Monday Morning Quarterback Part Three
By BOP Staff
July 6, 2006
A superhero action movie? It could never work!Kim Hollis: Where does the Superman franchise go from here?
Tim Briody: I guess you'd need to wait for next weekend's returns to come in before deciding on a sequel or not.
David Mumpower: First and foremost, we need to see how well it holds up over the next seven days. It's currently sitting at an estimated $84 million. Warner Bros. has (too ambitiously) said they expect it to make $110 million through July 4th. Were it to make $150 million by next Sunday, it would be in okay shape...particularly if it's well received overseas. The 1978 Superman was a huge blockbuster overseas, earning $30 million more than it made domestically. Alas, it only made $106 million in its first week, another indicator that for whatever reason, it's underachieving at every box office turn.
Dan Krovich: If they squeak by with enough for them to justify a sequel, they need Superman to face a real kickass super villain.
Kim Hollis: Bring on Doomsday.
Joel Corcoran: I think the only choice Warner Bros. would have is to admit that Kevin Smith was right -- bring on Doomsday.
Joel Corcoran: Like Kim said ...
Kneel before Zod! (BOP will use any excuse to say this)Kim Hollis: In the alternative, Terence Stamp could come back. General Zod Returns.
Dan Krovich: Actually they're going to have to wait for the World Cup to end and foreign returns to come in before even thinking of a sequel. If this doesn't sell overseas, there's no sense in making another one.
David Mumpower: If Superman Returns doesn't make enough to justify a sequel, a Justice League project might be a better idea. X-Men seems to be tapped into the zeitgeist and for whatever reason, people seem to enjoy a group of heroes more than just one...unless that one got a radioactive spider bite.
Reagen Sulewski: Justice League might be a bit too much for one film - instead of villainitis, we'd have hero-itis. But a World's Finest film has potential, after one more Batman film.
Dan Krovich: Does Superman have a cool female supervillain? You could set up a Catwoman-Batman type relationship and it would add another dynamic to the Lois Lane relationship.
Dan Krovich: Or maybe you could have a real super villain like Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada.
David Mumpower: Speaking of which...
I'll take segues for $800, Alex!Kim Hollis: As the Man of Steel tried to ward off box office kryptonite, The Devil Wears Prada was proving to be one of the most pleasant surprises of the summer. In a stunning development, it earned an estimated $27 million over the weekend and finished in second place. To what do you attribute this sensational performance?
David Mumpower: Apparently, the safest storyline these days is the "my boss is evil" theme. It's just so universal. The Devil Wears Prada could lay claim to biggest surprise hit of the summer thus far. This is roughly double what the tracking indicated.
Tim Briody: Counter-programming at its finest.
David Mumpower: Seriously. If we ever do a box office handbook, this is THE example for counter-programming.
Joel Corcoran: Absolutely, Tim. This movie was the perfect counter-point to Superman Returns. The fact that the TV commercials for The Devil Wears Prada were better only made the strategy that much better.
Reagen Sulewski: This had one of the best trailers of the year supporting it, though I was a bit worried for it on the fact that it's unusual, and audiences get confused by unusual. However, it perfectly encapsulated the feel of the film.
A teen actress with no negative press? Get outta here!Kim Hollis: The book was fairly popular, and I do think that Anne Hathaway's Princess Diaries fans are growing up with her and following her to these new things. Also, Vinnie Chase!
Tim Briody: Unlike the Lindsays and Hilarys, Anne Hathaway isn't all over the tabloids as far as we know, so nobody had a chance to get sick of her between movies. She's going to be quite the box office draw.
David Mumpower: I find it interesting that a lot of people are noting that this movie might as well be Princess Diaries 3. That alone makes me think Prada isn't going to be a one and done movie.
Joel Corcoran: And don't underestimate Meryl Streep fans.
It just hasn't...wait for it...clicked with audiences.Kim Hollis: Click dropped 52% to $19.4 million over the weekend and has a running total of $78 million. Are you surprised by the decline?
David Mumpower: Actually, this is right in line with Sandler's second weekend performances. For comparison's sake, The Longest Yard fell 45%, 50 First Dates fell 49%, Anger Management fell 41% and Mr. Deeds fell 51%. Since Click and Mr. Deeds are good comparisons, this seems about right. The surprise is that it didn't finish in second place, but there was nothing Sandler and co. could have done about that.
Kim Hollis: Honestly, it was pretty consistent compared to the other returning films as well. I've just come to accept that 50% or more in weekend two is normal.
Tim Briody: I'm not too surprised. I figured some of its audience might have been siphoned off by both Superman and The Devil Wears Prada.
Joel Corcoran: I agree with y'all. A 50% decline just seems logical these days.
David Mumpower: We're in a day and age now where most movies are already almost finished financially by the time their initial two week contracts are up with exhibitors.
And now the moment you have all been waiting for!Kim Hollis: We never do this, but let's make an exception and quickly discuss our expectation for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. What are your thoughts on its potential for next weekend?
Tim Briody: I did lower them a bit after Superman's results came in. As I said before, it's been a summer of sure things, but only X3 has really hit, and everything else has disappointed.
Kim Hollis: I know so many people who are incredibly excited about this film. The Johnny Depp factor is obviously huge, but the trailer promises action and has the great couple of moneyshots. Especially the Kraken.
David Mumpower: I think Spider-Man's opening weekend record is toast. No one remembers this now, but the first film only opened to $46 million. I know it's out there to say it will increase $70 million from that, but I honestly feel it's possible. This is clearly the biggest release of the year.
Reagen Sulewski: Reviews would have to be a smoking crater for it not to open to $100 million plus.
Tim Briody: I have to say I didn't care for the first movie, but Johnny Depp was fan-freakin'-tastic.
Joel Corcoran: I think it should end up being the largest opening of any film this summer and maybe the entire year. I think it will easily exceed the opening weekend of X-Men: The Last Stand.
David Mumpower: It's funny you say that, Tim, because I almost mentioned that I don't know anyone who didn't at least like the original film. Most of my friends and loved ones adored it. I had family members asking me for details last Christmas.
Get your Johnny Depp lunchable!Kim Hollis: I will point out this fun little tidbit. I was at Target on Thursday and I had a few minutes to kill, so I went to the toy section. On one side of the aisle was Pirates of the Caribbean merchandise. On the other was Superman merchandise. There were plenty of Superman toys for anyone who might have wanted them, but if you wanted pirate stuff, you were out of luck. Take a raincheck, pal.
David Mumpower: I have a Pirates of the Caribbean lunchable in my refrigerator right now!
Kim Hollis: And I just went through a box of Pirates of the Caribbean fruit snacks!
Joel Corcoran: That reminds me, I need to buy some toys for my nieces. Guess we all know what they're getting now ...
David Mumpower: If we may go back to the box office discussion rather than the crass marketing, BOP's own David Parker has been saying for a while that he worries about the run-time of Dead Man's Chest. His argument is that if the movie does not get enough prints, the fewer shows over the weekend will stop it from catching Spidey. I obviously disagree with him BUT...Superman Returns was reportedly tracking above War of the Worlds yet it did $16 million less.
Tim Briody: What's its runtime?
Kim Hollis: 150 minutes (about the same as the first one).
Tim Briody: So it shouldn't be that bad, and it's going to have more than enough prints.
Kim Hollis: Yeah, you'd think, right? More than 4,000 venues should mean every opportunity to see/show the film.
Tim Briody: Sixteen screen multiplexes are going to be filled up with Superman, Pirates, Prada, Cars and Click. How silly.