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great_badir -> Great Badir celebrates those Box Office bombs (9/11/2005 2:02:22 PM)

There are loads of threads about blockbusters, oscar winners and critical darlings.  But what of those black sheep of the silver screen?  The ones that get swept aside and only spoken of in hushed tones and covered giggles?

In this thread, i'm going to dig up some of those famous (and not so famous) tankers and give them a long overdue re-appraisal.  And, to start us off on our adventure, one of the most infamous bombs of all time...

[image]http://war.movieposterz.net/posters/Inchon-1sh.jpg[/image]
Inchon, Terence Young (1981)
 
Budget - apparently $46million, but probably a lot more
Worldwide Box Office - official figures never published, but rumoured to have been as little as $500000 (yes, five hundred thousand)
Subsequent takings (rentals etc) - $2million

On paper, Inchon looked like it couldn't fail - a big budget 35mm epic re-telling of the Douglas MacArthur spearheaded invasion of Inchon during the Korean war in 1950, with big name international stars, a capable director (Young had made some of the best loved early Bond films) and a possible audience of millions (you'll hear why in a minute).  Unfortunately, the main man in this entire sorry saga was Reverend Sun Myung Moon - you know, leader of the Moonies, the crackpot religious cult who stage a simultaneous wedding for thousands of couples.  It was Moon's idea (well, according to Moon it was god's idea, but god felt that Moon was the best man to get the ball rolling) and he shopped it around until it was picked up by some independent American and Japanese producers (mainly rich businessmen who were assured of huge returns) and backed by both MGM and what was left of UA (the business eventually crushed by Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate).

It's not known how much each producer put into the film and how much the studios offered, but the combined $46million (probably more by the time Moon's various requests and suggestions to "improve" the film were met) was a huge chunk of money for a film in the early 80s (in fact, from initial idea to release, Inchon's gestation period was about 5 years) and it really is difficult to see just where that money went, despite its huge cast of extras and authentic vehicles.  Inchon was a money pit from the get-go - the stars were pretty much paid cash-in-hand, the communication between Young and his assistant directors was non-existent (leading to some hilarious differences in scene quality) and Moon constantly changed his mind as to what he wanted to put up on screen.  Even though it was woefully miscast (Laurence Olivier as MacArthur?!?!?!?!?!?!) and came across like a very low budget B-movie with lucky casting coups, Moon insured the studio and other backers that it would be a financial success thanks to a "guaranteed" audience of Moonies the world over.  Even if the generel public weren't interested, Moon's followers would surely see their leader safe.  Except they didn't - after its first disasterous showing at Cannes, the film was chopped down from nearly 3 hours to an easier going 138 minutes (leaving out numerous actors and sub-plots) for its theatrical release.  Unfortunately for Moon, only a handful of people were brave enough to see it and, though the official figures were never published, it's rumoured that its worldwide box office amounted to half a million dollars.  So low were the takings that it was even refused a video release for several years after.  Even when it was released for the rental market (having being shorn by another 30 or so minutes), it struggled to make back $2million. 

But for Moon, it was but a scratch - he was soon talking up a bunch of films based on chapters of the bible and said that he would make a film about Jesus' life with a budget of a BILLION dollars.  The idea has yet to come to fruition.

Any good?  Good lord, no.  It's by far one of the worst war films ever made and everyone involved quickly nay-sayed the film, admitting they only did it cos of the big paychecks.  Olivier rarely spoke of his role in the film, but you can bet he regretted ever saying yes to a role even he knew he was wrong for.  Watch it with mouth agog.    




livila -> RE: Great Badir celebrates those Box Office bombs (17/1/2006 10:17:37 PM)

Not been here in a while and was just catching up on one of my favourite threads.

But, I notice to my dismay that the last post is over a month ago!![:(]
Come back! Come back wherever you are!![;)]




indiejasper -> RE: Great Badir celebrates those Box Office bombs (17/1/2006 10:19:32 PM)

I second that - what a great thread! should make it into its own website!




livila -> RE: Great Badir celebrates those Box Office bombs (2/2/2006 8:22:18 AM)

I'm bumping this because I like it.....[;)]




Electric Babarella -> RE: Great Badir celebrates those Box Office bombs (2/2/2006 10:51:35 AM)

Me too! Come on Great Badir!

Although, we could do some box office bombs ourselves Livila - fancy a go?




The Don -> RE: Great Badir celebrates those Box Office bombs (2/2/2006 11:02:39 AM)

Yeah, I also love this thread. Definitely makes the top 5. [:)]




Brundlesflies -> RE: Great Badir celebrates those Box Office bombs (2/2/2006 11:20:30 AM)

I got all excited when I saw this one back, one of my favourite threads ever. But no new entries [:(]

Is the Great Badir still out there? I hope so, I needs my fix of B.O. Bombs!




Captain Black -> RE: Great Badir celebrates those Box Office bombs (2/2/2006 11:29:42 AM)

He's still out there, just a bit busy at the moment, apparently.

He's got a Top 150 films in the top 10 section (which really should be just renamed lists) that is well worth a read for the time being, though he's only just warming up with that thread.[:D]





Brundlesflies -> RE: Great Badir celebrates those Box Office bombs (2/2/2006 11:50:37 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Captain Black

He's still out there, just a bit busy at the moment, apparently.

He's got a Top 150 films in the top 10 section (which really should be just renamed lists) that is well worth a read for the time being, though he's only just warming up with that thread.[:D]




Cheers. Glad to hear he's still out there and keeping busy. 

