Bullock and Cooper can't save their movies
ILLUSTRATING the limits of star power, Our Brand Is Crisis and Burnt were both roundly rejected by North American audiences, despite the presence of Sandra Bullock and Bradley Cooper.
Our Brand Is Crisis, a political satire about a spin-doctor navigating a Latin American presidential election, is the worst wide release opening of Bullock's career, sliding in below 1996's Two If By Sea with US$4.7 million. It debuted to a dreadful US$3.4 million (S$4.8 million) across 2,202 locations.
Warner Bros distributed the US$28 million production. "We're proud of the movie, we had higher expectations and we're obviously disappointed," said Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros distribution executive vice-president.
Not that Cooper fared much better playing a down-and-out chef trying to score a comeback. Burnt made a meagre US$5 million bowing across 2,900 theatres.
The Weinstein Company distributed the critically scorched dramedy. It cost roughly US$20 million to make and was directed by John Wells (August: Osage County).
"It's a small film and we didn't spend a ton of money on it, but we were obviously hoping for more," said Erik Lomis, the Weinstein Company's distribution chief.
"We love Bradley and he worked so hard on it with John Wells. It's a passion project that hit a tough weekend."
It was not just star power at play. Both films debuted on Halloween weekend that fell at a particularly rough time on the calendar. The holiday happened to take place on Saturday, traditionally the busiest day for movie-going, so studios were bracing for a weekend that offered up more trick than treat.
Their worst fears were realised. Overall ticket sales fell below US$75 million, the worst results of the year. The weakness of Our Brand Is Crisis and Burnt enabled a group of holdovers to maintain their grip on the top spots at the box office.
The Martian captured first place with US$11.4 million. The Fox adventure story is on pace to be the biggest domestic grossing release of Ridley Scott's career, having made US$182.8 million since its opening last month.
Second and third positions went to Sony's Goosebumps and Dreamworks' Bridge Of Spies with US$9.8 million and US$8.1 million, respectively.
Goosebumps has made roughly US$57 million in three weeks, while Bridge Of Spies has been one of the only adult dramas to connect, earning US$45.2 million over the same period.