Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Biggest Box Office Bomb of the Year “Welcome to Marwen” Will Lose $40 Mil Plus– from Director of “Forrest Gump,” “Back to the Future,” “Cast Away”


Robert Zemeckis is not used to box office failure. His resume includes some of the biggest and best movies ever made: all three “Back to the Future” installments, “Forrest Gump,” “Cast Away,” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” are among his achievements.

But his new “Welcome to Marwen,” based on an odd documentary, is one of the biggest bombs of 2018– if not the biggest. The whole weekend produced just $2.4 million. Universal dumped it, and the audience responded by staying away. The budget is $40 million, but you know that number is probably closer to $50 million. And all of it will be lost.

Steve Carell and Leslie Mann star in this strange narrative take on “Welcome to Marwencol” a documentary about the true story of Mark Hogancamp, a man living with PTSD. After a physical assault, Hogancamp memory was erased so he created a fictional village to ease his pain.

Unfortunately, the whole thing just didn’t come off with Zemeckis’s uusual aplomb. Critics hated it. There was no way of describing it to the public. So “Marwen” repeats the failure of last year’s “Downsizing”– something interesting that appeals to a small group and can’t be explained.

For Zemeckis that’s three disappointments in a row, after “The Walk” (which had a $1.5 mil opening and was a bigger disaster) and “Allied,” a Brad Pitt movie everyone slept through. Zemeckis will be back, no doubt. So will Carell, who’s always good. This was just a bad concept going in.

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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