Tom Hanks swung for the fences in 2016 and came back with one home run, a miserable strike out and a long fly ball. They would be “Sully,” “A Hologram for the King,” and “Inferno.”
The latter made $15 million in its opening weekend, if that (the real count may be lower tomorrow). If “Inferno” hadn’t been released internationally before its US debut, it might have counted as a strike out too. But that worldwide audience saved it with over $130 million in early receipts.
“Inferno” was beaten at the box office by “Boo! A Madea Halloween,” which has triumphed over Toms Hanks and Cruise. Cruise’s “Jack Reacher” meanwhile has taken a beating, with a scant $39 million in the till so far. “Never go back” has proven to be a prescient subtitle.
Hanks was so good as Sully Sullenberger just six weeks ago that there was talk of an Oscar nomination. I still think that’s possible. He’d be wise to let “Inferno” burn out quickly and turn to a “Sully” campaign.
Meanwhile, the other sort of big loser seems to be “The Magnificent Seven” remake. The Antoine Fuqua-Denzel Washington ensemble has stalled at $90 million for the U.S. and a paltry $60 million abroad. With a cost of $100 million, “M7” is a drag. I don’t think sequels will be forthcoming. Too bad. The guys did a very good job.
As for Hanks, the way he’s choosing projects might be up for reconsideration. “Hologram” was a weird one. His upcoming “The Circle” looks even stranger. “Toy Story 4” is a long way off in 2019. We need Tom back in something light and smart, if there is such a thing or a person who can still do that with Nora Ephron gone.