Monday Morning Quarterback Part One

By BOP Staff

March 19, 2006

Take that, Billy Packer!

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Bracketology, not anarchy

Kim Hollis: V for Vendetta made $26.1 million from 3,365 venues. Considering that the movie's audience was 60% young men, was it a huge mistake for Warner Bros. to schedule it against the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament?

David Mumpower: No doubt about it. There was a moment ten days ago where I saw a V for Vendetta clip, realized they had scheduled it against Brackets weekend, and threw my hands up in there. It's like Hollywood is trying to kill theater chains themselves.

Reagen Sulewski: I'm never a huge fan of these kinds of explanations - you could probably prove every weekend that there's not enough people to see *anything* - but I wouldn't be surprised if it had an effect on this particular weekend.

Joel Corcoran: Any other year, I wouldn't call it a "mistake." The first round games are usually routine, with a few interesting upsets, but I think most basketball fans would want some kind of break over the weekend. However, this tournament is more exciting than most, so it could have been a factor.

David Mumpower: I just don't see how you could say that. The studio is saying that 60% of the people in attendance were men. If that demographic is the target and they have basketball on the brain, they are not going to prioritize movies the best weekend of the year for hoops.

Kim Hollis: I think when you have a distinct crossing of audience like this, it's a major factor. Given the fact that V for Vendetta had already been pushed from November, there might have been a perception that quality was a concern as well. When you combine those elements (and add in a big party night in St. Patty's Day on fanboy Friday), and it baffles me to some degree. The movie was tracking to be the top opener of the year and didn't manage those numbers. Something was

Alcoholism vs. sports widowing

Joel Corcoran: Actually, I'll bet St. Patick's Day was a bigger factor. Only the most intense basketball fan is going to watch every single first round game entirely around the clock the entire first round. Most guys in that "young men" demographic are going to watch their favorite games, but do other things over the weekend. Like drink. A lot. On St. Patrick's Day. And then stay home all weekend nursing hangovers.


Kim Hollis: Joel, Thursday and Friday are said to be the least productive work days in the calendar year due to the games. People skip out, call in sick, take vacation (I did, for example) just to enjoy to chaos. I'm pretty sure you're undervaluing the significance of the event. And for what it's worth, I would not call myself an intense basketball fan. These games are just a blast. And I sat in a sports bar full of people that appeared to feel the same way on Thursday.

Joel Corcoran: Eh, maybe I am underestimating the draw - particularly this year. I've been glued to the TV since Friday afternoon, actually.

David Mumpower: Whatever the reason, we all agree that V for Vendetta's performance is a huge disappointment, right? This doesn't even match The Matrix's 1999 performance, and we certainly won't see Matrix legs....well, maybe Matrix Revolutions.

Reagen Sulewski: Even with the lingering bad mojo from Matrix Revolutions, the Wachowski Brothers name should have been a slam dunk (pun intended) for $30 million+. Something went wrong. It might be just easy thinking to blame it on basketball, but it might not be wrong, either.

Anarchy in the U.K., not the U.S.A.

David Mumpower: Do you think there is a patriotism factor as well, Reagen? Anarchy is a hard sell in the current zeitgeist, after all.

Reagen Sulewski: I don't think so, David. Take a look at Jarhead, which was clearly anti-establishment in its ads, and the fact that the President's approval ratings are down as far as they are.

David Mumpower: Jarhead completely did after opening weekend. It went from surprise hit to mediocre performer by the time everything was said and done. Maybe V for Vendetta would have opened better if it had a trailer cut to Jesus Walks, though. I do consider that to be a function of evolving box office behavior as much as anything.

Kim Hollis: I do think the performance has to be considered a disappointment. The overall weekend multiplier is encouraging for future prospects, but that could again be a function of the fact that Friday was less front-loaded than a film of this nature would normally be. On the plus side, Alan Moore is probably feeling a sense of schaudenfraude.

Who watches the Watchmen? It won't be movie-goers

David Mumpower: There goes any hope of a Watchmen movie for awhile. Between this, From Hell and A League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, he's proving to be an impossible marketing task in the US. It's a shame because V for Vendetta is such a great movie.

Reagen Sulewski: A Watchman movie is going to take some fanboy of a studio head who doesn't care if he blows $100 million, or somebody's "Here's your free one" project, a la Peter Jackson and King Kong.

