For every Jurassic World, there's a Jem and the Holograms.
And yet, other movies expected to perform well ended up flopping – some drastically so. Jem and the Holograms, based on the cult 1980's animated series, made less than $2 million in the two weeks it was in theaters, before Universal Studios pulled the plug. This made Jem the first wide-release film (2,000 theaters) to be shut down for underperforming. Victor Frankenstein, Creed, and The Good Dinosaur represented a comparatively low turnout for Thanksgiving weekend films, with Dinosaur having the lowest turnout for a Pixar film on opening weekend, and Frankenstein only passing the opening weekend of Jem by $610,000. Even The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is relatively underperforming for a blockbuster film (although, making a cool $101 million domestic could hardly be considered "underperforming").
None of this is really news, but take the case of Jem and the Holograms. Made for a mere $5 million, it won't even be able to make up its own dismal budget. Released by Universal (same folks who did the indies Jurassic World and Furious 7, so don't feel too bad for them), the film, similar to Frankenstein, had major marketing power behind it, but its tactic of nostalgia combined with a millennial twist for today's youngsters somehow just didn't stick, and the film was torn to shreds by critics (obviously expecting more from the director of Justin Beiber: Never Say Never).
It's hard to make the direct assumption that original films will always perform worse. Titanic and Avatar have disproven that. The issue with the most underperforming films of 2015 is mostly due to the fact that they are terrible movies. But, then again, the same case could be made for Minions, Fifty Shades of Grey, Pitch Perfect 2, Home, Hotel Transylvania 2, Get Hard, Ted 2, and Hitman: Agent 47, which all performed well with domestic audiences despite being hated by critics.
So as Hollywood prepares for Star Wars: The Force Awakens with dollar signs in their eyes, take the time to sit back and wonder: what movies are worth it?
-Are you guilty of seeing a sequel for the sake of it being a sequel?
-Which do you think does worse at the box office: bad movies or under-appreciated movies?
-Why do you think sequels and reboots do better?
-Are you planning on seeing Star Wars? Why or why not?