Monday Morning Quarterback - Super Bowl Edition

By BOP Staff

February 5, 2006

It's Game time, baby.

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Any relation to Albert Belle?

Kim Hollis: When a Stranger Calls dialed up $22 million in box office this weekend against a budget of $15 million. How amused are you by the fact that this film - which wasn't even screened for critics - so completely dominated a set of new Oscar contenders?

David Mumpower: That is pretty funny. A bunch of actors who will be lucky to be comic relief on tv shows next year have just smoked a bunch of Oscar contenders.

Reagen Sulewski: Sure, that looks like an impressive figure, but just think of Wes Craven's cut for them stealing his schtick.

Tim Briody: I certainly hope Camilla Belle doesn't spend it all in one place.

Kim Hollis: Camilla who?

David Mumpower: I don't think she got paid enough to have anything left over to spend.

Kim Hollis: I never even saw a commercial for the film. I still figured it would be big, but I'm having trouble figuring out where all the audience members for these movies keep coming from.

David Mumpower: Variety is reporting that it was mainly women (55 percent), particularly those under the age of 21 (58 percent). So, it's people who weren't thinking about the Super Bowl any. MySpace traffic might have been down a lot on Friday and Saturday, though.

Kim Hollis: When a Stranger calls rox! LOL!

Tim Briody: This is the highest grossing film over Super Bowl weekend, and you had to figure it would be a cheap horror remake.

The less well know the actress, the more money the horror film makes

David Mumpower: You know, the only genuinely atrocious horror performance in the past year was the one with the biggest star: Dark Water with Jennifer Connelly.

Reagen Sulewski: The only mistake you can make with a horror film these days is giving it a budget of over $30 million, apparently.

Tim Briody: Because that violated the rule that these movies can't star anybody remotely famous.

Kim Hollis: They should have cast Ben McKenzie as her co-star.

Reagen Sulewski: Coming soon: "What I Did on Summer Vacation, starring everyone from the WB network!"

David Mumpower: Horror films violate every accept precept of how to make a hit movie. You need no stars, no budget and the concept isn't even crucial. The trailers/buzz are all that matters. Some wily marketing firm should vertically integrate into a horror production house.


If Sanaa Lathan needs any consoling, BOP volunteers for the job.

Kim Hollis: Something New had a debut weekend of $5 million. That has to be a disappointing result for Focus Features, right?

Reagen Sulewski: Kim said she didn't see any commercials for When a Stranger Calls, but I really had no idea Something New existed until about a week and a half ago.

Tim Briody: Counterprogramming to adults usually doesn't work on Super Bowl weekend.

David Mumpower: $5 million is barely over half of what I expected for the film. I'm just shaking my head in disgust over the whole thing. It's got winning leads *and* a great premise yet it's a non-factor this weekend.

Kim Hollis: Yeah, once again, if I wasn't involved in a movie Web site, I wouldn't have known about Something New until the Salon review. Though by the same token, I really like Lathan, so I might have at least had a general idea of the movie.

Reagen Sulewski: I think I've figured out the problem with this film; it's the title. It's like an Abbott and Costello routine. "Wanna see a movie this weekend?" "Sure, what?" "I wanna see Something New." "yeah, I wanna see a movie I haven't seen already too, but which one?" Ninety minutes of confusion later and you've missed the showtimes.

Tim Briody: The working title, while perhaps controversial, was better.

David Mumpower: Agreed. 42.4 Percent, was much better. It explained the premise much better. This is one of those Dancing About Architecture to Playing By Heart type of changes that just rips the soul out of the project.

BOP's word for the day is Tamahori.

Kim Hollis: Big Momma's House 2 fell to $13.4 million in its second weekend and now has a running tally of $45.4 million. Do you have any more fat suit jokes?

Reagen Sulewski: If you do, Fox would like to offer you a six-figure writing contract!

David Mumpower: Lee Tamahori took this project idea a bit too seriously.

Reagen Sulewski: "It's James Bond's sexiest adventure ever!"

Kim Hollis: If people are bored of this Guy in a Fat Suit film, they can see Girl in a Fat Suit in a couple of weeks. And then another Guy in a Fat Suit film the week after. It's the new horror - only these movies are actually scary.

Tim Briody: Yeah, I'm fresh out until Alyson Hannigan's Date Movie is out in a couple weeks.

David Mumpower: I hope Alyson Hannigan makes a lot of money from Date Movie but between this and her lousy tv show on CBS, I'm significantly less attracted to her.

Reagen Sulewski: Time to buy stock in latex and silicone manufacturers until this trend dies.

