In one of the biggest upsets of the summer (if we’re still calling this summer), the film adaptation of Frank Miller’s gritty graphic novel ‘Sin City: A Dame To Kill For’ completely crashed and burned at the box office. Some had predicted that the film might have a chance to actually take the number one spot with predictions that it could make $15 million. Instead, the sequel to 2005’s ‘Sin City’ only scraped in $6.5 million and fell well short of the Top Five.
Both ‘Sin City’ movies merge gritty, noir live action with heavy surreal visual effects and the first movie actually trumped expectations. It was predicted to open at $20 million, but actually hit $26 million and ended its theatrical run with $158.8 million, ensuring a follow up. But unfortunately, ‘A Dame To Kill For’ arrived eight years later and most analysts are are blaming that long gap on the sequel’s failure. Simply put, any heat that the first film generated with audiences had long cooled by the time a second installment arrived.
It probably doesn’t help that the film got meh reviews. Our own reviewer gave it a fair, but less-than-enthusiastic review, which you can read here.
For the record, this is the top ten movies at the box office:
- Guardians of the Galaxy $17.6 million
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles $16.8 million
- If I Stay $16.4 million
- Let’s Be Cops $11 million
- When the Game Stands Tall $9.1 million
- The Giver $6.7 million
- The Expendables 3 $6.6 million
- Sin City: A Dame to Kill For $6.5 million
- The Hundred-Foot Journey $5.6 million
- Into the Storm $3.8 million
Yes, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ went back to number one (and made more than the early, optimistic predictions for ‘Sin City’) and is the second Marvel movie to do that this year, after ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier.’
I have a couple more theories that also sort of tie into the thought that the delay between the two films.
First, we’re living in a different age than we were eight years ago, the age of social media. As soon as the first SHOWING of a movie is over, the entire world is going to learn via Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. whether or not a movie is worth seeing. Movie studios can’t just crank out any junk and expect to at least coast through an opening weekend. It looks like many people that might have seen ‘Sin City’ changed their minds. (Times are tough.)
The second is that eight years ago, I was in my early thirties and in that prime young male demographic. I didn’t have any problem with all the darkness, violence or gore in the first movie. I just thought it was cool. Now? I’m old. And while I don’t have kids, a lot of guys my age and younger do and are more in daddy mode and aren’t looking to watch savage hookers and over-the-top gun fights and gore. Instead, they’re taking their kids to see ‘Guardians’, a more free-wheeling, lighthearted film.
I think the first ‘Sin City’ audience grew up and comics aren’t really drawing in a younger audience to discover Miller’s graphic novels. There just wasn’t an audience for this film.
Did you see ‘Sin City: A Dame To Kill For’ this weekend? Did you enjoy it?