Space Ramblings

Prometheus Bombed

It’s not a good summer for bad SciFi. First Men in Black III went down, making this one of the few times that Will Smith wearing Prometheus film posterdark glasses and quipping couldn’t salvage an expensive blockbuster. Then Prometheus bombed.

Prometheus didn’t bomb as hard as it could have. It hit 110 million, which is pretty good, if your movie’s budget plus promotionals weren’t a lot higher than that. Foreign box office, as with most bad movies, is better than domestic, but less money from the foreign box office comes home. No one will invest this kind of money just for it to make 120 million or so at home and another 160-170 million abroad. It doesn’t pay.

FOX has to be pretty relieved that they didn’t give Ridley Scott the 260 million dollar budget he wanted. That would have racked up nearly as big a disaster as Warner Bros took with Scott’s Body of Lies. If Prometheus had bombed as completely as Body of Lies, Scott’s career would be in real trouble.

Most of the blame for Prometheus should go to Damon Lindelof, who has scripted two big budget movies and seen them both bomb. And there’s no question that Prometheus’ problem was script. No wonder Lindelof has been talking about going back to TV. He probably saw this coming with preview audiences.

Still there are other factors to blame for Prometheus’ failure. It wasn’t really a big budget summer movie and wasn’t positioned to compete in that element. No matter what the studio thought, Prometheus was better placed for a fall release where it could have hung around for a while.

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