Reviews Have Begun To Drop For Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets

Reviews have begun to drop for Luc Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, and while it’s early days yet, let’s just say they haven’t been charitable.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy was particularly tough on Besson’s latest effort, saying, ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets really is that bad, bad enough you don’t know for longest time that Valerian is one of the lead characters and not a planet or a spaceship.’

Ouch.

Steve Pond  of The Wrap was slightly more charitable, saying ‘(Luc) Besson takes all that fun and color, along with a wild array of fantastic creatures, and deploys (them) in service of a big, dopey story that remains resolutely uninvolving and quite often annoying.’

Now, as I said earlier, it’s early days yet and a few mediocre reviews aren’t likely enough to torpedo Valerian’s chances at the domestic box office (after all, it’s taken five movies before many moviegoers in the United States noticed that the Transformers movies are really, really bad).

Though I get the feeling at that we’re not going to see Spider-Man: Homecoming-type box office when the movie goes into wide release.

What Spectre Shows About Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice

Batman v. Superman 1While the budget for Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice, hasn’t been released yet, it’s rumored to be expensive.

And by ‘expensive,’ I mean somewhere in the ballpark of $410 million.  The source of that figure, Latino Review, isn’t always known for the accuracy of their predictions, though if it happens to be true and the movie pulls in, let’s say, $1.4 billion it will be an underwhelming enough performance to be considered a flop.

And that’s a problem.  Keep in mind that some idiot said that Avengers: Age Of Ultron was a flop despite earning over $1.4 billion–it wasn’t, especially when it cost only $250 million to produce; though maybe the person who made the claim based it on what it was expected to earn, as opposed to what it actually did–but the thing is, if Batman v. Superman earns that amount I expect the world ‘flop’ will be thrown around quite a bit.

And while that’s not necessarily accurate, it’s close enough to the truth that it should cause studio heads to pause and reexamine what they’re doing.

By way of comparison, Spectre, is doing really well.  Having been released in Europe prior to North America, it has already earned almost $300 million ($70 million of that is from domestic box office, which has been a bit underwhelming).  And the thing is, despite a strong opening, it will (probably) barely be profitable (which means that it will have to take in at least $900 million).

Batman v Superman 2That’s a HUGE amount of money, which makes you wonder why it is that studios continue to make movies that are so expensive that profitability is barely a distant notion, if that.  Yet, compared to what Batman v. Superman is supposed to cost, Spectre is almost cheap.

And this is taking into account that Zach Snyder’s Man Of Steel did not perform as strongly as many thought it would–which in hindsight shows that turning Metropolis into a crater and Superman’s seeming lack of concern about human life were not such good ideas–and that cost $225 million to produce, so how studio heads come to the conclusion that doubling the budget is a good move is somehow beyond me.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials – Trailer 2

The Maze Runner honestly mystified me.  It was pretty popular, and hugely profitable (earning over $340 million on a $34 million budget) yet was stuck with a seriously nonsensical plot that was way more complex–and not in a good way–than it needed to be.

The cast was pretty game, and clearly brought into the entire premise, but when that premise sucks then typically all the enthusiasm in the world can’t help you.

Which leads me to Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials.  The trailer looks pretty cool (and what trailer these days doesn’t?), though I am hoping and praying that it isn’t as ludicrous as the first movie.

Avengers: Age of Ultron Dominates Foreign Markets

The Avengers: Age Of Ultron International posterIt’s kind of incredible to believe, but Marvel’s Avengers: The Age of Ultron is well on the way to breaking even!  This is because, while it won’t open domestically till May 1 (though there were showings for critics), its already premiered overseas in 11 foreign markets, where its estimated to earn over $160 million over the coming weekend.

Avengers: Age of Ultron was produced for somewhere in the ballpark of $250 million, though considering how massive a production it is compared to the first film (it takes place in the United States, South Africa, Seoul, and other countries, and has more characters, which typically means more special effects) the cost only increased by $25 million (which I have a sneaking suspicion has a lot to do with Issac Perlmutter).

And I know for most people $25 million is nothing to sneeze at (myself included!) but for a special-effects heavy extravaganza like Age of Ultron, it’s actually not that much money. As I have said for awhile now, the $1.5 billion earned by the first movie is not only going to be surpassed, but it will be so in record time.

‘Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark’ In Third, Proceeded by ‘Colombiana’ and ‘The Help’

“The Help” continues to hold on to first place at the box office, at $14.3 million, “Colombiana” at $10.3 million and “Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark” at $8.7 million.

Despite placing in third, “Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark,” budgeted at $25 million, will bounce back when the box office recovers from the effects of Hurricane Irene.

Thanks to Box Office Mojo.