Robocop's Weak Box Office Start Blamed On Bad Winter Weather

By Gabe Toro 2014-02-13 10:29:38discussion comments
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Robocop's Weak Box Office Start Blamed On Bad Winter Weather image
This Robocop remake was always facing an uphill battle. It had to endure years of bad buzz and false starts as the financially-flailing MGM kept the idea in circulation. When it was guaranteed to carry a PG-13 rating, fans rioted. Casting Nick Fury, Omar, Rorshach, 1989 Batman and Commissioner Gordon did feel like "an Avengers of fan-casting," as Grantlandís Alex Pappademas recently observed, but the film couldnít gain traction with a series of increasingly busy trailers and TV spots. Add to that the fact that it would be hitting in the wake of the massive success of The Lego Movie, and landing in the middle of a snowstorm, and suddenly Sonyís got to worry about their $130 million plus investment.

And it seems as if their fears have been confirmed. Last night, inclement weather pretty much made the public both robo-phobic and wind chill-phobic, according to Deadline. Fans stayed home and the actioner barely got by The Lego Movie for the dayís grosses, netting only $2.75 million. That doesnít bode well for its five-day weekend, though youíd expect things to pick up for the action picture as the snow starts to melt. Robocop had initial five-day forecasts for a $45 million take (still not great, considering the budget) but now it looks like itís going to have to hustle to match those stats. Even worse, Robocop is going to have company this weekend. Itís only one of three 80ís remakes hitting the multiplex, and itís by far the worse date option next to Endless Love and About Last Night, the latter of which is tracking very strong. To finish below those two films would be humiliating, since both cost only a small fraction of what Sony and MGM spent on Robocop. Thereís also the ridiculous and ridiculously-awful Winterís Tale debuting this Friday, probably your top choice if youíre looking for something 800% nuts.

While itís only Thursday, it might be right to call it like it is: this Robocop movie did not work. Theyíre loving it overseas, where itís scored around $30 million in a slow international rollout, and itís expected to perform big in Asian markets. But a film like this needs to pull in somewhere close to $300-$400 million globally to be at a theatrical break-even point, and if itís not hitting nine figures in America, that numberís going to be hella tough to reach. The original film collected $53 million in 1987, which inflation boosts to $114 million, but it was also a perfect movie that made angels sing and cripples walk. The new picture is battling negative perception, and if it canít stem the tide by Friday, then you will buy that for a dollar, in Walmart by Memorial Day.
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