Monday Morning Quarterback Part Three

By BOP Staff

October 26, 2005

They're just a touch too close to The Rock's strudel.

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It's the cheese, Gromit!

Kim Hollis: Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit earned another $8.7 million. Its running total is $44 million. Should DreamWorks consider this film a hit?

Tim Briody: Absolutely. Its weekend drops have been Sixth Sense-like. And it's already in the black and going to bring in a ton more money on DVD.

David Mumpower: It's not just a hit, but it's also one of the best movies in recent memory. You have to really hand it to the crew at Aardman Animation. They take their time and get their movies right.

Kim Hollis: It has earned its budget back already, which is fantastic. But going beyond that, the movie is absolutely charming and probably one of the best reviewed of the year. I think it has a great shot at Best Animated Oscar, particularly given the quality of the other stuff we've had so far this year (though I'm not ruling out a good run from Chicken Little or Hoodwinked).

Reagen Sulewski: I think it's doing a terrific job, and moreover, has set them up for a series of films that should do better than this one.

Joel Corcoran: Wallace & Gromit is absolutely a hit, especially compared to other animated films. It doesn't have the direct audience appeal of something like Shrek or The Incredibles. It's a quirky, non-CGI film, so I think DreamWorks should be very impressed with it.

David Mumpower: Madagascar vs. Wallace and Gromit would make for a fascinating Best Animated Oscar race. Madagascar is a bust as a movie but it broke the bank. Wallace and Gromit will make about a third of that box office but is an exponentially better movie. Of course, for that matter, the Penguins from Madagascar short at the start of Wallace and Gromit is better than the full Madagascar movie.

Joel Corcoran: 2005 will be known as the Year of the Penguin.

David Mumpower: Batman Begins cast the wrong villain!

Reagen Sulewski: I honestly think the Academy learned their lesson after giving Shrek the Oscar over Monsters, Inc.

Kim Hollis: Agreed, Reagen. Particularly since they showed they were willing to go with a small earner like Spirited Away the following year.

David Mumpower: The Corpse Bride and Howl's Moving Castle provide strange alternatives this year as well.

Kim Hollis: And as mentioned, if Hoodwinked is good, the Academy might want to award the Weinsteins for taking a chance on some edgier fare.

David Mumpower: What's the over/under on how many titles have to be released in order to have five nods instead of three?

Reagen Sulewski: 17 titles.

Dan Krovich: And don't forget, there will be a few animated films that we haven't even heard of that will wind up being eligible.

The moral of the story: Guys don't like shoes

Kim Hollis: In Her Shoes has a running total of $26.2 million. Will it be a factor come Academy Awards time?

David Mumpower: No. The inability to market this as something other than a chick flick destroyed its hopes of making an impact.

Kim Hollis: I think Shirley MacLaine might get a look and it could get an Adapted Screenplay nod if competition isn't too fierce.

Tim Briody: I had no idea In Her Shoes was something other than a chick flick.

Joel Corcoran: Neither did I, Tim. I hadn't considered it for Oscar contention at all.

David Mumpower: Ms. Hollis swore to me that it wasn't, but I almost got my period just watching the trailer.

Tim Briody: I can only assume it's because of the director's pedigree. But it's not even in the conversation for anything major right now.

Kim Hollis: There's that and also the writer's pedigree as well (Erin Brockovich). It's been reviewed pretty well, but I think it needed to make a lot more noise if it was going to see much consideration.

David Mumpower: The moral of the story: never put 'shoes' in the title of a film if you want to get business from men. Unless the shoes are red and have some sort of diary focusing upon full frontal nudity.

Reagen Sulewski: I think Toni Collette is a terrific actress, but Jeebus she needs to stop appearing in movies as "the ugly one".

Tiny women just aren't scary

Kim Hollis: Domino earned $2.4 million, giving it a grand total of $8.7 million. Should Keira Knightley stick to pirate movies?

Joel Corcoran: Keira Knightly simply can't pull off being butch. That's at least one moral of Domino.

Reagen Sulewski: Are you saying a 85 pound woman built like a 12-year-old boy can't play tough?

Joel Corcoran: Yes - that's exactly what I'm saying.

Kim Hollis: I do think Pride & Prejudice has a great shot at being a minor hit. There are a lot of ladies out there who just love that Mr. Darcy and will see any adaptation of the story they can put their eyes on.

David Mumpower: Not even if you give her a bow and arrow and swear she's more accurate than Orlando Bloom.

Reagen Sulewski: She's almost perfectly suited to period piece films. She could even take over all the roles that Gwyneth Paltrow no longer seems to be interested in.

David Mumpower: I posit that the appeal of Mr. Darcy is one to one with the high divorce rate in our society. Be attracted to that emotionally unavailable guy and see what you get.

Kim Hollis: (Though by the same token, there's an awful lot of them who won't accept anyone except Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy and will boycott the film on that principle.)

Dan Krovich: Any atempt at a Domino movie probably should have been an arthouse effort in retrospect.

David Mumpower: Knightley's career parallels Ewan McGregor right now. Both of them are indie actors with a lot of talent who seem to struggle mightily within the strict confines of the studio system. Each one has managed to find that one ultra-mega-super blockbuster exception to the rule which keeps them looming large in the public eye.

Reagen Sulewski: It really just looked like a mess. Tony Scott took all his toys from Man on Fire and turned it up to 11.

Tim Briody: It didn't help that Knightley has been on the cover of about 41 magazines in the last six months.

David Mumpower: What concerns me the most about Knightley is that her film radar seems poor. If you remove Pirates of the Carribbean from the equation, everything else she's picked has blown up on her.

Martyrs vs. villains

Kim Hollis: I think the film was doomed when she got arrested and then super doomed when Domino passed away. There was just no palatable way to market the thing.

David Mumpower: I think that drills it, Kim. You could see the studio running away from the project and rightly so. When you base a biopic on someone and after that shoot, the person gets busted for narcotics and commit suicide, it's just bad luck. For everyone.

Joel Corcoran: I disagree. If Domino had been handled with more of a deft touch, I think it could have been at least as successful as Selena (1997).

David Mumpower: Selena was shot and killed, making her a martyr. Domino was accused of felonious behavior and, to many, her suicide implicitly acknowledges the truth of it.

Joel Corcoran: Well Selena + Tupac gets close to Domino. I'm not saying narcotics and suicide are box office draws, but the human drama behind the tragedy can make for a very good film.

Tim Briody: King Arthur was a mess, but Love Actually didn't perform terribly. A Pirates sequel can't come soon enough for her or her agent, though.

David Mumpower: Considering the cast involved as well as the film's quality, Love Actually's box office was worst case scenario.



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