(Actually, I think he needs to get his priorites sorted and spend more time writing excellent articles, for which he doesn't get paid and exist purely to provide free entertainment to the likes of work-shy fops such as myself  [:D])




Timon -> RE: Great Badir celebrates those Box Office bombs (2/2/2006 12:12:46 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: great_badir

[image]http://www.lynchposters.com/images/Postman,-The.jpg[/image]

The Postman, Kevin Costner (1997) 
Budget - $80million+
Worldwide Box Office - $18-20millionSubsequent takings (rentals etc) - not published

Dances With Wolves sealed Costner's rep.  Prince Of Thieves, inexplicably, made a mint.  Waterworld, which was more of the same but on water, struggled but quickly found a following and eventually turned a half decent profit.  And so it was, follow-up project The Postman was supposed to be Kev's own merging of Wolves' furrow-browed critical success with Thieves' and Waterworld's commercial savvy.  With a decent (but far from offensive, as one of the "cheaper" event movies of 1997) budget of $80million, Costner tried to turn a highly regarded B-grade pulp sci-fi novel with one great idea (one man's quest to bring peace and order to a post-apocalyptic and ruined US, simply by restoring national communication) into a big-screen melding of myth, adventure, patriotism and, most of all, hope.  The........unusual screenplay (by Eric Roth and Brian Helgeland, with some rumoured additions by Kev himself) painted a much broader canvas than the source novel and had much loftier intentions - it's no secret that Costner was after a Shakespearian tragedy feel and there are numerous parallels with Hitler's national socialism ideals - and as such something that, perhaps, should have been an action packed futuristic cheapie (think Soldier, only not shit) was turned into a western set Waterworld. Almost from the off the film was dubbed "Kevin's Gate" in a nod to Michael Cimino's similarly dusty epic, though somewhat unfairly - there weren't too many problems during the shoot and cash wasn't being swallowed up and wasted anything like as bad as during Waterworld. 


Actually i believe it was Dances With Wolves that was dubbed 'Kevin's Gate' due to its genre and spiralling budget.

Great threat...think i'll definetly have to give Last Action Hero a rewatch sometime.

Any chance of doing one for Cutthroat Island?! That was great! Unfairly derided.




Mycroft -> RE: Great Badir celebrates those Box Office bombs (2/2/2006 3:34:33 PM)

We need this thread as a sticky until the Messiah returns. Great job [sm=happy34.gif]




livila -> RE: Great Badir celebrates those Box Office bombs (2/2/2006 5:13:15 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Electric Babarella
Although, we could do some box office bombs ourselves Livila - fancy a go?


I'm embarassingly not very good at writing down my thoughts in large paragraphs, and making them readable to others. I was just reading this thread again last night, and realising it was down in page 10 - somewhat overlooked.

If the Great Badir doesn't add anthing else - that's cool!
There's plenty here already[;)]




great_badir -> RE: Great Badir celebrates those Box Office bombs (3/2/2006 8:09:58 AM)

Yes, i'm still alive!

The only net access I have right now is here at work and, as I've just got back this week from an epic christmas break (of just over a month), I haven't been able to write any wafflings.

I've needed this week to get my shit back together (after a month away from your job, you tend to come back to huge piles of work), but i'm all caught up now...................so i'm back, is what i'm basically saying.

Thanks for all the great comments, though I think messiah might have been a bit over the top[:D]


Just to pick you up on the Kevin's Gate thing, Timon - Dances With Wolves' entire budget was between $19-22million, which even for then (1990) wasn't earth shattering (the same year, Home Alone cost $17million+) and, if memory serves, it came in very much on time.

"Kevin's Gate" was actually first bandied around for Waterworld by one or two US critics, but it wasn't until The Postman that the phrase really stuck.  However, I have subsequently read a few articles (written after Wolves) that refer to Wolves as a Kevin's Gate project, but these were in retrospect having taken the phrase and ran with it.

.................cough.

Good to be back!





Brundlesflies -> RE: Great Badir celebrates those Box Office bombs (3/2/2006 9:28:14 AM)

Can I take this opportunity to be the first to welcome you back. Really looking forward to you getting this going again.

quote:



Thanks for all the great comments, though I think messiah might have been a bit over the top[:D]



Well, I say you are. And I should know, I've followed a few [sm=worship.gif]




great_badir -> RE: Great Badir celebrates those Box Office bombs (3/2/2006 1:27:18 PM)

