Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Proposal is a success?

I continue to be puzzled by The Proposal's box office success this summer. Box Office Mojo tells me the romcom is currently sitting on $145 million domestically! That's the 13th highest grossing movie this year, sitting right between Paul Blart: Mall Cop at #12 with $146m and Liam Neeson's Taken at #14 with $145m (but a few thousand less than The Proposal). Since the film is still in theaters it's more than likely the movie will surpass Mall Cop.

I saw the movie weeks ago, didn't have time to write/post a review and now I barely remember the movie. I mean, I liked the movie, I'm just not sure what I liked about it. Well, besides Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock.

Or maybe that's just it. People really like Reynolds and Bullock. According to Box Office Mojo, The Proposal's opening weekend gross of $33 million is Bullock's highest opening ever. While Bullock is one of America's sweethearts and most of her movies end up doing pretty well or at least decent, her openings are not that strong. Her previous career best opening is 2007's Premonition with $17m. It's been a while since Bullock starred in a romcom like The Proposal. Romance The Lake House was released in 2006 and comedy Miss Congeniality 2 was released in 2005! Her last true romantic comedy was 2002's Two Weeks Notice with Hugh Grant! Were people suffering from Bullock withdrawal and en masse flocked to the theater when The Proposal was released?

Then there's Reynolds, who has turned into quite the capable leading man since his days on Two Guys, a Girl, & a Pizzaplace. People generally like him and his supporting role in Wolverine was well received. Excluding Wolverine (which clearly wasn't about him), Reynold's career best is also The Proposal. His previous highest opening was for 2005's The Amityville Horror, which grossed $23.5 million. Reynolds seems to be one of those actors that appeals to both females and males. I never hear guys say they like that Orlando Bloom guy. But Reynolds has appeared in a lot of guy flicks, such as Van Wilder, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Blade: Trinity and the aforementioned Wolverine. Has his casting helped The Proposal? Would guys rather take their girlfriends to a romcom starring Ryan Reynolds than, say, Matthew McConaughey?

Take McConaughey's latest romcom, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (awful title, btw). The movie opened only a few weeks earlier than The Proposal. It grossed $15 million in its opening weekend and ended up grossing $55 million domestically. To be fair to McConaughey, his previous three romcoms (Fool's Gold, Failure to Launch, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days) all grossed between $20-$25 million in their opening weekends. Nothing to be ashamed about at all!

So what I really have been wondering lately is why is The Proposal a big hit and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past came and went without much notice? I wasn't too kind to both movies when I reviewed their trailers, but I gave kudos to GOGP for being less generic than The Proposal. Though it seems pretty obvious how both will play out, yes? I didn't want to see either on the big screen, but ended up seeing The Proposal just because a friend wanted to go see it. She thought it looked funny.

Maybe The Proposal is just the better movie. Maybe people were tired of McConaughey's romcoms and were waiting for Bullock's instead. Maybe Ghosts of Girlfriends Past just isn't an appealing title. Who knows?

Bullock & Cooper in All About Steve

I'm hoping to figure at least part of this out when Bullock's next romcom, All About Steve is released on September 4. She plays an eccentric crossword puzzler who think CCN cameraman Steve (sexy Bradley Cooper) is her true love and follows him around the country. I've seen the trailer and the movie looks awful. But both Bullock and Cooper are at career highs at the moment so I expect the movie to do well despite its awfulness. If so, it seems it doesn't really matter how awful or generic a romcom is, as long as you have two appealing leads, the movie will do well at the box office. To be continued...


Jeane said...

I'm not surprise, The Proposal is a success (and is still making more money to this day even after a couple of months of its theatrical release).

Well, It was a very good movie, in my opinion. I loved and enjoyed it from beginning to end (even when the end credits were rolling, the movie was still making me laugh, lol). Everyone I know seemed to have loved it, so others must have as well considering how much it made a lot of money at the box office and was a big success.

I've seen Ghost of Girlfriends Past (I gree, the title's awful, lol) too, and I thought that movie was pretty good, but compare to The Proposal...I thought it lacked a lot of laughs to keep the viewers going and stay interested through the rest of the film. Still, I liked and enjoyed the movie. This was better than He's Just Not That Into You, at least for me. I thought this one was.

As for romantic comedies I've seen this year (so far), Confessions of a Shopaholic and The Proposal were my favorite. These two movies had delivered, entertained, and made me laughed a lot (from beginning to end) that other movies haven't really done so in a long time.

Gwen said...

Thanks for the comment, Jeane! I wouldn't have written this post if it had grossed like $80m (which for a romcom is already a big success). Romcoms rarely make as much money as The Proposal did. When looking at the most successful romcoms of all time, it's currently sitting at #8. And I'm pretty sure it's going to surpass #7 Runaway Bride & #6 Sex & The City.

I'm not trying to bash the movie, because I did enjoy it. I'm just really interested why this will be the 6th highest grossing romantic comedy of all time. Why is this one doing better than say Notting Hill or Bridget Jones's Diary?

Jeane said...

You're welcome, Gwen. :)

Hmm, I don't think you were bashing The Proposal. You were just wondering why it was a success, lol. As for me, I was just stating my opinion as I love The Proposal. :)

I too wonder why Nothing Hill and Bridget Jones Diary movies didn't make as much money as The Proposal. I loved those movies too.