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Gridiron Gang
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Frank_Jewett
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 3:30 pm    Post subject: Gridiron Gang Reply with quote

The Rock will get another chance to save the movie business when "Gridiron Gang" opens this weekend after the worst ticket selling weekend since the 9/11 aftermatch.

"The Rundown" has been in heavy rotation on cable lately, so I didn't have to buy the DVD. The Rock was wooden enough to be the next Arnold, but his character seemed too passive as other characters delivered more dialog and drove more of the action.

Getting back to "Gridiron Gang", early reviews are starting to trickle in. Dana Place of popsyndicate.com gave it 3.5 of 5 stars. Josh Tyler of cinemablend.com seemed to have trouble with the message and gave it 2 of 5 stars.

Frank

"Dwayne Johnson was made for this role. His infectious charm and enthusiasm quickly spreads through the cast and overflows into the audience. Because of this, you can’t help but find something likable about each character. They’re tough not to root for. This film does what all “inspirational” films should do. The Rock’s infectious performance makes it easier for the audience to ride along with the film’s emotion, feeling the highs and lows of everyone."
- Dana Place

"Putting The Rock in a football movie where he doesn't do any actual tackling is kind of like putting Jim Carrey in a comedy and then asking him to play the straight man. I understand that as an actor, he probably has this driving need to be taken seriously, but if that's the case maybe he should get a gig with Scorsese or hop on a stage somewhere and do Shakespeare. Somehow I don't think The Longest Yard Junior is the way to get respect as an actor. "
- Josh Tyler

"Since his legendary stint in the WWF, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson has been relegated to playing the bulky muscle in his films. Eventually, he began to grab roles in movies like The Rundown where he was allowed to show off his big goofy grin and comic timing. Both were as important to his wrestling career as his wrestling ability. "
- Dana Place


Last edited by Frank_Jewett on Thu Sep 14, 2006 3:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Bob Morris



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to sound like a Rock apologist, but if Gridiron Gang puts more emphasis on comedy, then it's the right direction to go to take advantage of a strength the Rock has.

Josh Tyler sounds like he didn't care for the type of comedy presented, but if that's the case, he should have said that. If he thought Rock being a football hero, and thus an "action hero" is the way to go, he obviously forgot about Walking Tall and Doom.
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Frank_Jewett
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob Morris wrote:
Not to sound like a Rock apologist, but if Gridiron Gang puts more emphasis on comedy, then it's the right direction to go to take advantage of a strength the Rock has.


I included Dana Place's comment about comedy because it mixed truth with goofiness. "Eventually, he began to grab roles in movies like The Rundown..." was a hoot because "The Rundown" was Rock's first feature outside the Scorpion King character. Also it was hailed as an action movie that would make Rock the next Arnold. Stifler was the comedian of the buddy dynamic while Rock played an often impassive straight man.

I agree with Dana Place that Rock's comedic ability is an important part of what made him successful with the WWE, but I'm not clear on how "Gridiron Gang" plays into that any more than "The Rundown" did. I imagine Rock as a tougher version of Ken Howard's "White Shadow" from the late seventies. While the show had a few laughs, Howard was usually the straight man.

Josh Tyler obviously wasn't very open to rooting for the kids in the film, but it remains to be seen whether his viewpoint reflects a larger audience. I recall critics not buying efforts to babyface Johnny Depp's character in "Blow." On that occaision the critics appeared to have correctly identified a flaw in the presentation of the film. The audience I saw the movie with howled derisively when a picture of the real George Jung was shown at the end in an attempt to create sympathy for him. The finish left a bad taste that probably generated negative word of mouth.

Frank
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Frank_Jewett
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rottentomatoes.com has "Gridiron Gang" at 31% positive through 16 reviews with a 5.6 average rating. It appears that Gang is drawing a lot of lukewarm ** of **** reviews.

Frank
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jdw
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dr. Frank's review:

GRIDIRON GANG


John

"And though it’s admirable that Johnson should want to get away from the slam-bang action parts that recall his wrestling background in favor of something more dramatically meaningful, the sad fact is that he doesn’t get much beyond the basics as Porter, one-note gruff in dealing with the kids and one-note teary in interacting with his mother."
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jdw
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Tomatometer edged up from 37 to 38 last night, and now is sitting at 39%.

The down reviews tend to avoid calling it horrible, simply that it's formula that isn't very good.

The up reviews tend to avoid calling it great, simply calling it formula that works for them.

Not terribly encouraging.

Brandon Gray's Box Office Forecast over on Mojo has:

$16.7 - The Black Dahlia (2,228 theaters)
$14.8 - Gridiron Gang (3,504 theaters)
$4.9 - Everyone's Hero (2,896 theaters)

With everything below it (new releases and old releases) below.

The Dahlia number is surprising given the R rating, lack of star power, and lower theater count. This is Gray's job and he's right more often than not. I do wonder how much of that number is due to G-Gang in general and Rock in specific as not being seen as a big box office pull. I wonder if the forecast for the opposition was higher (such as the $23M Once Upon a Time in Mexico pulled or the $30M The Exorcism of Emily Rose pulled in September) that the Dahlia number would be much lower. It just doesn't strike me as a movie that would do much of an opening unless it was a very light weekend.

I think G-Gang pulling in $15M or lower isn't a great sign. This thing has been blanketed all over the place in commerical and hype. I'm not saying sumertime hype, but it's been the most advertised movie I've seen in the past month or so.



John
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Frank_Jewett
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jdw wrote:
I think G-Gang pulling in $15M or lower isn't a great sign.


