Saturday, May 25, 2024

“Pompeii,” “In Secret” (Released in Secret), Two More Weekend Bombs


“Winter’s Tale” isn’t the only disaster this box office weekend. Sony released the $100 million-plus “Pompeii” to a world with no fans. Total box office take: $10 million. Peter Schlessel was executive producer. Now he’s running Focus Features at Universal, which has had the embarrassment of releasing Zac Efron in “That Awkward Moment.”

Anyway, “Pompeii” was director by schlockmeister Paul W.S. Anderson, who is not the director of “The Master” or “There Will Be Blood.” That’s Paul Thomas Anderson. Maybe “Pompeii” will be a hit in non English speaking countries. But probably not, as it has no stars…

Meantime, Roadkill– er, Roadside Attractions, the company that killed J.C. Chandor’s “All is Lost” with Robert Redford, dumped a film this weekend. For two years it was known as “Therese Raquin,” based om the famous novel by Emile Zola. Elizabeth Olsen and Oscar Isaac star in it, and Rotten Tomatoes has it at 49%. Not great, but not awful.

When RAtt., as it’s known on the boxofficemojo chart so appropriately, decided to dump it, they also changed its name. “In Secret” is the new name. and it made $272K over the weekend in 266 theatres. “In Secret,” released in secret, will now head to airplanes and video services. RAtt’s next two releases are even worse– “Blood Ties” and “Joe.” The latter is not a remake of the Peter Boyle-Susan Sarandon movie of the early 1970s. The former is unwatchable.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
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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