So what went wrong with Cinderella Man? From a film making perspective… NOTHING AT ALL. Cinderella man is a first rate film (not a “best picture” film, but really solid nonetheless) with an Oscar winning cast, an Oscar winning director and a totally magnificent story. The critics are praising it, and the movie going audience is universally saying it’s great. So what’s the problem?
The problem is that it’s made no money… and the execs at Universal are getting ready to take a short step off a tall building.
Cinderella Man cost a fat $88 million dollars to make (too much for a drama) and took in only $18 million on it’s opening weekend. It hasn’t recovered since. The Execs at Universal were expecting this film to hit the $100 million mark in its run… but its now become apparent that it probably won’t even hit $50 million. One exec at Universal put it this way:
“In all honesty, we’re asking the question, and we don’t have the answers,” said Universal Pictures vice-chairman Marc Shmuger, in an interview before the meeting. “There are hardly words to describe how we all feel. I feel like crying.”
So what went wrong? Well… there are 2 very important things here that the Execs SHOULD have realized:
1) People don’t want big Drama’s during summer. The movie going audience is looking for the big blockbusters during the summer months. I’m not saying that’s either a good or a bad thing… but it’s the truth, and they should have known that. WHAT THE HELL WERE THEY THINKING releasing this low key drama so close to Star Wars and Mr. & Mrs. Smith during the summer?!?
2) The public is sick of Russell Crowe. That sucks, because Crowe is one of the 3 best actors living today, and I defy anyone to prove otherwise. However, the public has grown sick and tired of his attitudes and antics. And it all started at the Oscars that Steve Martin was hosting. Martin made a joke a bout Crowe (which all hosts do at the Oscars) and when the camera went to Crowes face he looked TOTALLY PISSED OFF. Instantly everyone in the world saw Crowe as an arrogant ass who couldn’t take a joke… and he’s never recovered. Whichever studio Crowe is under contract too needs to take 2 years of doing nothing but build up his public image.
Cinderella Man is a great film… and you all really should see it. However, I’m not surprised one little bit that it’s sinking at the box office… and the Execs at Universal SHOULDN’T be surprised either… but they were. And that folks is why I should have their jobs. :)