Opinion Piece – 2016: The Year of the Dud Blockbuster

Independence Day

The aliens came, not as though anyone really cared about Independence Day: Resurgence

Piece compiled by Eddie on 16/08/2016

There’s something deeply wrong with big budget films right now, something that could be far worse than many people realise.

While there’s seemingly more money being thrown around than ever before from studios willing to beat franchises senseless or invest in the wannabe next big things, 2016 has sadly delivered to the movie going public one of the worst, if not the worst Blockbuster period’s in cinematic history.

Even the films that have made profits are films that will be neither remembered or adored in the years to come and its concerning that what is being churned out as “entertainment” is so far from the mark it needs to be, that there’s little point wondering why many people are now more picky than ever when it comes to using their hard earned cash on a night out at the movies.

It feels like the glamor and spectacle that Blockbuster season should be offering us has been turned into nasty cheap cash grabs (just look at the below list’s successes, mainly all films targeted at the always assured kiddie market or merchandise happy fanboys) and if we continue on this way the Blockbuster’s that we once knew and loved may be a breed gone forever.

Below is a compiled list of 2016 Blockbuster experience’s, evidence that 2016 may just be one of the most quickly forgotten about movie years of all time.

Disclaimer – figures correct as of August 12th 2016 and success/failures counted on return of studio investments

Failures:

Gods of Egypt

The filmed in Australia Gods of Egypt won’t be earning anyone a bonus cheque

Warcraft

Financial: X

Budget: $160 Million

Box Office: $433 Million

Critical: X

Rotten Tomatoes = 28%

Independence Day: Resurgence

Financial: X

Budget: $165 Million

Box Office: $379 Million

Critical: X

Rotten Tomatoes = 32%

The Huntsman: Winter’s War

Financial: X

Budget: $115 Million

Box Office: $164 Million

Critical: X

Rotten Tomatoes = 17%

The 5th Wave

Financial: X

Budget: $38 Million

Box Office: $109 Million

Critical: X

Rotten Tomatoes = 16%

Zoolander 2

Financial: X

Budget: N/A

Box Office: $55 Million

Critical: X

Rotten Tomatoes = 23%

Gods of Egypt

Financial: X

Budget: $140 Million

Box Office: $145 Million

Critical: X

Rotten Tomatoes = 16%

London Has Fallen

Financial:

Budget: $65 Million

Box Office: $195 Million

Critical: X

Rotten Tomatoes = 26%

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

Financial: X

Budget: N/A

Box Office: $88 Million

Critical: X

Rotten Tomatoes = 28%

The Boss

Financial: X

Budget: $29 Million

Box Office: $78 Million

Critical: X

Rotten Tomatoes = 22%

Mother’s Day

Financial: X

Budget: $25 Million

Box Office: $32 Million

Critical: X

Rotten Tomatoes = 7%

Alice Through the Looking Glass

Financial: X

Budget: $179 Million

Box Office: $289 Million

Critical: X

Rotten Tomatoes = 29%

The BFG

Financial: X

Budget: $140 Million

Box Office: $113 Million

Critical:

Rotten Tomatoes = 74%

The Divergent Series: Allegiant

Financial: X

Budget: N/A

Box Office: $179 Million

Critical: X

Rotten Tomatoes = 13%

Ghostbusters

Financial: X

Budget: $144 Million

Box Office: $180 Million

Critical:

Rotten Tomatoes = 73%

Ice Age: Collision Course

Financial: X

Budget: $105 Million

Box Office: $289 Million

Critical: X

Rotten Tomatoes = 11%

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Financial: X

Budget: $135 Million

Box Office: $237 Million

Critical: X

Rotten Tomatoes = 38%

The Legend of Tarzan

Financial: X

Budget: $180 Million

Box Office: $335 Million

Critical: X

Rotten Tomatoes = 35%

Mid-tier:

Batman v Superman

Despite making a bucket load at the Box Office Batman V Superman left many underwhelmed and the studio far from impressed

Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice

Financial:

Budget: $250 Million

Box Office: $872 Million

Critical: X

Rotten Tomatoes = 27%

Bad Neighbours 2

Financial: X

Budget: N/A

Box Office: $107 Million

Critical:

Rotten Tomatoes = 62%

X-Men: Apocalypse

Financial:

Budget: $178 Million

Box Office: $534 Million

Critical: X

Rotten Tomatoes = 48%

Now You See Me 2

Financial: X

Budget: N/A

Box Office: $312 Million

Critical: X

Rotten Tomatoes = 34%

Star Trek: Beyond

Financial: X

Budget: $185 Million

Box Office: $196 Million

Critical:

Rotten Tomatoes = 84%

The Angry Birds Movie

Financial:

Budget: $73 Million

Box Office: $345 Million

Critical: X

Rotten Tomatoes = 43%

Successes:

Jungle Book

Disney nailed their Jungle Book remake, even though the film was highly forgettable bar its fantastic CGI work

Suicide Squad

Financial:

Budget: $175 Million

Box Office: $294 Million

Critical: X

Rotten Tomatoes = 26%

Finding Dory

Financial:

Budget: N/A

Box Office: $872 Million

Critical:

Rotten Tomatoes = 94%

The Jungle Book

Financial:

Budget: $175 Million

Box Office: $941 Million

Critical:

Rotten Tomatoes = 95%

The Conjuring 2

Financial:

Budget: $40 Million

Box Office: $317 Million

Critical:

Rotten Tomatoes = 80%

Captain America: Civil War

Financial:

Budget: $250 Million

Box Office: $1.1 Billion

Critical:

Rotten Tomatoes = 90%

Deadpool

Financial:

Budget: $58 Million

Box Office: $782 Million

Critical:

Rotten Tomatoes = 84%

Secret Life of Pets

Financial:

Budget: $75 Million

Box Office: $506 Million

Critical:

Rotten Tomatoes = 74%

Kung Fu Panda 3

Financial:

Budget: N/A

Box Office: $519 Million

Critical:

Rotten Tomatoes = 87%

Zootopia

Financial:

Budget: N/A

Box Office: $1 Billion

Critical:

Rotten Tomatoes = 98%

What’s wrong with Hollywood and how do they fix it?

avatar

Are we really crying out for more Avatar? Whether we like it or not its coming thick and fast over the next few years

The sad thing is there’s no quick fix to this problem that Hollywood has created.

A glance over the next 3 – 4 years of proposed films sees an industry increasingly turning to old properties or the next sequel to a prequel that was a sequel to some other prequel. It’s a an almost endless cycle that will only end once the studio’s look hard at the lacking critical receptions handed down to their supposed big event films.

Even these above films that were so called successes from this year are all largely uninspiring events (or animated) that are highly unlikely to be benchmarked in years to come.

The one thing that will work in the favour of turning this stuck in the mire scenario around is the fact that as the above lowdown of this year’s movies suggest, audiences are no longer rocking up in their droves to witness these mediocre efforts, made with little originality, wit or heart.

Who would’ve thought Warcraft, the next wannabe Lord of the Rings would fail so dismally? Did anyone think the Alice in Wonderland sequel Alice Through the Looking Glass would make roughly $700 million less than its undeservedly successful forefather? Was anyone asking for a far too long gestating Independence Day sequel? These are all films that perhaps years ago would’ve worked in some way but at present audiences are fed up, they want more and critics are often in line with audience’s in this, but will the studio’s act too late?

Only time will tell, but if 2016’s movie offerings so far are anything to go by, too late may’ve already come and with the likes of numerous numbers of Avatar films, Marvel adventures and DC wannabes incoming, it’s going to be an interesting but perhaps not spectacular time to be a movie watcher.

What are your thoughts on the current big batch of Hollywood films? Are they hitting the mark or missing it? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Advertisements

58 responses to “Opinion Piece – 2016: The Year of the Dud Blockbuster

  1. I do in general agree with this year being disappointing blockbuster-wise. But I think you need a little more consistency with your results. Surely if Suicide Squad gets a box office tick, Warcraft should as well – it being that Warcraft cost less and thus far has taken more money worldwide.