[image]http://adorocinema.cidadeinternet.com.br/filmes/ride-with-the-devil/ride-with-the-devil-poster02.jpg[/image]
Ride With The Devil, Ang Lee (1999) 
Budget - $38million
Worldwide Box Office - Less than $1millionSubsequent takings (rentals etc) - ? If ever a film was victim to poor management, then Ang Lee's The Ice Storm follow-up has to be it.  With Storm garnering critical praise from every corner of the planet (if not setting the box office alight), Lee was handed a decent sized budget and carte blanche (and final cut) to bring Daniel Woodrell's popular novel of the same name to the big screen.  The source story had everything - war, romance, comradeship, betrayal and a sweeping historically accurate canvas in which to base its characters.  James Schamus's screenplay stuck pretty close to Woodrell's narrative (even using whole chunks of dialogue) and, with Lee on board directing a cast of actors as opposed to stars, it was almost guaranteed to be a high quality award grabber. Despite the awesome scope of the picture (it's fairly obvious that most of the budget went on locations and large-scale sequences), the reasonably tight schedule was met and very few hiccups occurred, with the film premiering at the Deauville Film Festival in France, September 1999.  Further festivals followed and reviews were largely good, if not great.  And this is where things started to go tits up.  By the beginning of November, the film had still yet to be given a firm US release date (one showing at the Toronto Film Festival a week after Deauville was as close as it got) and instead had its general release in the UK, mostly in small arts cinemas.  Now reviews were very mixed (with most complaining about the mix and match approach to it's main plot elements) and public reaction followed it - though released in 140 UK cinemas of varying size, Devil struggled to scrape together £100000 in its entire 2 week (or thereabouts) run.  By the time word got back to US distributors Universal and USA Films, a US release date still hadn't been decided on.  In the meantime, Devil did no business whatsoever thanks to no showings whilst the money-men decided what to do with the film and when to release it.  Just as it was verging on becoming a straight to video release, an end of November release was booked - nearly three months after its first showing in France! If Lee and his crew thought that was bad, nothing had prepared them for the full detail of the US release plan - a very small handful of independent cinemas to begin with, with a slow saturation into one or two multiplexes for the end of its run.  It barely made it to 100 screens in the US (even less than the UK - unprecedented) and, by the end of its run in January 2000, it made just over $630000.  To add insult to injury, the film and its director didn't even get a look-in with any of the major award ceremonies, not even a nomination.  As a result, Ride With The Devil ended up as on of the most expensive art films ever made and it couldn't even capitalise quickly on a DVD release - it took a further 7 months for the film to make it to disc, before almost disappearing without trace after a relaxed marketing campaign. Hardly surprising, though - 1999 was a tough year for pretty much any film, being that odds-on box-office behemoths like Star Wars Episode 1, Austin Powers 2, Toy Story 2 and word-of-mouth champions The Sixth Sense, The Blair Witch Project and The Matrix all dominated the big screens for much of the year.  It has to be said that arthouse darling Lee had no real chance of decent success with a 2hour and 20minute slow-burning western/war/romance amongst all that CGI, stupid comedy, smoke and mirrors and some angry old forest dwelling bint putting the willies up a bunch of annoying film school kids.
Any good?  Yes, I think so.  Okay, so it does seem muddled and Lee/Schamus often don't seem to know which way to go with the story.  However, it looks great, the acting is great (especially unkown quantity Jewel) and the levelling of Lawrence was one of the finest sequences of the 90s.  BUT (and this is crucial) it wants to be much more than it is.  Devil, you see, is a love story that happens to include war, when one gets the impression that Lee wanted a war film that included romance.




great_badir -> RE: Great Badir celebrates those Box Office bombs (6/2/2006 1:36:29 PM)

[image]http://images.art.com/images/-/Speed-2-Cruise-Control-dvdvideo-release--C10129598.jpeg[/image]Speed 2: Cruise Control, Jan De Bont (1997) 
Budget - $100-160million depending on who you ask, excluding never published marketing costs
Worldwide Box Office - $160-170million Subsequent takings (rentals etc) - approx. $25million
I suppose the idea of Speed 2 might have sounded great when it was pitched ("it's like Speed....but on a luxury liner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!", to which the reply might have been "correction - it IS Speed, but on a luxury liner.........and that means more victims, bigger set-pieces and more destruction!  If Die Hard 2 could do it on a plane, why can't Speed do it on a boat?!?!  We're in!!!!"...............indeed, the Speed 2 script was intended as Die Hard 3), and director Jan De Bont had by now well proven himself in being able to bring in the greenbacks on the flimsiest of ideas.  Given a swift and enthusiastic green light with Sandra Bullock brought back on board, Jason Patric replacing Keanu Reeves (Reeves was originally to reprise his role from Speed, but made the better decision to go on tour with Dogstar instead................that's probably the only time the words "better decision" and "go on tour with Dogstar" will ever appear in the same sentence) and villain par excellence Willem Dafoe with obligatory wide-eyed insanity at the ready.  The shoot went as smooth as any big budget sequel could and it was ready to meet its theatrical release on time.  But, oh dear......   Okay, so the figures above suggest that the film made its budget back if nothing else and, with rentals, may even have gone into profit.  So what's it doing on here???  Well, it's not quite as simple as the numbers show.  Like Titanic the same year, Speed 2's marketing costs were enormous and, as such, never officially published.  There's nothing to say they were included in the production costs but, curiously, there's nothing to say they weren't either.  That's a big chunk of unaccounted for expense right there.  And, also like Titanic, the reported production costs vary wildly depending on the source, suggesting that the actual figure has been conspiratorially kept secret, either to keep the media quiet or to keep the moneymen sane.  Several sources have even suggested that the end figures may well have gone above and beyond the magic $200million, which could mean the it hasn't made a penny in profit yet.  The rather mundane truth of its failure is that so much was laid out in the early days of production and the film has taken so long to make back its budget alone (it took literally months for it to rake in $50million in the states) that, like Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate, it's practically costing Fox money to have it in existence.   Key to Speed 2's snail-paced climb up the box office is the early bad word surrounding the film, not from journalists but, surprisingly (and almost unheard of prior to release) from the stars.  And this is where the "oh dear" comes in.  Before De Bont had even finished post production, both Bullock and Dafoe were openly less than positive about the project (Patric saved his comments for much later, after the film had its video debut), Bullock saying she wished she'd turned it down and Dafoe admitting he only did it because he hadn't had a really decent pay cheque since Clear & Present Danger three years before.  Naturally the press ran with the comments and soon sealed the film's fate as it came out to universal howls of derision - the acting was awful (with Jason Patric putting the last nail into his A-list acting coffin), the special effects, despite largely being the work of ILM, were laughable and the premise was too ridiculous even for the popcorn crowd who had lapped up Speed and Twister.  Most of the negative comments, however, were reserved for De Bont himself.  Despite spending his time prior to Speed lensing some good looking material (most notably Black Rain, Die Hard and The Hunt For Red October) Speed 2 came off as amateurish and even dumber than his two previous films as director, proving (and subsequently backed up by the abomination that is The Haunting remake) that De Bont was and is in no way a capable director - Speed and Twister were buoyed up by an original notion and Michael Chrichton respectively, whilst Speed 2 was very much De Bont's own invention (it's no surprise that he hasn't scripted anything since). Luckily for De Bont, Bullock and Dafoe the disasterous reception did little to harm their careers (De Bont went straight into The Haunting and then took time out to produce a little, before bouncing back with another rubbish Tomb Raider film), Bullock perfected her particular brand of quietly successful rom-com and Dafoe carried on as normal, sprinkling his well received indie appearances with the odd big budget bad guy.  Patric, on the other hand (and, it must be said, somewhat unfairly) barely made it out the other side with only Narc to show on his notable (ie seen by a sizeable audience) appearances to date.  Speed 2 frequently makes it into the top tier of worst sequels of all time.  And a good thing too, if you ask me. And how about that comment on the above poster - two thumbs up from Siskel & Ebert.  Really?!?!?!?!?  Honestly?!?!?!?!  And there was me thinking that Ebert, at least, was one of the highest regarded critics in America!!! Any good?  No, not in the least.  Sure, it's got its "so bad it's good" fans, but there's little in the way of entertainment even for the most low expectational of viewers.  And that's all I have to say on it.




