It’s not 1993 anymore. Audiences these days need a reason to go see a Tom Hanks and/or Julia Roberts movie. Sure, their names help a great deal, but they can’t perform miracles anymore. Larry Crowne felt contrived in a fake-breezy manner, as if to say, “We’ve got Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks, so you HAVE to see our movie!”
Audiences figured out that they didn’t actually have to see the movie and opted not to. Sure, the film made $36 million bucks, but with a budget of only $30 million to begin with, this thing was expected to be a layup to cross $100 million. Critical disappointment early on kept audiences away. I hope these two actors can get back on their feet.
Despite garnering more critical acclaim than almost any other film released this year, Hugo has fallen quite flat at the box office with a resounding “thud.” On a budget of $170 million (well spent, given its great use of CGI), it’s reclaimed only $36 million with no signs of outperforming its current pace. Granted, the film has done very well in foreign markets, but its commercial failure in the US is disappointing given that it succeeds on almost every level (it’s way too heavy on the whimsy, but since when has that ever turned an audience away), even playing to the holiday season. However, the film does have a European feel to it, and Martin Scorsese doesn’t exactly peddle family fare all that often.