Spielberg's BFG Flops at Box Office

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Hawki:

kajinking:
Sorry, but when you say BFG all I'm thinking of is the Doom Gun. I actually wonder how many people were more confused rather than interested by that name.

If more people associate "BFG" with Doom that Roald Dahl, then that's a pretty sad sate of affairs in the cultural gestalt.

That's a rather rough assessment. The thing is, I don't think the book was known primarily as "BFG" the abbreviation, merely Big Friendly Giant. I knew it when I was a kid (granted, I live in Scandinavia, so it wasn't shortened to BFG here anyway), but I certainly never heard anyone refer to it as the BFG. The Doom abbreviation comes from a rather sensible place, because the abbreviation actually carries more information than the actual name, since none of the other gun names in Doom are abbreviations, and most of them could be described as "Big Fucking Guns" anyway.

And them choosing to use the abbreviation as the main title is rather puzzling. Why would they do it? It's not like there aren't movies with much longer names out right now (Alice through the Looking Glass, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Now You See Me 2), compared to which "Big Friendly Giant" rolls off the tongue rather smoothly.

Ehh, no matter. A shame that people didn't get rewarded for their work, but I can't really feel sorry for the multiple Oscar-winning, swimming in money multimillionaire cultural legend for this failure.

BFG being associated with "Big Fucking Gun" isn't just from DOOM, it's been military jargon for quite some time now. I'm fairly certain most under 35 would assassinate the abbreviation with weapons even if they aren't gamers or have ever played DOOM.

Zydrate:

kajinking:
Owww...

Anyone besides me think even the name might not of helped? Sorry, but when you say BFG all I'm thinking of is the Doom Gun. I actually wonder how many people were more confused rather than interested by that name.

I still don't know what it's supposed to stand for. "Big Fucking Giant?"

Even though, I knew what the initials stand for. My first reaction to the name of the movie is "Big Fucking Giant". I think most people, not familiar with the book, would think the name is censoring the "F-Word".

Speaking personally, I was kind of curious about the movie. It starred Mark Rylance. I liked him in Bridge of Spies. So, I was rooting for this movie to be good. When I saw the trailer, my immediate reaction was "Nope!" It just looked cheesy. A very kiddy movie that won't have any appeal beyond little kids and fans of the book.

Zontar:
BFG being associated with "Big Fucking Gun" isn't just from DOOM, it's been military jargon for quite some time now. I'm fairly certain most under 35 would assassinate the abbreviation with weapons even if they aren't gamers or have ever played DOOM.

That's the boat I'm in - I've never played Doom before but my first thought was "big fuckin' gun? What a poorly-named movie in 2016"

But no, it's about a giant. And it's based on a book by Roald Dahl. And if I'm being fair to it, I'm sure there's nothing wrong with it but after 2005's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Fantastic Mr. Fox, Roald Dahl isn't really what I wanna see anymore. At least BFG didn't have George Clooney in it.

bartholen:

Hawki:

kajinking:
Sorry, but when you say BFG all I'm thinking of is the Doom Gun. I actually wonder how many people were more confused rather than interested by that name.

If more people associate "BFG" with Doom that Roald Dahl, then that's a pretty sad sate of affairs in the cultural gestalt.

That's a rather rough assessment. The thing is, I don't think the book was known primarily as "BFG" the abbreviation, merely Big Friendly Giant. I knew it when I was a kid (granted, I live in Scandinavia, so it wasn't shortened to BFG here anyway), but I certainly never heard anyone refer to it as the BFG. The Doom abbreviation comes from a rather sensible place, because the abbreviation actually carries more information than the actual name, since none of the other gun names in Doom are abbreviations, and most of them could be described as "Big Fucking Guns" anyway.

And them choosing to use the abbreviation as the main title is rather puzzling. Why would they do it? It's not like there aren't movies with much longer names out right now (Alice through the Looking Glass, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Now You See Me 2), compared to which "Big Friendly Giant" rolls off the tongue rather smoothly.

Ehh, no matter. A shame that people didn't get rewarded for their work, but I can't really feel sorry for the multiple Oscar-winning, swimming in money multimillionaire cultural legend for this failure.

The book and old animations have always been "The BFG" here in the UK. It is how it has always been. With maybe a subtitle underneath. But maybe they thought not abbreviating it would be easier for translation. To me, it is very strange to see other people get miffed that the title is confusing and wrong to them. I would bet that a lot of other people over here would think the same. But the story itself isn't particularly impressive compared to Dahl's other work, so am not sure why this movie exists in the first place.

