Bringing Down the House
March 7, 2003
From the director of The Wedding Planner and A Walk to Remember (Adam Shankman) comes this movie about a lonely guy who starts to chat with a woman on the Internet, but she just happens to be in prison and busts out and escapes to be with him. Steve Martin plays the orderly, middle class, ordinary guy, and his counterpart in the film will be played by Queen Latifah, who up to now has been primarily seen in supporting roles. Naturally, we can assume that the Latifah character will turn the stable Martin's life upside down as they drive each other crazy and learn some sort of life lesson.
In a strange tie-in to the fictional events, Latifah was recently arrested for drunk driving. Though such an offense is bound to be a misdemeanor and won't probably count for more than a slap on the wrist, it nonetheless provides an odd parallel to the story that takes place in the film.
No matter the circumstances, Martin and Latifah are two highly entertaining actors with excellent prospects for combining to create a potent comedy combination. So far, the trailer is receiving a very positive response, and a strong supporting cast (including the always-hilarious Eugene Levy) bodes well for the film's quality. (Kim Hollis/BOP)
Box Office Autopsy
Bringing Down The House found the thing that few films find these days, fantastic word of mouth and a huge crossover audience. It had all the things it needed to be huge, a potent comedy combination, a trailer that got very positive response, and a strong supporting cast - using Eugene Levy in the TV ad was a stroke of brilliance.
Bringing Down the House opened on March 7, 2003 and got out of the gate with a huge bang. The Buena Vista film surprised everyone finding $31.1 million over its opening weekend, from only 2,801 screens. The film had a strong internal opening weekend multiplier of 3.16, even though it was the perfect date movie which should have influenced the multiplier lower.
After opening weekend, the film held very well. Some weak competition helped the film retain the number one spot at the box office for three straight weekends. BDtH also had tiny weekend drops of 29%, 26.5%, and 23%; the low drops helped it reach $100 million in only 24 days, which is quite an accomplishment for a March release. The film went on to make $132 million domestic for Buena Vista, and the good news was still to come. In April, Variety reported that TV rights for Bringing Down The House were sold to a group of networks including USA and ABC for $20 million, the same amount as the film's production budget. And they say these films don't make money. Ha!
We know the TV ad was good, and word was positive on the film, but it still doesn't explain how a cheesy comedy in March, starring two folks that shouldn't be able to open a movie, performed so well. For me, BDtH falls into the same category as My Big Fat Greek Wedding. This is a non-offensive multi-cultural movie that plays to both genders, and is funny. This older, married demographic is becoming more and more of a force in today's movie game, and studios should be sitting up and taking notice. (John Hamann/BOP)
Comparison films for Bringing Down the House
|You've Got Mail
|What about Bob?
|Ever After: A Cinderella Story
|Two Can Play That Game