Sunday, June 16, 2024

Box Office: Adam Sandler’s “Pixels” Failure Adds to Sony’s Terrible Year– Can James Bond Save Them?


Poor Sony Pictures. They are under siege. First came the bruising hack into their emails that forced out studio chief Amy Pascal. The embarrassments keep echoing over the misguided Korea spoof “The Interview.” And you never know when a new dump of information is coming.

Now Adam Sandler’s “Pixels” has opened to a disappointing $24 million weekend. The animated film cost at least $88 million and probably more like $100 million given Sandler’s expenses. Thanks to the Sony email leak we know Sandler likes riding around on Sony jets.

So far this year, Sony has not had a good time. They’ve released four other films that were lackluster at best.

1 Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 Sony $70,709,001
2 The Wedding Ringer SGem $64,460,211
3 Chappie Sony $31,569,268
4 Aloha Sony $20,991,497

Totals: $187,729,977– that’s less than many films this year have made all together. Ouch!

The big hope now is that James Bond “Spectre” will be such a big hit that it erases these bad memories. The specter of “Skyfall,” the last — and maybe best– James Bond film looms large. A billion dollar world wide hit will certainly assuage all this pain.

Meantime, big Sony (not Sony Pictures Classics) has two films coming that are promising at least artistically– Jonathan Demme’s “Ricki and the Flash” with Meryl Streep will be entertaining. And Robert Zemeckis’s “The Walk” with Joseph Gordon Levitt has a lot of promise.

But “Pixels” is going to smart for quite a while after this initial weekend. For Adam Sandler at Sony, Game over.

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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