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Faced with a choice between a post-Apocalyptic science-fiction thriller and a broad American comedy last weekend, Australian cinemagoers chose the latter.
The Internship, the Googleplex-set caper starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, raked in $2.3 million in its opening frame, beating After Earth, the father-and-son survival saga featuring Will Smith and Jaden Smith, which made $1.8 million.
That was a reversal of their Us debuts where the M. Night Shyamalan-directed After Earth fetched $27.5 million- a mediocre result for a film that cost $130 million- and The Internship collected $17.3 million.
One Australian exhibitor had a hunch the comedy with two popular actors would resonate more strongly than the sci-fi film which he derided as boring. That.s another dud for the director after The Last Airbender.
- Don Groves
It looks like Michael Bay and company are actually using Texas as the setting for some of the film’s Texas-based sequences. I know, crazy, right? Usually Hollywood would turn some Canadian city into New York, or Chicago into New York, or a Hollywood backlot into Kentucky. But Bay is actually down in Central Texas as we speak shooting various scenes from his upcoming movie. Being that there are very few paparazzi in Texas, the set images have been pretty sparse. But someone did catch this shot of Mark Wahlberg in Taylor Texas: I thought he was playing a soldier of some sort. Maybe a retired soldier? Most of the shooting for the film seems to be around the smaller towns around Austin, with shoots in Taylor, Pflugerville, and Elgin. Which makes sense, as the film will find Wahlberg and his daughter, “The Last Airbender’s” Nicola Peltz playing Texans, »
After cinematic atrocities like The Village, The Happening, and The Last Airbender, writer-director M. Night Shyamalan became such a joke to the degree that his name on the trailer for Devil--for which he earned a story credit.got laughs from moviegoers across America. Little wonder then that Columbia Pictures carefully hid his writer and director credits on the marketing for the Will Smith/Jaden Smith vanity project vehicle After Earth. But doing press for the picture, the twist-obsessed filmmaker has revealed something truly shocking: he was the ghostwriter for popular 1999 teen-centered rom-com She's All That. Speaking with Movies.com, Shyamalan spoke about his range, and then admitted that The Sixth Sense (which he wrote and directed) and Stuart Little (which he has a screenplay credit on) were not the only 1999 movies he worked on. After teasing he'd ghost-written a movie that year as well, he confesses: "I ghost-wrote the »
When The Sixth Sense was first released back in 1999, critics and audiences alike were almost unanimous in their admiration of the film. It’s smart ghost story and “that” twist ending had everyone on tenterhooks. Its writer and director, M.Night Shyamalan was a star, and soon enough everyone wanted a piece of him.
Following it up with arguably his best work, 2000’s Unbreakable that reteamed him with Sixth Sense star Bruce Willis, was a smart and thoughtful take on comic-book mythology and, indirectly, Superman. Another notable success followed with Signs, and the world was Shyamalan’s oyster. That was until 2004′s The Village started to make us wonder what path he was going down and then 2006’s The Lady In The Water, a film that was his first dud. Uneven, disjointed and dull, Lady was the first sign that The Shyamalan train was beginning to run out of gas. »
- Scott Davis
After several hits in a row, M Night Shyamalan's credibility has pretty vanished due to such disappointments as "Lady in the Water," "The Happening," "The Last Airbender" and "After Earth." And now that he's considering returning to the projects that made him a top director in Hollywood, like a sequel to "Unbreakable," Shyamalan also spoke about movies that he wrote before "The Sixth Sense." Most people don't know that he wrote "Stuart Little" because he was hired as a ghostwriter, a person who does the work but the credit goes to someone else. But there was another movie that he wrote that's rarely associated with him. "I ghost-wrote a movie the same year [as 'The Sixth Sense'], but I don't know if I want to tell you which movie I ghost-wrote," he laughed, then quickly stating: "I ghost-wrote the movie 'She's All That.'" For those who aren't familiar with the movie, "She's All That »
There was a time after 1999 movie "The Sixth Sense" when filmmaker Manoj N. Shayamalan was seen as the brightest filmmakers from India in Hollywood.
And then it all fell apart, film by film.
"Unbreakable" (2000) that followed "The Sixth Sense" was received fairly. But soon after, Shyamalan rapidly declined into the night with "Signs" (2002), "The Village" (2004), "The Lady In Water" (2006), "The Happening" (2008) and worst of all the 3D abomination "The Last Airbender", which apart from other atrocities, also revealed Dev 'Slumdog' Patel to be an extremely inept actor.
To be honest, one thought that 2010 release "The Last Airbender". »
- Abhijeet Sen
Back in 2011, following the release and subsequent dismissal of The Last Airbender, M Night Shyamalan was subject to much criticism, causing some of us to leap to the defence of this director from his many detractors. With the reviews of his latest movie once again denying the director’s talents, it seemed as though the more loyal and admiring of his fans would find themselves arguing his case once again. However having now seen After Earth, it’s inevitable that there will be many who may have to finally concede to the consensus.
