[Ed. – Uh, hel-LO? It’s 2016. Obama’s been busy transforming us, and his labors are bearing fruit. Americans are increasingly solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. Who can afford to take a bunch of kids, or even just a wife or girlfriend, to the movies? Not a recipe for what we might call #normbox. Note, however: with the old model of Hollywood success breaking up, this is a YUUGE opportunity for creative visionaries.]
From “Jaws” to “Jurassic Park,” few directors can rival Steven Spielberg in the blockbuster arena. But even Spielberg’s magic touch couldn’t save “The BFG” at the box office.
On paper, the film, a $140 million adaptation of a beloved children’s book with a script by “ET” writer Melissa Mathison, had all the makings of a hit. Instead, the movie collapsed at the multiplexes, eking out less than $20 million in its opening weekend.
It’s a stunning fall for one of cinema’s highest-flying talents — a director whose finger was affixed to the pulse of mainstream tastes for decades. Yet “The BFG” is only the latest high-profile casualty in a summer that’s seen a slew of big-budget domestic bombs. Indeed, red ink has spilled out from such misses as “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” “Warcraft,” “The Legend of Tarzan,” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows,” each of which had production budgets north of $130 million, along with steep global marketing and distribution costs. The failures could cost their studios tens of millions of dollars. …
“The theater business has weaker prospects going forward than at any time in the last 30 years,” says media analyst Hal Vogel.