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Things haven't started off too well for In The Heart of The Sea at the box office, after it was revealed that it only took in $575,000 on its first night. Current estimations are that the Ron Howard directed and Chris Hemsworth starring nautical adventure will ultimately claim somewhere between $12 million and $15 million over its opening weekend. Which is a paltry sum considering that it cost just under $100 million to make.
This amount will add to the $18.5 million that In The Heart Of The Sea earned when it opened in 38 foreign markets last weekend. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. decided to put In The Heart Of The Sea into international territories early so that it had more time to generate box office before a little film by the name of Star Wars: The Force Awakens takes over cinemas. The Force Awakens is due to open internationally from as early as December 16 in some territories, before it hits multiplexes in the US on December 18.
Unfortunately, Warner Bros. plan hasn’t really improved the box office haul of their ambitious effort, which revolves around the 1820 sinking of the whaling ship, Essex, and has been adapted from Nathaniel Philbrick’s 2000 non-fiction book In The Heart Of The Sea: The Tragedy Of The Whaleship Essex. The sinking of the Essex also inspired Herman Melville to write Moby Dick, which is widely regarded as the first, great American novel, even though it only achieved this label decades after it was released.
In The Heart Of The Sea’s box office failure hasn’t really surprised too many. While reviews haven’t been preposterously bad, it still only has a score of 46% on Rotten Tomatoes. Plus, even though he has wowed and enthralled audiences as Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it was proved earlier this year with Blackhat that once Chris Hemsworth puts down his hammer audiences don’t really care. Even the fact that he starred opposite the new Spider-Man, Tom Holland, in In The Heart Of The Sea didn't help its box office reach.
It was always going to be a big risk asking a Ron Howard directed film to gross close to $200 million, the amount that was needed for In The Heart Of The Sea to break even. Howard’s last few films haven’t come close to reaching that total, with 2013’s Rush only grossing $90.2 million, 2011’s The Dilemma taking in $69.7 million, and 2008’s Frost/Nixon amassing $27.4 million. Sure 2009’s Angels & Demons grossed $485.9 million, but that was mostly down to Dan Brown’s divisive novel being so hugely popular.
It’s now going to be interesting to see what direction the always watchable and entertaining films of Ron Howard take next. But those worrying about his future needn't bother. Because his clout will no doubt return when Inferno, the third Dan Brown novel he has adapted with Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon, is released on October 14, 2016, and grosses a huge amount of money.