As it Turns Out, We Didn't Want Another Dan Brown Movie

As it Turns Out, We Didn't Want Another Dan Brown Movie

Inferno Bomb News4

Inferno drastically underperforms at the box office.

The newest adaptation of a Dan Brown novel, Inferno, didn't even manage to take the #1 spot at the box office in its opening weekend (it lost to Boo! A Madea Halloween, in its second week). It took in a paltry ~$15 million, which is less than it was tracking to make - and more importantly a significant drop from its predecessors. Angels & Demons, the previous film in the franchise, opened to ~$46 million. The first film, The Da Vinci Code, opened at ~$77 million. If you're able to do basic math, you'll note that this is a $31 million drop with each subsequent film. At that pace, a fourth film would lose $16 million, something that is impossible, but nonetheless very funny (to me).

One has to assume that this puts the franchise in - at the very least - a bit of jeopardy. Most likely, though, this is the end of these movies. We've had diminishing returns in terms of profit and, as far as I'm concerned, that's been echoed in the quality of the films. Even with the international interest remaining somewhat strong, it seems very unlikely that a fourth movie ever gets made.

The Da Vinci Code was a flash-in-the-pan success, one that dominated conversations for a couple of years, but after it was over it was really over. It was a cultural phenomenon, but at this point in time isn't something that is often thought about.

The second movie did make money - especially from international markets - so perhaps it was worth at least attempting to turn a profit from the third one, but the experiment failed. We've moved on from Robert Langdon, and it's time for talented filmmakers like Ron Howard and Tom Hanks to put the character to rest.

Source: BoxOfficeMojo

Permalink

These films have had bizarrely strong casts, and I feel those actors should band together and offer a public apology before swearing an oath to never allow a Dan Brown 'story' to filmed again...

...though that will mean we have no more Kermode reviews---


---or CinemaSins tearing them apart, so everything comes with a cost.

Oh, wow, it lost to a Medea film . . . that's gotta hurt.
Not that Dan Brown, the automatic purple-prose dispensing/controversy generating machine, doesn't deserve it, but still, ouch, man.

I too find the possibility of a -16 million dollars gross for the next film amusing.

Makes sense they would hope for the international release. I mean, the movies cover European history; odds are they prefer better over here.

Also makes sense that people would be over them. I like them fine, but the time I read them was a long time ago now. It makes sense that others would also be over them by now.

Sony is having a metric crap ton of bad luck with theatrical releases lately.

This is all your fault, Parkinson. I bet the film would've passed $80 million if it hadn't been for your scathing review! See if Sony ever lets you screen another one of their films!

008Zulu:
Sony is having a metric crap ton of bad luck with theatrical releases lately.

I think the key word here is "crap".

The Rogue Wolf:
This is all your fault, Parkinson. I bet the film would've passed $80 million if it hadn't been for your scathing review! See if Sony ever lets you screen another one of their films!

My bad!

Although in all seriousness, I saw it with a general audience on Thursday night. SONY HAS NO INFLUENCE HERE!

Marter:
As it Turns Out, We Didn't Want Another Dan Brown Movie

That and it wasn't a really smart move releasing it on fucking Halloween where most audiences are more interested in horror movies than anything else. It's like they're asking for this franchise to die now.

I think Scavenger hunt movies have a certain amount of diminishing returns. A lot of it is because they're filled with little tidbits of historical trivia and hopefully are cleverly written, but I think when you start trying to repeat them one or two times, it becomes a bit more difficult to keep people interested and engaged. I mean how many complex church mysteries can their be? You can sort of believe it once or twice that a bad guy gets a little too carried away with some catholic symbolism, and the one guy who can stop them is a guy who is a one of a kind leading scholar on the subject, but twice or three times and you start thinking the bad guys would start wising up and moving away from the catholic theme a bit. I think the Bourne Movies have this problem, where the twist that brings Bourne back again and again, is never really that different from the last and ultimately means that each movie plays out exactly the same as the last. What if Bourne reluctantly teams up with the CIA to stop a terror threat for some reason?

I mean it reminds me of that joke from 30 Rock, where Jacks dad is fooled by the mother who fakes a heart attack and he says, "I'm a doctor, Giver her some room" and Jack replies "you're a doctor of History! In what emergency would you be necessary? If someone wanted to know whether the 60's was awesome or not?"

008Zulu:
Sony is having a metric crap ton of bad luck with theatrical releases lately.

I was about to say, beyond a few key releases, Sony is either making terrible movies, or is just failing to make money with decent or good movies. Combined with the fact that Sony is a terrible place to work at (according to those E-mail leaks), Sony could easily lose any prominence at the theatre and become the next Lionsgate Studios (meanwhile, the actual Lionsgate Studios is starting to become a contender, somewhat).

Mr.Mattress:

008Zulu:
Sony is having a metric crap ton of bad luck with theatrical releases lately.

I was about to say, beyond a few key releases, Sony is either making terrible movies, or is just failing to make money with decent or good movies. Combined with the fact that Sony is a terrible place to work at (according to those E-mail leaks), Sony could easily lose any prominence at the theatre and become the next Lionsgate Studios (meanwhile, the actual Lionsgate Studios is starting to become a contender, somewhat).

I'm aware that Sony is in a dubious state, but what's up with Lionsgate?

Marter:
(Snip).

How much would it cost for you to review the film that Inferno lost to in its second week?

Hate rain on your parade, but the movie is nowhere near the flop you are trying to pass it as.

Already, the production budget was slashed in half compared to Angels&Demons. 75 mill vs 150 mill. So the expectations were lowered by half the usual blockbuster price. Break even point should be lowered to around 225-270 just by this.

