Here are some extracts from an article in “The Wrap” describing how a movie that set both Comic-Con and the blogosphere and tweetospheres on fire, turned out to be box office toxin.
The excitability of the Pilgrim faithful fizzled out once the movie hit the theaters.
It’s hyperkinetic genre stew ensured it was a master of none. Was it an action, romance, rites of passage or loser movie? Was Scott cool or a geek? Was he a superhero or an underdog? How were the audience supposed to relate to him? Why does he sleep with his gay friend?
Directorial choices aside, these questions were never fully answered in the script. The story was never fully found, but rather the writers preferred a high fidelity reproduction of the comic books on which it was based. Do we want Scott to get the girl or not? Because it relied on eye-popping visuals, the true essence of the story was sidelined.
Is this a cautionary tale about the dangers of testing a film to over audiences whose enthusiasm doesn’t spill over into the mainstream? The notoriously fickle teen audience may have had enough of the directionless schlub without any career prospects or life plan. Perhaps a five year plan is the new mantra for this specialized audience.
Ultimately, story sells a movie and makes it resonate with audiences. Although box office drops of 50% are common these days due to compressed releases and a rush to release movies on secondary markets, good stories are forever, not just for an opening weekend.