Monday Morning Quarterback: Part Two

By BOP Staff

November 23, 2005

Damned Madden Curse!

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Cash=Cash $$$

Kim Hollis: Walk the Line earned $22.5 million this weekend, giving it a distant second place. Should 20th Century Fox be excited by this performance? How much do you think it will play into awards season?

David Mumpower: I'm the rare Tennessean who cares nothing for the Cash family, so this project never appealed to me. I must admit that I'm impressed by this opening weekend performance, though.

Reagen Sulewski: It's almost identical to the performance of Ray, and we all know how that turned out. There's not quite the feel of rallying around Joaquin Phoenix like we did with Jamie Foxx last year, though.

Joel Corcoran: I think Fox should be very pleased with Walk the Line opening over $20 million. A $22 million opening on any weekend would have been at least decent, but against Harry Potter? And particularly citing David's demographics from earlier. Harry Potter isn't such a "kids film," so an "adult film" with a solid opening like this is a good showing.

Hey, Billy Ray Cyrus is an actor now!

David Mumpower: To be fair, the adult demographics for Potter indicate $38 million worth of willing adults plus $20 million worth of ones dragged there. That's only a $58 million opening, and the box office should certainly be able to expand to handle a second $20+ million opener. $42 million of Potter is kids, and something tells me that audience is not in direct competition for a Cash biopic. For that matter, this age group probably doesn't even remember the Achy Breaky.

Reagen Sulewski: For which they should be eternally grateful. They still have to deal with Hollaback Girl on their psychic conscience.

Kim Hollis: And don't forget Hey ya!

Joel Corcoran: Not to mention My Humps.

David Mumpower: Are you saying that the performance of Walk the Line is b-a-n-a-n-a-s?

Reagen Sulewski: You're about to enter a Ring of Fire, David.

Words to give you a chill: Reese Witherspoon, Oscar winner

Kim Hollis: I do think that the performances in Walk the Line are going to merit huge consideration come Oscar time, and probably the film as well since it's the kind of story Hollywood appreciates and Johnny Cash is such an icon. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Reese Witherspoon is probably the front-runner for Best Actress now. She practically steals the film from Joaquin Phoenix, who owns the role of Cash.

David Mumpower: Every time I see Phoenix getting great reviews for a performance like this, all I can do is wince at the thought of what might have been for his brother.

Joel Corcoran: I've been an immensely dedicated Johnny Cash fan for as long as I've been listening to music, but honestly, I didn't expect the kind of Oscar buzz that Reese Witherspoon is getting. And I absolutely agree with you, Kim - she steals this movie.

Kim Hollis: Yup, I've been a devoted Cash fan since I was about five-years-old and first threw a few of my parents' records on the turntable myself. I couldn't wait for the film, honestly.

Is the sky finally falling?

Kim Hollis: After holding up well in its second weekend, Chicken Little fell 53% in the face of a certain young wizard. It's sitting at 99.2 million currently. Where do you think it will end its run and is that drop acceptable?

Reagen Sulewski: Better films have done worse against a Potter opening. I think they could be happy with their $140 million and go to video.

David Mumpower: We have discussed the idea of competition several times on the site. It's very difficult to find irrefutable examples where a film is directly affected by another title with a similar demographic. The best previous example had been Monsters, Inc. against the first Potter film. I don't seem the same sort of scenario here. As we had discussed, the Veteran's Day holiday artificially inflated Chicken Little's earlier gross. This is simply a correction as demand has been exhausted.

Kim Hollis: I think it's some of one, and a little bit of the other. It probably fell more significantly than it might have had Potter not been in play.

Joel Corcoran: Disney has to be thrilled that Chicken Little still managed a respectable showing, so I think the drop is more than "acceptable." However, I'll be surprised to see the domestic gross top $130 million (I'm not quite as optimistic as others).

David Mumpower: The key to a larger total, Joel, is that it will get swept up in the tide of Thanksgiving five day box office expansion.

They should have titled Zathura Xbox 360 for exponentially better performance

Kim Hollis: Speaking of kids' movies that might have been affected by the Potter juggernaut, Zathura fell a whopping 62% from last weekend? Is that a Veteran's Day effect as well or can we legitimately say that Potter is a contributing factor to the decline?

David Mumpower: This is the place where an argument may be made, Kim. I do think that the Veteran's Day aspect is the larger factor, but it certainly does seem to be damaged by being the third best family film choice in a three horse race this weekend.

Reagen Sulewski: It's tough to tell these days with drop-offs. In the old days of... four years ago, 60% was unheard of. These days, it could just as easily be a bad film as competition.

David Mumpower: That's a fair point as well. Family films used to be universally strong holdovers. Nowadays, even the well received ones can drop 55%.

Kim Hollis: Though Zathura has had solid reviews, so that really shouldn't be the issue. I blame Tim Robbins. People were probably afraid he'd be playing the same annoying, crazy dude that he was in War of the Worlds.

David Mumpower: To answer the larger question, my answer would be "a little...maybe".

We take this opportunity to remind you that Daniel Craig stinks

Kim Hollis: Derailed dropped 47% and made an additional $6.5 million this weekend. Its running total is $21.8 million. Is this an acceptable result for the new Weinstein Company?

David Mumpower: Reagen's forecast called for almost exactly this total, and I think that sums up the situation nicely. It performed right in line with expectations after being a slight surprise the first weekend. It's not a huge hit or anything, but the new group has done a good job getting their feet with the first release.

Joel Corcoran: I think it shows they are still players in Hollywood, but it's not a breakout hit or a surprising statement. It's a solid showing and gives the Weinsteins a good foundation for whatever they're going to do next.

Kim Hollis: I'm sure they would have liked to make a bigger splash, but they'll have the likely award contender Mrs. Henderson Presents to hang their hat on soon enough. And Transamerica, for that matter (which will probably have Felicity Huffman under awards consideration as well).

Reagen Sulewski: I was never expecting much of anything here, so it's about in line with what I thought. Harvey's probably going to find it harder to work in Hollywood without the comfortable backing of Disney.

The choice was "Die Tryin'

Kim Hollis: Get Rich or Die Tryin' fell 64%. Its weekend total was $4.4 million and its running total sits at $24.5 million. Is this about in line with expectations or should 50 Cent just go back to the music biz?

Reagen Sulewski: Can he stop making music as well?

David Mumpower: In hindsight, 50 Cent might have peaked last year with his Simpsons appearance.
Joel Corcoran: I think the drop-off is about in line with expectations, if you use 8 Mile as a benchmark (which had a 62.5% drop-off after it's opening weekend). So, I think 50 Cent should stick around and try his hand at another movie.

David Mumpower: BOP wishes to wish all of our U.S. readers a Happy Thanksgiving. To our non-U.S. readers, Happy Thursday!



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