Now, I’m not psychic, but I do write about movies on the Internet, which means it is my God-given right—nay, my responsibility—to act like I know shit and double down when I’m questioned on it. We movie writers are a narcissistic bunch. To that end, here are five movies that I have a feeling in my soul—or in my eyes, after watching their awful trailers—will underperform over the coming year. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to be bad (movies earn less money than they should all the time, and vice versa), but it does mean audiences won’t respond to them for one reason or another. At least, I think so. Check back in a year, and for every movie I was wrong about, you can hit TK with a fish.
It hurts me in my Moon-loving soul to say this, but… does anyone think Warcraft, from director Duncan Jones, is going to do well? Video game movies don’t have the best track record re: quality—I don’t remember who said it, but Edge of Tomorrow is the best video game movie ever, and it’s not even actually based on a video game—and none of Warcraft’s actors have enough starpower to draw in non-gamers. That’s one of the things that fucked over Man from U.N.C.L.E.—you might like Armie Hammer or Dominic Cooper when you see them in things, but few moviegoers are going to buy a ticket specifically for them. A relative lack of household names doesn’t necessarily spell doom (see: The Force Awakens)… if the movie is good. Did anyone feel inspired by that Warcraft trailer? The CGI alone.. woof.
Gods of Egypt
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Yeah, Gods of Egypt is gonna do fiiiiine. Look, it’s not the whitewashing thing that’s going to take this movie down—maybe I’m a pessimist, but I firmly believe that’s something the majority of people neither know nor care about outside of the internet bubble. But, like Warcraft, Gods isn’t doing itself any favors casting-wise—Gerard Butler’s seen better days in terms of box office appeal, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau has yet to prove himself to American audiences outside of Game of Thrones, and poor Brenton Thwaites is seeing a little Taylor Kitsch situation starting to develop. But could this movie be saved by a serviceable story or characters? Pfffft.
Plus: This is a February movie. With a few notable exceptions, February is one of the months where big studios dump movies when they know they suck. I’ll be watching purely for pre-Black Panther Chadwick Boseman and/or schadenfreude.
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
Gird your loins: We’re a mere two weeks out from BAYGHAZI: THE MUSICAL. OK, it’s not a musical, but it is “Michael Bay does Benghazi as an action movie.” 13 Hours’ inclusion on this list may be wishful thinking on my part. The crowd that ushered American Sniper to a $350 million domestic haul might show up for 13 Hours; with its mid-January release date, Paramount certainly seems to be hoping that 13 Hours could replicate some of Sniper’s January 2015 success. But still… Sniper had Eastwood, and 13 Hours has Michael fucking Bay. To maintain a shred of hope in humanity, I have to believe this will be a Roland-Emmerich-tries-to-do-a-srs-gay-rights-movie-and-everyone-was-like-LOL-no situation.
The Legend of Tarzan
Pajiba readers seeing this movie multiple times apiece to help slake their Margot Robbie obsession won’t be enough to save it from sucking. I’m sorry. You know it’s true, though.
Frequent Sacha Baron Cohen collaborator Dan Mazer (co-writer/co-producer on Ali G Indahouse, Borat, and Brüno) directs this R-rated road trip comedy about an uptight 20-something (Zac Efrton) celebrating spring break in Daytona Beach with his pervy old grandpa (Robert De Niro, whose taste in movies these days is not exactly unimpeachable). Watch that trailer. Fremdschämen. All the fremdschämen in the world.
Runners up: Miracles from Heaven (faith-based movies are a wild card, y’all), The Brothers Grimsby (Do American audiences care about Sacha Baron Cohen anymore/have they ever cared about Mark Strong and his beautiful bald dome as much as they should?), Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (are we collectively done with Tim Burton yet?), Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (…anyone? Bueller? Bueller?), Jane Got a Gun, and (maybe) Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.