Right off the bat, let’s just get this out of the way. We have nothing against any of the films in this list. Especially Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But it’s going to have to throw one heck of a Hail Mary pass to break even at the box office. Movies have always been big business. Budgets have continued to increase since Thomas Edison’s Black Maria started churning out films in the late 1800s. As anybody in the industry will tell you, this is generally a business where you have to spend money to make money. And bobs are inevitable.
And that axiom has never been more prescient than it is in today’s film world. Movies routinely cost upwards of $100 million dollars. The budgets have been so out of control that in order to reign in costs, very rich actors have lowered their fees only to make more money on the profit end of the films they are in. Heck, it even reached a point where Steven Spielberg himself heard “no” for awhile.
It used to be that big name actors and actresses could guarantee money at the box office. This is no longer the case. So, with that in mind, studios have gone back to relying on spectacle to bring in viewers. This is great when it works, but when it doesn’t, people lose their jobs and balance sheets bleed red.
So why are we at MovieWeb giving you a snooze worthy, stock market look at motion pictures? Because as distinguished as 2016 is, there are some movies that could be this years Heaven’s Gate. We know that there is always a chance that a film might tank, but it seems like the deck is significantly weighted to have potentially the most bombs since World War II.
Don’t get us wrong, we want the films on our “11 Biggest PotentialBombs of 2016” to succeed. We are not really judging the artistic nature of the films in this expose. What we are doing is taking a hard look at the economics of the movie business, and wondering just how the heck the numbers can add up.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – March 25
With a budget of $250 million ($400 million after all promotional costs are factored in) it seems that this movie has to make upwards of $1 billion not to be a bomb. Can this new tale in Zack Snyder’s Superman oeuvre make that kinda book? Sure, it can. ‘Will it?’ Is another question. In this new installment, mankind faces a new threat as Batman (Ben Affleck) embarks on a personal vendetta against Superman (Henry Cavill). With a run time of 151 minutes, the thought is that maybe this film will be more cerebral than CGI. This is good for the fans, but maybe not so good for Warner Bros.
Ghostbusters – July 15
Alright, with a price tag of $154 million, this movie needs to be something of a boffo hit. Sure, the original film made the bean counters happy, but something tells us those same counters weren’t as jovial when Ghostbusters 2 came along. Anybody reading this article knows what Ghostbusters is and if you don’t, they are keeping the plot so under wraps, by the time you figured it out, you’d probably be better off going to see the movie. Basically, in the original film, three men (Bill Murray, Harold Ramis and Dan Akroyd) start a company that looks into paranormal occurrences. In this reboot, the men are now women (headlined by Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy), and they do the exact same thing only the effects (which weren’t bad in the 1980s) are leaps and bounds better than before. Still, with print and advertising factored in, this movie’s total cost is probably something like $300 million, add to this all the expectations that go along with redoing a “sacred cow” (a 1980s sacred cow at that) and that potentially makes this film’s chances at the box office ghostly indeed!
Warcraft – June 10
Fleeing their dying home to colonize another, fearsome orc warriors invade the peaceful realm of Azeroth. This is the plot of the uber popular video game that started wreaking havoc on gamer consoles in the mid-1990s. Alright, we love Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper is cool…Heck, we have no problem with the cast, but with a $100 million price tag, that could make this film making its money back a tall order. First of all, it has been documented that Universal is a bit skiddish on the film’s chances. Secondly, the look of the film, namely the CGI, has been called into question. It’s still early in the game, so it could be that we have the next Avatar on our hands. Warcraft may eventually prove itself to be the film that its fans have been waiting for. However, $100 million is a lot to gamble if it indeed is not.
Assassin’s Creed – December 21
With a budget near the 200 million range, this tale of Callum Lynch(Michael Fassbender) is the stuff of legend. While delving into the past of his ancestor Aguilar he soon becomes a Master Assassin, and comes to realize that he’s been part of a secret assassin’s society his whole life. Alright, first of all, Michael Fassbender rules. We would pay to see him read the phone book. However, as the Steve Jobs movie shows, just having him in a film doesn’t necessarily mean that people are going to come. In fairness, that film was basically a play that was filmed, while Assassins Creed is a large scale, tent pole film based on the uber-popular game from Ubisoft. Still, with a $200 million budget, not counting all the prints and ads, this movie will have to make well over half a billion dollars to be deemed a success. In no way is this impossible. Sure, it already has a built in market, but will that market go and see a film they know can’t be nearly as a good as the game they’ve been playing this whole time?
The Huntsman: Winter’s War – April 22
When Freya (Emily Blunt), a young queen who can freeze her enemies in ice, learns of the demise of her sister, the evilRavenna (Charlize Theron), she summons her soldiers to recover the Magic Mirror. After resurrecting Ravenna, the two wicked sisters amass a seemingly indestructible army that threatens the kingdom. Only the skills of Eric (Chris Hemsworth) and Sara (Jessica Chastain), two warriors who defied Freya by falling in love, can save this enchanted land from the forces of darkness. Alright, the budget for the first Snow White and The Huntsman was in the $170 million dollar range. It grossed under $160 in the US. Something tells us it made money somewhere, otherwise why would they spend another whopping amount on a sequel? We don’t have specifics on the Winter’s War budget…But lets just say it cost another $200…And that is really looking at it on the low end. They’d have to at least make double that in order to go into profit. Something tells us, The Huntsman might have a very cold winter indeed.