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The 5 Biggest Box Office Flops Coming This Summer

Is Will Smith's star power fading?

by
John Boot

Bio

May 31, 2013 - 7:39 am
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Each spring, the showbiz hype machine talks up the excitement level of the summer blockbuster slate. In fact, despite a big May, Summer 2013 is looking like one of the dreariest and most useless summers ever, loaded with sequels to movies that weren’t worth seeing in the first place, lame vanity projects, overdone epics, and dull retreads.

Forget the summer’s biggest hits. What will the biggest flops of the season be? Here’s an educated guess based on advance buzz.

1. After Earth (May 31)

This is a movie that goes wrong early. Really early. In the credits. “Story by Will Smith”? Huh?

Starring the top-billed Smith son Jaden Smith, who is no longer the adorable little kid he was in Pursuit of Happyness and The Karate Kid but is now a sullen teen? Directed by notorious hack M. Night Shyamalan, he of The Happening and The Lady in the Water and The Last Airbender, the guy who hasn’t made a movie that wasn’t laughed out of theaters in a decade?

Despite all of these obvious problems, plus the additional worry that the similar Tom Cruise movie Oblivion came out in April and fulfilled its title’s destiny almost instantly, After Earth is somehow managing to underperform expectations, causing early viewers to wonder why the former biggest star in the world, the elder Smith, spends most of the second half of the movie injured and stuck in a chair giving his son long-distance pep talks after the two crash-land on Earth to fight monsters a thousand years in the future. And why do both of them talk like they’re from New Zealand? This one is headed for the Bad Idea Hall of Fame, and the Stale Prince’s stock is plummeting after Men in Black III and Seven Pounds.

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Top Rated Comments   
Panem et circensis, my friends.
Hollywood is almost bereft of original ideas. Now they make movies based on comic books and video games.
Hollywood also has too many hypocritical America-haters. I choose not to subsidize the careers of the likes of Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn or Matt Damon.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'd prefer Fallen Angels. The idea of the ecofreaks bringing on an ice age just appeals to me.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Good Science Fiction is a difficult genre to write, and particularly to film. Few Hollywood writers and Directors have even a clue how to do this.

The sad thing is, there are numerous very, very good SF novels out there, any one of which would make a fine film. The problem is, Hollywood writers then don't get to claim they wrote the thing, just altered it into a screenplay.

Hollywood, Hello?! Did you catch the word "Science" in there? Most of you couldn't even explain simple scientific concepts, let alone make them work in narrative or a scene.

So please stop trying, willya? You're embarrassing yourselves, boring your audience - and teh stopid...it burns!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (35)
All Comments   (35)
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Based on the what I read in this post, I only wanted to see RIPD. High Concept at its most stupid, therefor possibly good. And Jeff Bridges! But after watching the trailers, I actually only want to see World War Z. And as I type this, it strikes me, China doesn't want it. Bonus points! And it looks like they are still taking Superman way too seriously. The rest, forget it. Except the Lone Ranger thing. Depp's make-up looks fine, but the voice is not going to cut it. And where's the William Tell Overture? What's next? The Great Gatsby without jazz? If they want to be different, why don't they try ruing something different?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Hollywood knows how to make stuff that looks like a movie, but somewhere along the way, they've forgotten how to actually stick a story in it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'd blame the failure of After Earth on M. Night Shyamalan. Will Smith was locked in a bad emotionless role, and his son doesn't have the chops to carry the heart of the movie. A better director would have improved the kids performance.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
When you design a thing by committee, and include people with little or no actual ability to think rationally in the process you get After Earth.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Hollywood and all that it entails is overrated. Pop the popcorn and read a book.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
See Howard Taylor's review of After Earth at Schlock Mercenary - http://www.schlockmercenary.com/ Howard does know hard SF very well - and Will Smith doesn't.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yeah, I had already read that. The thing about Howard is that he freely admits that he is willing to overlook blatantly junky science if the rest of the story is good. In the case of After Earth, not only is the science bad but the story is bad as well.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Having seen the trailers, I expect the following:

After Earth
Okay, first . . . if humans left earth 1,000 years ago, then nothing there would really have evolved to kill humans, let alone everything, including the herbivores, insectivores, filter feeders, plants . . . So right there we are starting with junk science in the science fiction.
From there, we have a pretty standard combination of buddy and mentor flick hoping to get over basic nepotism in the casting.
"Flop" won't begin to cover it.