Next is the marketing. The movie itself had very tame marketing, very few TV adds and posters around, and these all seemed to be on the budget too. Even the trailers shown looked like they were made on the cheap. Meaning that the usual adage that marketing budget is around the same as production wouldn't apply. This would further lower the amount required to get in the black.

And finally, the movie has made, at this point, 130 million dollars outside US, and hasn't opened yet in a few markets. It's on track to make some 200-220 worldwide by the end of it's run, which should be enough to cover the movie.

Now, I'm not saying it's a success by any means. I doubt Sony made the movie to be half as successful as the last one. But, them going super cheap on the whole endevour resulted in the barrier for the movie to be relatively low. I'm guessing they wanted a budget movie with budget marketing but relatively high returns due to brand. It was really only a flop (for its price) in the US. Everywhere else, it did about as well as it should've.

Whether there will be a sequel or not depends entirely on how Sony presents this to investors. The fact that this movie was even made, and more importantly, was made as cheaply as it was means that them greenlighting a sequel is possible.

MC1980:
Already, the production budget was slashed in half compared to Angels&Demons. 75 mill vs 150 mill. So the expectations were lowered by half the usual blockbuster price.

And it made less than a third in its opening weekend. The previous film barely made enough to justify a sequel, and this film is doing even worse even given its smaller budget. It may not be a massive flop that loses them huge amounts of money, but Marter is likely correct that this will be the end of the franchise as far as films are concerned. Just look at the numbers you posted yourself:

Break even point should be lowered to around 225-270 just by this.
It's on track to make some 200-220 worldwide by the end of it's run

If it's lucky, it might just about break even. You're really not raining on anyone's parade by agreeing that it's far less successful than the previous films and unlikely to make anyone any money.

Kahani:

MC1980:
Already, the production budget was slashed in half compared to Angels&Demons. 75 mill vs 150 mill. So the expectations were lowered by half the usual blockbuster price.

And it made less than a third in its opening weekend. The previous film barely made enough to justify a sequel, and this film is doing even worse even given its smaller budget. It may not be a massive flop that loses them huge amounts of money, but Marter is likely correct that this will be the end of the franchise as far as films are concerned. Just look at the numbers you posted yourself:

Break even point should be lowered to around 225-270 just by this.
It's on track to make some 200-220 worldwide by the end of it's run

If it's lucky, it might just about break even. You're really not raining on anyone's parade by agreeing that it's far less successful than the previous films and unlikely to make anyone any money.

Angels&Demons is a movie that barely broke even, if that, to begin with. And yet they made a sequel for it. Inferno is in the same situation, only all the numbers are halved. Its (A&D's) production cost 150 mill and had a huge marketing push. Breaking even for that one would have been anywhere between 425 and 500 mill. Wanna check how much it made worldwide? (Spoiler:485 mill)

This is the reason a sequel took this long to make to begin with.

(And the 225-270 estimate I gave doesn't take into account the low marketing costs I mentioned later, as it is too much of a wildcard. The 225-270 figure only applies if the marketing budget was proportionate to the halved blockbuster budget (150 mill/2) Inferno had. Evidently, it was not. I described it in my second paragraph.)

So, yes I am most definitely raining on the parade that says "unhgg, the movie was a megaflop(in Mumarica), har har, no sequel this time". Proportionately, it was exactly as (un)succesful as the last one. Big whoop, nothing's changed. That hasn't stopped them from making another movie the last time either.

I'm more surprised that the film was made to begin with. It's been, what? Ten years since anyone cared about Dan Brown?

Barbas:
How much would it cost for you to review the film that Inferno lost to in its second week?

I was going to review it on actually Halloween day, but the distributor in Canada decided we weren't worthy, so it's still yet to be released here.

MC1980:
snip

While I don't agree with much of what you're saying (I think you're underestimating the marketing, and keep in mind that the studio receives a lower percentage of the international take), the bigger issue is not the amount of money it will gain/lose (it'll likely be negligible either way); it's the very strong decline in interest in the franchise. And with lackluster reviews across the board from both audiences and critics, Sony can only assume that the decline will continue. It might slow down a bit (it can't lose $16 million in its opening weekend because that's impossible - but under $10m would be likely), but it'll continue. It was a smart decision to budget this one much lower - but how much lower can you go and still have Hanks/Howard/semi-big-name co-stars? And still be a sightseeing tour?

I really can't see anyone taking the financial risk to do another one.

Brown was kind of destined to be pulp at best as that's all his books really are and now they've devolved into dull instead of a guilty pleasure. I'm just wondering why Tom Hanks keeps doing these as he's not a man in need of a paycheck.

I had no need to see it having read the book. If you haven't, don't. It makes no sense to force drama on a situation that has already resolved itself before the book even starts. I mean seriously the anticlimax is real in that book, like worse than in The Village because at least you probably couldn't guess the twist from the trailer.

Dan Brown's novels are trash, albeit fast paced, and slickly entertaining trash. They were a guilty pleasure that I've long since grown out of. As much as I had fun reading The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, the movies for them were a snooze. Don't think I'll ever in my entire life want to watch Inferno.

KoudelkaMorgan:
I had no need to see it having read the book. If you haven't, don't. It makes no sense to force drama on a situation that has already resolved itself before the book even starts. I mean seriously the anticlimax is real in that book, like worse than in The Village because at least you probably couldn't guess the twist from the trailer.

If the twist is the exact same twist in literally every other Dan Brown novel, then the villain is whomever we supposedly least suspect. It's the exact same well that Scooby Doo goes to drink from all the time.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here