holiday box office

Robert Zemeckis and Steve Carell attempted to welcome audiences to Marwen over the holiday weekend, and audiences replied: “Thanks, but no thanks.” As holiday box office results reveal, Welcome To Marwen is on track to be one of the biggest box office bombs of 2018. The dramedy, which features a bunch of creepy CGI dolls, will have some company at the bottom of the box office heap. Mortal Engines, the Peter Jackson-produced YA adaptation about cities on wheels, is set to lose more than $120 million.

Reviews for Welcome to Marwen (mine included) were overwhelmingly negative, and it looks like audiences took heed and avoided the film over the holiday weekend. According to Variety, the Universal Pictures film cost about $40 million to make and only raked in $2.4 million over its opening weekend. That puts it on track to lose between $45 million to $50 million. This also makes the film “the worst wide-release major studio debut of 2018.” Ouch.

I can’t say I’m surprised. The trailers for Welcome to Marwen, which tells the true story of a man who builds a miniature World War II town in his backyard to escape a traumatic event from his past, where flat-out terrible. In fact, the reaction to the first trailer for the film was so negative that a second trailer was released quickly after (most films have multiple trailers, of course, but much more time usually passes between their release). Despite the presence of a big-name director like Zemeckis and a likable star like Carell, Welcome to Marwen appeared to have very little to offer audiences, and now it will close out the year in the red.

While Welcome to Marwen is at the very bottom of the 2018 box office, it won’t be alone down there. Mortal Engines, the big, expensive-looking, post-apocalyptic adventure from the Lord of the Rings team of Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Peter Jackson, also failed to gain traction with moviegoers. The big, loud extravaganza about motorized cities – which, unfortunately, is also from Universal Pictures – cost around $100–150 million to make, and so far has only amassed $54.3 million globally.

This puts the flick in danger of losing $125+ million. Mortal Engines was an adaption of the first in a quartet of books, and Jackson and company had hoped to turn the publications into a franchise. Based on these results, however, you can guarantee that’s not going to happen. In other words, you’ll likely see a Mortal Engines sequel around the same time that you’ll see Welcome To Marwen 2: Welcome Back to Marwen!

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