Crummy Christmas for Keanu Reeves, Sly Stallone, Robert De Niro and Justin Bieber

Crummy Christmas for Keanu Reeves, Sly Stallone, Robert De Niro and Justin Bieber

The stars’ movies all took box-office belly flops opening in a jam-packed holiday marketplace

What do Keanu Reeves, Sly Stallone, Robert De Niro and Justin Bieber all have in common?

They all received the box-office equivalent of coal in their stockings from moviegoers over the long Christmas holiday. Their movies – “47 Ronin,” “Grudge Match” and the concert documentary “Believe – all tanked after opening on Dec. 25.

None of the box-office belly-flops were shocking, since none of the films came in with much critical heat or mainstream buzz, and the extremely crowded holiday marketplace only made things worse.

Also read: ‘Hobbit’ Holds Off ‘Frozen’ as Nail-Biter Caps Record 2013 at Box Office

“Christmas is always crowded, and that’s part of the appeal for moviegoers,” said Fox distribution chief Chris Aronson, “but this year was especially so, and there was bound to be some blood-letting.”

While the jam-packed holiday slate was great for consumers and helped drive the domestic box office to a record high, it was bad news for these films. There was a similar situation this summer, when a crush of major movies drove the box office to an all-time high, but saw several tentpole movies including “The Lone Ranger” and “White House Down” fizzle.

The thud of the samurai epic “47 Ronin” was the loudest, mainly due to its budget that Universal Pictures put at $175 million. It brought in just $9.9 million for the weekend and $20.6 million for the five days. Universal saw it coming – it has a dismal 12 percent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes — and took steps to mitigate the damage.

Also read: Is '47 Ronin’ One of 2013's Biggest Bombs?

“We adjusted film costs in previous quarters and as a result our financial performance will not be negatively impacted this quarter by its theatrical performance,” the studio said in a statement.

It will be in the following quarter, however. And compounding the problem for Universal is that “Ronin,” which was designed to play abroad, isn’t tearing it up overseas either. Despite some solid openings in smaller markets, it underwhelmed in Japan – where its samurai story is a familiar tale – and has taken in just $22 million internationally.

grudge-match-giveawayWarner Bros. wasn’t expecting its boxing comedy “Grudge Match,” which targeted an older crowd, to get off to fast start, since mature moviegoers tend not to rush out for openings. But they weren’t expecting it to get its block knocked off in the first round, either.

 

It took in $7.3 million over the weekend and has totaled $13.4 million since opening on Christmas. The PG-13 pairing of Stallone and De Niro drew older moviegoers – the audience was 68 percent over 25 – and mainly men, just not enough of them. They gave it “B+” CinemaScore, but the $40 million comedy directed and produced by Peter Segal hardly has a puncher’s shot at profitability now.

Also read: ‘Grudge Match’ Review: Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone's Reputations Take Another Dive

There clearly weren’t enough motivated “Beliebers” out there to make a hit of the pop star’s concert documentary “Believe.” And a Christmas Eve message by the young singer that he was retiring did nothing to help the Open Road release.

“Believe” brought in just $2 million for the three days and $4.2 million for the five. To put that in perspective, the young pop star’s “Never Say Never” – released at the height of his popularity in 2011 — opened to $29 million in and went on to take in $73 million.

  • Jimmy

    I don't understand the Americans, over seas Sly Stallone movies are massive hits, seems like Hollywood should move from the States and settle somewhere in the middle east then make a statement about who is the star of the Xmas and all year through

  • frelling_cute

    Karma finally catching up to Bieber?

  • Willie Herrick

    How Could You Even Put Biebers Name Next To Stars Like Sly Or Keanu And Roberts, He Hasn`t Earned The Right Or , By The Way Who Is This Sucker. What A Creep.

    • Woop DeDoo

      You look like how Edward Furlong will look in 25 years.

    • Willie Herrick

      Woop De Doo Who Is EdWard Furlong.

  • Brian Robinson

    You can't always fill the bowl with a steaming smelly heap and expect it to be gobbled up regardless. Sometimes the audience actually smells the bomb coming from the kitchen!

  • Jim

    “Believe” brought in just $2 million for the three days and $4.2 million for the five. To put that in perspective, the young pop star’s “Never Say Never” – released at the height of his popularity in 2011 — opened to $29 million in and went on to take in $73 million.

    Anne Frank is laughing in her grave!

  • Imanigrissett

    Why is he retiering

  • Imanigrissett

    Why is he retiering

  • melodicmizery

    keanu in that type of movie looks so uninteresting, and he just looks fucking stupid. he needs to stick with constantine. and anything with kevin hart is beyond annoying. hes the unfuniest man alive next to tracy morgan. people are just sick and fucking tired of him he thinks he has to try to be funny constantly but the problem is hes just not funny his delivery is horrible and then he makes that sour face oh god i wanna punch him!

  • PSIluvU

    Well, 47 Rinin might be getting bad reviews from critics, but the comments from movie goers are very favorable. And I just saw the box office take to date, it is over 100 million and there are still about 6 or 7 markets to open in. 47 Ronin is going to easily make over 200 million and I'd even go so far to say 250 m. Universal is not going to take a hit on this film like they thought, – which is due to the bad reviews. All the negative nitpicking of the film by said critics, was completely overblown. I saw the film and it was great. Apparently no one knows the reason why this ancient conflict happened. So, using fantasy as an element, characterized in Japanese culture, which seamlessly integrates with the historical drama, creating a unified story, that works on so many levels. Everything embodied Japanese culture, from the speech, the Oscar worthy set designs and costumes, the right amount of CGI and the overall epic feel of the film. The only complaint is that there is not enough character development of the 47 or the relationship that blossomed between Kai and the princess. Another 20 minutes could have done this justice. I don't know why universal stuck their nose in it while Carl was working, but I'd like to see a directors cut.