Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
July 24, 2006
Come back, Steve Watson!Kim Hollis: Monster House opened to $23.0 million, making it the top new movie and second best performer of the weekend. Are you surprised it was the top opener out of the four?
Tim Briody: The fanboy in me was thinking that Clerks II was going to sneak up and beat the others, but really, it shouldn't.
David Mumpower: I am slightly surprised but not shocked. Lady in the Water's stock has been plummeting for the body of a month. Monster House has a solid appeal to kids and it should do well not just this weekend but indefinitely.
Kim Hollis: I am fairly surprised, really. I'd never thought that the trailer got that great of a response and it seemed a little scary for parents to take little kids to see.
Kim Hollis: And was maybe a bit too juvenile for the older teens and adults that can make these types of films successful.
David Mumpower: I agreed with John Hamann's point about the reviews. Too many focused on exactly that aspect rather than clearly stating whether the movie was a worthwhile endeavor. Clearly, a solid segment of family consumers felt it was.
Kim Hollis: It probably didn't hurt that 30-something parents could see it as similar to the Goonies, which isn't a bad thing at all.
Tim Briody: After all, Goonies never say die.
Narf!Kim Hollis: Lady in the Water drowned a gruesome death, opening at a disappointing $18.2 million. This is by far the worst debut of M. Night Shyamalan's career. How do you explain this turn of events?
Tim Briody: The advertising never hooked me on this one. As a big fan of The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and even Signs, his last two films have just not done it for me, and based on box office I'm not alone.
David Mumpower: Three months ago, I expected this to open in the range of The Village. Even at the start of the month, I was still optimistic about its progress. The advertising never captured attention, though. Even worse, there is a rather palpable backlash against M. Night Shyamalan across the country. The Village soured a lot of folks on him, as has been represented in the most recent BOP poll. In the end, this result is not even a little bit surprising to me.
Kim Hollis: I've always thought it looked pretty good, but that's because I like fairy tales. And Paul Giamatti. I would not say that this is true of most moviegoers, though.
Kim Hollis: I do think that Night is going to have to do something very different for his next project. Something out of his comfort zone, and possibly even indie.
Tim Briody: He had 2 1/2 good ideas. The well's clearly dry.
David Mumpower: Tim's hit the nail on the head. If his expecatation was to be a genre creator indefinitely, it's obvious he needs to move along to Plan B immediately. Kim, what sort of project would you like to see him try?
Kim Hollis: I think he should do something utterly different. Try his hand at some comedy or something. He just needs to move away from horror/thriller/twist film/mystery.
David Mumpower: Do you think M. Night Shyamalan could do a pure action flick, a period piece or a romantic comedy? Or do you think he's pretty much shown his entire repertoire?
Tim Briody: Nobody cares who directs comedy, so something different and low key might be the ticket.
Kim Hollis: I'm afraid he's pretty much shown his limitations. But he's written things like Stuart Little, so I don't really think all hope is lost. That's a terrific little kid film and maybe that's the sort of thing he ought to try to turn to rather than a big, pretentious "M. Night Shyamalan" film.
David Mumpower: Is it fair to say we've reached a point where "An M. Night Shyamalan production" has flipped from being a selling point to a negative?
Kim Hollis: I do think that's a fair statement, yes.
Tim Briody: Yes.
David Mumpower: So much for being Unbreakable.
Buncha savages in this town.Kim Hollis: Clerks II earned $9.6 million this weekend, making it only the second largest opening of Kevin Smith's career behind Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. What do you think of this performance?
Tim Briody: Clerks earned $3 million in its entire theatrical run, and this movie cost $5 million to make. So, there's a bunch of happy people somewhere. I really thought there was a chance for more, but I suppose at this point, View Askew productions have truly limited audiences.
Kim Hollis: It's honestly about what I expected. Maybe a tad bit less, considering that Jay & Silent Bob did better on their own.
David Mumpower: I was expecting a slightly stronger opening. Clerks is THE name brand for View Askew, so a number only marginally better than Jersey Girl disappoints me. As Tim said, however, Clerks is going to be a very profitable venture for The Weinstein Company. At the end of the day, that's what matters. The fact that word of mouth is positive and the movie is a worthy successor makes it a future winner in the home video market.
Kim Hollis: I really like the Salon quote I just read - "it may be the sweetest movie ever to feature an act of bestiality." I said almost that exact same thing on Friday.