One thing that turned me off of BFG was it's resemblance to Jack the Giant Slayer. There's something about these CGI Giants that are just very off-putting.

Zontar:
BFG being associated with "Big Fucking Gun" isn't just from DOOM, it's been military jargon for quite some time now. I'm fairly certain most under 35 would assassinate the abbreviation with weapons even if they aren't gamers or have ever played DOOM.

Reminds me of when I showed my friend what a BAR was, ever since then it's been known between us as the Big Ass Rifle.

Jeyl:
One thing that turned me off of BFG was it's resemblance to Jack the Giant Slayer. There's something about these CGI Giants that are just very off-putting.

They look kind of generic. The Cosgrove designs were awsome; way more grusome - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ey1PYsLGzE&t=17m55s

"Doom" aside, if you see an acronym with "F" in the middle, is "Friendly" the first thing that comes to mind? Even if you don't know the "B" is for "big"?

(And before anyone gets all "it's a children's movie, you cad" on my case- I doubt Dahl was unaware of the connections adults would make when he wrote it. He hid similar things in other works, and some of his non-kidlit works are positively risque.)

Zontar:
BFG being associated with "Big Fucking Gun" isn't just from DOOM, it's been military jargon for quite some time now. I'm fairly certain most under 35 would assassinate the abbreviation with weapons even if they aren't gamers or have ever played DOOM.

Yeah as far as I'm concerned, most non-gamer usage of "BFG" is from military personnel or vets. At least that's how I've heard it here in Texas.

To me, Spielberg does not seem like the kind of director to adapt a children's book to begin with. If it isn't a more artistic historical film or a action/thriller blockbuster (which he hasn't done much of this century), it doesn't say "directed by Steven Spielberg" to me. The recent Tintin movie does play against that, sort of.

Also, obligatory DooM reference: So since this flopped, are they going to do a gritty reboot. BFG, now armed with the other BFG, must take on the giant demon hordes to rescue the girl. (Hey, today's Hollywood writers couldn't come up with a better plot.)

Buizel91:
Tbf, any kids film that comes out against Finding Dory is going to flop.

Yes. This was either a scheduling oversight or the marketing department (poorly) thought Speilberg's and the original work's names could draw in adults who either would see for themselves or bring their kids.

Daymo:
Reading these comments makes it super clear we are on a gaming website. I watched the BFG animated movie as a child and wasn't a fan so never even considered going to watch this one. I'm kind of surprised no one has mentioned The Fantastic Mr Fox when talking about Roald Dahl adaptations, even though it was a Wes Anderson movie, it was very well received (nominated for the Golden globes and Oscars) with an all-star cast. But yeah an adaptation of an old British kids book vs Find Dory was always going to end one way.

An interesting thing I noticed about The Fantastic Mr. Fox while working at my local theater was the average age of audience members was well above 50 years old, even during early morning and afternoon. Extremely Rarely did I see children watching it. (Of course from my first hand observations, nearly every movie with George Clooney made in the past 15 years has drawn in noticeably older crowds, at least in my area.)

Maybe Dahl's books, with exception to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, just aren't well known to today's youth in the US. I never new there was a book titled "BFG" until I came across it on TV Tropes (the Doom page, probably). People aren't kidding when they say the US school system is failing.

Hairless Mammoth:
Maybe Dahl's books, with exception to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, just aren't well known to today's youth in the US. I never new there was a book titled "BFG" until I came across it on TV Tropes (the Doom page, probably). People aren't kidding when they say the US school system is failing.

Yes, because people not knowing the title of one of Dahl's lesser books means the US school system is failing. Whoop-dee-fucking-doo. Actually, if American children don't know the name of every book by an accomplished author, regardless of the books quality, we can't say those children are educated at all!

Hairless Mammoth:
To me, Spielberg does not seem like the kind of director to adapt a children's book to begin with. If it isn't a more artistic historical film or a action/thriller blockbuster (which he hasn't done much of this century), it doesn't say "directed by Steven Spielberg" to me. The recent Tintin movie does play against that, sort of.

I'd have thought that would be right up his alley. This is the man who wrote/directed E.T., Goonies, Hook, War Horse, and Tintin after all. The last three on that list at least take inspiration from works that skew towards children, and from what I understand, E.T. and Goonies skew towards the young 'uns as well.

Eh, nobody associates BFG with Battlefleet Gothic? Ah well...

