Analysis: In the pipeline for a few years, The A-Team recently came together with Liam Neeson as Hannibal and Bradley Cooper as Faceman under the direction of Joe Carnahan (Smokin' Aces). It's one of the many 2010 movies sourced from the 1980's, including The Karate Kid opening on the very same weekend, and is positioned as the big action picture of June.
Television show adaptations have had a mixed track record. The first two Mission: Impossible movies were huge, while the first Charlie's Angels grossed $125.3 million or the equivalent of over $170 million adjusted for ticket price inflation and the less-well-known S.W.A.T. bagged $116.9 million or the equivalent of well over $140 million adjusted. On the other hand, pictures like I Spy and The Mod Squad fizzled, while the comedies The Dukes of Hazzard and Starsky & Hutch and the serious Miami Vice were mid-range performers. In its trailer, The A-Team lands somewhere in the middle of the cheesiness to serious action spectrum and, hence, may be a difficult read compared to other TV adaptations.
Looking to other action movies may be a better guide to A-Team's potential. Last summer, another blast from the '80s, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, posted a $54.7 million opening on its way to $150.2 million. The A-Team also appears to be reminiscent of XXX as well as Nicolas Cage's June action movies of yore; pictures like The Rock, Gone in 60 Seconds and Con Air that each drove past the $100 million mark. However, the trailer's aerial action involving a parachuting tank (combined with the presence of Jessica Biel) brings flashes of the bomb Stealth.
The A-Team brand alone is not enough to spark tremendous interest in a movie version. If the marketing campaign can successfully pitch a slick buddy action-comedy (as opposed to a spoof) with a clear premise, instead of just relying on the name, then The A-Team might find its fortune.