Sunday, May 26, 2024

Box Office Update: Hugh Jackman’s “Reminiscence” is a $60 Mil Write Off, “Respect” Fails to Launch, “Suicide Squad” Commits to Title


Not an easy time of it for summer films unless you were The Rock.

“F9,” the latest Fast and Furious movie, is coming up on $700 million worldwide. Mindless entertainment, lots of fun, meaningless as far as cinema goes, a theme park at a time when we needed one. “F 10” is on the way, and so is “F 11.”

The only current movie anyone wants to see is “Free Guy,” from 20th Century Fox, with Ryan Reynolds. A total hit, headed for $100 million.

Otherwise, the box office has sad stories.

Hugh Jackman’s “Reminiscence” lost all its money, debuting with $2 million. It cost at least $68 million. No one knew about it, no one cared. Maybe Warner’s thinks HBO Max will save it. Maybe it will. But at the theaters, there were only empty seats.

Warner’s also watched “The Suicide Squad” commit suicide. I loved it, but the comics fans shunned it and so did the public. They’ve got $50 million in the bank on $200 mil budget. Sorry to say there will be more sequels. My hope is that “The Suicide Squad” will become a cult hit on video.

One sketchy note: Sean Penn’s “Flag Day” played in 24 theaters and made $40,750. The flag will lowered at half-mast. If “Flag Day” goes wide it’s only to lose money. I do hope to see it one day. MGM has no publicity department, they blew this one and “Respect.” James Bond is going to walk around with a sandwich board come October.

A24’s “The Green Knight” even had a streaming day this week. It’s very well reviewed, but that didn’t matter. Weekend box office was $971,825. They will close their theater run under $18 million. A beheading for all involved.

These films deserved better. But the pandemic has curtailed theater going, accounting for at least 20% lower numbers even for the iffy movies. People would have sampled them had they wanted to be in theaters. MGM’s other problem was not going to VOD, especially with “Respect.” But Jennifer Hudson is still leading the Best Actress race.


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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