Keanu Reeves’ return to the box-office Christmas was a huge box-office flop.
Universal’s big-budget samurai film debuted to $9.9 million over the holiday weekend.
It’s current worldwide gross of $48.7 million would make it one of the biggest box-office bombs of 2013.
While most critic reviews denounce the film (it sits at 11% on Rotten Tomatoes), audience reception is better (60%). Still Reeves’ failed to capture an audience large enough to bring in a lot of money.
Why didn’t “47 Ronin” make a bigger splash Christmas Day?
There were so many movies that came out on and right before the holiday.
“The Wolf of Wall Street,” “The Hobbit” sequel, “Anchorman 2,” “American Hustle” and more were all vying for audience attention.
No one has time to see THAT many movies. When options are limited, you need to decide which to see and “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “American Hustle” along with “Her” (if you’re in NY or LA) have been receiving all the word-of-mouth buzz.
TOO LONG IN THE UNIVERSAL VAULT
“47 Ronin” was originally supposed to be released in November 2012. Production delays — which included reshoots and editing overseen by a Universal co-chairwoman — pushed the film back numerous times.
Universal knew upon releasing this film it was going to be a big-budget risk and went so far as to suggest it knew the film would flop days before its release.
"The studio took the unusual step of explaining its accounting process in the days leading up to Ronin's release. 'Universal Pictures regularly evaluates its film slate for potential adjustment. In the case of 47 Ronin, we adjusted film costs in previous quarters, and as a result, our financial performance will not be negatively impacted this quarter by its theatrical performance.'"
REEVES’ BOX-OFFICE DRAW
The last time Reeves’ commanded a huge blockbuster north of $400 million was 2003’s “The Matrix: Revolutions.”
You can say Reeves’ star may have faded a bit; however, it’s clear audiences still will go out to see the actor if audience reception for the film is better than what the critics say.
It makes one wonder why the Christmas push was so necessary for this film when it may have faired better after the holidays.
SEE ALSO: The biggest box-office bombs of 2013