Despite an Oscar-winning director and godly hunk Chris Hemsworth at the helm, In the Heart of the Sea has careered off course, losing a few million doubloons on its accursed voyage.
Ron Howard's seafaring tale amassed a bounty of only $11 million in its US opening weekend, leaving Warner Bros. fairly out of pocket from the movie's estimated $100 million production budget.
Still, Warner Bros.'s exec-VP Jeff Goldstein released a statement commending director Ron Howard:
“We stand behind Ron and his vision for the story. We believe in him. He’s a terrific filmmaker. But some movies work and unfortunately some movies don’t.”
One thing that definitely did work was Chris Hemsworth's diet - after a grueling physical change, the God of Thunder was barely recognizable as starving First Mate Owen Chase for In the Heart of the Sea!
Variety posits that the problem that harpooned In the Heart of the Sea's chances was its lack of youth appeal:
The opening weekend audience for In the Heart of the Sea skewed older. Ticket buyers were 54% male and 68% over the age of 35.
Is it really a surprise, though, that a historical drama about an ill-fated 19th Century whaling ship failed to fill cinemas with excited kids?
Is Star Wars to Blame?
True, Warner Bros. have had a number of flops in 2015 - The Man From U.N.C.L.E. ran cold, Jupiter Ascending was a flop with critics and Pan got... well, panned - but Box Office Analyst Jeff Bock has an interesting theory:
“I don’t think you can take away how much the Force is overshadowing everything right now. Until [The Force Awakens] opens, everything else will be a non-factor.”
No movie success until Star Wars VII? Tell that to Lionsgate, whose final installment in the dystopian adventures of Katniss Everdeen is at $564.6 million and rising. Second only to The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 on its opening weekend was surprise horror hit Krampus, which has already earned back more than double its paltry $15million budget. Maybe the Star Wars curse only affects certain films...