Monday Morning Quarterback Part Two

By BOP Staff

June 7, 2006

Don't tell me I'm not dressed for Monday Morning Quarterback, man!

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Next on the cover of The National Enquirer: The tragic story of a man compelled to wear blue tights

Kim Hollis: How much do you think the free Us Weekly press surrounding Vince Vaughn and Jen Aniston helped the performance of The Break-Up?

David Mumpower: I feel certain it's the difference between an opener in the mid-teens versus an opening approaching forty million. As Reagen commented earlier, this was the perfect project to capitalize upon Aniston's heartbreak for career gain.

Reagen Sulewski: Undoubtedly. They should hand People magazine an assist on this one as well.

Kim Hollis: Honestly, I attribute the success a lot more to goodwill for Vince Vaughn than sympathy for Aniston. After all, it didn't particularly help Derailed or Rumor Has It, and she was just as much a presence in the rags at that point as she is now.

Tim Briody: I agree with Kim. She's had romantic comedy success too with Along Came Polly, a huge hit for a January movie.

Kim Hollis: This leads to my next question. Is Vince Vaughn really a box office draw or has he been ridiculously lucky in picking projects lately?

David Mumpower: I would maintain that his decision making in picking projects is what has made him a star. He has now built up the sort of trust from audiences that a box office opener needs to get the top projects. As I said in the Friday Numbers Analysis column, I think he's the new Adam Sandler. He's done his time and is now starting to reap the rewards.

Kim Hollis: Indeed. I would say that rather than being ridiculously lucky, he has been ridiculously savvy. And he's given himself space to do the occasionally indie flick like Thumbsucker along the way.

David Mumpower: Putting it another way, Vaughn is what people thought Will Ferrell would become. The talent level is similar. The difference between them is career choices.

Tim Briody: So then the conclusion is for Vince Vaughn to avoid remaking Bewitched?

Reagen Sulewski: When the producers for I Dream of Jeanie come along, pretend you don't speak English.

What to expect when you're expecting

Kim Hollis: Relative to expectations, which of the three recent performances - The Da Vinci Code, X-Men: The Last Stand and The Break-Up - is most impressive?

Reagen Sulewski: The Break-Up, though it shouldn't come anywhere near the totals of the other two. X3 is about where I would have called it after ten days, and Da Vinci is about $30 million low for my 17 days thought.

David Mumpower: That's a tough question. All three have been fantastic initial performers. We know that the first two failed in their second frames while we don't have that information for The Break-Up yet. I'm inclined to say X3 since you can't argue with the fourth largest opening of all time.

Tim Briody: Relative to expectations, The Break-Up, hands down.

David Mumpower: Reagen makes an interesting point about X3. If you take out the opening weekend success and second weekend tragedy and simply look at the ten day numbers, it's about where people expected. What has been shocking has been the erratic nature of its box office ride.

Tim Briody: We know we're in the age of "huge opening, no legs" when it comes to blockbusters, but X3 is the most extreme example ever.

Kim Hollis: I'm going to hedge my bets and say that the only one that might *not* be impressive is The Da Vinci Code. I always expected it to be massive, but the fact that it's a stinker is going to affect overall totals to a detrimental degree. X-Men should at least stay within expectations, and The Break-Up is already ahead of the game even if it does have a tough drop in weekend two.


Hammy likes cookies. Please give him one.

Kim Hollis: Over the Hedge fell 23.7% as it finally overtook The Da Vinci code in the rankings. This seems to indicate that the CGI flick is the real deal as opposed to a pretender, right?

Reagen Sulewski: It's a breath of fresh air in comparison to a few that have come down the pike.

David Mumpower: What impresses me the most about Over the Hedge's hold in weekend three is that last weekend's tally was holiday-inflated. This is closer to a 15% decline, an exemplary showing of legs in this day and age. Considering the summer weekdays boost it will get, this one suddenly looks like a $150+ million project. Given its mediocre opening, that's sensational.

Kim Hollis: It's also one of those films that is deserving of the success, too. Over the Hedge is a genuinely charming, fun movie that bears little in similarity to its other DreamWorks predecessors. It doesn't live and die by the pop culture reference. Instead, it feels like a CGI throwback to the old-timey cartoons. It's animals being smart and funny, with just a touch of meanness thrown in for good measure.

Tim Briody: It's a nice performance so far, but it gets kneecapped by Cars in a few days.

Reagen Sulewski: There's a whole sequence in it that could have been scripted by Chuck Jones.

Next up for Al Gore: Viagra commercials

Kim Hollis: The Al Gore green-friendly documentary grossed $1.3 million from only 77 venues, a per venue average of roughly $17,300. To what can we attribute this success?

Reagen Sulewski: It's really heating up the box office! Oh, I slay me.

Tim Briody: The fact that the bottom three films in the weekly top ten are truly scraping the bottom of the barrel. Not to take anything away from An Inconvenient Truth, but even on the four day totals last weekend, the tenth place film didn't even earn $1 million.

Reagen Sulewski: Even at that, this is a great performance for a documentary filled with doom and gloom. I'd give a lot of credit to Gore's appearance on Saturday Night Live a couple of weeks ago. That let people know what Futurama viewers knew a long time ago: Al Gore can be funny and engaging.

David Mumpower: As was the case with Fahrenheit 9/11, I see this performance as re-confirming the generally accepted idea that indie theater clientele is largely liberal. It's the "pointy-headed intellectuals" idea in action.

Reagen Sulewski: I look forward to Exxon-Mobil's response film "Everything's Fine".

Tim Briody: Presidential candidates need to stop letting people know that they're funny *after* they lose elections.



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