A movie that was supposed to jump-start business at one of the major Hollywood studios instead appears poised to become “the first major box-office wreck of 2017.” That’s the assessment of Paramount Pictures’ “Monster Trucks” by Ryan Faughnder, writing in The Los Angeles Times.
“The live action-computer animation hybrid, about a teenage boy who befriends a tentacled, gas-guzzling monster in his truck, is on track to gross $8 million to $10 million during its first four days in theaters this weekend — an abysmal result for a movie that cost $125 million to make,” Faughnder writes.
The report notes that “Monster Trucks” was supposed to give a boost to Paramount’s fledgling animation business. But signs of trouble ahead began surfacing months ago.
“The first trailer for ‘Monster Trucks’ released in June became the butt of widespread Internet snark, and reviews from professional critics have been mostly negative,” the report notes. “In an unusual preemptive move, Paramount’s parent company, Viacom Inc., in September disclosed it would take a $115 million write-down ‘related to the expected performance of an unreleased film,’ quickly revealed to be ‘Monster Trucks.’ Studios rarely announce such write-downs before movies are actually released.”
The report quotes Jeff Bock, a box-office analyst for Exhibitor Relations, saying of “Monster Trucks”: “You knew right after seeing the first trailer that it was going to bomb. I’m surprised ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’ doesn’t already have the rights to this.”
“Monster Trucks” appears to be just the latest in a series of disappointments for Paramount. We encourage readers to click on the link above to the L.A. Times to read the full report.