47 Ronin and The Legend of Hercules are the latest Hollywood action flicks that failed to find an audience at the box office over the past few weeks.
Not only are both films based on classic legends, they are the latest endeavors to carry high price tags that probably won't turn a profit during their respective jaunts through theaters. While Renny Harlin's take on Hercules could end up breaking even -- it grossed $8 million on opening weekend -- 47 Ronin might have a very tough time in the financial department.
Director Carl Rinsch, who made his feature-length directorial debut with 47 Ronin, needed a whopping $175 million to bring the action-packed fantasy to life. Although the movie itself isn't too bad -- this writer certainly didn't have a problem with it -- the flick was a decidedly tough sell for North American audiences.
As of this writing, 47 Ronin has only generated $36 million during its domestic run. Things aren't quite so gloomy on the foreign end; the movie grossed $69 million overseas. However, this is certainly a far cry from the exceptional amount of cash required to produce and market the film.
47 Ronin has approximately $106 million in the bank worldwide as of this writing. This is still about $69 million away from breaking even, and that's before you figure in marketing costs. While the movie could recover on home video, that's still pretty much a long shot at this stage in the cinematic game.
Of course, the flick could always pull a Dredd when it eventually hits Blu-ray. The adaptation of the popular cult comic book grossed only $35 million on a $50 million budget when it hit theaters back in 2012. Thanks to positive word of mouth and a strong fan following, the flick ended up selling millions of copies on home video.
Unfortunately for 47 Ronin, the flick doesn't have the positive reviews that helped Dredd find an audience on DVD and Blu-ray. As of this writing, the Keanu Reeves fantasy has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 10 percent based on 60 reviews. Unfortunately, this means the flick is essentially a failure in the eyes of critics.
"The eagerness of the major studios to cozy up to Asian markets yields awkward results in '47 Ronin,' a lumpy 3D epic from Universal that fuses Japanese historical legend with generic CGI-heavy action fantasy," The Hollywood Reporter critic David Rooney wrote.
"The basics of the ['47 Ronin'] story remain unchanged, but it's the wanna-be-blockbuster additions that rankle, be it the incoherent direction of first-time feature director Carl Rinsch or the copious CGI beasties who look like rejected 'Lord of the Rings' villains," Time Out New York writer Keith Uhlich explained in his review.
Are you surprised that 47 Ronin didn't do better at the box office?