Spielberg's BFG Flops at Box Office

Steven Bogos

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Jan 17, 2013
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Spielberg's BFG Flops at Box Office

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The BFG debuted at number 4 this weekend, behind Finding Dory, The Legend of Tarzan and The Purge: Election Year.

Our own Matthew Parkinson said that The BFG is one of the worst movies of Steven Spielberg's career [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/moviesandtv/reviews/cinemarter/17134-The-BFG-2016-Movie-Review#&gid=gallery_6321&pid=1], and it seems like it may also be his worst performing movie. The adaptation of Roald Dahl's beloved children's book debuted at number 4 at the box office this weekend, behind Finding Dory, The Legend of Tarzan and The Purge: Election Year.

It pulled in a mere $19.6 million, which considering it boasted a production budget of $140 million, is a pretty major flop no matter what way you look at it.

Here's the top ten for the weekend:

Finding Dory $41.9 million
The Legend of Tarzan $38.1 million
The Purge: Election Year $30.9 million
The BFG $19.6 million
Independence Day: Resurgence $16.5 million
Central Intelligence $12.3 million
The Shallows $9 million
Free State of Jones $4.1 million
The Conjuring 2 $3.9 million
Now You See Me 2 $3 million

Source: Comscore [http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Rankings#tab_domestic_box_office]

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Zontar

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Feb 18, 2013
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Wow, Independence Day is under-preforming hard and they barely edged their second week out on its first. To say nothing of this big Disney family movie making less then The Purge, and not by a small margin either.

I mean Tomorrowland under-performed last year, but this is a straight up flop. Disney's home brand for live action doesn't seem to be doing well.
 

kajinking

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Aug 12, 2009
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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.
 

EvilRoy

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Good lord, it did worse than the Purge II. Part of me wants to blame the weekend (its a major camping long weekend in both Canada and the US) but at the same time. It did worse than the Purge II.
 

Denamic

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Aug 19, 2009
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Case in point: First post completely ignores the subject of the topic and talks about independence day instead, and I didn't even know this movie existed until I read this post. Also, 'BFG' only mean one thing in mind.

kajinking said:
might not of helped?
Absolutely disgusting. You're supposed to be a native speaker.
 

Steven Bogos

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Jan 17, 2013
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kajinking said:
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.
Ummm... Believe it or not, the majority of people who this movie is aimed towards aren't gamers who have played the new Doom. Those people will default to thinking about the famous book by Roald Dahl, rather than a singular feature in a game.
 

karkashan

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To be honest, I had never heard of this so called "beloved classic" before I saw a Regal Cinema FirstLook thing when i went to see Warcraft and Independence Day 2. Of course, the damn thing came out... what, over 30 years ago now?

Perhaps not so relevant to society in general anymore, is what I'm saying.

praisegrima
 

Evonisia

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Jun 24, 2013
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I guess Dahl's books just don't connect with a filmgoing audience? I mean, besides "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" 2005 and maybe "Matilda", what Dahl adaptations have been more successful than cult classic status?

This strikes me as something we shouldn't have guessed would be a runaway smash or anything.
 

Recusant

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karkashan said:
To be honest, I had never heard of this so called "beloved classic" before I saw a Regal Cinema FirstLook thing when i went to see Warcraft and Independence Day 2. Of course, the damn thing came out... what, over 30 years ago now?

Perhaps not so relevant to society in general anymore, is what I'm saying.

praisegrima
Right; that's why they stopped making Planet of the Apes movies in 1998, right? And it's not like anyone makes movies about Narnia, or World War 2, or the Bible.

"Old" doesn't mean "nonexistent".
 

Squilookle

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I think Spielberg has simply tipped over the brink of sentimentality now that he's a Granddad. He completely missed the point with Tintin, almost wrecked Bridge of Spies with that stupid final scene, and now this.

karkashan said:
To be honest, I had never heard of this so called "beloved classic"... Of course, the damn thing came out... what, over 30 years ago now?

Perhaps not so relevant to society in general anymore, is what I'm saying.

praisegrima
Unlike, say, The Hobbit, which came out seventy five years before the movie? I don't really think time has anything to do with it. You could adapt a Jules Verne novel tomorrow and it would still be capable of entrancing a modern audience.
 

