These Major 2018 Films Are Destined for Failure
Looking back at 2017, quite a few films that everyone was looking forward to ended up being colossal disappointments both on a critical and a financial level, including The Mummy and The Dark Tower. In 2018, we shouldn’t expect any different.
Sure, 2018 will see the release of some guaranteed hits, like Avengers: Infinity War. But even a few of the films you’re most excited about appear to be headed toward disaster. Here’s a look at the 2018 movies that are on pace to disappoint audiences and/or lose a lot of money. For the purposes of this list, we’ll be focusing primarily on the big blockbusters.
Solo: A Star Wars Story
To be clear, we’re actually really excited for Solo, which looks like an enjoyable addition to the Star Wars saga. But there are reasons to believe it will perform below what Disney is hoping for.
First of all, The Last Jedi was undeniably divisive. This resulted in fairly poor holds between weekends; the movie saw a 67% drop in its second weekend compared to The Force Awakens‘ 39% drop. The Last Jedi ended up grossing almost $700 million less than The Force Awakens. The eighth episode was always going to make less than the seventh since it wasn’t as much of an event, but no one expected it to make that much less.
The release date is also a concern. All three Disney Star Wars films thus far have been released around Christmas, a perfect time for them to build up momentum over several weeks as kids are home from school and there’s little competition. But Solo comes out two weeks after Avengers: Infinity War, and one week after Deadpool 2. The fact that people will still be flocking to those movies over Memorial Day will seriously reduce Solo‘s chance at a massive opening weekend like the kind the past three Star Wars movies have had.
And finally, there’s the fact that there are fears about the movie not being good, considering it was plagued by reshoots and the directors were dramatically fired. Granted, it’s hard to imagine that Solo will be a complete catastrophe just because it’s still a Star Wars movie. But even in a best-case scenario, Solo will definitely be the lowest grossing Star Wars film Disney has released.
Next: This reboot of an established franchise is unlikely to make a splash.
Ocean’s Eight — June 8
Ocean’s Eight has potential to be excellent, but there are reasons to believe it will be a financial disappointment. The last time a popular franchise was rebooted with an all-female cast, it was Ghostbusters, a movie that experienced a significant backlash and severely unperformed. Sadly, Ocean’s Eight, another gender-swapped reboot, might suffer the same fate. We’re already getting that sense from the movie’s trailer; despite the trailer itself being fantastic, it has over 50,000 dislikes on YouTube, with many of the top-rated comments complaining about the men being replaced with women.
But the bigger problem is the release date; by the time it comes out, Solo and Deadpool will likely still be raking in major cash, and the week after it comes out, Incredibles 2 is guaranteed to be a hit. The week after that is Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Ocean’s Eight is right smack dab in the middle of a busy season, meaning it will be challenging to break out and retain its audience over the course of the next few weekends.
The film must be truly fantastic for it to overcome this and stand out among some gigantic blockbusters. If it’s just a generic reboot, it’s in trouble.
Next: This monster movie simply cost too much money for it to be successful.
The Meg — Aug. 10
The Meg is a big sci-fi/horror movie about a giant shark. That could find an audience in theaters, and we’ve recently seen shark movies like The Shallows and 47 Meters Down do well. But those were relatively cheap, both costing less than $20 million to produce.
The problem with The Meg is that its budget is reportedly $150 million. That’s insane for a film like this, which seems to be appealing to a very specific audience. Based on the talent involved, there’s a pretty good chance it will be terrible.
Additionally, since it’s not based on any well-known property, The Meg won’t be able to coast off nostalgia or brand recognition like Kong: Skull Island or Jurassic World. Instead, this essentially looks like it will be a SyFy channel-quality film, but with the budget of a Lord of the Rings movie — meaning it’s almost certainly dead in the water.
Next: This 2018 comic book film is one of the weirdest ideas for a big-budget movie in recent memory.
Venom — Oct. 5
When Sony decided to allow Spider-Man to enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe, one would think this meant that they would no longer be making any more Spider-Man movies. But that’s not the case. For some reason, Sony has plans to release a bunch of Spider-Man films that don’t even have Spider-Man in them.
The first one is Venom, a film about Peter Parker’s comic book antagonist. The film does have a stellar cast, but Sony already lost money on an actual Spider-Man movie with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, so it’s difficult to imagine their Spider-Man movie sans Spider-Man will fare better, especially without the involvement of Marvel Studios.
Plus, when the first trailer was released, it didn’t generate a lot of excitement; mostly, fans were confused about why Venom wasn’t even in it. Venom might not be a catastrophe, but it definitely won’t be the hit that Sony wants.
Next: This sequel to a popular 2011 film will have trouble matching the original’s success.
The Girl in the Spider’s Web — Oct. 5
In 2011, Sony released The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, an adaptation of the Stieg Larsson book. It was assumed that there would be a sequel, as there are two more books in the series. But a sequel never came. Since then, a fourth book was released called The Girl in the Spider’s Web.
Strangely, Sony has now decided to skip right ahead to adapting that fourth book instead of doing two and three. Their version of The Girl in the Spider’s Web is sort of a part sequel, part reboot of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, following the same characters but with new actors playing them. Replacing Rooney Mara is The Crown‘s Claire Foy.
Though there was a lot of interest in the Millennium series when The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo came out, that was seven years ago. The hype has died down, and that, in combination with the confusion over whether this is a sequel or something new, will likely hurt The Girl in the Spider’s Web‘s chances.
Next: This classic story just got a movie in 2016, but in 2018, it’s being adapted again.
Mowgli — Oct. 18
Disney released their live-action remake of The Jungle Book in 2016, and it did quite well both critically and financially. But now, just two years later, another Jungle Book is hitting theaters. This one has nothing to do with the Disney version. Instead, Warner Bros. is releasing it.
