Cinderella Man – What Went Wrong?

CinderellaMan_Poster.jpgSo 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. :)

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31 thoughts on “Cinderella Man – What Went Wrong?

  1. Russell is a great actor and the top three in the world goes like this

    Tom Hanks

    Russell Crowe

    Edward Norton

    Russell deserved the Oscar for a beutiful mimd over Denzel every one should agree on that.Denzel should have got it for Hurricane. This movie Cinderella man was fantastic and it deserves an oscar nomination and I think it will because I mean how many good movies have actually come out this year. Who said Ron Howard movies were boring they are all fantastic I mean a Beutiful mind was a great movie although I wish it hadnt come out the same year as Lord of the Rings. Who cares if Russell through a phone jez just watch his acting and let him get in trouble in real life it shouldn’t make a difference…

  2. Um …. not to get off topic here but its clear to me that there is some homophobia going on here… and it doesn’t surprise me when someone posts that ” Russel wat a fagg ” and ” Russel is gay ” considering that they can’t even spell his first name or the word wat…. how are they even logging on to the net? Oh thats right they are sitting in their bedrooms thinking about how hot guys are…but still not out to themselves yet about their sexuality.

    They go on the net download pix of naked men and then feel disgusted with themselves ( because they hate the fact they are gay for some reason ) must be the white trash background…. why don;t you go out and distract yourself ?… maybe go to the store by a pack of beer ( if your old enough ) and some lottery tickets then drive your el camino home and wait for your subscription of muscle men ( which you subscribe to only because you want to build muscle… not because of the photos of course ! ) and then have sex with your girlfriend while you are actually thinking of your hot ( brother ) or friend… probably brother because you are from rural N. Carolina.

  3. Instead of pulling them out of your arse or as you say “off the top of your head”, why don’t you have a think first. To include Robert Downey jr, Brad Pitt, Robert Duvall and Leo DiCaprio in a list of best actors living today is very funny indeed.

    To exclude Robert De Niro just shows you don’t know much about the craft of acting.

  4. Braddock was also called “The Bulldog” early in his career. Would it have been too much trouble to call the picture that? That fits well for a bio-pic boxing film as well as depresion era.

    Yes, the film is well acted, directed etc. And supporting actor Paul Giamatti is again a standout.

    Yes, I did think the film got bad press because of not only Crowe’s practice at telephone tossing, but that there was historical fact distorted for the film. Boxing history facts at that. Specifically Max Baer- would it have been too much trouble as to just have him be ‘the opponent’? No. The film unfairly and inncorrectly depicts him with a streak of bloodlust, and happy over the fact that he accidently killed someone in the ring.

    Yes, I think the film would have done better in the fall 05. Or December 2005.

    Yes, I think Universal should give this another try- in limited release sometime early next year in hopes of possible Oscar contention. Yes, as word of that info got out it hurt current box office more. After all- what is the hurry to see the film now?

  5. Russell Crowe as a a down and out boxer? Since he’s spends his non-working life brawling, great script, acting and directing or not this role is not exactly a stretch for Crowe and audiences instinctively know this. Why pay $10 for that?

    And who cares if he’s nice fans here and there? He SHOULD be since that’s just human decency. And it’s not a question of whether or not he’s a good actor – there’s a wealth of those all over the world as well.

    Also, after Swank won an Oscar for her role as a female boxer maybe the whole boxing genre is just played at this point. Besides the best boxers onscreen were DeNiro, Stallone and Brad Pitt. That’s right, BRAD PITT as the bareknuckled brawler in “Fight Club” and “Snatch” was stellar. We don’t need to see schlubby, stinky, bad-tempered Crowe playing a boxer.

  6. — probably a bit off topic —

    It’s so funny that people still want to win an argument by saying the other one can’t spell right, and thus, his point of view is not valid. Has it occurred Drewbacca that in this ‘Worldwide Audience’ he’s referring to, not everybody speaks English as a first language. Me, for instance, my first language is Dutch, my second is French, my third is English, my fourth is German. And I do admit, I occasionally write mistakes in English and German. How many languages do you speak? So give me a break.

    When you post a comment, it can happen that you make mistakes, like writing Russell with one ‘L’ instead of two. This, of course, is less important than giving a list of ‘better actors’ by naming those who didn’t do a lot of dazzling work in recent years like Robert Downey Jr., Al Pacino (good point by Ray), Daniel Day Lewis, Gene Hackman. Personally I think Russell is a far more versatile actor than most people on your list. Of course you forgot to mention actors who proved their acting-genius in recent films – to which the argument of ‘the 3 best actors’ was probably referring to – as, Tom Cruise, Don Cheadle, Tom Hanks, Christian Bale, Adrien Brody, Clive Owen, Javier Bardem,… And even now, I would have no problem ranking Russell in the first 3. Of course, Stamoz, this is totally subjective as everything else in movie-discussions. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t express out thoughts.

    Still, ‘Snake’ didn’t have any point, so you could’ve just said that. And his last comment proves this once again.

