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Weekend B.O. Feb.6-8 (Hollywood Reaps What it Sows)

Weekend B.O. Feb.6-8 (Hollywood Reaps What it Sows)

Hey, did you know that Gugu Mbatha-Raw is in the Wachowski’s
big sci-fi movie “Jupiter Ascending”? And that she has big bunny ears as well? Neither did
I at first. But she may be the lucky one associated with this disaster, since no
one will remember that she was it in.

The big box office news of late has been about the huge
money Warner Bros’ “American Sniper” has made in just the first few weeks of
2015, but the reality is that things are bad. I mean like really bad.

Already we’ve had big high profile flops at the box office, such
as Universal/Legendary Entertainment’s “Blackhat,” which, so far, has grossed only
$15 million worldwide. Legendary has already written the film off as a $90
million loss. That was followed by Johnny Depp’s would be
comedy “Mortdecai.” The result of that was the announcement, the following week,
that Depp had fired his long time agent Tracey Jacobs, who had been representing
him since 1988.

But now comes “Jupiter Ascending.” How did the Wachowskis, who
have been basically coasting off those overrated Matrix movies for the last 15
years, convinced Warners to pony up $175 million for this wreck, is a mystery. Were
they in possession of some very embarrassing pictures of Warner execs? Who
knows? The fact that the studio, last year, unexpectedly pushed back the film’s
original opening date from last July to this month, caused immediate suspicions
that the film was in very serious trouble.

The fact is that the film is an insanely convoluted, dopey,
unintentionally hysterical, total wreck of a picture, which shows very obvious
signs of some desperate, last minute re-editing to salvage a disaster. On top of
that, it’s already gotten some of the worst reviews that any film will get this
year. Though none said it best as did the Wall Street Journal: “It’s
hardly the first time a studio has given reluctant birth to a theatrical
feature that, in a rational universe, would never have been put in production,
let alone seen the light of day…(it) may not be the last of its kind, but in
the history of Hollywood’s decline it’s a monument to the decades-long folly of
depending on grandiose visual effects to carry the day in the absence of
coherent storytelling and simple humanity.”

However, you want to bet that the film will have a few
clueless “I’m-so-hip-and-you’re-not” defenders who will claim that the film is
somehow “misunderstood.” 

The film, this weekend, only made $19 million, which is far
short of what it needs to even remotely have a chance of just recouping its
production budget. And since word of mouth is going to be poisonous, you can
expect a major drop-off of 65% or more, next weekend. This means that Warners
will eventually write the film off the books for at least $200 million or more.
Looks like all that money the studio is making off “Sniper” is going for naught.

At this stage, it appears that “Jupiter” is headed to be the biggest
flop of 2015, but the year is still young; and who knows what huge box office
catastrophe could happen later.

But that isn’t all.

There’s also Universal/Legendary’s “The Seventh Son,” which
also opened this weekend after being delayed for literally two years. (I recall
seeing a trailer for the film back in the fall of 2013). It actually
started production in March of 2012, and was originally supposed to be released by
Warners a year later, in March 2013. But post production troubles arose when the
special effects company hired to do all the CGI effects in the film, went
bankrupt and bad test previews sure didn’t help. Then there were more delays
when Legendary left Warners to sign a new distribution deal with Universal, which became a drawn out, complicated mess.

Add to that the terrible reviews the film is getting, and
the movie’s whole “been-there-seen-that-already-100-times” premise, and the result
is, “Son” grossing only $7 million this weekend, and forcing Legendary to write the film off already, as a $90 million loss on
the books. Although the blow will be softened somewhat: the film’s
overseas b.o. take, as of today, has hit $82 million.

So what was No.1 this weekend? That lovable SpongeBob
SquarePants of course, with his 3D animated film “SpongeBob: Sponge Out of water,” which made a spectacular $56 million, with “American Sniper” still
holing on in second place with, with $24 million, for a grand total of over $282 million
domestically, heading for over the $300 million mark. I don’t get it.
If you do then explain it to us

1) The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water  Par.  $56,000,000 
2) American Sniper  WB  $24,165,000  Total: $282,265,000 
3) Jupiter Ascending  WB  $19,000,000 
4) Seventh Son  Uni.  $7,101,000 
5) Paddington  W/Dim.  $5,365,000  Total:   $57,268,000 
6) Project Almanac  Par.  $5,330,000  Total:  $15,759,000 
7) The Imitation Game  Wein.  $4,881,000  Total:  $74,740,000 
8) The Wedding Ringer  SGem  $4,800,000  Total:  $55,100,000 
9) Black or White  Rela.  $4,520,000  Total:  $13,123,000 
10) The Boy Next Door  Uni.  $4,101,000  Total:  $30,850,000 
11) Taken 3  Fox  $2,350,000    Total:  $85,078,000 
12) Selma  Par.  $1,720,000  Total:  $46,452,000

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