overhead as low as possible, factors like that are crucial.
Bro, doesn't my chick look hot in chaps?Kim Hollis: Into the Blue made $7 million with a per venue average of $2,509. Is it a bomb, bro?
Joel Corcoran: Was it ever going to be anything else?
Kim Hollis: From the time I first saw the trailer, I thought it screamed bomb. The only thing it had going for it was a pretty cast.
David Mumpower: The most telling aspect of Into the Blue is that Jessica Alba's publicist went out of her way to get the story out that she would do a nude scene in the right role. It's an all-time attempt to distract people from what is about to happen. The movie sucks but in the next one...full frontal could happen!
Kim Hollis: It is *definitely* one of those films that people will see advertised and say, "Oh, I can wait for DVD."
Reagen Sulewski: Well, it could have been a Wild Things-esque cult hit. They needed to find a way to have Paul Walker drive really fast in something.
Joel Corcoran: They should've worked in a scene with Jessica Alba wearing chaps and twirling a lasso. That might've brought in a few more people.
David Mumpower: I think that Paul Walker has roughly the same box office pull as Dolly Parton.
Joel Corcoran: I'd pay matinee price to see Paul Walker do full-frontal.
BOP wonders what Paul Walker's SAT score wasKim Hollis: See, I can't disconnect Walker's seeming stupidity and bad acting, so I would have no interest in seeing him do anything. The honest evaluation is that Kang and Kodos were right in their September forecast. Had sharks actually eaten the people in the film, it would have been huge. As it was, who the hell even understood what it was about?
David Mumpower: I think it was National Treasure on a boat. Or Speed on a boat. Wait, Speed 2 was Speed on a boat.
Kim Hollis: His eyes are so blank. It's like no one is home in there. Where is the little man who's supposed to be running his brain?
David Mumpower: That's it exactly, Kim. He always looks like Troy Aikman did right after that last concussion.
Joel Corcoran: To me, it looked like True Romance meets The Blue Lagoon, but in a very bad way.
Kim Hollis: Is it possible for those two to meet in a good way?
Joel Corcoran: I'm sure someone will make the attempt, Kim.
Sophie's Movie ChoiceDavid Mumpower: Between Brooke Shields, Christopher Atkins, Jessica Alba and Paul Walker, who is the best actor?
Reagen Sulewski: That is the SAT question from hell of all time, David.
Joel Corcoran: I think Jessica is the better actor of the three, but I still have fond memories of seeing Blue Lagoon late-night on HBO when I was in high school.
David Mumpower: The correct answer is the boat followed by the beach. I find those performances more believable.
Kim Hollis: Yay boat!
David Mumpower: We should get BOP demerits for not saying "Bro" enough in our replies.
Better title: A Decent Round of GolfKim Hollis: The Greatest Game Ever Played managed only $3.7 million in its first weekend. Is there any good news Disney can take from this performance?
Joel Corcoran: Yes, Kim -- they won't have to worry about making a sequel.
Reagen Sulewski: Although The Second Greatest Game Ever Played isn't a great title.
Kim Hollis: I just don't see how they can be anything but disappointed. The film is dead in the water and with the so-so word-of-mouth, it's not going to hang around at all.
David Mumpower: John Hamann described this as a well-marketed film in his column. I normally agree with John on pretty much everything, but I thought this was a disastrous marketing campaign. Disney sports films are safe bets as a rule. This one's box office makes The Legend of Bagger Vance look like Titanic.
Kim Hollis: How do you market a golf movie, though? The only time I thought it was done at all well was with that Bobby Jones flick with grass roots campaign.
David Mumpower: I find the title to be a miscalculation. When a consumer hears "greatest game ever played" then is given the follow-up information that this is a golf movie, they know it's a lie. The only way North American audiences could be more turned off is if turned out to be a soccer movie.
Reagen Sulewski: Not to mention that it's about an event that I'd bet even nine out of ten golfers aren't familiar with.
Joel Corcoran: I think the title was misleading. The greatest game ever played actually occurred when Nebraska played Oklahoma in football in 1971.
David Mumpower: Coincidentally, that's the last time Nebraska was considered a football powerhouse.
Michelle Wie has announce her intent to turn pro on WednesdayKim Hollis: Golf movies only work if they're funny. Has no one learned from Happy Gilmore and Caddyshack?
David Mumpower: So you are saying that Adam Sandler movies are educational, Kim?
Kim Hollis: I'm sure potential young viewers can come away with a variety of new swears, sure.
David Mumpower: If we're doing an amateur golf movie, it better star Michelle Wie. And come out before Wednesday.
It was a classy move anyway, Fox SeachlightKim Hollis: Roll Bounce has made $12.7 million in ten days. Is this better, worse or about what you were expecting from this film?
David Mumpower: Roll Bounce is a mediocre box office performer, but I do want to take this opportunity to credit Fox Searchlight for their generosity. 10% of receipts from the film's opening weekend went to hurricane relief. That's a wonderful idea by the studio.
Joel Corcoran: Considering that I'm still wondering how this movie ever made it to the big screen, it's much better than I was expecting. And don't get me wrong -- I saw the movie and thought it was very good. I'm just surprised someone actually greenlighted a roller disco movie.
Kim Hollis: It has done about what expected, which is too bad because it deserves to do much better. What a terrific little film. It's kitschy and charming and just a total blast. And if you don't come away from the movie raving about Sweetness, you're dead inside.
Reagen Sulewski: It's done a tiny bit better than I thought it might. I expected this to have no impact whatsoever, although this isn't much as it is.
David Mumpower: I agree with you on one thing, Joel. Roll Bounce is a wonderful film and highly recommended. Malcolm Lee is developing into the feel-good director of this generation.
Joel Corcoran: It's the second-most surprisingly enjoyable film I've seen this entire year -- next to March of the Penguins.