With the Oscar weekend bomb, Gods of Egypt, we started thinking about a few other films that are soon to open—meaning this year—that may follow in its floppy footsteps. And by follow in its footsteps, we’re talking films that barely gross 10 percent of a budget on opening weekend. What’s that look like? $14,000,000/$140,000,000. Ouch. Without nitpicking every single release that could do bad, and those that will be awful, but score loads of cash (looking at you, Batman v Superman), here are six films that don’t look fiscally promising.
Is it too niche? Are parents going to take their kids to this? Are teenagers with curiosity going to line up to see it? Survey says: not very likely. Warcraft is, of course, based on the popular role playing game World of Warcraft, which has led to illegitimate children, marriages, and divorces worldwide. Here’s the kicker: the live-action animation combo should be pretty stellar, but it’s the story that promises to leave this one flat, much like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. There is no denying Warcraft‘s powerful niche—the game enjoys more players than you might realize. The biggest question: will these people leave their homes to see it? Why is that such a concern? Because producing partners dropped $100,000,000 on this thing. It doesn’t open until June 10th, but it has the potential to start summer with a fizzle over a sizzle.
5. Ratchet & Clank
Ratchet & Clank is such a great title for anything. This includes a video game series, or a movie. But when it comes to spending money on a movie based on a video game series boasting that title, it was probably not a very good choice. The film opens in late April, and people seem excited…about as excited as they are for tax day two weeks prior. The Ratchet & Clank budget doesn’t rival that of Warcraft, but it also doesn’t possess an inkling of the draw. This promises to be one of those movies that does poorly domestically, internationally and worldwide when it is available for home viewing. And it begs the question: Why Ratchet & Clank? Can you imagine a room of individuals overthinking a video game adaptation that would do well at the box office? Here you have it.
4. Nine Lives
What is happening here? Is this real life? Is this the same guy who is starring on one of the most popular shows on Netflix? Nine Lives will feature Kevin Spacey…as a cat. Sadly, the plot summary of this comedy sounds too familiar. It sounds like Adam Sandler’s production of Click, and it even co-stars Christopher Walken as the individual who is responsible for Kevin seeing the light…as a cat. The film also stars Jennifer Garner, and it’s tough to go wrong with her, but this imagined cat perspective…eh. This one could surprise and do well at the box office if it scores a few stellar reviews and solid word of mouth. Ultimately, that would suggest its much better than imagined. How could that be possible? Barry Sonnenfeld is directing, and Barry usually delivers. Maybe it’ll be the sentimental gem of the year? Probably not.
3. The Legend of Tarzan
Are film producers confused as to the historical era? Tarzan is an iconic character, but who has any interest in seeing a film about Tarzan in 2016? Not even a pride of cougars at a coming of late age bachelorette party wanna see a movie about the mythical man of the jungle. Or…maybe they do? We’ll find out in July. It doesn’t hurt that Alexander Skarsgard is playing Tarzan, and he’s cut like a He-Man cartoon. Opposite Alexander: Margot Robbie. This is obviously a studio ploy to score dudes as audience members. This plan will fail to a certain extent. Where specifically? Addressing the budget. Get ready for it: $180,000,000. That is one hundred eighty million dollars. How can this possibly succeed on a grand scale? The Fourth of July juxtaposition will help, but won’t save this poor studio decision.
The Ben-Hur story is incredible. To this day, it is one of the most impressive, resounding stories ever told. That doesn’t mean people will flock to the movie theater to see it…again. Ben-Hur was done in 1959 to wild success, starring Charlton Heston. The 2016 version will star…a bunch of people you have never heard of. Okay, Morgan Freeman and Jack Huston are in it, but how is that a serious box office draw? Why would a slew of movie fans go to see a remake of a film that is already regarded as a classic? They won’t. Sure, many people will check this out based on scale and scope and the sheer entertainment, but making an ancient epic and hoping to recoup costs that will push impressively into the black? Not likely. Those days have passed, haven’t they?
Why? Seriously. Someone will inevitably point a finger, and say, “Sexist!” after reading this. Before you jump on that gasoline fueled social agenda, this has nothing to do with the cast of Ghostbusters, rather the idea of making another Ghostbusters without the actual Ghostbusters. The women starring in this film are all wonderfully talented actresses and comediennes, and if they all did a film together that wasn’t based off of a cult classic, it could easily become a beloved cinematic experience. However, rebooting a franchise that starred iconic, comedic actors for no other reason than to say it could be done, and because “people will see it,” could result in an all-time backfire. People will see the 2016 version of Ghostbusters, but will it perform to expectation? Not with existing rhetoric of “Why do I need to see this?”