Monday Morning Quarterback Part 3

By BOP Staff

April 28, 2006

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Let's talk expensive bombs. No United 93 jokes, please.

Kim Hollis: In your opinion, is The Wild the worst animated performance in recent memory or has the second weekend holdover redeemed it some in your eyes?

Reagen Sulewski: Depends how you define "recent". There was that $150 million disaster that killed Fox attempt at an animation studio, but of the CGI films, it's the first to make an honest attempt and fail.

Tim Briody: I think it's going to be the standard bearer for animated failure for a good while, even with the holdover. Nobody remembers something like Valiant or Doogal.

David Mumpower: I am conflicted on how to answer this. We are talking about a reported $80 million budget, so this is a body blow no matter how examine weekend two. Having the Disney name does not garner the attention it once did for animated projects, though. This is exactly why the Pixar merger was so crucial for them.

Kim Hollis: And again, it gets the real talent back in the Disney fold (i.e. John Lassiter and friends).

Joel Corcoran: I still think it's the worst animated performance in recent memory. I can't think of another similar movie that performed as poorly as The Wild in its first few weeks of its release.

David Mumpower: Actually, after seeing Reagen's answer, I want to change mine. There is no way this performance throws under Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. That might as well have been a $500 million loss the way it killed an entire new production facility.

What's Doogal?

Kim Hollis: Well, as mentioned, Doogal did worse, but it wasn't exactly expected to do well.

Joel Corcoran: You're right -- I'd forgotten about Doogal.

Tim Briody: Joel proves my point!

Reagen Sulewski: but now that I think about it, Warner Brothers had one of their own bombs that killed them too, didn't they? Quest for Camelot?

Tim Briody: If I recall correctly, at the time, the biggest flop for something opening on 3,000 screens.

David Mumpower: Quest for Camelot was not as big a loss as you might think. Reported budget on it was $40 million and it earned $22 million domestically. Tim hits on the key for it. This was the first title to get 3,000+ venues and do absolutely nothing at the box office. Prior to that, the trend was for venue count to determine success, at least to some degree.

Kim Hollis: And, I hate to say it, but Iron Giant didn't do WB Animation any favors, box office wise. (Though critically and longevity wise, it's obviously a totally different story).

David Mumpower: The Iron Giant made less in its domestic run than Benchwarmers made in its first five days. Don't try to tell me this world is fair and just.

You are now carrying BOP's child. It is the magic of the dance.

Kim Hollis: While we were away the past two weeks, we missed three other openings. Take the Lead, New Line Cinema's dance movie, has a running total of just under $30 million. Does this surprise you?

Reagen Sulewski: I honestly thought it would do better, Antonio Banderas and all.

David Mumpower: You Got Ballroom Dancing Served!

Tim Briody: Save the Last Ballroom Dance?

David Mumpower: It's made $25 million more than I had it pegged for prior to release, how's that?

Reagen Sulewski: Tim is closer.

Kim Hollis: I figured it to better as well. It does fly in the face of our "teen film" theory, though.

David Mumpower: No one brings in the kids like Antonio Banderas.

Joel Corcoran: I thought it would do better by taking advantage of the publicity around Strictly Ballroom, but I think the film has had a decent showing.

Kim Hollis: The marketing didn't focus on Mr. Banderas, though. It looked closer to Save the Last Dance, as Tim and Reagen noted.

Tim Briody: But no Julia Stiles.

Kim Hollis: She should have signed on. It's not like she's doing anything else lately.

David Mumpower: I think we underestimate kids sometimes. It's not a 17-year-old is unable to pull up IMDB and see who is listed first.

Kim Hollis: I dunno. If it's not on myspace, they're not seeing it.

There is no worse feeling than regretting not being in Superman Returns.

Kim Hollis: Lucky Number Slevin has earned only $18.6 million in 17 days. That's bad, right?

Joel Corcoran: Yes.

David Mumpower: It is most definitely not lucky.

Reagen Sulewski: They just need to figure out how to keep it in theaters for 100 more days.

Tim Briody: I think the only people who saw it are the ones who can count to slevin. And please don't ask me to explain that.

Joel Corcoran: Seriously -- this movie has Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, and Josh Hartnett, and it's backed by a decent marketing campaign. How can it NOT have earned $20 million by now?

David Mumpower: As much as I respect Josh Hartnett for turning down $100 million on the three picture deal for Superman, it is looking more and more like a mistake. Other than Sin City, he has little to hang his hat on in the five years since Black Hawk Down.

Kim Hollis: Paul McGuigan is directorial box office poison.

BOP shakes our collective head in disgust once more.

Kim Hollis: The big shock, though, has to be The Benchwarmers. Inexplicably, that film has a running total of $47.1 million. It's undeniably a huge hit, right? Doesn't this news make you want to take Prozac like there's no tomorrow?


Tim Briody: All the credit goes to Napoleon Dynamite. And the crotch shots.

David Mumpower: Tim's absolutely correct. They marketed it with an emphasis on Napoleon Dynamite (talk about a typecast actor), and it paid off in spades. The success of this movie is nothing short of maddening. This is several people I hate all getting a hit film added to their resume.

Joel Corcoran: Maybe I shouldn't admit this, but I really liked The Benchwarmers. I think it really hit a comedic "sweet spot" like Elf and The 40-Year Old Virgin did. It played up the foibles of characters that would be considered failures in a lot of ways, but did so gently. But maybe I'm just weird.

Kim Hollis: Adam Sandler likes to keep his boys in money.

David Mumpower: And movie-going audiences in pain.

Reagen Sulewski: Seriously, are people's comedy radar that broke these days? Even if you like Napoleon Dynamite, doesn't the presence of David Spade in the same movie present several unsettling questions to you?

Joel Corcoran: I didn't like Napoleon Dynamite, and I think Benchwarmers is succeeding in spite of David Spade, not because of him.

Tim Briody: Rob "You Can Do It!" Schneider shouldn't have helped matters much, either.

Kim Hollis: It keeps him out of Capital One commercials, at least.

David Mumpower: That's the other thing. Those "No-Hassle" commercials are the current equivalent of the 800-Collect commercials from a few years ago. Those are supposed to be a cry for help, not a career boost.

David Mumpower: That's the other thing. Those "No-Hassle" commercials are the current equivalent of the 800-Collect commercials from a few years ago. Those are supposed to be a cry for help, not a career boost.



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