  7. On Sunday June 5th I met Russell Crowe in Battery Park in Manhatten. The folks I was with did not want to approach him as he say talking on a bench with the lead singer of Great Sea. I went over in any case and introduced myself. Immediately Russell asked me where I was from and we started to chat. I told him that I admired his body of work and he was very cordial to me, and even introduced me to his pal. The exchange lasted only a few minutes. And this was after he was jet lagged and weary. Yet he showed only a smile and good manners in speaking with me, maybe because I treated him like any other person, not asking for an autograph nor a picture. Just two guys talking. In that respect I found him very nice. But the reasons for the movie not doing well is timing, plain and simple. Had this gotten released at the Holiday it would be doing great. But all that said, I found Russell to be the opposite of what people think. And the day I met him was the day he got into a bit of trouble. But the way he treated me at 7:00 PM Sunday evening, you would have never known he was tired or even edgy. He was very nice indeed. All in all there are lesson learned here, both my he and the movie company for releasing the film to early in the year.


  8. Right…
    Chaps, when somaone makes a question so personal and subjective “who are the best 3 actors?”, it doesn’t matter what or how you reply, since it will always be a subjective answer. So, for John is Russell Crowe whereas for the ‘moviepatron’ fella, who apparently likes to ‘play it tough’, is not. By the way, moviepatron if you want people visiting your website maybe you should give a break to the others and respect the fact that english is not the native language of everyone (that includes me and I will not apologise for that or spend my time checking my spelling for your eyes only).
    Now, for me Russell is definitely one of the best actors at the moment, but if I had my top #3 actors as of this moment it would be in no particular order:
    Johnny Depp
    Jack Nicholson
    Russell Crowe/Al Pacino (sorry I can’t choose between them)

    Frankly I don’t really care how good person in real life an actor is. So, even if Crowe is an ass, it won’t affect my judgement on his acting capabilities in a movie. After all, we judge him as an actor here, not as an ass.

    Finally, I haven’t seen Cinderella Man yet and I will surely watch after a while, since I prefer nice enjoyable movies rather than drama during summertime. It seems though that Russell is excellent in that role, for once again.

  9. OH.. and Russel Crowe just stopped by my lil` ole town of St.john’s,Newfoundland last week.. and he received lots of love from us kind newfies… but maybe thats because were kind to everyone,and they take advantage of us like Chruchill Falls,Viosey’s Bay and Hibernia.. BUT thats another story.. I dont think the public is sick of Crowe.. I agree more with the post above that the title threw people off, Cinderella Man..I did go and see it after the reviews were all good and I loved it.. but Cinderella Man.. what were they thinkin`

  10. A Robert De Niro hater…ok.. I can udnerstand, some people don’t like his style(I personally love him,GoodFellas is a awesome movie)… but explain this to me on your list of “great actors” you have Al Pacino…Im not tryign to start anything here but.. THERE THE SAME GUY!.. THEY ACT THE SAME .. they play the same characters… So why would you like one but not the other??.. thats like someone sayign they like mary-kate olson over ashley… THERE THE SAME BLOODY TYPE/CHaracters/PERSON/WHATEVER!!….
    Anyways have a good day.

  11. 2 Things:

    1) Closed circuit to “Snake;” learn how to properly use grammar and spelling before posting your juvenile thoughts to a worldwide audience.

    2) “[Russel] Crowe is one of the 3 best actors living today, and I defy anyone to prove otherwise.” You have got to be kidding me. He’s pretty good, but one of the top 3? Try this on for size:

    Robert Downey jr.
    Paul Giamatti
    Edward Norton
    Johnny Depp
    Kevin Spacey
    Brad Pitt
    Al Pacino
    Phillip Seymour Hoffman
    Daniel Day Lewis
    Sean Penn
    Gene Hackman
    Robert Duvall
    John Malkovich
    Leonardo DiCaprio (who I hate, but he’s a tremendous actor)

    …and these are just off the top of my head. Think man, think. I realize it’s all opinion, but only to a point. You may not agree that all of these actors I have listed are better than Crowe, but surely 3 of them are. Notice I didn’t include DeNiro? Man, talk about the most over-rated anything of all time. The man is the epitomy of mediocrity.

  12. CinderMan isn’t making any money because it’s not a movie that should be in theaters. It plays more like a Sunday night movie of the week, with all the tear jerking and feel-good beats hitting just before commercial breaks. It’s a well done movie, with top acting, but it’s still got that made for TV feel.

  13. I like Crowe, but I don’t want to pay $9 to see a boxing movie, especially one where I pretty much already know all the plot points from the trailer. I figured I’d watch it on HBO.

  14. It looked boring. I’m all for seeing low-key drama during the summer, but when on earth has Ron Howard, when doing “prestige pictures” managed to do anything compelling? Yawn. I went to see “The World” instead, which I’m sure was far more interesting.

  15. Here’s another thing, which corresponds with John’s #2 point about Crowe: In that AOL poll (that said 73 percent prefer watching movies at home), it was found that 69 percent said that movie stars were negative role models for children.

    Some of us can write this part off, holding our noses up, and say that an actor’s off-screen antics don’t matter — it’s the performance that does. And I myself would agree. But clearly the majority of people are affected by the way an actor behaves off the set.

