Niagara Gazette — In addition to the less than stellar opening of “The Wolverine,” other highly-anticipated summer blockbusters have walked into a wall and crumbled. The truly awful and misguided “The Lone Ranger,” with an overall cost some say was $375-million, has limped to a pale $85-million. It’s a certified disaster.
Also flopping were Will Smith’s boring sci-fi epic “After Earth,” the derivative action thriller “White House Down,” the Godzilla meets Transformers copy “Pacific Rim,” the weird and watered-down “Men In Black” imitation known as “R.I.P.D.,” and “Turbo,” which had one of the weakest openings for DreamWorks Animation.
What is keeping audiences away? Overall, the quality is lacking this season. Familiarity really does breed contempt, as well as boredom. How many robots or White House shoot-outs can you handle? Even “Man Of Steel” lacked originality, but its strong foreign ticket sales have compensated for the low North American box office. High ticket prices and steep concession costs certainly add to the reluctance of moviegoers to sample films without positive word-of-mouth.
What has worked? The entertaining haunted house movie “The Conjuring” cost only $20-million to make, and it’s a smash hit. Spielberg might be on to something.Michael Calleri reviews films for Night and Day. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.