Biggest Potential Flops of the 2016 Summer Movie Season
Out of the hundreds of movies to come out each year, there are bound to be a handful that just don’t click with audiences. Over the last several years, we’ve had notoriously rough misfires like “Jupiter Ascending”, “Blackhat”, “R.I.P.D.”, and “John Carter”, but we rarely get more than one major flop during the summer movie season. I’m thinking of the big budget letdowns like 2012’s “Battleship” and “The Lone Ranger” from 2013, where even with overseas totals added in, the grand total ends with a big loss on the studio’s side. Last year had two movies during the summer movie season with Disney’s “Tomorrowland”, and Fox’s “Fantastic Four” reboot.
The common thread with these films seems to be a low to middling critical response and increasingly crowded summers that just can’t support all of the films that are trying to breakout. Looking at the list of films coming out this summer, I feel like the chance is very high that we will see more than just one or two major losses from the big budget studio films. Which movie’s will be written about at the end of the year as the biggest disappointments of 2016? Here are my choices for the most likely candidates…
I think the most likely choice for what seems to be almost a guaranteed flop would be “The Legend of Tarzan” from Warner Bros. Studios. At a reported $180 million dollar budget, I don’t see this movie catching on well enough with the general public to earn enough to warrant that price tag. The audience overseas might save it, but I’m not sure that Tarzan is all that relevant or sought after as a character anymore. Also, it comes out the same weekend as Steven Spielberg’s “The BFG” and follows directly behind “Independence Day: Resurgence”.
Next on my list is a similar feeling film, “Ben-Hur”. I couldn’t find a budget estimate but I am sure it is going to take a lot of tickets sold to recoup the money Paramount is putting into this historical remake. I feel like this sword and shield type of epic is a big risk that has rarely paid off recently and this movie will also suffer from the overcrowded summer with 3 or 4 movies coming out in wide release each week in August, including “Suicide Squad” two weeks before it.
What I consider to potentially be the biggest toss-up on this list is the new “Ghostbusters”. Directed by Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids”, “Spy”) and starring Melissa McCarthy and Kristin Wiig, I would have assumed this movie would not only be well received by audiences but by critics too. Time will tell the final results, but after the trailer for this film became the “Worst Received Trailer of All-Time” on YouTube, I’m really nervous about the odds for success. I still think the movie may be better than most fear, but it may prove too difficult to dig themselves out of the hole that’s been dug for them. I also don’t think it helps that “The Secret Life of Pets” (which I’m picking to be a breakout hit) comes out the week before, and “Ice Age: Collision Course” and “Star Trek Beyond” both come out the following week.
As far as some other potential flops that should be mentioned for this list, I think “Warcraft” has been met with mostly shrugs from everyone I have talked too, even though I hope for success for director Duncan Jones. I’m also not sure I really like the odds for “The BFG” or “Now You See Me 2”, which both come out on crowded weekends against big horror sequels and major fantasy/adventures. (“The Conjuring 2”/“Warcraft” and “The Purge: Election Year”/“The Legend of Tarzan”)
And since Disney seems to have had several of the biggest flops in the last few years with “John Carter” and “The Lone Ranger”, I’m looking to “Pete’s Dragon” as a potential film to struggle finding an audience.(I do think “Alice Through The Looking Glass” has a good chance to underperform expectations too) In a summer that is crammed with films geared toward the family’s dollar, I could see “Pete’s Dragon” getting overlooked for the likes of “Finding Dory”, “The Secret Life of Pets”, and “Ice Age: Collision Course”. It is also surrounded by PG films with “Nine Lives” coming out the week before and “Kubo and the Two Strings” the week after. (Which I hope does well because the animation looks gorgeous) Don’t feel too bad for Disney, even if “Pete” and “Alice” underperform as they are almost guaranteed to have the #1 and #2 movies of the summer with “Captain America: Civil War” and “Finding Dory”.
What movies do you think will fail this Summer? Do you think we will have more than “normal”?