Which Upcoming Movies You Won’t Pay To See?
Some movies coming out this year like Star Wars: Episode VIII and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 have big dollars signs written all over it. Then there are poorly reviewed, critical flops which could still rake in a sizable stack of cash, we’re looking at you Transformers: The Last Knight. There will also be high budget behemoths starring A-list actors that’ll crash and burn. Here are 5 films that might be domestic box office bombs in 2017.
The Great Wall
Release date: February 17th
Starring: Matt Damon, Pedro Pascal, William Dafoe, Tian Jin, Andy Lau
Director: Yimou Zhang
Unlike China where bad reviews can be censored, moviegoers elsewhere are quickly going to learn how much critics dislike Yimou Zhang’s monster invasion flick. Critic proof movies are primarily in the superhero genre, part of a cinematic universe or established franchise and children’s animation. The Great Wall is not any one of these categories. At the China box office, The Great Wall has already made up its insanely expensive production budget estimated at over $150 million. However, it’s unlikely that the North American audience will feel the same sense of pride for the Great Wall like the Chinese do. Matt Damon’s bankability will be put to the test.
Release date: May 26th
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario, Priyanka Chopra, Kelly Rohrback
Director: Seth Gordon
Never underestimate the allure of bouncy flotation devices in slow motion, the Rock’s comedic touch and more gratuitous boob shots. The thing is that there are a lot of other ways people can get their titillation since the time Baywatch show debuted in 1989. Like video game adaptions, TV to movie reboots don’t have the odds in their favor and moviegoers are right to be skeptical. One exception to TV reboots is 21 Jump Street (2012) which made fun of 80’s nostalgia and the teen movie genre. But the Baywatch screen writers, who also penned Freddy Vs. Jason, don’t have any hit movies on their resume. And Zac Efron in yet another shirtless dude role isn’t promising.
Release date: June 9th
Starring: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Russell Crowe, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson
Director: Alex Kurtzman
Ughhh, The Mummy trailer is cringe worthy at best. And the villain is ripped out of Suicide Squad. If it isn’t bad enough that the Mummy is another ill conceived attempt to reboot a franchise, it also launches Universal’s monster universe. Rumored reports claim that the ornery Russell Crowe, cast as Jekyll/Hyde, squabbled on set with lead actor and infamous couch jumper Tom Cruise. Cruise can still cash in on the Mission Impossible brand name every few years. However, his other recent movies including new franchise Jack Reacher fail to make much of an impact at the box office.
Ghost in the Shell
Release date: March 31st
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbaek, Michael Pitt, Juliette Binoche, Rila Fukushima
Director: Rupert Sanders
Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders can make a visually proficient spectacle. But Ghost in the Shell will need more than CGI and special effects. The other big hurdle is in translating a rated R Japanese animated classic into a live action PG-13 film that still retains the layered themes of the original and have appeal beyond a niche audience. Scarlett Johansson, who’s casting has been controversial, is the top-grossing actor of 2016 due to her ensemble role in Captain America: Civil War and Hail, Caesar!, not because she is a mega draw at the box office.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Release date: May 12th
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Annabelle Wallis, Jude Law, Eric Bana, Katie McGrath
Director: Guy Ritchie
Are you clamoring for a Guy Ritchie stylized take on the King Arthur legend? Either way, Charlie Hunnam hasn’t proven yet he’s a legit leading actor whose performance can be the reason to watch a movie. After pushing the release date back several times, King Arthur is in tough, opening a week after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. It’s not only competing against Guardians hype in its all important first weekend box office but also Disney’s aggressive promotional power which ensures their movie will hit many more screens than it’s competitors.
If these films prove us wrong and become a critical & commercial success, the real winners are us movie fans. Speculating on upcoming films is part of the fun of being a movie fan. Can you smell a stinker from far away? Which upcoming movies are you skeptical of or won’t pay to see?