Robert Downey Jr.’s first movie since Avengers: Endgame, a reboot of sorts to the Dr Dolittle series is reportedly performing very poorly at the box office.
The movie has a reported budget of $175 million and according to The Wrap, multiple film finance experts told them that Universal stands to lose $100 million. Dr Doolittle is projected to make $50 million dollars worldwide this weekend but evidently this is not enough.
It seems as though Universal are going through a rough patch at the moment since they also produced recent box office bomb cats. Cats is projected to lose about $70 million in total.
Dolittle has still yet to premiere in 20 countries, this includes nine more next weekend, U.K. and France in the first week of February and China on February 21. So they will no doubt make more money back over the next few months. There’s even a possibility that the movie may break even if it exceeds current expectations. However, this seems unlikely if reviews are to be taken into account. Rotten Tomatoes has given it the ridiculously rotten score of 19%. In contrast, the audience score is 77% and its no secret that the critics have become out of touch with the audience in recent years. Take the greatest showman for example; slated by the critics but still became a success due to the support from the fans. Bad reviews include complaints of poor CGI and too much of a focus on the humour as opposed to the actual story.
According to Gamespot, the Dolittle inflated budget is due to reshoots and excessive use of CGI. This is literally history repeating itself since the first adaptation of Hugh Lofting’s “Doctor Dolittle” went over budget due to reshoots in 1967. Becoming a box office bomb despite going on to earn a best picture nomination at the Oscars.
On paper, the movie seemed like a good idea with the ever-popular Robert Downey Jr. at the helm and Oscar-winning director Stephan Gaghan in the hot seat adapting Hugh Lofting’s novel “The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle”.
The movie also features a star-studded cast including Antonio Banderas, Emma Thompson, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Sheen, Rami Malek, Tom Holland, Craig Robinson, Octavia Spencer, Selena Gomez, Marion Cotillard and Kumail Nanjiani.
RDJ is rumoured to reprise the role of Tony Stark/Iron Man in Black Widow this year. However, after that he is reportedly hanging up the shiny boots for good.
On the brighter side, Universal is on track to win their second Best Picture Oscar winner in a row with “1917” a DreamWorks movie set in World War I. So far earning acclaim from critics and audience alike. This success is reflected in the box office as according to The Wrap “1917” has grossed an estimated $81 million in North America as of this moment and is looking to be Universal’s first smash of the decade grossing $143 globally with a $100 million budget.
Universal also has other opportunities to rebound with the likes of the next James Bond film “No Time to Die”, the ninth Fast & Furious film and also the planned sequel to the billion-dollar pop culture phenomenon “Minions”. So that’s three massive franchises with a history of great success, giving plenty of chance to bounce back from any recent loss.
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