The past year proved that big-budget movies with recognizable titles are no guarantee of success. Solo: A Star Wars Story flopped and the latest Robin Hood was a complete debacle.
Something that is guaranteed, however, is that 2019 will bring more cinematic disappointments. Looking at the movies scheduled for release in the next 12 months, four stand out as likely box-office bombs.
DC has not been able to keep up with Marvel at the box office in recent history. The only DC movies that rank in the top-ten of superhero films are The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, which came out in 2008 and 2012, respectively.
Shazam!, with its $100-million budget and serious lack of star power, has the trappings of a flop. No offense to lead actor Zachary Levi or Henry Gayden’s script – the trailer actually looks kind of funny – but with a new Avengers (Endgame), Jake Gyllenhaal’s return as Spiderman (Far From Home), and Captain Marvel all coming out this year, there’s a good chance Shazam! winds up an also-ran in the box-office race.
This X-Men spinoff has been plagued by delays and production problems, and it’s rumored to be downright terrible.
X-Men: Apocalypse only grossed $132 million domestically in 2016. Dark Phoenix has roughly a $220-million budget and no Famke Janssen to carry it. Instead, Sophie Turner – a.k.a. Sansa Stark – takes over the role of Jean Grey, and winter may be coming for her superhero debut.
Are Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley capable of carrying a movie to box-office glory without the names Spiderman and Star Wars attached? The Chaos Walking producers certainly hope so, because they spent $125 million on this YA adaptation.
Last year was a pretty brutal one for YA. A Wrinkle in Time was one of the biggest box-office bombs of 2018; Darkest Minds barely eclipsed its modest $34-million budget; and Maze Runner: The Death Cure fell well short of its $62-million outlay.
Odds are that Chaos Walking follows in their footsteps instead of becoming the next Hunger Games.
Sonic the Hedgehog
A live-action adaptation of the classic Sega videogame starring Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik? This is going to be the gaming version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, isn’t it?
The latest Tomb Raider, Assassin’s Creed, Hitman: Agent 47, Need for Speed: videogame movies are not exactly box-office gold, and Sonic is not exactly Pikachu when it comes to world-wide popularity.
The Pokemon franchise has sold over 300 million games worldwide. Sonic hasn’t even cracked 90 million.
Making the forecast even bleaker, this will be the feature film debut for director Jeff Fowler, while screenwriters Patrick Casey and Josh Miller (the pair behind the short-lived adult cartoon Golan the Insatiable) have little on their resumes which inspires confidence. They once titled a movie “Hey, Stop Stabbing Me!” That doesn’t bode well for the Sonic script, and if the movie doesn’t get half-decent reviews out of the gate, it’s going to have a hard time recouping its $90-million budget.