Neurotic Void Melody

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Tbis could be down to marketing, as I wouldn't have even known it was out if it wasn't for this site reviewing it. Whereas the new Tarzan is marketed up the arse everywhere. Plus, as fond a memory that Roald Dahl books have given me, I wouldn't pay to see them in the big screen, they are not really cinema material. Though James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the chocolate factory, the witches etc were all fun movies, they don't seem like experiences that a cinema would enhance. The BFG isn't his best to be honest. And only certain gamers know of Doom's BFG, it isn't as general a knowledge as Roald Dahl books are...I thought anyway. Damn millenials and their distrust of books that aren't harry potter!
Fun fact: I own a double book of Charlie and the chocolate factory/Charlie and the great glass elevator who's cover intentionally has a chocolate scent. Hows that for a useless gimmick? ;)
 

008Zulu_v1legacy

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I would think that anyone who believed that the movie somehow related to the game Doom deserves to be out $14.
 

EndlessSporadic

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The movie looks cute, but I wouldn't go to a theater to see it. This kind of movie will likely see a majority of its sales in blu-ray releases. This looks like one of those movies that kids pop into a blu-ray player and watch over and over and over again. I can't speak for the actual quality of the movie since I haven't seen it, but the commercials for it display some very stunning visual designs.

In regards to advertisement I am not surprised at all that the movie underperformed. I only know about it because of a random commercial on some channel I can't even remember. This wasn't covered at all online like other similar movies usually are.
 

Captain Chemosh

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Wasn't even a big original Doom player and I automatically linked BFG to the gun rather than a Roald Dahl book I'd never heard of. In all honesty, didn't even realize Roald Dahl had written Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, etc. I'd seen the movies (including the creepy Johnny Depp remake), but they were just so boring in my opinion that I never bothered pursuing the source material. To clarify though, I don't mean boring as in snooze-fest, I mean boring as in they have no value to me personally to watch more than once.
Xsjadoblayde said:
Whereas the new Tarzan is marketed up the arse everywhere.
I agree with this wholeheartedly, Tarzan and Independence Day: Resurgence have/had ad spots everywhere.
 

Xerosch

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Evonisia said:
I guess Dahl's books just don't connect with a filmgoing audience? I mean, besides "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" 2005 and maybe "Matilda", what Dahl adaptations have been more successful than cult classic status?

This strikes me as something we shouldn't have guessed would be a runaway smash or anything.

I'd like to mention 'The Witches'. Can't be called a classic, but it's a cult movie for quite a few people now. And from all the Dahl adaptions I've seen, this one captures the threat of the book the best. Seriously, there are loads of dark and scary moments for a children's book.
 

Scarim Coral

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I guess I will give it a watch if I got the time for it seeing how I loved the cartoon film.

When is Finding Dory coming out to the UK?
 

FPLOON

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Jul 10, 2013
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EvilRoy said:
Good lord, it did worse than the Purge II. Part of me wants to blame the weekend (its a major camping long weekend in both Canada and the US) but at the same time. It did worse than the Purge II.
Purge III, actually... Them again, no one remembers the first one with Ethan Hawk in it, anyway... :p

OT: I haven't seen any of those movies listed, but that ranking seems appropriate somehow...

Other than that, I guess we'll never get a proper adaptation to Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator now, let alone The Twits... At least we still got Willy Wonka, James, Matilda, The Witches, Mr. Fox, and the animated BFG...
 

Chareater

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As a huge fan of the original BFG Movie (starring David Jason.) I'm really not sure why this was made, the original's animation still looks good.

Hell I would even say it looks better than this one.
 

Chimpzy_v1legacy

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Jun 21, 2009
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Evonisia said:
I guess Dahl's books just don't connect with a filmgoing audience? I mean, besides "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" 2005 and maybe "Matilda", what Dahl adaptations have been more successful than cult classic status?

This strikes me as something we shouldn't have guessed would be a runaway smash or anything.
Yeah, Roald Dahl adaptations have had a spotty record. Pretty much the first thing that came to mind too.

Though I guess the surprise was more due to it also being a Spielberg film. Then again, he's not the movie juggernaut he once was anymore (at least not in terms of critical and commercial success).
 

Amaror

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I also think the name had at least something to do with it. They should have no shortened it. Not because of confusion regarding "Doom", the target audience isn't really 18+ gamers after all, but because it just doesn't sound very much like a childs movie, which are the target audience.
"Big friendly giant" would have been a better title in my mind. It's immediatly clear that it's a childs-movie.