Monday Morning Quarterback Part 3
By BOP Staff
May 24, 2006
There's a fine line between hobo and adorable cartoon characterKim Hollis: Over the Hedge had the fifth-largest opening of 2006, but $37.2 million is the studio's lowest opening for a DreamWorks animated film since Antz. What are we to make of this performance?
Reagen Sulewski: I've been saying this since the end of last year and I think it still holds true; CGI animated films just aren't special anymore. There's only so many times you can do talking animals on screen and make it unique.
David Mumpower: As Reagen discussed with Poseidon, I don't feel we should read too much into this. Over the Hedge simply looked lackluster. It failed to have a hook that could draw in a ton of kids. Shark Tale is about a fish that fascinates kids. Madagascar is about zoo animals. Shrek is a larger than life fable. Over the Hedge is raccoons eating garbage out of trash cans. It's just not the same.
Reagen Sulewski: That said, I think they did a great job of zeroing in on their base - hyperactive squirrels shooting cheese in a can out their nose = gold to the 8-year-old set.
Tim Briody: Wasn't this movie released already this year? Maybe even twice?
Joel Corcoran: Honestly, I think it had a great performance up against The Da Vinci Code, though I'm still somewhat pessimistic about this film. It's a satirical take on suburbia, so in a way, the film is attacking its target audience.
David Mumpower: Tim, has it gotten to the point that you can't even distinguish between the talking animals movies any more?
Kim Hollis: I think it did just fine and is in line for a strong overall performance. It has solid reviews and a holiday weekend next week with no true kid competition.
Tim Briody: Yes, why can't something more imaginative talk instead? Perhaps, say, inanimate objects?
David Mumpower: Like, say, toys?
Kim Hollis: You mean something like, oh, I don't know, Cars?
Tim Briody: That's it!
We half expect South Park to switch to all-CGIKim Hollis: Is the bloom off the rose for CGI animation?
Joel Corcoran: I agree with Reagen - CGI animated films just aren't special anymore. It's time for the next revolution in filmmaking, like maybe Smell-o-Vision or something.
Kim Hollis: I would say that it is to some degree. With a new one every few months, it no longer feels special or unique.
David Mumpower: I think we touched on this a bit above. The novelty is certainly not what it was when Toy Story came out. We knew that had to happen, but I do feel lackluster titles such as Robots and Hoodwinked! damage the overall impact of the genre.
Kim Hollis: It's a shame that Aardman switched off to CGI for Flushed Away. I think their traditional stop-motion clay animation might have played well once again. Still, Ian McKellan is a voice, so I expect it to make a beeellion dollars.
Tim Briody: Though it's up to Cars for this to remain true, I think the only thing that impresses as far as CGI goes is the brand name Pixar.
What BOP is saying is that we hate John CenaKim Hollis: The worst new opener of the week is See No Evil, which managed only $4.4 million. How could a movie starring a professional wrestler possible fail?
Reagen Sulewski: You're gonna sprain something using that much sarcasm, Kim.
David Mumpower: Just wait until John Cena's movie gets released. There will be people standing in line to spit on him at the movie premiere. $4.4 million will look like a comparative oasis in the box office desert.
Tim Briody: I was wondering how long it would take for a disparaging remark about John Cena.
David Mumpower: The time is always right to disparage John Cena.
Kim Hollis: Hey, when the subject came up during WWE Raw, Kane told people not to say the date, May 19th. Apparently, his cunning plan to keep people away from his movie worked.
Tim Briody: I miss the days of when The Rock was the WWE's only movie star.
David Mumpower: They also have a movie lined up that stars Steve Austin. He might have a chance to do okay if enough people still remember who he is enough to care. I have always thought he could be another Roddy Piper in the right They Live type of role.
Tim Briody: "I'm here to do two things." "What?" "Kick ass and chew bubble gum." "What?" "And I'm all out of bubble gum." "What?"
If you believe that, he also has a bridge to sell youKim Hollis: Poseidon fell 59% from last weekend and has a grand total of $36.8 million. Despite the film's woeful performance, Warner Bros. COO Alan Horn says that he's not willing to concede that an average of one tentpole per quarter is poor policy. What do you think it would take to make him concede this fact?
David Mumpower: A lie detector test.
Joel Corcoran: Complete rebellion from theater owners?
Kim Hollis: Uwe Boll agreeing with him that Poseidon is a huge success.
Tim Briody: Compared to how much money Uwe Boll movies make, it is!
David Mumpower: The studio has also confirmed that Superman Returns has already cost Warner Bros. $260 million. That strikes me as a steep return cost for a guy nobody was missing.
Kim Hollis: And they've voiced concerns about Lady in the Water as well.
David Mumpower: In the same Variety column, he also disputes the notion that Poseidon's fate is sealed as a failure. I can't decide if he is a sunny optimist or simply not very good at math.
Joel Corcoran: Worse than either, David, he's beginning to believe his own spin.
Kim Hollis: I do think it's a bold decision for Warner Bros. not to worry about stuff like financial gain when they make movies these days.
Tim Briody: The idea of profit margin is an outdated concept.
David Mumpower: I almost pity Sony for not recognizing this and accidentally allowing The Da Vinci Code to make hundreds of millions of dollars.