Thaluikhain:
Eh, nobody associates BFG with Battlefleet Gothic? Ah well...

Thanks for reminding me, been playing Battlefleet Gothic: Armada which is a great game (the eldar are hopeless though) and that I think should be the second meaning for BFG.

1. Big Fucking Gun 9000
2. Battlefleet Gothic
3. Big Friendly Giant

Hairless Mammoth:

Maybe Dahl's books, with exception to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, just aren't well known to today's youth in the US. I never new there was a book titled "BFG" until I came across it on TV Tropes (the Doom page, probably). People aren't kidding when they say the US school system is failing.

To be fair, there's probably more of an preference for American authors such as Mark Twain in the U.S.' s social lexicon.

---
Now, what Spielberg really should've adapted was a Redwall book.

grimabepraised

Daymo:
Reading these comments makes it super clear we are on a gaming website. I watched the BFG animated movie as a child and wasn't a fan so never even considered going to watch this one. I'm kind of surprised no one has mentioned The Fantastic Mr Fox when talking about Roald Dahl adaptations, even though it was a Wes Anderson movie, it was very well received (nominated for the Golden globes and Oscars) with an all-star cast. But yeah an adaptation of an old British kids book vs Find Dory was always going to end one way.

I did, albeit subtly, before you... Then again, Wes Anderson and crew did take a "few" liberties with the source material to the point that I remember when it was never marketed on kid-related channels before (or after) it hit US theaters..

Hairless Mammoth:
An interesting thing I noticed about The Fantastic Mr. Fox while working at my local theater was the average age of audience members was well above 50 years old, even during early morning and afternoon. Extremely Rarely did I see children watching it. (Of course from my first hand observations, nearly every movie with George Clooney made in the past 15 years has drawn in noticeably older crowds, at least in my area.)

And on my end, that does not surprise me... Not one commercial for that movie was on a channel that targeted children, for example...

Hawki:

If more people associate "BFG" with Doom that Roald Dahl, then that's a pretty sad sate of affairs in the cultural gestalt.

I would agree, and I would also say that it is the state of affairs.

Jeyl:
One thing that turned me off of BFG was it's resemblance to Jack the Giant Slayer. There's something about these CGI Giants that are just very off-putting.

Same here. In fact, the resemblance to that other movie (Jack the Giant Killer) may have something to do with why this will be a flop.

First of all, the title (BFG) might not mean much to people unfamiliar with the book. They likely kept the title as an acronym because the word "Giant" might make folks think of Jack the Giant Killer. Hollywood's done this before: Mars Needs Moms was a fucking disaster, so much so that they changed the movie title of John Carter to omit any mention of Mars.

Also: giant, somewhat realistic, ugly men are not endearing or cute or marketable. If they had gone with a Pixar/Dreamworks type of character design, it would have been better, in my opinion. Frankly, I don't want to watch a movie about a giant, dirty old Uncanny Valley man hanging out with a little girl.

Guess BFG now stands for "Bad Flopping Giant."

It costs a family of 4 around $80 to go to a movie around here. No one is going to blow $80 bucks to see an uninteresting movie like that. Especially with a movie Like Finding Dory out.

Zydrate:

kajinking:
Owww...

Anyone besides me think even the name might not of helped? Sorry, but when you say BFG all I'm thinking of is the Doom Gun. I actually wonder how many people were more confused rather than interested by that name.

I still don't know what it's supposed to stand for. "Big Fucking Giant?"

I used to work in the kids' department of a bookstore and that's what I always thought it was too, even after I knew better. ;) Mind you, that was only three years after the first Doom game, and I hadn't played it yet so I had no mental association with the gun. It was simply a Roald Dahl book about a (B)ig (F)ucking (G)iant.

Is this the same deal as, "John Carter," where people avoid the movie based solely on the name?

Perhaps going up against Finding Dory was a mistake, as well as their lacklustre marketing campaign. I can only speak to my own experience, but the first time I was made aware of this film's existence was a single trailer, that ran for 15 seconds and was aired the day before the film was released.

Lieju:
Yeah, this book was never a part of my childhood, I only heard about it lately through the Internet (after being very confused for a bit)

Why not call it a 'Big Friendly Giant'? Might have gotten more families watching it... I saw some posters about a 'IKJ' movie which just looked confusing... That poster would likely make a parent go 'so, uh is this for kids or..?'

Same here, my fiancee had to explain it to me. I don't think movies should use abbreviations in their titles too much. It just looks confusing.

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