Home Movies Box Office: “Elysium” Disappointment Could Be Trouble for Sony

Strike three? Well maybe not a strike exactly, but a foul ball to the outfield. Sony’s “Elysium” took in $30 million over the weekend. That’s $5 mil less than the worst estimates, and $7 million less than similar films of its genre for an opening. “Elysium,” a sci-fi thriller starring Matt Damon, cost around $150 million- and that’s a conservative estimate.

For Sony, it’s just more bad news. This is their third tentpole movie to fail this summer, following “After Earth” and “White House Down.” They have comedy hits with “Grown Ups 2” and “This is the End.” And Tom Hanks is looking in what should be a nice hit with “Captain Phillips.” But “Elysium” will fall off quickly.

Unless international audiences really take to it, the Neill Blomkamp film is going to be more fuel for a fire started by investor Daniel Loeb. George Clooney, who has another Sony hit coming this winter with “Monuments Men,” recently warned off Loeb from causing trouble in the boardroom. But there’s little doubt that Loeb will use the disappointing results of “Elysium” to cause more trouble.

The other new entry this weekend, “We’re the Millers,” was also far off the mark. The Jennifer Aniston comedy took in $26 million, much below its expectations. It made $2 million less than “Horrrible Bosses,” a successful comedy that also matched Aniston with Jason Sudeikis. Warner Bros is still trying to figure out how badly “Pacific Rim” really did. Add that Disney’s disaster with “The Lone Ranger” and some other, smaller catastrophes and this summer hasn’t been a walk on the beach for almost anyone.

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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.
6 replies to this post
  1. I think red blooded American patriots are tired of shelling out hard earned cash to see pampered, big mouthed, liberal “stars” that badmouth America and the American way of life continuously. I for one am voting with my wallet against the Hollyweird traitors like the anti self protection advocates such as Johnny Depp, George Clooney, Matt Damon and Canadian Jim Carey (The list is incomplete, but still growing). They can afford to live in closed, gated communities and hire armed bodyguards to protect their loved ones, I can’t and have to rely on myself to do that. I was looking forward to seeing “Kickass II” until I found out Jim Carey, the goofy one’ had a lead role – using a gun no less. Damn! Screw these elitist, rich hypocrites and the industry that uses them. I can live without movies for entertainment anyway.

  2. Maybe they should stop trying to push their political ‘fantasies’ onto a country that is at very best split 50/50. In other words, I dont want to sit through an hour and a half ‘occupy wallstreet in space’ indoctrination video.
    HEY here’s an idea… how about an original storyline rather than another boring-hollywood-liberal propaganda piece!

  3. I no longer bother with movie theaters. Netflix and Turner Classic Movies fill my needs and I don’t bother with putting money into the pockets of Hollywood lame brains who contribute to our Obmanation.

  4. When Mel Gibson approached Sony Pictures about making the Passion of the Christ they passed because they didnt want to be seen as religious (unless that religion is Scientology, I guess) and they didnt feel people wanted to see a movie about Jesus (Yet, it made half a billion dollars). Maybe Sony Pictures need should start seeing themselves as a business and not the purveyors of leftist thought.

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