Monday Morning Quarterback Part One

By BOP Staff

June 27, 2006

The best day in recent Twins history...except for the Liriano and Santana signings.

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Sandler is huge, but he's no Jim Carrey

Kim Hollis: Click opened to an estimated $40 million this weekend. First of all, we all agree this is generous rounding, correct? Second, do you believe this debut is good, bad or about as expected for Adam Sandler?

Reagen Sulewski: It's a suspiciously...precise number. I think it's a pretty good showing for Sandler, as it shows that his typical demo is following him into his "adult" period. It's no Bruce Almighty, though, which probably has to sting a bit.

Tim Briody: It's quite convienent, but it's generally accepted that the exact number is always lower and big round numbers make nice headlines. This actually was on my high end of expectations, considering the deluge of ads that I've seen, especially in the past few weeks. I feel like I saw the entire movie in the ads.

Kim Hollis: I think it's mildly disappointing, though not terribly worse than I was imagining the film would make. There was always that sense that the best jokes were in the trailer, and even those weren't particularly great.

David Mumpower: A $40.0 million estimate shows the sort of generosity we hope to see again in Bill Gates' will. With regards to the number itself, I had expected (and predicted) it to do better. This is in that range for Sandler openings. The larger concern I have is over its legs. Having seen the film, read the reviews of it and seen comments about it, this could turn ugly fast.

Reagen Sulewski: The day is coming when we'll see an 85% drop in the second weekend for a major film.

David Mumpower: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift did what it could, Reagen.

Kim Hollis: Also, though I think the premise bears similarity to Bruce Almighty in some ways, I'm really surprised that anyone was expecting it to perform similarly. There's a Sandler comfort zone with regard to openings and I suspect that it's always going to remain fairly consistent.

Reagen Sulewski: I wasn't really expecting it to match Bruce Almighty. But it's about as clear a demarcation of star power as you'll get.

David Mumpower: What I find odd about Click's opening is what John Hamann pointed out. If we adjust for ticket price inflation, this is a bottom of the barrel opening for Sandler. There just wasn't the spark for this one.

It's a Not-So-Wonderful Click

Kim Hollis: You know, the movie isn't good, but my audience responded hugely to it. There was even applause at the end. I think legs could happen.

David Mumpower: I just don't see it. The film is obviously intended to be Sandler's It's a Wonderful Life, but it's far too erratic. This is the movie equivalent of hanging out at a meth lab over a long weekend. Everyone will get something different out of the experience, but none of it will be positive.

Tim Briody: I am quite frightened with that analogy.

Kim Hollis: I'm in total agreement with you on the quality, but I don't think most people will be. I've seen tons of favorable comments and I heard plenty of people who seemed to love the potty humor.

David Mumpower: There is a story out right now where Sandler is quoted as saying (I kid you not): "I like being a moron." People who see Click will agree with him on the point.

Reagen Sulewski: Hey, he knows where his bread is buttered. He's been King of the Morons since Happy Gilmore.

Tim Briody: Nah, you can go back to Billy Madison.

David Mumpower: Click's problem is that it can't decide if it wants to be Happy Gilmore 2 (7?) or A Treatise on Professional Opportunity Costs.

Kenny wasn't like the other boys. Remote Control.

Kim Hollis: There's been a lot of debate about the premise of Click. Did you consider this project to be a perfect comic foil for Sandler or do you find it too generic?

Reagen Sulewski: I think it was a little more high-concept that we usually get for his movies.

David Mumpower: I honestly felt this project was right in his wheelhouse. Seeing the Internet hostility directed toward the premise is a bit unsettling. It's like a certain sect of people resent him for having the audacity to do a remote control-based movie. I thought it was simply a case of his career coming full circle from the MTV days.

Kim Hollis: I think the concept was somewhat generic, but I think there was a lot of untapped potential there. The film (and I don't think I'm really spoiling anything here) mostly concerns itself with Sandler's character fast forwarding through life. What if he also rewound and messed with things to change them some? Why didn't he take advantage of the pause button for things other than punching David Hasselhoff and Hobbit Rudy?

Reagen Sulewski: Because that's the sum total of what he could think of to do?

Tim Briody: Having now seen it, I don't think that's a spoiler and I'm a little disappointed it didn't go deeper, showing that we pretty much saw the whole thing in the ads. When it got to the gag about having a commentary voiced by James Earl Jones, it was game over for me.

Kim Hollis: I dunno, the character's supposed to be a talented architect. I'd like to think the guy would have at least a little creativity.

David Mumpower: Sean Astin's willingness to wear a banana hammock on camera is a bit disconcerting to me.

Reagen Sulewski: I meant Sandler. I don't think he's ever been that curious about the world.

Kim Hollis: Ah. To be honest with you, it felt like the studio doctored the script a lot and I don't frankly put any real blame on the screenwriters in this case. It was like they would occasionally go an interesting direction, when all of a sudden they felt it necessary to have a dog humping a stuffed toy duck. Now, I know that's Sandler-esque and I actually am generally a fan of his, but this time it felt different. Less innocent, maybe.

David Mumpower: That's the incongruity of the movie. It is clearly intended to be a much more emotionally resonant project for Sandler. Somewhere along the way, the producers got cold feet and started saying, "It's not funny." They started forcing in more gags, and the sum total is a mess.


Tyrese is a star, bro.

Kim Hollis: Waist Deep opened to $9.5 million in only 1,004 venues. With a per location average of $9,414, this performance has to be considered a strong one, does it not?

Reagen Sulewski: This is a terrific showing for such a small release.

David Mumpower: This is well above the performance I was expecting, particularly given the venue count restrictions. Credit should go to the release plan strategists as much as the film's producers. It was given a chance to breathe and did so in impressive fashion.

Reagen Sulewski: I'm just worried that we'll have to start taking Tyrese Gibson seriously as a box office presence, bra.

David Mumpower: It is strange that this could be relatively similar performance to Annapolis ($7.7 million opening) yet one feels like a success and the other abject failure.

Kim Hollis: It was Tyrese's giant handsome melon that drew everyone in, of course.

David Mumpower: Like a large celestial body enforcing its gravitational pull on the weaker satellites.

Kim Hollis: I honestly did not see a single commercial for the film, though admittedly, my television watching is low this summer.

Reagen Sulewski: And Annapolis was promoted out the wazoo.

Tim Briody: I saw about an equal number of Waist Deep ads as I did for Annapolis "now on DVD" ads, which is to say, a lot.

David Mumpower: Right, if we factor in per-venue and marketing, the comparison falls apart. Annapolis got 600 more venues and a ton more media buys. This one was handled more selectively and with such a deft touch.



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