The movie business is exactly that… a business. It takes HUGE amounts of money to put together and market one of these movies, and as such, those who invest that much money NEED to see a profit on that investment, or they go broke :P
Some people think box office numbers are meaningless and pointless… but they couldn’t be more 100% wrong. Box Office doesn’t just reflect money… it shows us public interest… repeat viewing dollars can reflect quality (not opening weekend)… it shows us if a marketing plan did its job to entice people to see it or if people were into seeing it in the first place. Box Office is VERY important and tells us a lot about the not only the movie, but the state of the movie world at any given time.
So when a film bombs, it’s fun to discuss WHY it bombed. Unpopular actor? Bad marketing? Stupid premise? Out of date topic? There are 1000 different possible answers. So here are some of the most notable bombs of 2008 so far, and a quick thought or two as to why I think it flopped. Keep in mind… all these films below got a wide release.
Total Box Office – $2 Million
Two major factors to this insane bomb. First of all the marketing was TERRIBLE. It told you NOTHING about the plot… NOTHING. Other than the fact that you knew Mixed Martial Arts was a part of it, you knew nothing else… how is that supposed to get people’s attention? Also, the main audience was going to be MMA fans. But they didn’t taylor their marketing well enough… and MMA fans generally hated the movie because of how it misrepresents the sport… and thus bad word of mouth shot the the MMA community like wild fire and most people wouldn’t give it a chance. The movie basically told MMA fans that their entire sport is corrupt. That’s like marketing a Sex and the City movie to women and then using the movie to say “All women everywhere are total whores”. Not a good idea.
Total Box Office – $4 Million
I honestly can’t tell you why this one just didn’t work. Robert Downey Jr. A fairly reasonable and fairly good marketing campaign. The movie looked like it might be ok… certainly it wasn’t going to be a blockbuster… but the movie made less than half of what they spent on the marketing alone. Any theories you have about why this movie bombed so badly would be welcome.
Total Box Office – $4.5 Million
How on earth do you put out a wise release movie with Hugh Jackman, Ewan McGregor and Michelle Williams as your leads and only make $4.5 million?!?!?! Well… maybe you keep the damn movie a secret until it’s only 2 weeks away from release. If I had a nickel for everytime I was in a movie theater and walked past a poster for the film only to over hear various people saying “I’ve never heard of it” I’d have enough to buy dinner.
Total Box Office – $4 Million
Because it’s Larry the Cable guy. Nothing else needs be said.
RUN FATBOY RUN
Total Box Office – $6 Million
First of all it was a terrible title. Second of all it had Thandie Newton in it who just can’t act. But most importantly and sadly, as GREAT as Simon Pegg is, he just does not have the name recognition yet to carry a film at the box office, especially separated from team WRIGHT/PEGG/FROST. The film was also a bit of a let down… which I’m sure hurt when word of mouth got out.
Total Box Office – $40 Million
When all was said and done, it cost just under $150 million to make and market this movie. A movie that I never thought for one minute had the built in audience or fan base to justify a project like this one. People said I was crazy for thinking that… yeah well… $40 million at the box office says differently. Oh, and the movie itself was horrible so that didn’t help matters much either.
IN THE NAME OF THE KING: A DUNGEON SIEGE TALE
Total Box Office – $5 Million
Ummm… gee… what could have possibly caused such a bomb? Oh that’s right: UWE BOLL (too bad, i honestly think the dude rules… just can’t seem to direct though)
Those are the most notable and floptastic films of the year so far. It’ll be interesting to see what other films get added to this list by the end of the year. As a side note, i guarantee you the new Batman movie “The Dark Knight” won’t make over $30 million.
Ok I was kidding about that last part. :P