Brundlesflies -> RE: Great Badir celebrates those Box Office bombs (7/2/2006 11:25:27 AM)

Glad to have you back, Badir! Another 2 quality reviews, and a couple of wildly different films. I must confess to not having seen either, although I did catch the last 20 mins of Speed 2 just to see if it was that bad - hey, it was!

Will be interesting to see if the success of Lee's Brokeback Mountain will allow a reassessment of Devil? Probably not, but I will certainly be tracking it down for a view.

Cheers again GreatBadir, keep 'em coming [sm=happy34.gif]




great_badir -> RE: Great Badir celebrates those Box Office bombs (7/2/2006 1:59:21 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Brundlesflies

Glad to have you back, Badir! Another 2 quality reviews, and a couple of wildly different films. I must confess to not having seen either, although I did catch the last 20 mins of Speed 2 just to see if it was that bad - hey, it was!

Will be interesting to see if the success of Lee's Brokeback Mountain will allow a reassessment of Devil? Probably not, but I will certainly be tracking it down for a view.

Cheers again GreatBadir, keep 'em coming [sm=happy34.gif]


Ride With The Devil is hugely under-rated.  It's better than Hulk, that's for sure.

As for Speed 2, you're really not missing anything at all.  It wouldn't be so bad if it weren't so shitting boring, but it's dull dull dull.




Comrade Zutroy -> RE: Great Badir celebrates those Box Office bombs (7/2/2006 3:44:27 PM)

It's great to have you back.  I loved the previous reviews and look forward to reading more from you.

Keep up the good work [:)]




livila -> RE: Great Badir celebrates those Box Office bombs (7/2/2006 4:34:48 PM)

Ride With The Devil is one of my favourite films. I have watched it many times and it truly is more enjoyable each time I see it. I love the slow pace. For me the film is about Holt and Roedel's relationship both being caught between the sensibilties of the North and South.

I remember one of critics remarks was that the lads were all too good looking. Didn't have that problem here - but the one thing I thought; how young the lads were. And they would have been - just teenagers.
The sporadic fighting throughout is because it's film about the Missouri/Kansas border fighting ( almost guerilla warfare) not the Civil war between Confederate & Union Armies fought further east. This was a war between towns and familes. Loyalties spiltting people apart.

I wish now I had seen it in the cinema. It deserves to be re-released on DVD.




great_badir -> RE: Great Badir celebrates those Box Office bombs (7/2/2006 4:52:38 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: livila

Ride With The Devil is one of my favourite films. I have watched it many times and it truly is more enjoyable each time I see it. I love the slow pace. For me the film is about Holt and Roedel's relationship both being caught between the sensibilties of the North and South.

I remember one of critics remarks was that the lads were all too good looking. Didn't have that problem here - but the one thing I thought; how young the lads were. And they would have been - just teenagers.
The sporadic fighting throughout is because it's film about the Missouri/Kansas border fighting ( almost guerilla warfare) not the Civil war between Confederate & Union Armies fought further east. This was a war between towns and familes. Loyalties spiltting people apart.

I wish now I had seen it in the cinema. It deserves to be re-released on DVD.



Good to see someone else shares my enthusiasm.

Though I've always felt that the "love story" (such as it is) feels like an also-ran plot element, whilst the war elements (refreshing to see a film ignore the civil war in favour of the smaller, yet more tragic border disputes) are focussed on much more.

