Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Bombs Away! Summer movie season fizzles

The summer movie season is when most studios unleash a torrent of special effects and lazy storytelling and expect fans to swoon – whether the final product is entertaining or not.

That’s how movies like ‘Transformers’ and ‘G.I. Joe’ become box office hits. At least that was true in the past.

This year, though, things have been a little different.

After a solid start to the summer thanks to ‘Star Trek: Into Darkness’ and the ageless ‘Fast and Furious’ franchise – things toppled pretty quickly.

‘The Hangover Part III’ will actually make a profit, but it was critically panned and fans turned on it pretty quickly. Still, it can’t be considered a total waste because it’s made $300 million worldwide on a $103 million budget.

The first big bomb of the summer was ‘After Earth’ with Will Smith and his kid. The truth is, this movie never had a chance of succeeding. It was directed by M. Night Shyamalan – a man that peaked with his first movie and just continues to sink.

‘After Earth had a $130 million budget (Note: These numbers do not reflect marketing budgets unless otherwise indicated) and only got $27.5 million in its opening weekend. The hard and fast rule is that movies are supposed to make half their budget back in their opening weekend. ‘After Earth’ is doing okay internationally, though, although it’s still doubtful if the movie will recoup all of its marketing and production costs.

Then you had ‘White House Down’ – a movie that’s biggest claim to fame is that some reviewers called it “refreshingly dumb.’ Even Channing Tatum couldn’t save this film, which had a $150 million budget and only a $25 million opening weekend. The flick has made about $69 million domestically to date.

‘The Lone Ranger’ is currently being considered one of the biggest bombs of the summer (right along with ‘RIPD’ – but more on that later). Disney appeared to be banking on the fact that Johnny Depp can bring in crowds – but the script and trailer were terrible and fans were pretty much disinterested.

‘The Lone Ranger’ had a huge budget of $215 million – a large marketing budget of $100 million – and it only made $29 million in its opening weekend (which was a holiday weekend, to boot). ‘The Lone Ranger’ has only made $82 million domestically.

Summer comedy ‘The Internship’ – with a budget of $58 million – should make a profit but it proved
that the buckets of money Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson made from ‘The Wedding Crashers’ was obviously a fluke.

Science fiction flick ‘Pacific Rim’ offered an interesting concept and an interesting cast, but the film has only made back $72 million domestically on a $190 million budget – and ‘Pacific Rim’ had one of the most extensive marketing efforts of the summer.

This past weekend, ‘R.I.P.D.’ threatened ‘The Lone Ranger’s’ spot on the top of the movie bomb heap. The $130 million movie only made $20 million in its opening weekend and is trending at a dismal 10 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. I can’t see another movie managing to top that feat. I blame Ryan Reynolds. What? I do.

If there is a movie that has a chance to match the terrible 'R.I.P.D.,', ‘The Wolverine’ might be it. Maybe I’m just televising my feelings about the dismal trailer (and that terrible previous movie) and expecting this movie to suck metal claws, but I have no doubt it’s going to be another bomb.

Even movies that aren’t considered bombs – like ‘Man of Steel’ and ‘World War Z’ – didn’t live up to box office predictions this year. Warner Bros, for example, expected ‘Man of Steel’ to hit $800 million worldwide and was actually hoping for $1 billion worldwide. So far the flick has amassed a respectable $635 million on a $225 million budget – but the numbers were so disappointing it caused Warner Bros to announce that the sequel to the movie would not be a straight Superman flick. Instead, it would pair Batman and Superman in an effort to give the franchise a little lift.

Ironically, the biggest hit of the summer is the animated ‘Despicable Me’ – although the surprise
$41.5 million opening of ‘The Conjuring’ (on a $19.5 million budget) this past weekend proves that you don’t need a big budget to have a hit summer movie.

Ironically, second runner-up on the summer “winners” list is ‘Fast and the Furious 6’ – which has seen more than $712 million on $160 million budget, opening early in the summer season.

Personally, I think Hollywood would be better off limiting the number of big budget movies they release in the summer. I think part of the problem is that there’s too much competition each week.
Of course, the other part of the problem is that a lot of these movies were just stinkers.

Hollywood still has a chance at a profitable year, though. New installments in the ‘Thor,’ ‘Hobbit’ and ‘Hunger Games’ franchises should all prove profitable – and one or two surprises always sneak in.

Here’s hoping Hollywood has learned a lesson, though. Fans may love special effects in the summer – but they also want a quality script.

What do you think? What was the worst Hollywood movie this summer?


Blogger Alexia Tessier said...

I m excited for the Fifty Shades of Grey movie.i cant wait for releasing date of The movie Fifty Shades Of Grey

July 25, 2013 at 1:23 AM 
Blogger Amanda Lee said...

Well, '50 Shades of Grey' was terrible as (cough) literature (cough) -- so I don't have any hopes for the movie. That's one I'll be skipping.

July 25, 2013 at 3:17 PM 
Blogger Rosalie Langevin said...

I loved the book Fifty Shades Of Grey. I am so glad i enjoyed Christian and Ana's story. I like Fifty Shades Of Grey

August 1, 2013 at 5:06 AM 
Blogger Victoria Poulin said...

I am awaiting for the releasing of the movie fifty shades

August 5, 2013 at 4:28 AM 
Blogger Stella Smith said...

Thank you so much for the wonderful book!
The Movie Fifty Shades Of Grey

August 7, 2013 at 6:38 AM 

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