I wasn’t expecting huge numbers anyway, but I didn’t think it was going to do this badly. I’ve never heard of audience reactions being this poor, especially for a film that most of the critics agreed upon. Here are a few possibilities as to why Brad Pitt’s new vehicle died this weekend.
1. Brad Pitt overkill. He’s a good actor and all but the only thing we hear about anymore is his romantic status. Yes, he has a lot of kids and a lot of houses, but does that mean I want to watch him for another two hours of my life? I mean, he’s on the cover of PEOPLE magazine this week talking about his wedding plans. Maybe people are just getting fed up with always seeing him. I know I am.
2. The lack of subtlety. When I see a movie, I want to make my own opinions, not have the filmmaker’s opinions crammed down my throat for two hours. This film delivers its message with all the quietness of a mack truck.
3. The audience reaction. Word-of-mouth can do wonders for a film, both in good ways and bad. It made “The Help” soar, and it most likely doomed this movie. The audience reports gave it an F. An F! That is audience repellent like no other. I mean, I wouldn’t want to spend my money on something everyone was telling me they hated.
4. Better options. Again with the F response, I’d rather see a movie that I know is going to be good and worth my money, like “Skyfall” or “Argo” or “Lincoln.” For the record, if I want a movie with a political message, I’d choose “Lincoln” in a heartbeat
5. Harvey Weinstein aimed too high. This might have had a much better chance if it hadn’t opened in 2,424 theaters like it did. Weinstein should have stuck to a limited release, let some positive feedback get out, and slowly expand it to more theaters.