Monday Morning Quarterback Part II

By BOP Staff

September 11, 2006

Six foot five, 230 pounds, laser rocket arm.

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Maybe Hollywoodland was just too weird a title

Kim Hollis: Hollywoodland opened to an estimated $6 million in 1,548 venues. Even allowing for the moderate release pattern, this number is rather disappointing, is it not?

Reagen Sulewski: It is, especially when you consider the headlines it could have had with a #1 spot.

Kim Hollis: Despite the way I framed the question, Hollywoodland came in about where I expected. It's not an easy sell by any stretch and it also had the stink of Ben Affleck all over it.

David Mumpower: That's rather hard for me to gauge. This is about the number I was expecting the movie to earn, but it feels like Focus Features didn't do their usual stellar job of selling this one. It had a great cast and a great story yet they kind of hung it out to dry.

Reagen Sulewski: The reviews didn't really come through for it. There was very little water cooler buzz to it.

David Mumpower: Do you think the disappointment of Superman Returns factored in at all?

Kim Hollis: I don't, really. I just think it's a limited release type film in the first place.

Reagen Sulewski: I wouldn't really connect it at all. Ben Affleck might have put some people off it.

David Mumpower: I guess that's true. The majority of people who go see these movies these days only know Tom Welling and Brandon Routh as Superman. Even Dean Cain would be a stretch to them.

Joel Corcoran: I don't think most people made the Superman connection. From what I saw, the marketing and advertising didn't make that connection strongly at all.

Reagen Sulewski: It's really quite rare that a film about Hollywood will do well, unless it's a romance. People just don't care.

David Mumpower: Do you give Hollywoodland any chance of hanging on for awhile thanks to awards buzz or is it just a miss?

Reagen Sulewski: I think it needed the box office to get the awards buzz.

Kim Hollis: I think it's done. Although Ben Affleck did win best actor at Venice.

David Mumpower: Or at least the positive reviews and like you said, those are mixed. It's 67% positive at Rotten Tomatoes but the thumbs up are not jubilant celebrations by any stretch.

Tony Jaa vs. Steven Seagal cage match: we're all winners

Kim Hollis: The Protector earned $5 million over the weekend from 1,541 venues. Should the Weinstein Company be satisfied with this performance?

Reagen Sulewski: Probably. Tony Jaa is still a "who?" until he makes an American production, outside of fanatic martial arts fans.

Kim Hollis: I think they have to be happy with it, given how they apparently botched the editing on it.


David Mumpower: Considering how small their investment was and allowing for the fact it's always been positioned for DVD, sure. This is what Ong Bak made in total. So, Tony Jaa's popularity is increasing similar to the way that Steven Seagal's did back in the day...except Jaa could wipe the floor with that fat fraud.

Joel Corcoran: I have mixed views. It earned about a third less than Hollywoodland on virtually the same number of venues, but at the same time, the marketing investment behind The Protector seemed much less than that behind Hollywoodland.

Reagen Sulewski: They should have tried to get him into the latest Jackass film or something.

Crank...coming to DVD soon, we're sure

Kim Hollis: Crank earned an estimated $4.8 million this weekend and has a running total of $19.9 million after ten days of release. If you're Lionsgate, what do you think about this performance?

David Mumpower: I suspect that this is right in line with expectations. The goal with Crank is to make a mint on DVD since Jason Statham is relatively inexpensive to hire yet has a loyal fan-base for his action films (and I'm one of them).

Kim Hollis: Since the movie release was probably just a big commercial for the DVD, I think they'll be plenty happy with it.

Reagen Sulewski: Overall I'd be a bit disappointed. You'd think Statham would be able build on The Transporter.

Kim Hollis: Eh, Transporter 2 was crap. Also, I don't really think Lionsgate marketed Crank quite so hard as some of their other releases this year.

Joel Corcoran: I agree, Kim. Lionsgate didn't take a pass on marketing this film, but the advertising seemed sub-standard.

Reagen Sulewski: it felt a lot like Cellular, but that's another film that didn't get marketed quite so well.

Joel Corcoran: Yep. Good comparison. Seemed like there was only one TV commercial made, and it wasn't aired all that often.

David Mumpower: Cellular deserved a better fate. I suspect that if it had been delayed until after Fantastic Four, it would have done quite a bit better since people would have known Chris Evans.

Kim Hollis: It's really tough to justify spending a lot of marketing dollars on a film that's coming out the weekend college football starts.

David Mumpower: Kim makes the point that drives home the entire problem with the box office this weekend and last. With college and now pro football starting up, the Saturday and Sunday portion of box office is wiped out in most cases.

Joel Corcoran: At least until mid-season when half of us have given up on playoff or bowl game hopes.

David Mumpower: Oh, this will pass after a couple of weekends. It's the start of the season where the passion for football obliterates any hope for getting fans out of the house.



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