Enough basking in the success of the films of 2011. Let’s enjoy some failures. Not failures by artistic or critical standards, but failures that result in massive financial loss and unemployment. Doesn’t that sound nice?
Making a list of year-end flops is a mixed bag. For the most part, I take pride in the hubris of Hollywood going unrewarded, punishing studios for taking the “bigger is better” approach. But without fail, there always sneaks in one or two films that deserve better. I only feel that way about one such film on this list, and hopefully its take is buoyed by international markets. While it wasn’t my cup of tea, it was a “good” film.
But enough sadness. Let’s watch these giants fall.
Mars doesn’t, in fact, need moms. This film was the latest misstep for Robert Zemeckis, who is known for, after achieving success with films like Forrest Gump and Back to the Future, squandering lots of goodwill by forcing motion capture films like The Polar Express and A Christmas Carol down moviegoers’ throats. He decided that maybe he hadn’t been forceful ENOUGH with the mo-cap, so he brought to us Mars Needs Moms, a film that raked in $21 million on a budget of $150 million. The film was completely ignored by audiences. Critics, given that they couldn’t ignore it, gave it almost universally low marks.
Let this be the final word: Zemeckis’ motion capture films look creepy and no one wants to see them.
Sometimes stupid action movies are too stupid. This debacle scored only $29 million against $90, and was forgotten about as quickly as it was introduced. Star Jason Momoa had garnered acclaim for his role in HBO’s Game of Thrones, but when it came time for him to speak and carry a film, he just wasn’t up to task. Critical acclaim was non-existent, but fans and audiences seemed to be a little more forgiving, probably because the type of people who pay to see Conan have different standards than those who pony up for Gosford Park and the like.