The issues with After Earth are many, but at a fundamental level the film’s primary failing is as a science fiction movie. Before you criticise the woeful script or question the Primeval-esque special effects (it cost $130 million, you say?), it is important to point out that the futuristic universe inhabited by our characters makes no sense whatsoever. »
- Steven Neish
On this week's episode of The Golden Briefcase, hosts Tim Buel and Jeremy Kirk go through their latest picks of the week, the newest in DVD & Blu-ray releases, new trailers for Denis Villeneuve's Prisoners, Luc Besson's The Family and James Wan's Insidious: Chapter 2. and plenty more. The main topic of the night was a discussion on the many movies and the career of filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs, The Village, Lady in the Water, The Happening, The Last Airbender, After Earth). The guys discuss his cinematic works and all the plot twists and where Shyamalan can go from here. Listen in! The Golden Briefcase is also broadcast Live on Wednesday nights starting ~7:30Pm Pst. You can listen in via our Ustream page or by visiting our own live page right here on Fs. The podcast is just as fun to listen »
- Tim Buel
Few filmmakers have experienced the sort of unheralded rise and subsequent implosion that have marked the career of M. Night Shyamalan. His 1999 ghost story The Sixth Sense was a massive hit, and the follow-ups, Unbreakable and Signs, seemed to solidify him as an important voice in science fiction and suspense cinema.
But then, we saw The Village. And Lady In The Water. And everything else. From commanding a multi-million dollar deal just to write Signs, Shyamalan had become an almost instant has been; a whipping boy for critics and fans fed up with his bizarre twists and increasingly sloppy writing, not to mention his own not-so-private sense of self-importance. By the time The Last Airbender was met with scathing reviews, Shyamalan was essentially considered washed up. This summer’s After Earth downplayed his involvement in its advertisements as much as was humanly possible, apparently aware of his now toxic reputation. »
- David Braga
I don't know how you feel about M. Night Shyamalan, but I don't think I'll ever watch another movie of his again. I don't know how you can take a perfectly good show like The Last Airbender and turn it into a piece of crap, but the director managed to do just that. In fact, it was so bad I never finished watching the whole film. I knew it wasn't going to get any better. I haven't watched After Earth, and after reading the reviews, I don't think I'll waste my time.
The team at Screen Junkies has taken The Last Airbender and edited it into another one of their hilarious Honest Trailers.
I'm sure this will make you at least crack a smile. »
- Joey Paur
As the old saying goes, when the legend becomes fact, print the legend. Such is life for some of Hollywood's most notorious box office bombs, even if the films weren't technically "bombs."
Take "Waterworld," for instance: Kevin Costner's costly and critically battered 1995 has often been cited as a major failure, but it actually made $264 million worldwide on a reported budget of $175 million.
"I've probably said [that 'Waterworld' made money] ad nauseum, but people don't give a sh-t," Costner told HuffPost Entertainment. "So, it doesn't really matter. It just is what it is."
Costner isn't alone, of course, in taking heat for a "bomb" that wasn't a bomb. Below, find 10 other commonly cited box office busts that probably made a lot more money than you realized.
[Budget figures and grosses via Box Office Mojo]
1. "The Tourist"
Reported budget: $100 million
Global gross: $278 million
2. "Knight and Day"
Reported budget: $117 million
Global gross: $261 million
3. "Dark Shadows"
Reported budget: $150 million
Global gross: »
- Christopher Rosen
Picking up where we left off: having tracked the steady descent in quality through the filmography of M. Night Shyamalan, it felt like it would be a good idea to revisit the man now that the weekend is over, and we've all had a chance to see his latest, After Earth. Though, based on its shockingly anemic box-office take, I'm guessing that most of you did not take that chance.
Good for you, because I did see the film, and wow, was it ever the wrong decision. Happily it does, as reported, reverse the plunging downward trend of his career: it's better across the board than The Last Airbender. But it still very clearly isn't a good movie and in one particularly respect it sharpens what might be the most disappointing element of Shyamalan's fall.
Looking all the way back to 1999's The Sixth Sense, one of the things that »
- Tim Brayton
There are few directors I can think of that have experienced the dizzying highs and maddening lows as M. Night Shyamalan. His career has been a bizarre mish-mash of both masterpieces and pieces of garbage. It's tough to comprehend how someone capable of delivering such acclaimed films as The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable could also deliver painful, almost unwatchable tripe like The Happening and The Last Airbender. As far as filmmakers go, M. Night might be the most disappointing filmmaker in the history of cinema.
