Show’s over, Synergy. The Jem and the Holograms movie bombed. It bombed hard. There’s really no way to sugar coat it, nor is it possible to understate it. They could have hidden Jimmy Hoffa's body at a showing and nobody would ever find it. If you needed to find a place to hide, where no other human soul was likely to find you, a screening of Jem would have been a good place to do it. We say would because going to a showing of this one isn’t even an option anymore. Universal has gone to the extreme length of actually pulling it out of theaters after two weeks.
Opening weekend is usually a good time for just about any movie. Even the ones that turn out to be bad have a decent opening because the word of mouth hasn’t spread yet. For Jem and the Holograms, though, the windfall that is opening weekend brought in a whopping $1.37 million in nearly 2,500 screens. And that was the good weekend. The numbers only went down from there. Last week, the film averaged $160 per screen. No, there’s not a zero missing. That’s around 16 people, per screen, in a week. Even if the movie was only shown once a day... I’m going to stop doing the math. It hurts. According to Business Insider, the movie is now down to about 50 screens, and Universal has made the unprecedented decision to simply stop reporting the numbers. This has never happened to a major studio release of this size.
The movie now holds the dubious distinction of being the worst major studio opening this year and also having the worst opening in the history of time for a film on more than 2,000 screens. The film’s utter failure is thrown into sharp relief when it is compared to the rest of the year that Universal is having. Even with this loss, they’re having the best year at the box office that any studio has ever had. In fact, since Jem’s budget was only $5 million, they could remake the movie approximately 300 times just using the profits they made from Jurassic World if they were so inclined. It’s hard to tell if Universal pulled the movie because they were embarrassed by it, or because they’ve made so much money this year that they decided dealing with it wasn’t worth their time.
The writing was on the wall for this one from the beginning. Jem and the Holograms was written as a rags-to-riches story for the modern teen, when most modern teens aren’t familiar with the property. Older moviegoers who might have appreciated the nostalgia did not appreciate that the light sci-fi elements that made the 80’s cartoon unique had been completely excised from the reboot. The audience for the film simply did not exist. A fact that was proven when nobody showed up.
CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.
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