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The Summer Box Office Saved Its Biggest Flop for Last

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | September 6, 2016 |


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Relative newcomers to the site may not remember this, but back in our “Scathing Reviews, Bitchy People” days, we were fairly militant about the separation between critic and studio, obnoxiously so, some might say. After our very first critic was asked not to use profanity in a review, we swore off press screenings, because we didn’t want to answer to publicists.

We have since relaxed that rule, because movie tickets are expensive, reviews make no money, and we only hire people we trust not to cave to studio pressures.

That said, somewhat out of inertia, most of us still do not attend press screenings. Instead, we go to a movie’s first showing on Thursday nights along with the rest of the viewing public and turn in our reviews on Friday morning. However, in an unusual move this week, none of the Labor Day movies opened on Thursday, and since we all had Labor Day plans this weekend, we weren’t able to review the two major releases this weekend, The Light Between Oceans and Morgan (both were met with mixed to poor reviews from mainstream critics).

Turns out, it didn’t much matter, because no one saw those movies, and in the case of Morgan, “no ones” in record proportions didn’t see the sci-fi flick from the son of Ridley Scott, Luke Scott. The Kate Mara starrer opened at number 17 for the weekend. It earned less than $2 million, which makes it the 7th worst opening of all time for a film to open on more than 2000 screens. In other words, it’s in the same company as other movies you’ve never seen, P2, Jem and the Holgrams, Rock the Kasbah, and We Are Your Friends.

The Light Between the Oceans, starring Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, and Rachel Weisz didn’t fare that much better, making less than $6 million over the Labor Day weekend.

Both films, of course, will be forgotten next weekend when the Clint Eastwood/Tom Hanks juggernaut, Sully, opens.


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