From the surface, it may have seemed that this movie was going to be the movie that put the Wachowskis back on the map.
Each trailer seemed to be more visually and artistically beautiful than the one before it. Another highlight was that the Jupiter Ascending cast was being led by three rising Hollywood stars (whether you would like to admit it or not).
Channing Tatum: 21 Jump Street, 22 Jump Street, Magic Mike and the upcoming Magic Mike XXL
— Warner Bros Pictures (@wbpictures) February 6, 2015
Mila Kunis: Oz the Great and Powerful, Ted, Black Swan and the future wife of Ashton Kutcher.
Eddie Redmayne – Les Miserables and The Theory of Everything
To be honest we could just keep posting pictures of Eddie Redmayne in Jupiter Ascending. Here’s another. pic.twitter.com/E70NMn1LW6
— HeyUGuys Movie News (@HeyUGuys) February 8, 2015
With that type of leading cast, you would expect for Jupiter Ascending to at least have a chance of becoming a blockbuster hit — especially since it was created by the same siblings that turned Keanu Reeves into a sci-fi action star with the Matrix trilogy.
Keep in mind that Jupiter Ascending was also pushed back. It was supposed to be released last year, but the studio decided to delay it until February, 2015, perhaps to give it a better shot in the theaters.
That strategy seemed to work well for another fairly recent Channing Tatum film, G.I. Joe: Retaliation. However, it apparently did not work very well at all for Jupiter Ascending.
Why, then, was Jupiter Ascending an obvious cry for help from the Wachowski siblings? Simple. They have been forced to realize that The Matrix was sort of a one-hit wonder. It was the type of cinematic masterpiece that does not come around very often — especially from the same directors. They are clearly trying to strike oil twice in the same genre, and it is just not working very well for them at all.
With an estimated budget of $176 million, Jupiter Ascending was only able to generate $19 million in its opening weekend in domestic U.S. sales. Fortunately, the movie was able to generate over $32.5 million in foreign sales. This is not the first sci-fi film created by the Wachowski siblings that seemed to be saved by foreign sales.
The 2012 film, Cloud Atlas starring Tom Hanks and Halle Berry was considered a major box-office flop in the United States.
— Sci-Fi Tweets (@scifi_tweets) October 23, 2013
After CLOUD ATLAS and SPEED RACER this could be the end of the Wachowskis. “Jupiter Ascending flops” http://t.co/Lnvm4YU7OW
— Ryan Moccia (@RMoccia) February 8, 2015
— Emilio Rodriguez (@ERODRIGUEZ2015) February 7, 2015
However, it generated over 79 percent of its box office receipts (more than $103 million) in foreign sales.
Even though neither of those films come close to the $1.6 billion generated by the Matrix trilogy, foreign sales have more than likely kept the Wachowski siblings employed with one high-budget film after the next.
However, it is also obvious that they are still searching for their next big franchise. Chances are that Jupiter Ascending is not it.
[Image Credit: SBS]