David Mumpower: I suspect it's going to wind up as a television series now if it does occur. An HBO or Showtime one.

Joel Corcoran: I think the wariness around V for Vendetta is rooted in lingering disappointment over the last two Matrix movies. When I heard the first "from the makers of 'The Matrix'" advertisement, I immediately wondered which Matrix movie they were talking about.

Reagen Sulewski: I personally thought it was going to be a case of "Just what the doctor ordered" in that factor.

Kim Hollis: You know, on the Alan Moore note, V for Vendetta only opened to $3 million more than League of Extraordinary Gentlemen - a film with massively bad buzz - three years later.

Joel Corcoran: Alan Moore is just too brainy for us.

Kim Hollis: He's a freak monster, that's for sure. (And I say that as someone who loves him.)

Dude looks like a lady

Kim Hollis: She's the Man took in $11 million from 2,623 venues. This is a pleasant surprise for DreamWorks, is it not?

David Mumpower: Transamerica would have done better if it had been about transvestites instead of transsexuals. Transvestites are the It Factor of 2006 box office thus far.

Kim Hollis: Amanda Bynes is nothing if not consistent, right? I guess that bodes well for the Weinsteins and the upcoming Lovewrecked.

Reagen Sulewski: I'd have to agree. The audience for these films is starting to grow up, and I suspect we're on the tail end of the Bynes/Duff/Olson Twin phenomena.

Joel Corcoran: This movie almost tripled the opening weekend that Sorority Boys had - I'd consider that a success.

David Mumpower: BOP will offer huge bonus points to any of our readers who remembers Sorority Boys.

Reagen Sulewski: And also condolences.

Kim Hollis: I do think Bynes is the only one likely to go on to further success in the long run. It might be in some form of indie breakout role, but she is talented as a comedian.

David Mumpower: Hilary Duff's lingering Disney Channel popularity is going to carry her much further in the short term. Ten years from now, Bynes probably can re-invent herself as the new Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, though, since she does have that talent to fall back on.

Joel Corcoran: I shudder to think what the Olson Twins will be doing in ten years ...

David Mumpower: Rolling in hundred dollar bills, same as now.

Reagen Sulewski: Or, more to the point, who?

David Mumpower: Will. Not. Make. Inappropriate. Uncle. Jessie. Joke.

Sex in the City was not a good show, people!

Kim Hollis: Failure to Launch opened to $24.4 million and has a running total of $48.5 million. Does this transaction complete Sarah Jessica Parker's deal with the devil? And just why do people find Matthew McConaughey so attractive in romantic comedy roles, anyway?

David Mumpower: Naked, stoned bongo players must be a hidden fetish for a lot of people.

Joel Corcoran: Obviously, Sarah Jessica Parker can do no wrong. Ever.

Kim Hollis: I actually think the studio did a brilliant bit of marketing by targeting it to sports fans. Terry Bradshaw did *a lot* of publicity for the film and fans might have just been fooled enough to head to the theaters.

Reagen Sulewski: You get the feeling Matt leaves a trail of grease wherever he goes.

Kim Hollis: You know, other than Colin Farrell, I think he's my most hated actor out there. He's such a tool.

David Mumpower: I wonder if the bad title confused some folks into thinking they were seeing a big budget sci-fi epic.

Kim Hollis: Didn't get them into The Island - though perhaps that's because they imagined it was a South Pacific remake.

Reagen Sulewski: They did make the crucial point of hiding the fact that Terry Bradshaw's nekkid butt is visible in the film.

Kim Hollis: As long as Kathy Bates isn't also naked, I guess people will call it a win.

Joel Corcoran: It's McConaughey's slight Southern accent that does it for people.

Kim Hollis: Uh, no. It's not.

Joel Corcoran: Okay, it's what does it for me.

Kim Hollis: You need to hear some better southern accents, then.

David Mumpower: Men with slight Southern accents are really damned sexy, though. And this conversation makes me feel like I'm being baited into doing a podcast.

Kim Hollis: The ultimate cure for anyone who likes McConaughey is to watch him in Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation. That will change anyone's feelings about him, quick.

Reagen Sulewski: I wonder if either he or Renee Zellweger really thought they'd be going on to better things after that. He must have a shrine to Richard Linklater in his basement.



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