I think my cinematic tastes line up with most people on the Shyamalan's filmography. My first exposure to his work was The Sixth Sense, a movie which quickly became a classic. The film was something of a surprise when it was »
- Flickering Myth
I haven't seen M. Night Shyamalan's "After Earth," the reported $150 million sci-fi survival narrative starring Will Smith and his son Jaden that made just a fraction of that amount at the box office this weekend. I also didn't bother with Shyamalan's "The Last Airbender," his previous directing credit. After "The Happening," reports suggested that the filmmaker had lost the intrigue that made his work so attractive in the first place. I couldn't bring myself to confront the change. Even though "The Happening" and, god help us, "Lady in the Water" had their rampant absurdities, they were Shyamalan's absurdities: ideas that existed primarily to set in motion an array of frantic reactions and paranoia. His penchant for third act twists, though they became derided as clichés, reflected a genuine interest in showmanship that actively defied predictable Hollywood formulas. In "The Sixth Sense," "Unbreakable," "Signs" and even parts of "The Village, »
- Eric Kohn
After Earth, 2013.
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
A crash landing leaves Kitai Raige and his father Cypher stranded on Earth, 1,000 years after events forced humanity's escape. With Cypher injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help.
Not too long ago director M. Night Shyamalan was considered one of the best up and coming directors. He made a very chilling film with The Sixth Sense, managed to keep up the quality with his second film Unbreakable, then did a nice job exploring sci-fi genre with Signs. Ever since then his films have consistently gotten worse and worse. With the exception of Devil, which he wrote and I thought was decent, everything from The Village to The Last Airbender has been completely awful. Now he's teaming up with Will Smith, one »
- Flickering Myth
Time was, not long ago, a Will Smith space epic like "After Earth" would have opened huge around the world on a July weekend, reconfirming his status as the biggest box office draw in the galaxy. Instead, "After Earth" opened in the shadow of a competitive Memorial Day holiday, underperforming even its modest predictions of a $30 to $40 million premiere, settling for a third-place debut estimated at $27.0 million. Its thunder was stolen by the still-strong "Fast & Furious 6" (on top for the second straight week, with an estimated $34.5 million) and stealthy indie newcomer "Now You See Me" (debuting in second place with $28.1 million), both of them ensemble movies starring, well, nobody near as famous as Will Smith.
What went wrong? A lot of things, as it turned out. Here are some of them:
- Gary Susman
Starring father-son duo Will and Jaden Smith, distributors Sony predicted to rake in around $35 million. Unfortunately for everyone involved, American audiences weren’t that bothered by the film, with After Earth only taking $27 million – Will Smith’s lowest summer opening since Made In America (taking $11.8 million in 1993).
Of course, this isn’t the first time Will and Jaden have worked together. 2006 saw the pair collaborate (or was that a case of pushy parenting?) for The Pursuit Of Happyness, which garnered a healthy $163.6 million in total. Maybe Jaden’s cuteness has rubbed off? Or could it be Shyamalan’s tainted name after the failures of The Happening and The Last Airbender?
Fast & Furious 6 ($34.5 million) and Now You See Me ($28.1 million) sat comfortably at the top of the Us box office. »
- Jazmine Sky Bradley
Ever since Independence Day’s $50.2 million debut on July 4th weekend in 1996, Will Smith has been the undisputed king of the summer box office. He’s led films like Men In Black; Bad Boys II; I, Robot; and Hancock to massive grosses — both domestically and around the world.
But his latest effort, After Earth, landed with a major thud on opening weekend, grossing just $27 million (distributor Sony told outlets it was expecting $35 million before the weekend) and opening in third place with a tepid “B” CinemaScore. The $130 million M. Night Shyamalan-directed sci-fi film, based on an original story idea by Will Smith himself, »
- Grady Smith
Directed by M. Night Shymalan
Written by M. Night Shymalan
The advertising campaign for the film After Earth has completely omitted the name of its director, M. Night Shymalan. That’s unusual, because a director who’s had a couple of recent bombs isn’t that big a problem. Anybody can come back from a slump, and many directors have. More intrinsic problems such as a bad script, are much more likely to doom a movie, and they nearly do for After Earth.
The name of Will Smith’s character, Cypher Raige, is one such problem. Smith is actually very good in the role, but it’s just difficult to take the film seriously when it posits a heroic name straight out of an 8-bit Nintendo game. Cypher and his son Kitai (Smith’s own son, Jaden) are soldiers in a far-off human society a thousand years in the future, »
- Mark Young
Opening in third place with $26.5 million, that's $12-17 million less than anticipated by the studio. It's also half the opening of the similarly star-powered sci-fi tale "Oblivion" the other month.
The lack of interest isn't a major surprise, reviews for the film were scathing and little better than director M. Night Shyamalan's last big screen outing "The Last Airbender". In fact, an article at Vulture makes the interesting argument that the whole film is essentially Will Smith's love letter to Scientology.
With a production budget at an estimated $130 million, this will have to earn some serious overseas coin in coming weeks if the studio hopes to turn a profit.
The early demise of 'Earth' is one of the few sour notes at the box-office this weekend though. »
- Garth Franklin
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