Why Babylon Bombed at the Box Office

"Babylon," Damien Chazelle's latest original film, was widely released but unfortunately flopped at the domestic box office.

"Babylon" opens widely in China on December 23, 2022, but box office returns are declining for a number of reasons. Babylon comes from respected filmmaker Damien Chazelle, who wrote and directed such films as Whiplash and La La Land, as well as his most recent project, First Man. An ode to early Hollywood, Babylon tells the stories, rise and fall of multiple characters during the film industry's transition from silent to sound films in the late 20's.

While Chazelle's films have never been box office juggernauts, they are generally credited with lower costs behind their success, except for La La Land, which grossed over $400 million worldwide on a $30 million budget. However, Chazelle's most recent financially ambitious effort, First Man, was made with $59 million, making it slightly less than the film's $109 million return. This set a precedent for Damien Chazelle's aptly titled Babylon, which underperformed at the box office due to several factors.

Babylon's Budget Made It A Major Box Office Risk

Arguably the biggest factor came from First Man, with Chazelle getting an estimated $78-80 million increased budget for Babylon. This is the addition of the first person, no Sci-fi elements in the real world, such as the moon landing in 1969 in his latest effort before Babylon. Spending nearly $80 million on an original film that, despite the brilliance of its cast and filmmakers, has little appeal to general audiences (not just cinephiles) is always a risk.

According to Deadline, this budget, along with declining interest in big-name films, a surge in COVID-19 and flu cases, and the impact of winter storm Elliott resulted in flat box-office returns for Margot, despite Babylon starring similar films Robbie and Brad Pitt. The film was expected to earn $12-15 million over its four-day opening weekend, but only racked up $3.5 million. By the end of its second weekend, Babylon had made just $11 million, well below initial expectations. Due to the massive budget, Deadline also reports that Babylon needs $250 million to break even, combining its $80 million production cost with an equivalent publicity budget.

Babylon's Reviews & Runtime Likely Hurt Its Box Office

Another factor that may have affected Babylon's box office was its running time and reviews. Regarding the latter, the film had its first screening with critics on November 14, 2022, to a mixed response. since Then, reviews for the film started pouring in, leading to its wide release in December 2022. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes has a 55 percent critic approval rating from 246 reviews, the worst of Chazelle's films. Chazelle's other wide-release films Whiplash, La La Land and First Man have received 94%, 91% and 87% review ratings respectively, meaning Babylon is easily Chazelle's highest-rated film. bad movie.

Although the film still appears on some critics' best-of-the-year lists, the lack of critical acclaim may have contributed to its diminishing returns. The film's lack of positive word-of-mouth may have caused general audiences to abandon seeing the film in theaters. In addition to this disappointing review score, Rotten Tomatoes shows the film has an audience rating of 49%, meaning the film won't appeal to a wider audience either. That meant the film lacked positive word-of-mouth among casual fans and critics, which continued to hurt its box-office results.

In addition to the poor reviews, Babylon's run time was long, which likely contributed to the poor box office despite Babylon's intriguing cast of characters. Babylon has a running time of 189 minutes, which may affect Its box office hits for a variety of reasons. First, it's sadly unlikely that the average audience will see the appeal of spending three hours in a theater watching an original film. Unlike films with similar run times, such as Avatar: Way of Water and Avengers: Endgame, Babylon isn't affiliated with any record-breaking franchises, meaning people are less likely to spend Time to watch, because interest in original filmmaking has unfortunately declined.

Since the aforementioned films, such as Avatar 2 and Avengers 4, are linked to previous box-office successful franchises such as the MCU, theater chains are not afraid to show these multiple times despite their long run times Mainstay movies because they're all but guaranteed to succeed. Still, with a film like "Babylon" having other factors, such as poor reviews and a huge budget working against it, theaters will be less inclined to show the film to the same degree due to its long run time. All of this could lead to a poor domestic box office for the film.

Babylon Had Big Box Office Competition

Another reason Babylon failed at the box office was its competition. Babylon opens in theaters on December 23, 2022, just a week before James Cameron's Avatar: The Way of Water hits wide release. With the latter film demonstrating Cameron's expected dominance and longevity at the box office, Babylon always had a steep hill to climb to turn a profit. Even without competition, other factors in Babylon meant that making a profit was a tall order. As it happens, the movie comes out a week after the sequel to the highest-grossing movie of all time, which already has an established fan base and is expected to continue to hit theaters week after week into 2023. ^Babylon's failure in The Office in a Box could affect Chazelle's career and the film industry. On the former, Babylon's sub-par returns likely mean Chazelle won't have a budget of this size in the future. Despite Chazelle's talent and the quality of films like Whiplash and La La Land - both often cited as the best films of the 2010s - money is, unfortunately, the driving factor behind most filmmaking decisions, meaning studios may not Willing to give Chazelle a big budget after Babylon fails.

What Babylon's Box Office Failure Means

Regarding filmmaking, Babylon's failure could mean There will also be reduced budgets for future original films. The biggest problem with modern filmmaking is the growing disregard for non-licensed filmmaking. General audiences are losing interest in original IP, which means more money is being spent on something that could be the next biggest franchise or continue an existing one. That means Babylon is the last of the endangered, original non-franchise films to earn a decent budget. As it happens, unfortunately, there are all sorts of headwinds for the film that will see the box office drop until late 2022, which could have significant and regrettable consequences for the future of filmmaking.

More: Babylon ending explained (detailed)

Next Post Previous Post
No Comment
Add Comment
comment url