World War Z
Great book.
And that's what everyone will say, because of instead of doing the episodic, after-action report that is essentially politically neutral but sadly reminiscent of the past and what the future may bring, we are sure to get the typical political hackery one can expect from a "current" Brad Pitt feature, along with fast zombies who build themselves into mountains deliberately.
In the end, people will sadly think that if only they had a bomb as big and deadly as this picture the zombie outbreak could have been controlled easily.

The Lone Ranger
With Captain John Sparrow as Tonto.
Because that's who is playing the role, not Johnny Depp.
If only someone would shoot this movie through the heart with a silver bullet.

RIPD
As lame as the premises sound, from the preview it looked to have cult status potential.
Its Jeff Bridges!
And its got James Hong too!
I'm willing to give it a chance at least, which is more than I can for the other four.

Elysium
Okay, we know where this is going.
Evil rich people, aka white Republican, oppressing innocent poor people, aka the 99% plus whatever token minorities can be squeezed in, but its the future so the bad guys live on a super space station and the good guys are forced to live on earth that has been ruined by global warming and other bad things. Somewhere between all the pontificating there will be explosions in an attempt to impress Michael Bay into a jealous rage. And . . . "Matt Damon". (You should of course read that in the "Team America: World Police" voice.)
If it is ten times better than that summary it will merely suck.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Your After Earth summary was spot on. That was the first plot hole and the biggest one that was up front in the trailers. How anyone with half a brain could excuse that enough to pay money to see the rest is beyond me. You put the best stuff in the trailers.

World War Z stole the title of a really good book to try to lure people into what looks like a really horrible movie. All I can see is scenes of people running from CGI speed zombie things attempting to do a mass human impersonation of the sea. It takes "sea of inhumanity" a little too far. In the end, I doubt anyone will be happy with the results. Book fans will feel burned and no one who saw the movie without seeing the book will feel motivated to give the book a try.

RIPD has already been done by Joe Piscapo. He was a cop who came back as a zombie to solve his own murder in some horrible late '80s movie that was supposed to be some kind of buddy comedy thing ... I think. I've not seen it, only heard about in the annals of horrible movie lore.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think Will Smith has a messiah complex. He's ALWAYS the above-it-all hero who figures everything out and wins. Okay sometimes he dies too but he still gets it in the win column.

Hey Mr. Smith, how about a COMEDY? I remember when you used to be funny and you didn't take yourself so very seriously. Jim Carrey and Steve Martin's career trajectories should be a cautionary tale for you. Think of the stars of old. They would spend their entire careers being really good at comedy. Try to imagine Fred Astaire in a shoot-em-up thriller. (Okay maybe that wasn't fair.) Exhale already Mr. Smith, it's okay to make money being funny.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Astaire was in The Towering Inferno. It wasn't a shoot 'em up, but it was a thriller.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
had the choice of After Earth or Now you see me. Really liked Now you see me, and liking magic, there were great tricks done, and tricks explained as part of the story.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You missed the most annoying thing of all about Elysium.

The trailer promises a rich=bad poor=good story, with the evils of illegal immigration thrown in. Check out the movie's website (or don't), which features a Spanish-language label on some visa application procedures. Ironically, the bad guy is impersonal Big Government that keeps all your records, but hey, who's even bothering to measure the temperature of the irony anymore?

http://www.itsbetterupthere.com/site/
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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