Every year they happen. It is the unfortunate truth that is faced by movies in Hollywood. Some times they will lose money. You just hope that you aren’t ever in consideration for the John Carter Memorial Award.
There are some really good films that have fallen into this category. Heck, some people would go as far as to argue for John Carter. Not me, mind you, but I know some think that movie gets a bad rap.
However, with some movies and their inflated budgets, they are setting themselves up for failure. There is a reason why Blumhouse has never had a film in consideration for this award. Their budgets are really low and they make them back opening weekend even if they are not massive hits.
Other reasons for a film to be a flop could include poor scheduling, bad word of mouth, bad critical reactions, too much competition, limited appeal, too many risks, terrible marketing etc.
Previous winners: John Carter, Alice Through the Looking Glass, The Lone Ranger, A Million Ways to Die in the West, Expendables 3, Jem and the Holograms, Pan, Rock the Casbah, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.
This year there is several big name films that were in competition for the John Carter Memorial Award. The Predator was quite a problem when it came out. The quality of that film really hurt it in the long run. The fact that they basically had to shoot Solo: A Star Wars Story twice meant the budget of that film was going to be sky high (rumored to be over $300 million alone). The timing for The Happytime Murders was wrong as we have seen foul mouthed puppets before. Even Oprah could not save A Wrinkle in Time from losing Disney money (despite the fact that Disney has plenty to spare). Variety is reporting that Steve Carell’s Welcome to Marwen could lose $50 million dollars. The Sister Brothers did not reach double digits in box office millions (around 9 million) which is massively underwhelming.
In the end, the John Carter Memorial Award came down to two choices and since there is precedent for a tie, I have decided to “award” both of these well-deserving flops the prestigious John Carter Memorial Award.
2018 John Carter Memorial Award “winners” are….
Both of these films have budgets in excess of $100 million. Robin Hood has a little larger (current) worldwide box office result (but not by much) but Mortal Engines hasn’t been out as long. Plus, Mortal Engines has a larger marketing budget as nobody was talking about Robin Hood.
Mortal Engines should never have been anywhere near the release date that it was at. With the films being released in December, it should have pushed itself back like Alita did. Robin Hood too came out on a weekend where it was going to be buried. And it was.
And neither of the films had any positive word of mouth as reviews weer brutal for both. All these lead to two flops in 2018.
Welcome to the group, Mortal Engines and Robin Hood. Sorry.