Despite being home to Sunset Boulevard, it’s been a pretty cloudy summer for Hollywood this year. In fact, so bad has the Hollywood movie offering been this year that box office takings have hit an eight-year low, with a 15 per cent decrease in sales and the biggest year-on-year decrease in three decades.
So what is it that has made this year’s contributions to the Zeitgeist so unmemorable? Sequels, high budget thrillers and a general preference to go online at home have all contributed to the dire sales, but there were a few turkeys this year that probably shouldn’t have progressed beyond the drawing board.
Think Like a Man Too
What’s the best way to revive a critically-panned comedy? Release a sequel, of course! Unfortunately for director Tim Story, this was hardly a case of Godfather 3 Syndrome; the original didn’t exactly cut it in the first place. This time around, the couples take a trip to Las Vegas to attend a wedding, but predictably, nothing goes to plan. Sadly for Story, Think Like A Man Too, despite the great title pun, has only made $65,000 despite a $24,000,000 budget. Perhaps movies like The Hangover have caused the Vegas mishap storyline to be overdone, or perhaps people are getting their casino kicks online at Ruby Fortune rather than going to movie theaters nowadays – either way, it was an all round flop.
The Legend of Hercules
With Marvel rivals like Thor to contend with, it’s no wonder that The Legend of Hercules performed poorly at the box office. Starring supporting Twilight star Kellan Lutz, this could have been his time to shine in a starring role, but Hollywood audiences didn’t think so. The film cost $70 million to make but only brought in $61 million worldwide. All hope is not lost though – another Hercules epic, starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is promising to smash box office figures later this year. Don’t hold your breath.
A Million Ways to Die in the West
Despite all the comedic talents of Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane, not to mention an all-star cast, A Million Ways to Die in the West was a financial nightmare for Hollywood. It made just $42.7 million in the US and Canada on a $40 million budget – much of which will likely have been lining the pockets of mega stars Charlize Theron, Neil Patrick Harris and Liam Neeson. Despite the critical acclaim of Ted, Seth McFarlane’s follow up unfortunately couldn’t promise the same success.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Perhaps the most surprising on this list, Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For made just $12 million in its opening weekend, just one fifth of its $60 million budget. It may be a case of absence makes the heart grow less fond – it’s taken almost a decade for the sequel to hit our screens, and with so many comic classics filling the gap in the meantime, cinema fans may have been a little underwhelmed by this second installation.