I don't know - I know Lee loves his romance, but in Devil it feels like it's getting in the way of the rest of it. 

But that's just me.





DanielFullard -> RE: Great Badir celebrates those Box Office bombs (7/2/2006 5:21:40 PM)

At the start of the week I usually go through the TV guide and circle all the films I want to watch that week and since I have just got Sky movies I noticed Gigli was on there.....I am so tempted to watch and see just how bad it is




great_badir -> RE: Great Badir celebrates those Box Office bombs (8/2/2006 12:36:50 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: DanielFullard

At the start of the week I usually go through the TV guide and circle all the films I want to watch that week and since I have just got Sky movies I noticed Gigli was on there.....I am so tempted to watch and see just how bad it is


I would say if it ain't gonna cost you anything and you've got nothing else planned, then watch it.

And let me know what it's like[:D]




great_badir -> RE: Great Badir celebrates those Box Office bombs (8/2/2006 1:56:54 PM)

[image]http://www.columbus.com.lb/columbus/lib/north.jpg[/image]North, Rob Reiner (1994) 
Budget - $40million
Worldwide Box Office - $7-8million Subsequent takings (rentals etc) - practically zilch Straight away i'm gonna say I like North.  It's had all sorts of shit slung at it over the years, most of it reserved for Bruce Willis in a bunny suit.  I KNOW i'm not the only person that likes it, but there are thousands who don't.  And one, famously, who hates every single little thing about it (stand up Roger Ebert........................hang on - didn't he give Speed 2 an enthusiastic thumb up!?!?!?!?!). By 1994, director Rob Reiner had an almost unrivalled track record of back to back critical and commercial hits - not bad for a kid who many thought was just living in his father (Carl)'s shadow.  After three fairly adult films (When Harry Met Sally, Misery and A Few Good Men), Reiner wanted to get back to the fun family story telling of The Princess Bride.  The film option for Alan Zweibel's popular novel North seemed like the perfect thing - a cosy, funny and heartwarming story about a kid who tries to find new parents after being unhappy with the ones he's got.  It was something that Reiner was comfortable with - a story dealing with family relationships and parental issues, themes that peppered Reiner's earlier films.  The film was greenlit with no problem and filming got under way.  Despite North not requiring anything in the way of big special effects and set pieces (unlike True Lies and Forrest Gump, the year's biggest hits), at $40million it was still an expensive little project.  Filming went without a hitch, but huge amounts of money (most of the budget) was splashed out on expensive US locations and an endless cast of cameos, with Bruce Willis taking an enormous pay cheque for realtively little work. Armed with the novel's author on scripting duties, Bruce Willis (then on his way down the career ladder) a more than capable cast of character actors and big name cameos, and Elijah Wood, a child actor who everyone thought was a miniature genius, North was a shoe-in for box office success.  Eagerly rushed out to well over a thousand cinemas, Columbia calmly waited for the money to come rushing in for the biggest family oriented film in years.  But no one came at first.  With just over $3million to show for its opening weekend, the suits were worried but, remembering that The Princess Bride had a disasterous first few weeks before word of mouth spread and left it with a respectable (if not jaw dropping) profit, no one worried too much.  Until the reviews started to pour in.  Just about every major US critic hated the thing.  Ebert made it a personal mission to deter every living person from seeing it and Leonard Maltin (the US number 2) was uncharacteristically scathing.  By the mid 90s, Ebert and Maltin were two of the most powerful reviewers in the States and, unlike here in the UK where audiences largely ignore reviews, US film fans followed their every word and took it as gospel, staying away in huge numbers leaving North with a final tally of $7million dollars.  Those who did manage to see it were either confused, put off, unable to see the point, or all three. So, to quote Fred Willard in A Mighty Wind - "WHA' HAPPENED?!?!?!".  Well, it's obvious that negative reviews were the main cause of the upset, but just why were they so negative?  Watching the film back now on the small screen and with the benefit of hindsight, it's not immediately apparrent what critics found so offensive - after all, unlike most family films, it's smart, satirical, intelligent and unafraid to veer away unexpectedly from its main story.  It's also got great characters and some wonderful little moments - Jon Lovitz's first appearance and Abe Vigoda as an eskimo.  It's also one of the most unschmaltzy kids films of all time, instead relying on subtle mood than cloying tenderness.  But maybe that's what put the audiences off - maybe there's just far too much going on for anyone to accept this as a kids movie.  Perhaps it's too smart, too satirical, too intelligent and too confident with its various jaunts away from the main plot.  And, let's face it, most of those cameos and in-jokes are gonna be lost on most kids and any parent expecting an easy live action Disney film.  Critics, though - surely they would see beyond the expectations of the average young family.  Guess not.  The longer the film was out, the more venom it attracted and it was a VERY brave critic that had anything good to say about the film.  After a few weeks, North went global.  Well, it got into cinemas in the UK, France and Spain...............and then disappeared again, adding little to the £7-odd million it took.  Going by Ebert's and Maltin's comments of the time, it sounds like they just didn't "get" the film or what it was trying to do.  Ebert's main problem with it was that he thought it seemed the film held a conceit that it would confidently enetertain its audience.  Ebert thought otherwise and took it as a personal insult on behalf of the cinema going public, even naming a book after his North attack.  Maltin's writings worked on the basis that, despite having a kitchen sink included feel, the overall result was weak and rather empty, with little to engage anyone of any age.  Most other reviewers just said it achieved nothing it set out to do and, even though it clocked in under 90 minutes, it seemed to go on for much longer.   North is now surely due re-appraisal, but thanks to Ebert is unlikley to ever get a reprieve, which is a shame. Any good?  See above.




