‘Gods of Egypt’ becomes the first big budget disaster of the year

The weekend looked to be all about the Oscars but it wasn’t. Hollywood refused to pause for even a single week as three new wide releases hit the theatres. Though after their dismal performances, I wonder if they should have. The combined tally of the three new releases did not even match the weekend earnings of Deadpool, which in case you have forgotten is in its third week now. The biggest performer of the three, but also the biggest loser, was the controversial Gods of Egypt. Made on a mammoth production budget of $140 million, the movie barely earned $14 million in its opening weekend, which is even worse than the opening of last year’s February disaster Jupiter Ascending ($18.4 million). There’s an additional $24 million earned overseas which brings the total tally to $38.2 million but that does not seem to be even a tenth of what the movie needs to be earning to break-even. Critically the movie has been panned, and the audience are not screaming Gerard Butler’s name for his performance the way they were gung-ho about 300 almost a decade back. Gods of Egypt is the first big-budget disaster of 2016!

Gods of Egypt_Gerard Butler

The two other releases – the thriller Triple 9 and the biopic Eddie the Eagle – had similar lukewarm openings. Both movies made roughly $6.1 million on the opening weekend as against similar production budgets too – $20 million for Triple 9 and $23 million for Eddie the Eagle. There’s hardly any foreign collections as of now to talk about. In terms of the love from the critics, Eddie the Eagle had it a little better with 73% score on Rottentomatoes as against 54% for Triple 9. Maybe Hugh Jackman’s presence can help Eddie the Eagle do a little better internationally, but as far as the domestic markets go, this has been unimpressive.

Earnings_Triple 9

That brings us to the main king of the weekend, the superhero who refuses to leave his top seat. Deadpool dropped by only 45% in its third weekend to collect another $31 million from North America which takes its domestic tally to $285 million. Things are equally rosy in foreign markets, and the combined worldwide box-office earnings of the movie is $609 million now. More than 10 times its production budget already! Kung Fu Panda 3 is slacking now as its worldwide total is about $314 million which is a far shout from the $500 million I was expecting it to cross. Last week’s releases – Risen, The Witch, Race – all fell somewhere between 40% to 45% on their second weekend which is a good holdover. Things are especially better for the horror movie The Witch which has earned close to $17 million as against its low production budget of $3.5 million.

Here are the top 5 weekend earners at the US box-office:

1. Deadpool ($31.1 million; third weekend)

2. Gods of Egypt ($14.1 million)

3. Kung Fu Panda 3 ($8.9 million; fifth weekend)

4. Risen ($6.8 million; second weekend)

5. Triple 9 ($6.1 million)



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