March 28, 2017

Elton John rips Disney for weak “Gnomeo” support


By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: By most accounts, “Gnomeo & Juliet” is a hit.

The animated retelling of William Shakespeare’s tragic play has hovered near the top of the box office since opening on Feb. 11. To date, it has earned an estimated $75 million, and that’s without the benefit of the “Pixar” label or the inclusion of a character audiences already were familiar with (like Shrek or a fairy tale legend like Rapunzel).

But at least one person with direct ties to the hit film thinks it could have been more successful, if only the studio had given it proper support.

“We fought resistance from the (Disney) studio for so long, and to be honest with you, the film has taken $75 million in America, and we haven’t had a message of congratulations from anyone within the studio,” Sir Elton John rantedon “The Marilyn Dennis Show” on Tuesday (via THR).

“Gnomeo and Juliet took us eleven years to make. We defied all the odds and all of the people at Disney who said, ‘This wouldn’t be a hit,’” John continued. “And it’s the biggest hit, but it could have been a bigger hit if Disney got behind it more.”

While it’s true Disney shelved “Gnomeo” for some time as the studio figured out how to treat it, this comes off as unnecessary. John should be happy that Disney released it, and that audiences are finding it.

But if the sides need a solution that satisfies everyone, can I suggest a sequel? Perhaps another adaptation of a Shakespeare play with garden gnomes? But let’s try a comedy this time, OK?

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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