The summer movie season is well under way, and while there have been some phenomenal films that have had no problem bringing in the crowds (Captain America: Civil War, Deadpool, Finding Dory), there are always a few stinkers out there. Let’s take a look at the top 5 underachievers of 2016 so far.
Box Office to Date: $69,318,309
Live action variations of classic Disney animated features is the new craze, with the successful Maleficent and Cinderella entrancing a new generation of moviegoers. The 2010 Alice in Wonderland paved the way for this re-imagining, gathering more than a billion dollars in ticket sales worldwide. But even Disney strikes out once in awhile. With only a 30% critic rating and controversy over domestic violence allegations swirling around its most marketable star, Johnny Depp, the rabbit hole wasn’t deep enough this time for Alice.
Box Office to Date: $48,003,015
Chris Hemsworth! Charlize Theron! Jessica Chastain! Emily Blunt! We are talking some some serious acting titans that signed on for this Snow White sequel. The Ice Queen (Blunt, in yet another Hollywood “Frozen” type role. Let it Go!) brings her evil sister (Theron) back to life to conquer the land and the Huntsman and girlfriend (Hemsworth & Chastain) are the only ones who can stop them. Maybe they should just move. The critics didn’t care and neither did audiences.
Box Office to Date: $10,907,291
While most critics had a solid to mediocre view of the film, I admit, I kind of liked it. But to be fair, my affection was limited to Lily Allen’s garter belt and Matt Smith’s smarmy take on Mr. Collins. It was a by the numbers undead fest set against the backdrop of 19th century England. A budget of $28 million is a bargain in Hollywood terms, but this horror-lite film couldn’t manage to make back even half of that number. It died, but never figured a way to come back from the grave.
Box Office to Date: $31,153,464
This Gerard Butler led stinker was doomed from early production, starting with the casting director. Unless my geography is off, Egypt is a nation on the continent of Africa. Butler and friends do not appear to come from an African nation. But the problems didn’t end there. While a film like Stargate made clever use of ancient Egyptian lore, bringing the gods to life in the form of an alien race, Gods of Egypt strove to insult our intelligence. It was a critical and financial bomb of biblical proportions.
Box Office to Date: $71,929,574
Simply from the title of the content, this isn’t exactly a franchise that prides itself on realism, so I am not going to dissect the critical acclaim of the sequel to the 2014 “reboot” of the turtles. Suffice it to say, it is designed to be a popcorn movie geared towards children and young adults. The problem is, no one bought in. Where Shadows should have killed it at the box office, these turtles won’t have money left over for any summer pizza parties.
Dishonorable Mention: Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice
Box Office to Date: $330,360,194
I had to sneak in this film, but keep it separate from the rest because, at least financially, it isn’t a bomb. While the critics panned the film, the domestic take far surpassed the production budget and was financially a success. The reason I brought the film up in the first place was its almost 70% drop-off from opening weekend. The movie was a success, but most of that success was built upon its opening. Imagine the hand wringing that would have occurred if the premiere was a flop?
Domestic Bomb, International Sensation: Warcraft
Box Office to Date: $38,432,955
Warcraft is an oddity. While the film has bombed in the US, bringing in just a fraction of the operating budget, internationally, the film is a grand slam, raking in over $339 million. What kept the American audiences away has the foreign film goers flocking to the video game turned motion picture in droves. Warcraft is proof positive that sometimes you have to dig a little deeper. A movie might seem a bomb on the surface, but we are not the only country on Earth. Foreign take makes a huge difference.
There you have it moviegoers, my top 5 bombs of 2016 to date, with a couple add-ons. What films do you think were justly (or unjustly) denied by your fellow cinema friends? What does the second half of the year have in store for the silver screen? Just make sure you buy the large refillable beverage and get extra butter on that popcorn, and enjoy the show!