Agreed, but it looks doubtful that G-Gang will outdraw the $17M opening of "Invincible" or the $12M second weekend. One the heels of "Doom" flopping at the box office and "Southland Tales" aborting at Cannes, "Gridiron Gang" has to be relatively good news for Rock's career, but it isn't likely to break through the $50M glass ceiling. It's also good news that Rock has drawn generally positive reviews in his least gimmicky role, but one has to wonder if a formula sports drama like "Gridiron Gang" would have made any less money with a "sidekick" like Ving Rhames in the leading role.

The Rock's box office numbers have not been very impressive. Jack Black has posted two $80M grosses in the past four years and it hasn't been with easy projects like "The Scorpion King." The Rock is looking more and more like a B-list leading man, the next Chuck Norris rather than the next Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Frank
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jdw
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That might be an insult to Chuck Norris. Missing In Action was around the #46 box office movie of 1984, and one doubts G-Gang is going to end up that high for this year. Chuck's movies were also amazingly cheap ass productions. A MIA would be made for $2-3M, then make $20M+ in the USA. The ROI on Rock's movies isn't close to that.

I do think that Rock will end up as a lead in some TV series at some point. If Norris can do 9 seasons of that Texas Walker, and even that jackass Don Johnson could do 6 seasons of Nash Bridges, then Rock can get a series.

Of course given the way Rock choses projets ($$$$), it's likely he'll pick something even shittier than those two series and it will quickly get cancelled.


John
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Frank_Jewett
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jdw wrote:
Of course given the way Rock choses projets ($$$$), it's likely he'll pick something even shittier than those two series and it will quickly get cancelled.


CSI: Hayward?

In the pilot episode they could investigate a suspicious death at the APW Garage. :p

Frank

"I found traces of vomit on the ring apron. Are you telling me that you all sat around watching this kid throw up and not one of you thought to call 911?!"
- Dwayne Johnson
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jdw
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From Mojo, the Friday numbers:

$4,600,000 Gridiron Gang
$3,790,000 Black Dahlia

Looking at last weekend (which was a school Friday rather than a summer Friday), both new movies (Covenant and Hollywoodland) spiked up on Saturday and then fell off big on Sunday. Gang looks to be headed to close to Gray's forecast above, probably not topping $15M. Dahlia doesn't look like it's going to get remotely close to the forecast.

Gang probably will end up #1 unless these estimates are way off.

Before anyone gets to hyper about the movie opening #1, Doom opened #1 last October to the tune of $15,488,870... and finished with $28,212,337 total (and the same overseas).


John


John
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eron



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He needs to stop having his feature movies being released in the Fall.

I think The Rock's real calling is comedy. I think Be Cool proved that.

And boooooo to the Blow shots. I loved Blow. I thought the scene where he was in the prison and imagines his daughter visits him, but it was all in his head, is a powerful scene. I didn't suddenly feel he was a victim or something, but I did pity him. I pitied him like I would pity Jared Leto at the end of Lord of War. Maybe Leto a bit more, because he was just a simple man who kept getting pulled into his more ambitious brother's world.

(But I also pity Leto more for trying to be trendy when his band could be really... really good if they do the exact fucking opposite)
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jdw
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Estimates for the weekend from Mojo:

$15,000,000 Gridiron Gang
$10,362,000 The Black Dahlia
$6,150,000 Everyone's Hero
$4,702,000 The Last Kiss

Again... don't really know what the estimates for The Black Dahlia were thinking. Low theater count, and Hollywoodland in the same genre opened for shit the week before.


John
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Frank_Jewett
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

eron wrote:
He needs to stop having his feature movies being released in the Fall.


Rock's movies have been strategically released to seek easier competition. The result has been a string of #1 openings.

"Gridiron Gang" gave the Rock yet another #1 opening with $14.4M. "Doom" opened #1 with $15M yet failed to break $30M overall. It will be interesting to see how much "Gridiron Gang" can milk the inspirational sports movie genre on the heels of Disney's "Invincible."

Frank
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Frank_Jewett
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Gridiron Gang" fell to $840,000 on Monday, lower than the $1M that "Doom" drew on its first Monday despite also retaining the #1 slot.

This could get ugly.

Frank
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jdw
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gridiron Gang's estimate for its second Friday was $2.9M. From Mojo, here's how it stacks up against Rock's earlier movies:

$5,035,540 The Scorpion King
$2,983,219 Walking Tall
$2,900,000 Gridiron Gang
$2,854,370 The Rundown
$1,292,850 Doom

Better than the disasterous second Friday of Doom, which gave a clue to how bad the second weekend and lifetime box office of Doom would be. It's roughly in the range of Walking Tall and The Rundow.

Here's the opening weekends:

$36,075,875 The Scorpion King
$18,553,765 The Rundown
$15,501,114 Walking Tall
$15,488,870 Doom
$14,414,630 Gridiron Gang

Gridiron Gang the worst of the bunch. The only modest positive is that it looks to have have more legs than Doom.

And the lifetime:

$91,047,077 The Scorpion King
$47,726,342 The Rundown
$46,437,717 Walking Tall
$28,212,337 Doom
? Gridiron Gang

It's about $5M behind the "pace" of The Rundown, and about $3M behind the pace of Walking Tall. That wasn't just due to the opening weekend - a chunk of it was pulling the weakest first Mon-Thu numbers of any Rock movie. The movie was $1.3M behind *Doom* through Thursday. It already match that up yesterday by the estimates. The reason I point it out is so that people don't get their hopes up for a $45M box off when seeing a second Friday number that's in line with The Rundown and Walking Tall. Gridiron Gang is behind their pace, and isn't likely to catch up.

Even $40M is probably a stretch unless it pull a miracle. More likely that it will be in the $35M to $40M range. That's a positive over Doom. It's a negative for his career that not only had he not gotten back to Scorp levels, but he hasn't gotten back to The Rundown and Walking Tall levels.

John
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