There’s no doubt that this has been one of the worst summers for Hollywood in recent memory. Correction: Hollywood actually did pretty well. We were the ones who had to suffer. And every time a big-budget movie faltered this summer, it didn't simply disappoint, it went down in flames. You can almost hear Will Smith and Johnny Depp laughing over single malts at Teddy’s:
"My my movie was bad, but yours? The plot...the CGI...that thing was Pluto-Nash bad. That was Ishtar bad."
"You’re just saying that. And don’t sell yourself short. The Lone Ranger is looking at Sahara losses...Cutthroat Island losses--that's huge.
Go big or go home.
Now there are as many ways to get to the bottom line in Hollywood as there are ways to shoot a final scene. You can consider domestic box office, worldwide box office, DVDs, downloads, merchandising—with a good calculator and a positive outlook, any movie can be a winner. Nevertheless, there were numerous big-budget films this summer that euphemistically failed to meet expectations. In layman’s terms, they stunk.
The Lone Ranger
There’s not a lot left to be said, except that it is on track to be the biggest box-office bomb in movie history.
White House Down
In a calculated risk to show that stripper-turned-actor Channing Tatum is more than just a pretty face, the studio did just that. They showed that he also has a great physique. Talent? Nope, not an ounce.
Bullet to the Head
With the success of his over-the-hill action movie The Expendables, Sylvester Stallone was lulled into the delusion that he still had action-hero cache. He doesn’t.
The Last Stand
Substitute Schwarzenegger for Stallone and see above.
Clearly, a bankable science-fiction movie needs incredible special effects. Oh yes, there’s that other thing too: a plot. Did John Carter teach us nothing?
Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds star in this absurd comic-book adaptation about afterlife police officers. At least I think that’s what it’s about—I never once saw a trailer, a commercial or an ad. Hmmm.
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
The disappointing sequel to a mediocre original found itself swimming with sharks. Not only has it been three-and-a-half years since the first installment—an eternity for a kid—the series has been completely overshadowed by The Hunger Games and other teen-lit franchises.
Jack the Giant Slayer
Substitute ‘fairy tale re-imagining’ for ‘science fiction’ and refer to After Earth entry above.
The numbers for this predictable tech thriller aren't in; but if opening weekend is any indication, Johnny Depp should save Harrison Ford a seat at the bar.
Well, at least we have autumn. If the few independent films that have popped up are any indication, there is hope. We shall see…