Why R.I.P.D. Failed

Griffin Conlogue ’15 / Emertainment Monthly writer
Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges, and Kevin Bacon were the 3 actors that lead the recently released R.I.P.D. This film opened to extremely negative reviews and barely made a dent at the box office. In its first seven days of release the film didn’t even crack twenty million dollars. With a budget over one hundred million, it was a long shot that this film would make back it’s budget. But what went wrong? Here are the top 4 reasons as to why this was such a box office bomb.
4. The writing is amateur
Matt Manfredi, who was probably most famous for penning 2010’s Clash of the Titans, was responsible for the films abysmal script. The dialogue was nowhere near as witty as it thinks it was and the “action” of the story was a bore. The film was just over an hour and half long, yet it sometimes felt like it dragged on way longer than that.
3. It tried too hard to be Men in Black
The way Bridges and Reynolds interacted became the clear connection and focus between the two. The original Men in Black was a breath of fresh air and had all the makings of a hit film. Men in Black released over fifteen years ago and had much more talent behind it. The plot of R.I.P.D. was predictable and boring. Crazy things happening every ten minutes or so does not a good film make.
2. Heavy competition
This week brought four new wide release films to American audiences, and this was a big reason R.I.P.D. finished 7th in the box office. Horror films are the most financially safe films in Hollywood these days and The Conjuring was no exception. Remarkably strong reviews also helped James Wan’s best film to date win this week’s box office. Families continued to flock towards Despicable Me 2 and newcomer Turbo, taking that audience away from R.I.P.D. The male audience continued to throw it’s money away on Adam Sandler’s terrible follow up to 2010’s Grown Ups, the rest of the audience saw newcomer Red 2, or the stylistic thrill-ride that was Pacific Rim. This left very few people interested in R.I.P.D.
1. It wasn’t a sequel, prequel, or horror film, and it wasn’t based on a super popular source material
The past few summers have brought huge failures for many large studio films. Films not based on established franchises have struggled greatly. Releases like The Lone Ranger, Jonah Hex, John Carter, and now R.I.P.D. struggled because they are based on dated or just not popular source material. The only films that are truly safe at the box office are the Harry Potter’s and Iron Man’s that come out every year. Without name recognition not enough people will care to pay and see a movie in its opening weekend. By the time the next weekend comes, something bigger and better will already be released. Expect The Wolverine to take any of the money R.I.P.D. could have possibly made in week 2.

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