    • Hi Mate. Fair comment, I’m giving Squad the benefit of the doubt as it has made roughly 500 Million in two weeks of release whereas Warcraft has not even made that in its entire run. I would expect Squad ends up around the 800 Million mark worldwide that would make the studio somewhat pleased despite its terrible reception.
      E

    • I think the problem for the Warcraft movie is that so many people think it’s supposed to be the next Lord of the Rings and judged it that way. it’s not meant to compete with Lord of the Rings. It’s meant to be its own product. Financially, the movie is more than successful and that’s only counting the box office. I have a feeling that once they release it to home there will be another surge of revenue for the movie.

      • I think they will be awaiting sometime for the film to be financially successful, China really saved its bacon but its set to lose about 15 million from its run in cinemas. I would be surprised if we ever see a sequel to this one.
        E

      • The problem I see with the movie were all the reviewers hammering the movie. They expected too much from the movie and didn’t watch it for itself, instead expecting LotR esque quality.

      • Fair point I reckon, I must admit I skipped seeing this one after all the negativity but close friends I trust movie wise suggested to me also that this was a very poor attempt at world building.
        E

    • Agree. If we’re going to criticise Hollywood lack-luster blockbusters, at least we have to (1) come up with fair and reasonable criteria, (2) recognize our own inconsistency in the issue.

      As mentioned, some of the ‘successes’ listed here made less in absolute numbers than the failures or mid-lists. Both Warcraft and Independence Day (which, apparently, I was in the minority in enjoying) made over $200 million, surely enough to list them as successes over Suicide Squad (which I, personally, didn’t enjoy). The Conjuring 2 only made about that much and was listed as a success, while BvS and X-men both made more. So surely we need some objective measure, especially considering…

      …how fickle the audience seems to be. Horrible ratings on movies that make >$200 million?! (it’s also interesting that 6/8 successes-I don’t count Suicide Squad-were aimed at children). Perhaps we need a hype-to-dollar conversion so we can estimate how much sales pure expectation (largely first weekend sales) can account for. Then we could factor that in, to properly judge success or failure objectively.

      Regardless, I must have been in a good mood this year, because I enjoyed several of the movies on the ‘failure list’.

      • Glad you enjoyed them buddy. Movies judged as failures etc here are based financially so. Movies budgets dont take into account marketing as a rule of thumb marketing costs the same as production budgets so a lot of these big films barely made ends meet or failed to do so.
        E

      • Definitely in favour of a hype-to-dollar ratio system. The way Suicide Squad has been relentlessly shovelled down our collective throats for so long, makes it’s box office figures look fairly measly. And actually if you look at the numbers (as I did -https://jonathansfilmreview.wordpress.com/?s=batman ) B v S couldn’t really be called a box office success I don’t think.

    • Gotta go with Eddie on this. Suicide Squad got huge hype, but also good buzz with people who’d seen it talking about it. Warcraft had neither, and no one I know has seen it.

      • What’s really odd is that i’ve actually had the reverse experience, I know virtually nobody who liked Suicide Squad but nearly everyone I know that watched Warcraft really enjoyed it – me included.

      • My son, who plays Warcraft, recommended the movie to me. I don’t know anyone else who has seen it, though he quite liked it. I haven’t seen it yet. Will review once I have.

  2. I got zero backing for my film project The Cataclysm, which is set in and around South Sydney. So it’s going to be put on Pozible soon. Hollywood is only backing old movies and TV shows now! 😠

  3. The big problem is that all the plots feel like repeats, based on games and on comics. When the tale comes to the screen, all the interesting bits have been left out. Budgets are spent on spectacular effects and big stars and not on decent plots that compel the viewer. I enjoyed Jason Bourne and the big Marvel and DC films, but I didn’t adore them. I adored two little indie movies: Learning to Drive and Girlhood. And the documentary Weiner, about an American political campaign, is hilarious and thoughtful. Mostly, I find myself close to nodding off as I yawn through yet another two-hours-plus set of explosions and I find I just don’t care whether the big stars survive the boring bad guys or not. Thanks for a very thought-provoking piece.

