‘Dredd’ is one of those movies that has such a strong fan following that it was a surprise when the 2012 film starring Karl Urban in the title role had done so dismally at the box office. Bringing in only $35 million worldwide on a film that cost $50 million to make, pretty much sealed the prospect of a sequel being made. However, when the film came out on DVD/Blu-ray, it sold off the shelves leaving many wondering how the film could have bombed so badly in theaters. Urban, who has been a strong support of ‘Dredd,’ has this theory as to what went wrong and it all comes down to how the studio treated the film.
During an interview with Yahoo, Urban was very explicit stating that the reason for the film’s lack of success in the theaters is solely on Lionsgate and how the marketing department failed in their attempts to promote the film:
“Dredd represented a failure in marketing. I saw the tracking of that film weeks before it came out and the fundamental problem was no one knew it was being released. I think the film had a huge disservice done to it.”
As evidence of his theory, Urban brought up how the home video sales did far better than the box office numbers:
“Once it came out on DVD and it sold 750,000 copies in the first week alone in North America alone, it was very clear that the audience had discovered it.”
Urban sees that there is a niche for ‘Dredd’ and feels “fans are demanding more.” He is such a supporter of the film to the point that he has been actively trying to get a sequel made to the point where he and right’s holder Jason Kingsley have had discussed the future of the franchise:
“I’m amenable to being part of a legitimate and worthy follow up to that film. I’m open to looking at any sort of limited exploration of that and in any medium… The fans are demanding to have more and it would be a real privilege to continue that story. There’s just a goldmine of fantastic stories in the ‘2000 AD’ Judge Dredd canon that would be really marvelous to see on screen.”
Even if Lionsgate is not on board to produce a sequel film, Urban hasn’t ruled out the hope that a streaming platform would be another route to see more new ‘Dredd.’
Marketing a genre film is a slippery slope with studios trying to find a way to catch the attention of the targeted demographic to see the film. Sometimes you have to wonder if those who market the film, even know what the film is about while other times, you have to shake your head at trailers that reveal the entire plot.
Do you agree with Urban that it’s the studio’s fault for not marketing ‘Dredd’ enough? What do you think is the reason it did poorly at the box office? Give us your theories in the comments below!