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Max Landis Wonders If The Flop Of ‘American Ultra’ Means That Original Movies Are Dead

Max Landis Wonders If The Flop Of 'American Ultra' Means That Original Movies Are Dead

This weekend at the box office wasn’t a good one unless you were “Straight Outta Compton.” Sequels “Sinister 2” and “Hitman: Agent 47” tanked, and so did the stoner action comedy “American Ultra” starring Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart. On paper it seemed like a no brainer for success; a big (dumb) concept, played by two game, rising young actors that has all the popcorn thrills you could ask for in a summer movie. Nonetheless, audiences shrugged and the movie opened softly in sixth place, leaving screenwriter Max Landis baffled.

READ MORE: Review of ‘American Ultra’ Starring Jesse Eisenberg And Kristen Stewart

Taking to Twitter, the writer openly wondered if the failure of his movie — which he notes is not a sequel, franchise, biopic or reboot — means that “big level original ideas don’t [make money].”

“Am I wrong? Is trying to make original movies in a big way just not a valid career path anymore for anyone but Tarantino and Nolan? That’s the question: Am I wrong? Are original ideas over? I wanted to pose this to the public, because I feel, put lightly, confused. Now, I’m not so sure,” he continued. “Got to get back to work on my TV shows. Which are both adaptations.”

There is something of a conceited air about the tweets; Landis believes his movie, which received only modestly better reviews that the scathing notices for “Sinister 2” and “Hitman: Agent 47,” should do well on the basis that it’s not as bad as the competition, or because it’s “original.” Moviegoers simply weren’t interested in “American Ultra,” and that’s perfectly valid.

There are lots of good (and bad) “original” movies every year that unfortunately get overlooked, while others do find an audience (“It Follows” and “Ex Machina” for example) and when it comes to the argument of sequels/franchises/reboot vs. original movies, here’s the bottom line: people just want to see good films. One of the most critically acclaimed efforts of the year and one of the best action movies hands down was “Mad Max: Fury Road,” a sequel/reboot. Does that make its success any less special? 

Check out Landis’ series of tweets below and share your thoughts in the comments section.

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