Ridley Scott is having quite the outspoken month as he makes the press rounds promoting his latest drama, “All The Money in the World.” The director has already admitted that “Blade Runner 2049” bombed at the domestic box office because it was “too long” (he thinks at least 30 minutes should’ve been cut), and now Scott is getting brutally honest about another one of his big 21st century misfires: “The Counselor.”
The 2013 crime thriller had all the makings of a major hit. Not only was Scott behind the camera, but the film was written by “No Country For Old Men” author Cormac McCarthy and featured a star-studded ensemble that included Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, and Cameron Diaz. For this reason, Scott told the Toronto Sun that “The Counselor” should’ve been “fucking huge,” opening to at least $50 million at the box office.
Unfortuantely, “The Counselor” bombed with a $7.8 million opening weekend. The movie had an estimated $25 million budget, which happens to be low for Scott, but it ended its domestic run with just under $17 million. “The Counselor” was hardly a home-run with critics either, earning a 35% on Rotten Tomatoes. But Scott still believes the movie had enough talent to be a big hit, and he blames 20th Century Fox for killing the film with an abysmal marketing and promotional strategy.
“I really loved ‘The Counselor,’ which should have been fucking huge,” Scott said, “With that cast, we should have had a $50-million weekend. After the marketing and advertising on that, I was ready to kill somebody. You don’t preview films like that. You keep them in a box.”
Scott’s comment suggests that he feels 20th Century Fox’s marketing gave a little too much of the film’s violent surprises away. He does not elaborate further on what exactly went awry in the marketing, but he does mention that the studio should’ve relied more on the film’s star power and less on giving away the plot when selling the movie.
“You’ve got Brad [Pitt], you’ve got Cameron Diaz, you’ve got Javier Bardem, you’ve got Penelope Cruz, you’ve got Michael Fassbender…are you fucking kidding me?,” Scott continued. “You don’t show it, you advertise and you put it out and you’ll have a $50-million opening weekend.”
“The Counselor” may have bombed at the box office, but it has since lived on as a new cult classic. As for Ridley Scott’s relationship with 20th Century Fox, he’s continued to work with the studio on “Alien” films and his upcoming drama “The Cartel.”