3 Reasons Edge Of Tomorrow Fumbled At The Box Office

By Kristy Puchko 2014-06-10 09:55:29discussion comments
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We'd like to think good movies are successful movies. That box office isn't about commercial appeal or marketing, but merit. That only bad movies flop. But time and time again, that proves to be untrue. The latest unfair failure is the action-thriller Edge of Tomorrow.

It has Tom Cruise as its leading man. Director Doug Liman has The Bourne Identity to his credit. Edge of Tomorrow has a cool premise, a major star, a respected director, and loads of action and special effects, plus Emily Blunt as an epic badass. It was even showered in critical praise for its inventive use of video game concepts, dark humor, and Cruise's performance. Yet it was crushed at the box office by The Fault In Our Stars and Maleficent. How did this happen?

Personally, I am proud to have my review quoted in Edge of Tomorrow's ads, as I found it to be a fast-paced and wildly fun summer movie. But apparently the enthusiastic praise of me and my colleagues wasn't enough to lure American audiences in. (The $178 million movie has only made $29 mil domestic in its opening weekend, though overseas its already amassed $111 million.) This has left me wondering where Edge of Tomorrow went wrong in its debut? And I've come up with three unfortunate mistakes.

Edge of Tomorrow
That Lame Title Change
Based on a Hiroshi Sakurazaka novel, Edge of Tomorrow was originally named for its inspiration, All You Need Is Kill. That would have been a bit of an awkward title, sure, but at least it gave a sense of war and even edgy humor. However, Warner Bros. got spooked about this title, and so swapped for "Edge of Tomorrow" last summer, just ahead of Comic Con. The problem is, Edge of Tomorrow is not evocative. It doesn't sell the concept better than the name All You Need Is Kill would have. It's only apparent advantage is that it sells the sci-fi angle a bit more.

Ultimately the title Edge of Tomorrow meant nothing to moviegoers, and despite a barrage of movie posters, trailers, and TV spots, the title couldn't cut through the white noise of summer movie season. When I'd go to early summer BBQs or cocktail parties, again and again I was asked what was coming up that people should see. I'd tell them eagerly, "Edge of Tomorrow!" And again and again, the response I got was a blank stare. About half the time, this stare would be shaken off with a, "Oh…is that the Tom Cruise one?" Yes, it is. But apparently one that hasn’t made much of an impression.
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