The official box office returns are in for the weekend, and it looks like there ain’t nothing like the real thing. Surrogates flopped with a three day pull of only $14.9 million, coming in second place behind Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, which pulled in $25 million in its second week. For a action film with a $80 million budget, that’s not good for Disney, who owns Touchstone Pictures, the studio behind the Bruce Willis film.
Why the poor results? The critical reception of the film was harsh, with the film only earning a 38% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. If you read my review, you’ll know I disagree with most of the critics, though I understand some of their points. The film is a bit moody and cliche, but I didn’t find those elements distracting enough for me not to enjoy the film.
You could also blame the failure on people not really understanding the concept the film. When I told people I went to see Surrogates this weekend, almost everyone asked me, “Oh, yeah, what’s that about again?”, even though the trailers are pretty clear about the premise.
Probably one of the biggest follies by Disney was it’s marketing of the film. The viral site ChooseYourSurrogate.com went nowhere, and public awareness for the film was very low, despite those creepy bus-stop posters (seen above) all over the place. I’ll have a complete review of the viral for Surrogates tomorrow.
Hopefully this doesn’t mean Disney will stop trying to make interesting films like this. However, Michael Bay’s The Island flopped, and everyone came out of that OK. Why do you think Surrogates did so bad?