The new film Jem and the Holograms is doing extremely poorly at the box office. Despite opening in more than 2,400 theaters nationwide, it has only managed to bring in $1.3 million - enough for 15th place on the box office chart. As you might imagine, this news isn't being taken too well by director Jon M. Chu, who spoke out this weekend about his newest feature's disappointing outcome.
Chu was assigned the job of delivering the Filmmaker Keynote at the at the Film Independent Forum in Los Angeles on Saturday, and instead of ignoring the poor performance of his movie he instead took the opportunity to speak to it directly. Admitting that he initially planned to take the stage with a much different attitude, the director told the crowd (according to The Hollywood Reporter),
So, this is a bit awkward only because I'm supposed to be here this morning talking about how great it is to be in the movie business — it's so awesome — but currently, I don't know if you've looked at box office numbers, this morning specifically, it hasn't been the greatest. So you might get some real shit today.
Jon Chu followed this statement with a laugh, but he really isn't understating the poor performance of Jem and the Holograms. While, for example, Ridley Scott's The Martian (a movie in its fourth week of release) was able to make an average of $4,538 per theater this weekend, the new musical cartoon adaptation made just $547 per theater. And while these disappointing figures are offset by the fact that the feature only cost $5 million to produce, apparently that's not stopping the filmmaker from feeling a bit burned:
Yes, we only made the movie for five, but it doesn't get easy when you hear those numbers. I'll probably get some texts along the way today saying it's not going anywhere. So this morning isn't the best kind of day.
During his address, the director also noted that Jem and the Holograms hasn't exactly been getting the best response from reviewers either (it should be noted that I am personally one of those critics). While it's received a better reception than some other titles released this last week, Rotten Tomatoes currently has it listed with a 20 percent - which is pretty damn far from critical acclaim.
While reviews are part of the film industry, however, what's not okay is that Jon Chu has been receiving horrible and deplorable hate mail from people who apparently take the making of a Jem and the Holograms movie far, far too seriously. Giving us all a little less faith in humanity, Chu told the Film Independent Forum,
I get fans sending me hate mail, I get death threats, I get racist remarks — it's a really fun business.
Obviously things aren't going super well on the Jem and the Holograms front, but it won't be long until Jon Chu gets his next opportunity to show movie-goers what he can do. He has already completed production on the sequel Now You See Me 2, which will be in theaters June 10, 2016.