Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Independence Day Sequel: Fox Bracing for $200 Mil of Possible Bad News With No Advance Screenings and Stealth Press


“Independence Day: Resurgence” is not on the cover this week’s Entertainment Weekly, which just landed.

The stars of “Resurgence” are not all over the TV, appearing on “Ellen” or the “Tonight Show” or “Jimmy Kimmel,” showing clips.

In fact, there is dead silence surrounding the hugely expensive, highly anticipated sequel to the massive 1996 Roland Emmerich hit “Independence Day.”

That movie was released on July 3, 1996 to tie in with the actual Independence Day– July 4th weekend. This one is set for June 24th, very specifically NOT that tie in.

There have been no advance screenings, no press. There’s no press junket this weekend. My junketeer friends have received no information. There’s some kind of premiere on Monday in Los Angeles next week, a couple of days before the opening night in theaters. But nothing else is set for New York at all, and that is a bad bad sign.

But the cast did sneak into New York last week for stealth publicity: they rang the opening bell at the New York stock Exchange. They appeared in an AOL Build Speaker series, whatever that is. They were on Sirius XM Radio. On Friday, there was a premiere in Mexico City.

Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone, but “IDR” is coming. The cast must be wondering what’s going on. Or they know.

Maybe it’s a huge $200 million flop. But Fox should have counted on the good will of fans who’ve waited 20 years (like me) to see what happened. Alas, this much we do know: Will Smith passed on the script. Randy Quaid is MIA. Margaret Colin and Mary McDonnell didn’t return. Robert Loggia and James Rebhorn couldn’t return– they’re deceased. There’s a Hemsworth involved.

Fox is just coming off a disappointment with the latest “X Men” movie, which made $100 million less than the prior one domestically. Studio chief Jim Gianopolous is out the door and replaced by Stacey Snider (who should do great things). So if “IDR” is really really not good, they are downplaying it. But my guess is Gianopolous’s exit news, which came this week, is tied to “IDR” and its box office fate.

Or maybe it’s really really great– and we will all be pleasantly surprised. But there are also eleven — 11– writer credits. Five of them are for the screenplay!

PS What did Will Smith know that we didn’t know? The studio shot of Jeff Goldblum and Liam Hemsworth in space suits is worrisome. If they go into space to fight the aliens, the whole “ID4” vibe is altered. Of course, Will is no expert on space movies, as we know.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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