Monday, June 29, 2015

Why did Tomorrowland bomb at the box office?

My family and I went to see the Disney movie Tomorrowland yesterday (sounds funny when you say it). It had been on our radar since we first heard it was coming out. And, even after all of the negative reviews, and the narrative that it bombed at the box office, we wanted to see it.

For us, it was one of the best movies we have ever seen -- not because of the acting, or the visuals, or the actors and actresses involved. That was not our purpose in seeing it. We were attracted to it for other reasons.

So, why did it bomb at the box office? According to others it was a myriad of factors that included:

* Secrecy is not always a good idea -- the premise of it is hard to explain in a sentence or a 30-second ad because of the story's complex mythology.

* George Clooney is not a box-office draw -- the King of Hollywood doesn't sell tickets in proportion to people's fascination with him.

* Tougher-than-expected competition -- Poltergeist, Mad Max, and Pitch Perfect 2.

* Memorial Day openings are not a license to print money -- Not even a four day window can save a poorly made movie.

* The "select" Thursday preview -- only 701 theaters offered the movie on Thursday evening out of 3,972 venues overall on Friday.

Other articles seem to share the sentiment of this one in some form or another. They place the failure on marketing, Clooney, competition, or some other idea related to the script or quality of the movie itself.

I wonder though if they could be wrong? Perhaps they have missed the real reason why it did not meet expectations at the box office?

Perhaps the real reason it was not accepted by the masses could be found in the movie itself. As I sat there watching it yesterday, it occurred to me during one pivotal scene -- I bet this is why the public turned away from it. I caught myself contemplating the subtle difference this movie has when compared to the others -- one that is difficult to accept when one is not ready for it.


  1. It's simple: George Clooney is an obnoxious, far-left jerk who exhibits such boorish 'holier than thou' behaviour. I won't spend money to see him, and plenty of people out there feel the same.

    1. Hey, appreciate the comment but disagree with your reason. In 2013 Clooney starred in Gravity which grossed $274 million. Tomorrowland has grossed $92 million so far. Monuments Men in 2014 grossed $78 million. So, clearly there are people willing to pay money to go see Clooney. As I said in my post, I believe the reason is much deeper than merely wrong casting.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I posted a similar comment in the Forbes site, and that is why I am arriving here, and I agree about one thing: It was a mistake use Clooney's image for the promotion. I mean, Clooney is a great actor, and really reliable to get audience, but this time I don't know why, being Disney, they didn't use of their princesses. They should have used the image of the two young and excellent actresses to promote the film instead of the well known Clooney's credentials.

    The movie was really excellent, a great story, great FX, amazing performance of the main characters (especially Britt and Raffey), I think that the real problem with the movie was the bad appreciation of critics which really have no good taste for art. Maybe a lot of people believed they would see another Disney movie just for kids with a lot of roller coasters and jetpacks, and didn't realize that the movie is not just about Tomorrowland, but about a journey inside the heart and will of people... and with this, as if that was a small achievement, a very funny and exciting odyssey.

    I am not joking when I tell you that this is one of the most underrated movies of all the times. Really, if people see the movie with a different actitude, they could really enjoy this jewel of the 7th art. A real gem in the most pure essence of Sci-fi which maybe later will be considered a cult classic.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. When I saw the trailer for the first time i was immediately intrigued, but my girlfriend was completely put down. I grew up with movies and tv shows like "Back to the Future" that showd you that curiosity is good and invoked a desire to figure out the puzzle and invent things.

    I think that people without that way of thinking would not be attracted by the trailer if tomorrowland.

    Btw, you never stated what was the since difference you noticed that you believe caused it to bomb.