Monday Morning Quarterback Part Two

By BOP Staff

January 30, 2006

No, I am not related to former PGA golfer Craig Stadler. Please stop asking.

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This opening is especially good if you play craps

Kim Hollis: Annapolis earned $7.7 million from 1,605 venues. It had been considered a likely bomb, but this performance is generally being hailed as a success. Why did so many plebes matriculate?

Tim Briody: I throw my hands up in the air over Annapolis as I do with Big Momma's House.

Reagen Sulewski: It only did a little better than what I had predicted, but Annapolis was really one of the most amateur looking productions I've seen in some time. It's a very special episode of NCIS or something.

Joel Corcoran: Annapolis seems like Taps or A Few Good Men for the WB crowd. So of course it's going to make money.

Kim Hollis: I personally think they went in droves to see Tyrese's handsome, gigantic noggin.

Joel Corcoran: I'm embarrassed to admit that I seriously considered going to see this movie, just for the eye candy.

Kim Hollis: Oh, make no mistake about it. I'd forgotten Tyrese was in it until the commercials started airing. At that point, I was sooooooo tempted even though it looked absolutely terrible.

David Mumpower: What I take from Annapolis that I find important is how it was marketed. After they gave up on the idea it could be a big movie, the print and venue counts were reduced to be more in line with expectations. That was a savvy financial decision. In addition, the marketing became more focused to the MTV/Spike TV/G4 crowd, the only potential audience likely to ignore the film's prospects due to its stars. Annapolis was a bad project but the casting and the end-game decision making saved it from itself...at least some.

James Franco should go back to trying to kill Spider-Man

Tim Briody: James Franco sure can pick them, huh?

Reagen Sulewski: Remember when he was going to be the next James Dean? Neither do I.

David Mumpower: I don't understand why Franco isn't a star yet. He makes the Spider-Man franchise special. And he showed on Freaks and Geeks he's got acting chops out the wazoo. He should be bigger than he is.

Kim Hollis: Oh, I'm always going to be fond of James thanks to Freaks and Geeks. He's a fine young actor who really just hasn't picked an appropriate break-out sort of project.

Is this the tip of the iceberg?

Kim Hollis: A certain Best Picture frontrunner with a gay cowboys theme declined 15% to $6.4 million this weekend despite gaining 458 exhibitions. Is the snow finally melting on top of Brokeback Mountain?

Tim Briody: No, it'll rebound quite nicely next weekend with the Oscar nominations out Monday.

Joel Corcoran: Absolutely not. The movie will rebound again after the Oscar nominations, then go into a gradual slide through the awards ceremony itself. I can see this movie sticking around second-run theaters through March, actually.

Kim Hollis: I would suspect it will stay in first-run through March, since the awards aren't until then.

Joel Corcoran: Well, I'm just pessimistic and a cynic by nature. I'd really like to see Brokeback Mountain stay in first-run theaters through the spring, but I'd rather aim low and be pleasantly surprised than aim high and be disappointed.




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Reagen Sulewski: I think it's starting to hit a little bit of resistance in new markets, but this wasn't as dramatic an increase in venues as in other weeks.

David Mumpower: It's just cooling down temporarily before the next snowfall this coming weekend. It should have a continued showing of strength from now until the middle of March.

Tim Briody: It crosses $50 million today, and I think they'll keep it in theaters just long enough (provided it wins, which I think it will) to eke it over $100 million.

David Mumpower: Exactly, Tim. Who had that in the betting pool two months ago?

Reagen Sulewski: I personally get the feeling that the hype is catching up with the film, but there are those that somehow still just haven't heard enough about this film yet. We call them Martians.

Joel Corcoran: I heard NASA put a copy of this film on the probe to Pluto.

Tim Briody: Miramax kept Shakespeare In Love playing until the end of July to ensure their Best Picture winner didn't earn under $100 million. I think Brokeback Mountain is a virtual lock (again, provided it wins).

Reagen Sulewski: Vegas odds have it at 1:5 to win right now. That's as overwhelming a favorite as it gets.

David Mumpower: They're giving worse odds on the Steelers playing in the Super Bowl. They might have a plane crash on the way. Brokeback Mountain, on the other hand, is a lock.

Taking the lion's share of the profit

Kim Hollis: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe has won the international receipts battle for five straight weekends, the longest streak since Pirates of the Caribbean in the summer of 2003. It has an above average chance to become the largest Disney film ever, as its $625 million running total approaches The Sixth Sense's final tally of $661.5 million. It is now a full $100 million ahead of King Kong worldwide. How surprised are you by the strength of this performance? Is it more or less impressive than 2005's best earner, Episode III?

Tim Briody: I'm surprised at Narnia's longevity, since I and I'm sure many others figured King Kong to be the big holiday film.

Joel Corcoran: I think it's far more impressive than Star Wars: Episode III because it lacked a franchise behind it. Even with the sub-par performance of Episodes I and II, the entire Star Wars fan base was expected to propel Episode III into the stratosphere. But The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe has established the franchise for those of us who love the books.

David Mumpower: First of all, I do expect the film to surpass The Sixth Sense since it has yet to be released in several key overseas markets. With regards to how it ranks in terms of performance, I think that $700 million for an unknown commodity is better than the $837 million the Star Wars finale managed.

Kim Hollis: I'm not necessarily surprised by its super-strong performance. It always looked special, even from the first teaser. And when you have a family-friendly product, it makes for that much better of a run. I'm definitely more impressed by this than by Episode III, though I don't know if I'd compare them that closely.

David Mumpower: Kim, I know that you and I were the ones who favored this project over King Kong in our monthly forecasts. Aren't you a bit surprised that it hasn't even been close between the two? I know I am. Kong is down $65 million here and $35 million everywhere else. That's just domination.

We blame Naomi Watts

Kim Hollis: Well, the truth of the matter is when I did my December forecast, I hadn't been impressed at all by Kong's marketing campaign and in fact I was starting to be really concerned about it. I wish that I hadn't let myself be influenced by the media frenzy that built up in the weeks after. I always felt like Narnia was going to win for sure with regards to opening weekend, but it might be closer over the long haul. I was obviously surprised that Kong didn't have significantly more staying power.

Joel Corcoran: I think it's a matter of expectations, Kim. Even with the great trailers leading up to the film's release, I (and I think a lot of people) still had doubts and trepidations. I mean, how many films have we seen where the expectations created in the trailers are not met by the films themselves? I just think it's far more impressive when the first film of a potential franchise creates a whole new fan base compared to the performance of a film simply leveraging an already-existing and devoted fan base.

Reagen Sulewski: At this level of box office, it's almost strictly bragging rights as opposed to anything else. Both are tremendous successes when all is said and done.

David Mumpower: I really would not consider King Kong a tremendous success. To my mind, it's in worst case scenario territory in terms of total box office.

Reagen Sulewski: Even accounting for its huge budget, it's got money in the bank before it hits DVD, which is an enviable position for any film.


     


 
 

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