Hoping to kick-start a new franchise, Warner Brothers tapped director Guy Ritchie to breathe new life into the old, familiar tale of #KingArthur. The result was King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword, a big-budget reimagining that combines Ritchie's unique dialogue and visual style with the famous legend of Excalibur. Starring Charlie Hunnam as the titular monarch, Legend Of The Sword was expected to open the summer blockbuster season with an action-packed, Medieval bang - but will instead be known as the first big failure of the summer season.
But it's not the only film to flop in 2017. In fact, many films expected to succeed have seen unfavorable gross at the box office. So, is this the end for these franchises, or will some of them be returning for a second effort? Regardless of their qualities, here are the six most prominent box office bombs of 2017 so far - and what's next for their respective franchises.
- Directed By: Dax Shepard
- Budget: $25 million
- Box Office Gross: $25,444,973
Based on the '70s show of the same name, #CHIPS was meant to be a raunchy comedy remake of an old sitcom in the vein of the 21 Jump Street movies. Despite some decent performances and director/star Dax Shepard giving the movie his all, CHIPS didn't click with audiences and barely made back its budget.
CHIP's failure is often blamed on the lack of familiarity with the source material, and the story's shift from the show's original straightforward forensic premise to a comedic one, which angered fans of the series. Compared to the self-deprecating 21 Jump Street movies, CHIPS came off as outdated to some, reminding them of forgotten juvenile comedies of the '90s and early 2000s.
What's Next?: Even if CHIPS ended by teasing more shenanigans on the Californian highways, a sequel is highly unlikely due to its disappointing box office returns and critical reviews. Fortunately, there are plenty of CHIPS reruns that you can catch up with to satisfy the need for hijinks on motorcycles.
Director Dax Shepard is set to helm Scooby, a feature length Scooby-doo animation set for release in 2020. Meanwhile, Michael Pena will return to the MCU in Ant-Man and the Wasp.
2. A Cure For Wellness
- Directed By: Gore Verbinski
- Budget: $40 million
- Box Office Gross: $26,554,455
From the director of the American remake of The Ring came a kind of movie few thought was possible today: an original psychological horror in the style of Italian arthouse flicks. #ACureForWellness may have had originality and creativity, but these were not enough to recover from mixed reviews and a huge financial loss.
Aside from the movie being passable, A Cure For Wellness' biggest hindrance was itself. Verbinski's return to horror is a Gothic tale of madness and death, a style of storytelling that just doesn't traditionally catch the interest of the general public. For example, another movie that suffered the same fate as A Cure For Wellness was Guillermo del Toro's Crimson Peak, which was also a Gothic box office bomb.
What's Next?: Unlike most of the entries here, A Cure For Wellness was not meant to start a franchise, and its financial failure bodes ill for wholly original movies. Because of this, major film studios (that aren't #A24) will likely become more averse to supporting original genre films. At the very least, A Cure For Wellness looks like it's destined to be a future cult favorite among horror fans.
Dane DeHaan, who led A Cure For Wellness as Lockhart, will headline Luc Besson's anticipated return to sci-fi as Valerian in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.
3. Ghost in the Shell
- Directed By: Rupert Sanders
- Budget: $110 million
- Box Office Gross: $168,718,101
Based on the manga and classic anime movie of the same name, #GhostInTheShell was the most expensive American adaptation of an anime to date - and yet, it became one of 2017's biggest box office bombs.
Before the movie was even released, Ghost in the Shell was subjected to harsh criticism due to allegations of cultural appropriation and whitewashing. Paramount Pictures defended its choice to cast the American actress #ScarlettJohansonn as the Japanese Major Motoko Kusanagi, but this did little to stem the backlash. The studio later admitted that the public outcry played a part in the movie's failure, casting doubt on future American live-action adaptations of anime.
What's Next?: Though the Ghost in the Shell franchise won't prosper, the source material continues to release new installments. Earlier this year, a new Ghost in the Shell anime series was just confirmed to be in production, guaranteeing that the Major will stick around for some time.
Johansson, meanwhile, will soon reprise her role as Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Avengers: Infinity War.
4. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
- Directed By: Guy Ritchie
- Budget: $175 million
- Current Box Office Gross: $94 million (and counting)
Envisioned as the first of six planned movies centering on Camelot, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is a modernized take on Arthurian lore from director #GuyRitchie.
The failure of Legend of the Sword surprised observers because it generated positive buzz in advanced screenings last April. However, any hopes of Legend of the Sword replicating the success of Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes retellings were dashed with the movie's abysmal opening and reception.
What's Next?: The story of King Arthur is an immortal one, and it won't be a surprise if studios try to revive his epic again. No King Arthur movie has been able to surpass the bar set by the operatic Excalibur in 1981, and it would be a great idea to revisit that if Legend of the Sword disappointed you.
Guy Ritchie will tackle Disney's live-action Aladdin next, and it's also highly plausible that Disney will also revive their own Arthurian tale, The Sword in the Stone, as a live action reimagining at some point in the future.
- Directed By: Daniel Espinosa
- Budget: $58 million
- Box Office Gross: $93,757,472
Star power alone can't make a record-breaking blockbuster, and the sci-fi horror Life is proof of this. Despite starring A-Listers such as award-winning actor Jake Gyllenhaal and #Deadpool himself, Ryan Reynolds, in the lead roles, Life failed to attract audiences.
Despite earning positive audience feedback and decent critical reviews, Life was released in March of this year, the lead-up to the blockbuster season. If Life debuted later this year (or specifically on October, where horror movies commonly open) it may have stood a better chance at turning in a profit.
What's Next?: Similar to A Cure for Wellness, a possible reason for Life's gross is the lack of mainstream appeal in the horror genre, making it a potential cult favorite. But like horror movie franchises (such as Saw or Paranormal Activity) that continue to churn out sequels, prequels and reboots despite inconsistent box office returns, Life could see a return with a sequel or spin-off in the future.
Gyllenhaal will next be seen in Netflix's Okja, while Reynolds will return as the Merc with the Mouth for Deadpool 2.
6. Power Rangers
- Directed By: Dean Israelite
- Budget: $175 million
- Box Office Gross: $139,949,438
The latest iteration of #PowerRangers learned that nostalgia doesn't always guarantee box office success. Based on the long-standing TV franchise of the same name, Power Rangers was the new, grounded reboot of the titular team of galactic warriors who defend Earth from alien threats.
As a reboot, Power Rangers failed to attract audiences who didn't grow up watching the titular characters on TV. Most notably, the reboot had an abysmal performance in China, where it only earned $1.2 million on its first day.
What's Next?: Fans are currently fighting for the Power Rangers sequels to be made, and only time will tell if their social media campaign will yield results. In the mean time, the original Power Rangers and a new series titled Power Rangers: Ninja Steel still air on TV.
The summer blockbuster season has just begun, and the year's biggest movies are just about to rear their heads. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and these five other movies may not have been the great successes some were hoping them to be, but they still provide interesting insights that producers and filmmakers could learn from.
Some potential box office successes that are nearing release day include franchise heavyweights like Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Wonder Woman, and original movies like Baby Driver and Dunkirk.
Hopefully, all of these movies will earn their rightful keep and pave a good path for future blockbuster movies.