DanielFullard -> RE: Great Badir celebrates those Box Office bombs (8/2/2006 4:10:46 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: great_badir

quote:

ORIGINAL: DanielFullard

At the start of the week I usually go through the TV guide and circle all the films I want to watch that week and since I have just got Sky movies I noticed Gigli was on there.....I am so tempted to watch and see just how bad it is


I would say if it ain't gonna cost you anything and you've got nothing else planned, then watch it.

And let me know what it's like[:D]


Will do....Its on about 12.25am on Sky Movies somenight next week.




great_badir -> RE: Great Badir celebrates those Box Office bombs (22/2/2006 1:56:57 PM)

[image]http://www.screenselect.co.uk/images/products/2/7602-large.jpg[/image]Glitter, Vondie Curtis Hall (2001) 
Budget - approx. $30million
Worldwide Box Office -  just over $7millionSubsequent takings (rentals etc) - minimal Pathetic rags to riches story which is, for all intents and purposes, a big-screen version of Mariah Carey's own life.  Like we care. Bah, I apologise for my cynicism so early on.  But it IS bad.  Vondie-Curtis Hall was an odd choice to direct this allegory.  Known primarily as a versatile bit-part actor (appearing in everything from ultra low budget chaff like Drop Squad, to more respectable films such as Passion Fish, Falling Down and Coming To America), his first bit of directing work was his own project Gridlock'd, starring Tim Roth and Tupac Shakur.  Gridlock'd was a pretty nifty, down and dirty low budget film about drugs, and came out to huge critical nods in 1997.  But, whoever decided to hire Hall for this - a bright, breezy and downright soppy for-teenage-girls-only item - was either ignorant or gambling with his own future.  Even more curious is why Hall accepted, seeing as how he wasn't even under contract with Fox at the time.  We can only surmise that for Hall, a medium sized budget picture for a major studio (Fox) with a big star in the shape of Carey was the perfect step up onto the directing A-list.  And, just maybe, he thought he could do something different with the fairly bland material. But anyway, Carey first hit on the idea of a semi-fictionalised personal biography for the big screen in 1997 and had spent the subsequent years shopping it around to anyone who would listen to her ideas (wisely, no one took the bait).  In that time, she also started work on the music before the project had even been given a full green light (remember - this was in the days prior to her breakdown, so she was still super confident and even stumped up some of her own cash, landing a producer credit) and had already planned to release the film's soundtrack of the same name as her next album, which was to be for Virgin (a new record label for her) and would be released simultaneously with the film.  None of this should have been a problem, though - Carey was a proven star with a solid and dependable fan base and her previous album had been a big hit.  Thus, Fox and Virgin probably thought they couldn't lose with a middle budget film and an album's worth of material that had been worked on for years.  So, songs ready, star ready, director and crew hired, work could begin.  Sadly, there are few stories about the actual shooting of the film.  It's safe to say that, for the most part at least, there were few problems - Carey has always been known for her un-diva like personality whilst working (it's only in her free time it kicks off) and with Gridlock'd Hall had already proven himself as an efficient director who could come up with the goods in the trickiest of circumstances.  The first signs that things perhaps wouldn't be too rosy for Glitter's future, came late on in the film's post production.  Hall had been interviewed by a few trade journals and he gave many hints that the footage he was now working with was less than brilliant.  Without coming out and actually saying it, he also made subtle remarks about Carey's acting abilities and how the money he'd been given (presumably, $29million of the $30million budget was spent on Carey herself) wasn't enough to fully realise the story.  Carey's post production antics were even worse - whilst promoting the film and album, Carey began to act more and more erratically until, after one now legendary appearance on TRL where she appeared more like an escaped lunatic than America's favourite diva, a vague message was posted by Carey on her website that many fans took as an allusion to a possible suicide attempt or, at the very least, as doing "something" to herself.  The message was quickly removed and it was announced a few days later that Carey had been admitted to hospital for nervous exhaustion and emotional and physical breakdown.  Whether Carey knew the film (and album) were shaping up to be huge misfires is hard to tell, but whatever the reason Glitter's releases were delayed for nearly a month whilst Carey was recuperating.   Before the film and album even came out, they and Carey herself were heavily criticised for her careless actions and lack of respect for her fans.  Her appearances were later met with boos instead of screams, and critics and interviewers no longer treated her with kid gloves.  When the releases finally came, reviews were universally scathing, with one critic going as far as saying that Glitter (the film) was a disaster on the same level as Chernobyl and that Glitter (the album) was quite possibly the worst collection of covers and original songs ever released.  Whilst that was one of the harsher reviews, no one had anything good to say.  Even die-hard Carey fans were appalled and audiences quickly dwindled after a laughable $2million opening weekend.  As if that wasn't bad enough, it also had the embarrassment of suffering from one of the biggest second week drop-offs that year, with high walk-out rates noted in almost every theatre that bothered to show it (it actually opened on over 1000 screens).  As for the album, it similarly ignored by disinterested Carey fans and became the worst selling album of her career, with Virgin (in the UK at least) quickly selling it at a cut-price to entice further sales.  It's obvious why the film did so bad - Carey is NOT an actress and her "performance" in the film is so bad, it's a wonder she wasn't replaced.  But she's not alone - Max Beesley (sporting an unusual and undecided transatlantic accent) and the usually dependable Terrence Howard are also howl worthy, and they're backed up by a cast of singers, rappers and musicians who clearly should never be allowed in front of a camera again.  Behind the camera, it's no better - the script sounds like it was written by a 12 year old girl and Hall's directing is lazy and maxed out with every montage and slo-mo cliché under the sun.   Before long, Hall had all but given up on promoting the film and instead quickly signed up an acting and directing contract with the ER team, avoiding any feature work right up to this year (2006), when he completed a self-penned action thriller, going back to the murkier waters of drugs and violence.  Carey, to give her her due, tried to continue with promoting the disaster, but no one was buying.  Not surprisingly, both film and album disappeared after just a few weeks, with the film limping in with a $5million US haul and a terrifyingly low $2million gross from the other 20-odd countries where it was released. Any good?  As if you couldn't guess, no.  It's not even one of those musical films like Mae West's misinformed Sextette, or The Village People's Can't Stop The Music, where they're so jaw droppingly awful you just have to see them to believe the tragedy taking place before your eyes.  Glitter is just bland, boring, amateurish and inept.  Avoid at all costs.  Album's shit too, but I don't like Mariah anyway.  'Nuff said. 




