Monday Morning Quarterback

By BOP Staff

March 12, 2007

The ball is tipped, there you are.

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Somewhere, Russell Crowe just threw a phone at someone

Kim Hollis: North American audiences were treated to summer in March with a dozen films totaling $139.4 million worth of box office. Anchoring the weekend was 300's March record $70 million opening. How shocked are you by this performance?

Tim Briody: I think we all thought that it would be a breakout performer, but not to this extent. I guess audiences just wanted something really violent. Buncha savages in this continent.

David Mumpower: I don't know if shocked even begins to describe it. A $70 million opening the first quarter of the year is stunning for a sequel to Ice Age. For a completely unheralded comic book adaptation starring virtual unknowns, it's...historic.

Reagen Sulewski: This is a really big deal. It's well above the normal "big" opening weekends and into the truly collosal. 2007 appears to be operating on another level from other years so far.

Kim Hollis: I was expecting more than $50 million. I *wasn't* expecting $20 million more than $50 million.

Reagen Sulewski: Seriously, ask a person on the street to name someone in the cast. Unless you run into a fan of The Wire, you're not gonna find a single one.

David Mumpower: Reagen, you made a great point before. Before Monday Morning Quarterback went on vacation back in the winter, we were talking about how May of 2007 would be huge. With the last two weeks of sensational openings, we're not even having to wait that long to see brilliant opening weekends.

Tim Briody: This thing wasn't even on anyone's radar until December, almost a rarity in this age of overhyped-for-months sequels and event films.

Reagen Sulewski: It's that rare case of someone bringing something unique to the screen and having it work. I think the key thing is that they experimented in a safe genre.

Kim Hollis: I think 300 is a case where the coolness factor rises above the casting. It was a unique looking, shiny film for young men in the ideal demographic.

David Mumpower: "Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?" has never seemed so profound.


Reagen Sulewski: it wasn't a particularly complicated looking film either, and it was clear from the start that it was going to deliver what it promised. No bait and switch here.

David Mumpower: That's a good point. Like Borat, it promised something in the trailers that wasn't complicated and that delivered on its premise.

Now, if only Frank Miller could go somewhere with All-Star Batman & Robin

Kim Hollis: Who do you think deserves the most credit here - Frank Miller, Zack Snyder or Gerard Butler?

Tim Briody: The answer, Kim, is the marketing department. I don't think most of the people responsible for the $70 million could figure out who any of those three names were.

Reagen Sulewski: I'd split it between Miller and Snyder. Miller, for giving its look and vision and Snyder for being able to follow it and translate it. Butler gets a smidge.

David Mumpower: Tim's right. All of them get more credibility because of this, but it's not like any of them can (accurately) claim to be the draw. As Reagen hinted, I am not sure 30% of the people who -saw- the movie know Gerard Butler's name now.

Tim Briody: We were shown a preview of a movie that promised a lot of action and violence, and that's what we got.

Kim Hollis: I actually agree, Tim. I don't think that the broad audience had a clue that it was based on a comic book. And I also think it's the kind of movie where director doesn't matter unless they're awful. Really, I'd say the special effects gurus probably deserve the biggest pat on the back.

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