  4. Very much to the point. Add the fact that the shelf life of some properties is getting shorter, leading to reboots that are headscratchers at best (looking at you, Fox’s Marvel movies)… Add the fact that the blockbusters’ overbearing presence on cinema screens and the dearth of independent cinemas (at least here in Montreal) makes it a challenge to catch a movie that, while interesting, does not benefit from the PR machine.

    At least there are festivals like Fantasia that are a treasure trove.

  5. Very interesting article, guys! I agree with you…there has been a lot of big budget movie duds this year. The problem is that Hollywood doesn’t have a “pulse” on what people want to see. They think they do and sometimes they get it right, but (for the most part) they don’t. Look at The Divergent Series: Allegiant. It started out strong, but since dystopian tales have oversaturated the market (via books, tv shows, and movies) and have lost interest in it. Plus, deciding to spilt the novel (Allegiant) into two part movie was just a bad idea. As the saying goes “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it”, which is probably the studios mantra. Also, Hollywood would dump a lot of money into a blockbuster movie (thinking that they’ll get a high 9 figure investment back from their movie) to fund smaller film projects or to pay debt from a flop. Look at Disney / Marvel, they made over a billion with Civil War, 900 million with Finding Dory, and over a billion with Zootopia, but they are paying off the debts for Alice Through the Looking Glass, and The BFG.

  6. I was just commenting while watching a movie the other night that we’re going to look back on the movies from this era and think how tawdry all these films are – like watching the movies you loved as a kid that you thought were so cool, and then you see just how cheesy they were! Without the childhood nostalgia to back them up, today’s films are just sad. It’s the same thing over and over again – even the characters are similar (so tired of the teenage female heroine whose only flaws are her anger at social injustice and the fact that she can’t decide between two handsome suitors). Trying to ride the wave of past successes and special effects is a failing strategy. I would love to see some original, plot-driven films!

    • Wouldn’t we all, I really hope we start to see a change in the landscape before it’s to late, I know myself I am more picky than ever now as I’ve been let down so many times.
      E

  7. Gotta say, the last two years have churned out more flops than successes. My top ten films for last year? I had to scrounge up and just add two or three movies to the end that were okay, but not something I loved. What a pity. Oh well.

  8. Good piece. This is not a new phenomenon. I remember a similar article in the papers when the sequel to the first Tim Burton Batman movie came out and flopped. Hollywood will always chase money. New film makers will always come out with innovative films that break the mold. Some of those will be great films (e.g. Pan’s Labyrinth), but many will die. The amazing thing is what’s happening in TV. A lot of great video content is coming from Netflix, HBO, and others. A great example is Stranger Things, which had bigger buzz than any of this years blockbuster films.

  9. 2016 isnt anything new really, the last few summers have been like this. Too many reboots and sequels and mindless blockbusters, and plots simple enough to easily translate for a worldwide multicultural audience. Welcome to the future, it isnt going to change. Hollywood was never high culture but I hate where its going- the high watermark of the 1970s seems a long way off, and even poor 1980s films look better by comparison.

      • Oh yeah, the crop of 2016 is definitely more stupid and overblown than usual. Those CGI effects companies must be laughing all the way to the bank. In the old days you’d have maybe one or two big effects films simply because only ILM and EEG or Apogee could handle them; with the rise of CGI so many effects shops have arisen that the studios can dump all sorts of mindless blockbusters on us.

  10. I enjoyed this. The Warcraft movie had such huge promise and failed miserably. And how do you make a buff half-naked Skaarsgard star in a movie that made me fall asleep? We need some originality and fresh ideas.

  11. Pingback: Film Review – Warcraft (2016) | Jordan and Eddie (The Movie Guys)·

  12. It’s a mirror of societies short attention span. We get what we keep buying to many successful blockbusters making huge amounts of money.
    My one biggest fail is suicide squad looking forward to it, it was so bad it made me blog angry.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s