great_badir -> RE: Great Badir celebrates those Box Office bombs (23/2/2006 12:28:50 PM)

[image]http://www.musicman.com/00pic/899.jpg[/image]Cleopatra, Joseph L Mankiewicz/Rouben Mamoulian/Darryl F Zanuck (1963) 
Budget - $44million+
Worldwide Box Office -  (eventual) $62million+Subsequent takings (rentals etc) - around $30million Here it is then - the mother of ALL cinematic behemoths, a veritable black hole of fund swallowing activities that has, with inflation, become the most expensive film ever made.  Even more amazing, then, that it eventually turned a profit! Technically, Cleopatra shouldn't be included in this list, but its catalogue of disasters and set-backs are legendary, even when compared to modern day monsters like Heaven's Gate and Cutthroat Island - originally planned in 1957/58 as a low-ish budget ($2million) vehicle for Joan Collins, it was to be a quick UK studio shoot of just a couple of months, with the picture ready for release in late '58/early '59.  Collins was becoming something of a star in the late 50s and, after a similar role in the decidedly B-grade Land Of The Pharaohs in 1955, Cleopatra was intended as her A-list reputation sealer.  But, after just a few days, Collins quit the shoot as she'd already agreed to appear in The Bravados and Rally Round The Flag Boys (both 1958).  The search was on for a replacement, but it wasn't until 1959 (after several on-the-up actresses had been offered the role) that Elizabeth Taylor accepted, after joking that she would do it for a million dollars.  Producer Walter Wanger agreed without batting an eyelid and, with one off the cuff jokey comment, Taylor became the first person to sign up for a single picture million dollar contract.  Perhaps realising an opportunity for easy money, Taylor then demanded a further return of 10% of the gross, whether the film broke even or not, as well as the use of her late husband Michael Todd's Todd-AO system (a large and expensive 70mm widescreen format known as "Bug-eye", thanks to its capability of capturing a huge 128 degree wide image without any loss in clarity) netting her even more profits as Todd-AO rights holder.  Immediately the budget of the film was increased to make up the short-falls and, after several non-starters, filming finally began in 1960, nearly three years after production first started.  But it soon fell over again - after just a few weeks of shooting, Taylor fell ill, citing the changeable English climate as the cause, and was unable to work.  Almost the entire production now ground to a halt as Taylor was required for nearly every scene in the film and, three months in, she was still in her bed and apparently finding it difficult to move, let alone work.  Early in 1961, original director Rouben Mamoulian quit in a fit of anger, blaming his decision (as well as the problematic production) on Taylor's lack of professionalism.  Shortly after Mamoulian's exit, several leads and extras also left the project due to other commitments, effectively closing down Cleopatra, seemingly for good.  Taylor, though, had other ideas.  Nearly eight months after first falling ill, she was ready to work again, but only on the agreement that a new and better regarded director was hired and the shoot moved to a warmer location. In the new chapter of Cleopatra's existence, Joseph L Mankiewicz was brought in and the whole production moved to Rome's Cinecitta Studios.  Mankiewicz soon scrapped everything that Mamoulian had shot in the UK and found no use for the props and sets originally built (with most of them being later used for Carry On Cleo).  With larger and more authentic sets, props and costumes (the costume budget for Taylor alone was nearly $200000) Cleopatra was now, for all intents and purposes, an entirely new project from the one originally started, and very much a tent-pole film, with only Taylor and a few minor cast and crew members left as links to Mamoulian's low budget quickie.  Together, Mankiewicz and Taylor now saw the film as an epic in every sense of the word and the cast was soon brought up to similar lofty standards, with Richard Burton (kicking off the epic Taylor Vs. Burton grudge match) and Rex Harrison hired as Marc Antony and Caesar respectively, replacing the lesser known Stephen Boyd and Peter Finch.  Some new cast members were even contracted to the project for as much as 18 months, usggesting that someone somewhere knew the remainder of the new project would be far from a smooth ride.  By the summer of 1961, the budget had gone way beyond its original $2million and was already well on the way to becoming the most expensive film of the year, not helped by enterprising Cinecitta staff not attached to the project who'd lifted (ie stolen) millions of dollars worth of equipment (all of which had to be replaced) to sell on the open market, production designer John Decuir having to rebuild his massive Alexandra set several times, and Cleopatra's enormous entrance sequence having to be reshot thanks to some careless extras who were seen sporting ice creams and sun glasses.  On top of all this, Mankiewicz (having thrown out the original script early on) was now writing the screenplay himself day to day and basing it all on several different historic texts, which was a logistical nightmare - the director spent as much time smoothing out his own words and ideas as he did directing the action.  With all these practical and monetary problems, Mankiewicz hit on the idea to release the film in two parts - one chronicling Cleopatra's time with Caesar and one with Marc Antony.  This would, at least, go some way to ensuring that the film would make back its budget, if not go into profit.  