‘Jupiter Ascending‘ opened to 18 million dollars after the Wachowski’s had been given $176 million to get it made. Seems fairly clear to me why they might not be given the opportunity to create a massive big-budget movie again.
Of course, there are some that lament the box-office failure of ‘Jupiter Ascending,’ claiming that it harkens to the fact that audiences are not giving new, original ideas, a chance, and that the film is not that bad. To which I say nay, audiences are not willing to throw down $20 plus for an unknown quantity, not when its creator’s were responsible for ‘Speed Racer’ and ‘The Matrix Revolutions.’ Sure, ‘Cloud Atlas‘ might not have been too bad, but how does one build a career off of movies that are either terrible or ‘not too bad?’ The Wachowski’s dug their own grave here, and in a way they seem to have realized this. As Lana Wachowski said in a recent interview:
“We’re drawn toward difficult subjects, like the disparity of rich and poor. We’ve been lucky. People at studios have been interested in our crazy, strange brand of complexity. And we’ve been allowed to keep making them. Will that continue? Probably not.”
She hit it right on the money there, “we’ve been lucky.” I’m surprised they were given one last shot with ‘Jupiter Ascending.’ And while I might be one who would enjoy that film, it doesn’t make sense for Warner Bros or any other studio to continue to shill out money to people who haven’t had a bona-fide hit since 1999, with their last true money-maker being ‘The Matrix Reloaded’ in 2003 which capitalized on the success and strength of the original ‘Matrix.’
If they are the artists they claim to be, making important films about “…difficult subjects, like the disparity of rich and poor,” the Wachowski’s should be able to continue making films, they’ll just need to learn how to do it on a smaller scale, with a budget akin to an indie flick. Perhaps in that arena that can recapture the magic of their filmmaking, concentrating more on character and story (as in the ‘Matrix’) rather than obnoxious special effects.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Sounds off below!