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Max Landis Calmly Expresses Disappointment with 'American Ultra' Box Office, Internet Calls It a Whiny Rant

By Dustin Rowles | Social Media | August 25, 2015 |

By Dustin Rowles | Social Media | August 25, 2015 |

Oh, Internet. You’re so adorable and yet, so incredibly infuriating sometimes. Because you can’t just be happy with seeing a filmmaker express an honest opinion, you have to characterize anything that’s not PR-speak as a “rant.”

Here are the headlines re: A series a Max Landis tweets expressing disappointment in the box-office performance of American Ultra, as well as the notion that original movies simply do not sell.

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That’s just four of the headlines that have covered these tweets, and all four characterize it as a rant.

Now, read the following tweets, and ask yourself: Is this a rant? Or is this just a screenwriter expressing some reasonable frustration with the fact that moviegoers didn’t turn out to see a movie he wrote, despite it clearly being the best new option available this weekend:

I don’t know why it failed, either. The marketing wasn’t good inasmuch as it never reached me, and as it turns out, I’m the ideal American Ultra viewer: Someone who who might like a stoner Bourne with a wonderful Walton Goggins role and some solid R-rated action. Maybe people didn’t want to see Eisenberg or Stewart in those roles. Maybe people just didn’t want to see Eisenberg or Stewart, or maybe it’s too hard to promote an original movie because the entire movie hasn’t been given away already.

Personally, I think it had more to do with the fact that people just kind of stop going to the movies in the last half of August. American Ultra was pretty good! The Man from UNCLE was a fine movie. If they’d been released in May, more people might have turned out for them, but we all have this perception that anything released in late August will be crap, because most of the time, it is crap.

I still think Ultra may have some legs with home viewers. It’s the kind of film that is well suited to iPad viewing.

In other case, I’d be very reluctant to call what Landis rattled off a “rant.”

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.