Mankiewicz went ahead and pretty much made two films for the price of........well, several, and eventually conceptualised two three hour episodes.  Fox, however, soon nixed the idea, meaning that the director was now in charge of one project that would not only be extremely pricy, but also one that was destined to be heavily cut.   As the shoot came to a close Mankiewicz was exhausted, but he had all the footage he wanted and was pleased with the way most of the film had turned out.  Unfortunately, he still had the unenviable task of overseeing the editing and music.  But, during editing, Fox decided to fire him (wisely waiting until after the last footage had been shot) after all of the delays and extra expense.  At even greater expense, they tried to hire other editors and directors to put the hours of footage together (Darryl F Zanuck did some reshoots) but, soon realising Mankiewicz was the only person who knew how the end result would fit together, he was re-hired and given an extra salary.  Fox would later switch their attentions to Elizabeth Taylor (see below).  Mankiewicz finally delivered a cut running at six hours (basically his two episodes spliced together as one film) and, though Fox were happy with the results, they would not allow the film to be released in cinemas in its current state.  Apart from anything, a six hour running time would restrict the film to two showings a day at most and, knowing that they now needed to get back every penny they could, they decided to leave in the meat of the film and most of Mankiewicz's hardest work and take out the slower (Fox saw them as unnecessary) sections so as not to bore the audience.  As a result of Fox's eagerness with the scissors, many actors found that their performances had either been cut almost completely, or had been edited in such a way that there was none of the growth in character that Mankiewicz had so painstakingly scripted.   With two hours on the cutting room floor and a final budget of around $44million (in today's money that's approaching $300million), Fox agreed to release the film as widely as possible.  Rushed out to screens in the summer of 1963, Fox and Mankiewicz were hoping for a miracle.  In a way, they got it.  Although reviews were mixed, audiences flocked to see just what $44million looked like on screen.  Word of the production problems had got out way before the film's release and, far from harming its cinema draw, many believe it's the one thing that kept the film floating.  At the end of its US run, Cleopatra had almost made back its budget - an impressive haul in the early 60s, but nowhere near enough to make Fox or Mankiewicz happy as they were still paying various fees and charges.  Its worldwide gross added little more and it wasn't until 1966 that the film turned a profit when ABC bought the TV rights for $5million for only two showings.  Swiftly re-released around the world in the late 60s, Cleopatra finally managed grosses of over $60million before making an impressive profit with further TV sales and rentals. But its trail of destruction didn't end with its release - even after the film had finished its theatrical run, it was dealing out blows to those who had been involved.  First to be hit was Cinecitta, a one time popular cheap alternative for foreign productions.  Cleopatra's noteriety and demands had forced local suppliers and workers to increase their charges, signalling a downturn in production that kept dwindling until the previously popular sword & sandal epic was a dead donkey.  Cinecitta languished for several years until becoming a popular location for the spaghetti westerns of the mid to late 60s.  Closer to home, Fox was still reeling from its failed attempt at firing Mankiewicz for his epic production fetishes and instead launched an equally epic attack on Elizabeth Taylor in 1963 who, by this time, was married to co-star Richard Burton.  The total of Fox's law-suit came to around $50million, and contained clear criticism of Taylor's huge demands, with much finger pointing at her earlier illness.  Unfortunately for Fox, they had left it a tad too long after the event and Taylor and Burton counter-sued with Fox eventually settling out of court in 1966.  Embarrassingly for Fox, the legal action went in Taylor's favour and they had to pay the star a further $3-4million, increasing her total Cleopatra earnings to a massive $7million. It went on to become one of the biggest earners of the 60s, but not before further expense and problems crossed its path. Any good?  I don't think so, but many critics have long championed its qualities.  It looks wonderful and is no doubt authentic, but for me (someone who's not a fan of costume epics anyway) it's 4 hours of sheer boredom.




Indiana Jones -> RE: Great Badir celebrates those Box Office bombs (23/2/2006 2:15:36 PM)

heh, absolutely brilliant as ever.

One small suggestion tho' Badir, any chance of breaking them up a bit into paragraphs, they can be a bit of a bast to read and I keep losing my place.

Keep up the great work man, I am still waiting for 'Nothing but Trouble' with baited breath.




Rhubarb -> RE: Great Badir celebrates those Box Office bombs (23/2/2006 2:22:55 PM)

this is one of the most readable threads around here. keep it up [sm=happy34.gif]




great_badir -> RE: Great Badir celebrates those Box Office bombs (23/2/2006 3:38:48 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Indiana Jones

One small suggestion tho' Badir, any chance of breaking them up a bit into paragraphs, they can be a bit of a bast to read and I keep losing my place.



You should've seen them BEFORE I broke up the paragraphs more!




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