“Jack the Giant Slayer” bombs!

Pretty much everything I said last March about John Carter applies to Jack the Giant Slayer. There are a few differences.

Jack and the Beanstalk is technically a well-known property and Bryan Singer had the live-action track record that Andrew Stanton did not. But otherwise it is pretty much the same fallacy with pretty much the same result: $200 million cost plus who knows how much in marketing for $27.9 million on opening weekend. No stars, source material no one really cared to see onscreen, marketing that didn’t convince them that they should, a release date that put them within one week of a likely juggernaut, and mixed reviews.

Like John Carter and Battleship, Jack the Giant Slayer was basically a $200 million variation on ‘Generic Blockbuster: The Movie’. Unlike Disney and Universal respectively, Warner Bros. seemed to see this one coming well in advance. They changed the release date from June 2012 to this weekend and changed the title from Jack the Giant Killer to ‘appeal to families’. Yet they still spent $200 million on a would-be family film that I can’t take my daughter to because it’s PG-13 and (allegedly) features slightly toned down Lord of the Rings type violence.

To be fair, some of that $200 million cost was due to reshoots and the date change, but why bother? Warner spent untold extra millions to get the exact same terrible result they got this weekend. And really the film’s cost is as usual the prime offender.

To read more go to Mendelson’s Memos

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