    This is not a new thing at all. The public was like this toward actors, perhaps even more so, back in the Golden Age of Hollywood.

  16. i’m in the same boat with those who don’t dig the boxing movie genre. why is it even a genre to begin with? why has hollywood — its producers and especially actors — been so in love with making boxing movies over the generations when everything, especially nowadays, suggests the general public doesn’t care to watch a movie that features boxing/boxers?

  17. I’m with bubba … boxing generally doesn’t interest me at all. I’ve never been a fan of the sport, which I view as boring and crooked. I didn’t really even care for “Raging Bull”. I think with “Cinderella Man” you see the commercial and think “I’ve seen this before”.

  18. Yep, for me, it was the whole boxing theme. I never really cared for Rocky, and I just saw Million Dollar Baby a few weeks ago. There was an HBO Movie recently, can’t recall the name, about a boxer. Another period piece.

    In general I think I just don’t like boxing as the topic of a movie. It’s one thing to sit down watch a match and see some guy get the crap beat out of him, then flip the channel. It’s another thing to watch all the trials and tribulations of a boxer. It just never has a happy ending, in real life or in movies. Inevitably, boxing makes for movies that, while they may be very good, are hard to watch. Take Million Dollar Baby. A really good film, but I haven’t seen a harder movie to watch since Dancer In The Dark. Painful, just plain painful.

  19. I think all of you here have covered all the reasons why Cinderella Man has been sinking at the box office. The fact that Million Dollar Baby has yet to hit DVD and people still remember THAT boxing drama is what I would list as the #3 major reason.

    The studio should have held off on this movie until the Fall. They were hoping for a Seabiscuit type of success, but it was a failed gamble.

  20. Fistbiscuit? That is absolutely brilliant! Thanks Triflic for making me laugh so hard that I sharted in my pants.

    If only people like you were studio execs.

  21. Russell Crowe is a guy who loves to act, he isn’t one who likes the BS that goes along with it. Unfortunately, if you want to be an actor with prime roles, you have to play along with the hollywood game whether you like it or not. So, he should ACT as if it’s his biggest role when he’s doing the “celebrity” thing.

  22. I saw Cinderella Man on it’s first day and it was actually pretty good, (If Paul Giamatti doesn’t win an Oscar, houses will burn.), but I agree Russell Crowe’s outside attitude almost dragged the film down for me.

  23. Regardless of Mr. Crowe (i have no issues separating his performances (usually top-notch) from his real-life/media image)…not an issue for me.

    It is the schmaltzy watered down pap that Ron Howard makes. His films seem to make the average movie goer feel like they are watching something that is ‘culturally significant’ or ‘arty’ or ‘intelligent’ when they are actually just banal and maniuplative and hollow.

    I’m not a fan of A Beautiful Mind, it along with Brave Heart and Forrest Gump are the three worst BEST PICTURE winners in recent memory.

    And didn’t Canadians and Americans offer up over $100M to see Seabiscuit a couple years ago…Maybe the market of uplifting-sepia-toned-depression-dramas is played out. Or maybe if the market for this sort of thing is in fact there, the creaters/marketers could have dropped the Cinderalla Man title (see above comments) and went with “FISTBISCUIT”, people would know what to expect.

    Yes, “FISTBISCUIT”, has a nice ring to it.

  24. russel crowe is one of those ppl that thinks there better than you. I hope universal makes him take money from his own wallet to compinsate for the films loses.

  25. 1) its called Cinderella Man
    2) its a period film
    3) it came out just a few months after Million Dollar Baby won the Oscar. that movie hasnt hit video yet, a lot of people havent seen it still, they’re waiting to watch that boxing movie before trying something new.

    me personally, I am slightly sick of Russell Crowe even though he is a great actor. More imporantly I am very sick and just plain dont like, Rene Zellweger.

  26. All good points. Here’s the thing, though: what’s compelling about the movie? I’ve seen Rocky. Hell, I’ve seen all the Rocky movies. What seperates this movie from those? The fact that it’s a true story means little to me, especially in light of how much they butchered the “true story,” A Beautiful Mind. It’s a boxing movie about an underdog who makes a great comeback. Forget drama, forget Crowe. I like dramas. I like sports movies. I even like Russell Crowe. This movie has very little to sell itself to me, and I was frankly shocked when I saw the preview for it. Shocked that any studio greenlit this movie that everyone in the world has seen already…with Stallone.

    Incidentally, the movie may be completely different than the Rocky movies. I doubt it, but it may be. The thing is, they’ve done nothing to show me that.

    Oh, one more thing. It’s a boxing movie, but from what I understand (this is second hand, so stay with me) the boxing scenes were shot in such a way that you didn’t always really know what was going on. Who was hitting who, etc. What’s that all about?

  27. I agree that everyone’s sick of Russell Crowe. I know I am. But let me add another possibility as to why this movie is bombing: it’s got a really bad title. Think about it. Any movie about boxing that has the word “Cinderella” in it is probably going to keep its target audience far, far away.

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