Last year, Lionsgate’s ‘Gods of Egypt’ ruffled feathers for its whitewashed casting of Anglo actors as ancient Egyptian deities, but it probably wasn’t the controversy that drove audiences away. Directed by Alex Troyas and featuring cast that included Gerard Butler, possibly trying to recapture some of that ‘300’ magic by revisiting the realm of CGI-overloaded mythological battles. The cast also included Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Brenton Twaites, Geoffrey Rush and Chadwick Boseman. With a budget of $140 million, the film only scraped in $14M.
One exhibitor stated:
“It has nothing to do with the whitewashing controversy. At the end of the day, audiences just want to see a good story and this was just a retread of ‘Clash of the Titans’.”
Indeed, non-white audiences made up 59% of the audience.
A rival distributor chimed in:
“It’s a tired genre that has been done a thousand times and there’s nothing that could be done about it.”
‘Gods of Egypt’ earns the distinction of being 2016’s first major big-budget flop.
Even so, it’s $14M box office was enough to earn it the second-place finish, but that was less than half that of ‘Deadpool’ which pulled a threepeat, bringing in an additional $31.5M and it has now become the third highest-grossing R-Rated movie of all time.
ComScore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian states that ‘Deadpool’ could mark a big shift in the way movie releases are scheduled:
“Studios have woken up to the fact that you can have a big hit in any month of the year.
“People will come out in droves if you have the right movie. The movie makes the date now, the date doesn’t make the movie. It’s a paradigm shift a long time in coming.”
Here are the official numbers:
- Deadpool (20th Century Fox) – $31.5M
- Gods of Egypt (Lionsgate) – $14M
- Kung Fu Panda 3 (DWA/Fox) – $9M
- Risen (Sony) – $7M
- Eddie the Eagle (20th Century Fox) – $6.3M
One last note about ‘Gods of Egypt’, star Gerard Butler has essentially brushed the film off and invested all of his energy in promoting his next movie which arrives next weekend, the sequel ‘London Has Fallen’.
‘Deadpool’ may actually drop from the top next week as Disney’s ‘Zootopia’ also arrives as well as the Tina Fey-starring ‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’.
Check back to see how these new movies fare!