The film, which has had a few different titles prior to its release but is now being called Mowgli, seems like it will be quite different and have a darker tone. But after just having seen a Jungle Book movie fairly recently, it’s unlikely that audiences will be interested in another version so soon. Mowgli will likely lose out to Halloween in its opening weekend despite having a significantly higher budget.
Next: The steam appears to be running out for this comic book series.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix — Nov. 2
The most recent X-Men film, Apocalypse, left fans disappointed, and it did not perform quite as well as Fox had hoped. Just two years later, X-Men: Dark Phoenix hits theaters. Apocalypse seems to have killed a lot of the hype around the X-Men franchise, and this new one comes from a first-time director, Simon Kinberg. The movie will have to be a return to form in order to bring back audiences.
It’s also worth considering how the sale of 20th Century Fox to Disney might play into this. Dark Phoenix will be one of the last remnants of the pre-Disney X-Men, yet it doesn’t appear that it was written as a finale. So will audiences feel less compelled to go see this outing, knowing that a reboot is on the way from Marvel Studios in a few years?
Next: Nobody seems excited about this Taron Egerton film based on a classic legend.
Robin Hood — Nov. 21
In 2017, Warner Bros. released King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, a new take on the classic legend with a sky-high budget. It was a catastrophe, earning toxic reviews and tanking at the box office.
Now, history is looking to repeat itself with Robin Hood, Summit Entertainment’s new take on the classic legend. Just like there was no appetite for another King Arthur movie, it’s hard to imagine there’s much appetite for another Robin Hood movie, especially not too long after Ridley Scott’s 2010 version with Russell Crowe. It comes from a first-time director, and it’s actually co-written by one of the writers of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.
Originally, the movie was supposed to come out in September, but the studio recently moved it to Thanksgiving. That might be an even worse spot for it; while it’s true that Thanksgiving weekend can be big for some movies, it’s rather unlikely Robin Hood will be able to beat Wreck-It Ralph 2, Creed 2, or even Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald in its second weekend. Robin Hood will, therefore, likely come in fourth place in its opening weekend and only keep sinking from there.
Next: This adaptation of a popular novel probably won’t become the next Hunger Games.
Mortal Engines — Dec. 14
A Mortal Engines movie has been in the works for almost a decade. But Universal Pictures is finally releasing it in 2018. Based on the book of the same name, this post-apocalyptic film takes place in a futuristic version of London in which a battle rages over the world’s remaining resources.
As Divergent and Maze Runner have proven, adapting a post-apocalyptic novel into a movie won’t produce a guaranteed, Hunger Games style hit. Mortal Engines comes from a first-time director, boasts no major stars, and cost around $100 million. Universal is also releasing it during a crowded December season in which the film will struggle to make an impression.
Next: The next film from DC has fans more anxious than ever.
Aquaman — Dec. 21
Warner Bros. learned the hard way in 2017 that just putting iconic superheroes together in a movie isn’t enough. Wonder Woman was a rousing success, but then Justice League was an unmitigated disaster, which makes sense considering the former movie is excellent and the latter is terrible.
Aquaman really could go either way. The director, James Wan, is undeniably talented, so it could be a revelation like Wonder Woman. But if DC becomes paranoid following Justice League and begins getting too involved in the creative process, it could be another catastrophe.
After audiences were generally unsatisfied with Justice League, the word-of-mouth surrounding this film will have to be incredibly good to lure them back in. Even if Aquaman is only decent, audiences who hated Justice League will probably stay away.
Next: This $200 million James Cameron-produced movie will probably be a disaster.
Alita: Battle Angel — Dec. 21
Alita: Battle Angel is already setting itself up for failure with a budget close to $200 million. A movie sporting this Transformers-sized price tag must make a crazy amount of cash to turn a profit.
But Alita is based on an obscure manga and has a no-name actress in the lead role. When the trailer was released, all anyone could talk about was the main character’s goofy anime eyes. That’s not exactly the best way to kickstart a film’s marketing push.
Alita was originally set to open in July, but Fox recently pushed it to December. Releasing a movie over the holidays does give it a better chance of becoming a surprise success, but December is fairly crowded this year, and Alita shows no signs of being able to break out like that.
Next: This spinoff of a highly popular franchise seems to be completely unnecessary and unwanted.
Bumblebee — Dec. 21
The Transformers movies have already been on the decline. Critics have savaged them since the second installment, but even a lot of hardcore fans weren’t happy with The Last Knight, a movie that only grossed $130 million in the U.S. on a $217 million budget.
Now, as the series has been going downhill, Paramount has decided to start introducing spinoffs. Bumblebee is a spinoff focusing entirely on the titular yellow Transformer. But if the Transformers series itself is already losing steam, why would a spinoff be any more successful? The movie will also likely experience a huge drop in its second weekend, as the Transformers movies usually do, so the opening weekend has to be staggeringly good for this to not be a failure.
Next: This film has been toxic for months now and is essentially doomed.
The Current War — TBD
On paper, The Current War sounded like a movie that would be perfect for the Academy Awards. After all, it’s a period piece starring Benedict Cumberbatch telling the story of a brilliant real person. The last time we saw a movie like that it was The Imitation Game, which received eight Academy Award nominations.
But The Current War received horrible reviews from critics in early screenings. That already spelled trouble, but then 80 women accused Harvey Weinstein, the movie’s producer, of sexual harassment and assault. Following that scandal, The Current War was pulled from release. Now, it’s expected to come out sometime in 2018. But it will no longer qualify for the 2018 Academy Awards.
With no awards buzz, terrible reviews, and an association with Harvey Weinstein, The Current War has basically no shot.
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