Who knew literally no one is interested in watching a film where a white, Scottish dude plays Egyptian deity Set and fights Geoffrey Rush on a spaceship? Oh wait, everyone.
Proving the art of cinema retains some level of internal logic, Alex Proyas' Gods of Egypt is set to become one of 2016's major flops, with the $140M swords-and-sandals epic projected to open on a measly $15M. A calculation made from pre-release audience surveys which, though not set in stone, do tend to be a strong predictor of box office trends.
In comparison, Clash of the Titans opened on $61M; a moderate success which eventually spawned a sequel for the mythic blockbuster. Bad news for Gods of Egypt, then, which the LA Times reports Lionsgate had prepped as its follow-up franchise to the concluded Hunger Games series.
It may all be speculation so far, but it wouldn't be surprising if the film's poor performance was largely driven by the negative hype stemmed from accusations of whitewashing in the casting process; star Chadwick Boseman has admitted to its issues, with the studio even issuing a formal apology on the matter.
The film sees Gerard Butler play the god of chaos Set, and Game of Thrones' Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in the role of Horus, one of the major gods in ancient Egyptian religious belief; both fighting for control of the kingdom, with a mere mortal (Brenton Thwaites) acting as the key to the conflict's resolution.
That said, cast aside, Gods of Egypt has been a little bit of a baffling project in the eyes of general audiences; with recently released TV spots revealing the film legitimately features an ancient Egyptian spaceship in one of its scenes. No, that's not a joke.
However, it does appear as if Lionsgate pre-empted the film's damage somewhat, pre-selling the film's foreign territory rights and taking advantage of Australian tax breaks.
"It's not good," stated Jeff Bock, senior box office analyst at Exhibitor Relations. "When you spend $140 million on a film, you're not looking for one movie, you're looking for a trilogy. Lionsgate, in this post Hunger Games world, desperately needs a new franchise, and this is not going to be it."
- More about:
- Gods of Egypt