If it ain't Brokeback, don't fix it.

Kim Hollis: Brokeback Mountain leveraged its eight Oscar nominations into a fourth place spot with $5.7 million. It has a running total of $59.8 million. Which is a bigger surprise, Brokeback or March of the Penguins?

Reagen Sulewski: Considering Brokeback was a punchline in Hollywood (PS: Lee Tamahori!), I have to go with that.

David Mumpower: Both stun me, but March of the Penguins is the bigger shocker. Brokeback Mountain's performance this weekend is actually very disappointing. It fell 13% despite getting over 400 more venues. It's definitely flatlining.

Kim Hollis: Brokeback Mountain does seem to have reached critical mass. Most everyone who was wanting to see it has had the opportunity.

David Mumpower: I haven't had a chance to do the research yet since this chat is occurring pretty much the moment numbers are announced, but I can't remember an Oscars frontrunner ever getting less of a bump from the nominations.

Tim Briody: I think we can attribute some of that to the Super Bowl, but yeah, it is quite shocking.

Reagen Sulewski: There's Titanic, but that's an entirely different scenario.

Academy members stubbornly refused to vote for a man named Sue.

Kim Hollis: Speaking of the Oscars, now that the nominations are in and you've had time to think it over, what do you find interesting about the nominees and are you ready to make a stand on any awards picks?

Tim Briody: I still say the Best Actress Oscar comes pre-engraved with Reese Witherspoon's name.

Reagen Sulewski: Ang Lee should start preparing a speech.

Kim Hollis: I'm probably most surprised by the momentum Crash seemed to gain at the last minute. For how hard the film is on the denizens of Los Angeles (the core voters), I thought they might reject it.

Reagen Sulewski: I'd say the Brokeback Mountain producers should also make sure their tuxes are clean.

David Mumpower: I don't see Brokeback Mountain as the mortal lock some have written it off to be. Crash's out of nowhere momentum makes it a solid darkhorse which might have tapped into the zeitgeist in LA right now.

Pigeonholing the Best Picture contenders

Kim Hollis: And the pleasant surprise was that the Academy went with Howl's Moving Castle over Madagascar. I still prefer Wallace & Gromit, but I'm thrilled to see Miyazaki get the honor again.

Reagen Sulewski: Oscar nominations seemed to make a stand this year on social issue. You've got the gay cowboy film, the gay writer film, the anti-McCarthy film, the "everyone's a racist" film and the "terrorism sucks" film.

David Mumpower: Good Night, and Good Luck is the only Best Picture nominee I have in my top 20 for the year. Crash, Brokeback Mountain, Capote and Munich are all in the middle or towards the bottom of my list. Syriana and Walk the Line are up there, but they both got shafted.

Tim Briody: I think Brokeback Mountain will win, but I'd like to see Crash win mostly because it was a spring release, and not in the deluge of end of year prestige releases.

David Mumpower: That also ends the "Cinderella Man was hurt by its release date" argument. Crash came out a month earlier and has worked its way up to co-favorite for Best Picture.

Reagen Sulewski: It's especially jarring when you consider how the big studios were essentially shut out. Even in 1995, Jerry Maguire got a nod to represent the establishment.

David Mumpower: With regards to box office performance, this is one of the worst batches in recent Oscars history. Brokeback Mountain is actually the "hit" of the bunch.

Tim Briody: I think we all figured Walk the Line would get nominated, as a nod to the box office success.

David Mumpower: I thought it had that going for it as well as the great star turns and the biopic aspect. Circling back to my Hustle & Flow comment earlier, it appears as if the Academy was closer to lauding a film about a pimp than one about Johnny Cash.

Reagen Sulewski: Capote's nomination surprised me the most. It has the feel of a movie that gets noticed for its star turns and little else.

Tim Briody: And if we can find anybody who liked Munich, it would be a small miracle.

And the real topic of discussion for today...

Kim Hollis: Finally, the Super Bowl starts in three hours. Who ya got, Seahawks or Steelers?

Reagen Sulewski: Seahawks by 6, if only to see the wailing and nashing of Steelers fans.

Tim Briody: In a shocker, Seattle, 23-17.

David Mumpower: The best player in football, Walter Jones, is going to carry his team to victory. Seattle 27, Pittsburgh 24.

Kim Hollis: Steelers, 24-20.

Tim Briody: Okay, so apparently, not a shocker.

David Mumpower: We're certainly not lining up with the outside world on this.

To the regular readers of MMQB, we hope you enjoy a heavy dose of the finest meats, cheeses and alcoholic beverages possible tonight. Love, BOP.



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