Show’s Over, Synergy. Way WAY over.
By now, we all know ‘Jem and the Holograms’ flopped HARD at the box office. It had the lowest opening EVER for a major studio film. Though not the public relations nightmare that this summer’s ‘Fantastic Four’ was, this was still an utter defeat, especially since Universal Studios has been on a major roll this year, with mega hits like ‘Jurassic World’, ‘Furious 7’ and ‘Minions’. Universal won’t lose much– ‘Jem’ only had a $5 million budget– but it’s still a loss, as it won’t even make that small amount back.
It opened at a dismal #15 taking in only $1.37 million. Two weeks into its run, ‘Jem and the Holograms’ has made just $2.9 million– an average of $160 per screen– and in an unprecedented move, Universal is pulling it. Theaters only have to carry a movie for two weeks, but of course even the biggest bomb usually manages to limp along for about a month to six weeks, at least as matinees, before scurrying on to VOD and DVD/BluRay where hopefully the films can make up for their lackluster theatrical runs. But lackluster isn’t even the word to describe ‘Jem”s failure.
Jeff Bock, senior box-office analyst at Exhibitor Relations exclaimed:
“Theater chains are contractually obligated to hold a film for two weeks after booking it. However, in all my days as an analyst, I’ve never seen a studio actually stop reporting after two weeks. This is unprecedented, and shows just how badly this film flopped. Not only is it the lowest-grossing debut for a studio film this year, but it’s the worst all-time — by a considerable margin — for any film released in 2,000-plus theaters.”
The movie followed the exploits of small town musicians who gain notice on YouTube before being swept up into the seedy (in a PG way) music industry. The film received horrible reviews, ranking at 20% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and was riddled with plot holes big enough to drive a tour bus through. And for a musical movie co-produced by Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen’s manager, the songs that supposedly rocketed this band from obscurity to stardom were remarkably bland and forgettable.
But this film was sunk before it ever opened. The one audience that would have turned out faithfully, despite negative reviews, would have been old school Jem fans– adults who grew up watching the cartoons, playing with the dolls and listening to the vibrant songs.
But the movie bore no resemblance to the original series, a fact glaringly showcased in the trailers. It seemed that the filmmakers were anticipating this movie being popular enough to warrant a sequel– the film ended with a cameo by The Misfits, fronted by pop star Kesha as lead singer Pizzazz. A follow-up may have more accurately reflected the source material, but fans will never know.
In concert terms, ‘Jem and the Holograms’ showed up to an empty venue. There was no one to cheer, much less demand an encore.
I guess the one upside is at least there was no ‘Barbie and the Rockers’ movie to compete with this time.
Source: Yahoo! Finance