Open Road was hoping that the jam-packed roster of stars – including Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Mel Gibson, Jessica Alba, Demian Bichir, Amber Heard, Sofia Vergara, Zoe Saldana, Edward James Olmos, Charlie Sheen, Elise Avellan, Electra Avellan, William Sadler, Lady Gaga, Alexa Vega, Vanessa Hudgens and Marko Zaror – would sell the movie. Unfortunately, it was overshadowed by both Gravity and Captain Phillips, as well as a hefty amount of negative reviews (30% on Rotten Tomatoes).
Last week I had pointed out that I thought it was bizarre how much stock Open Road was putting into “Modern Family” star Sofia Vergara, as if she could sell a movie like Nicole Kidman. Even with a push from Lady Gaga and Mel Gibson the movie failed to gain any traction, proving once again that stars don’t always sell movies – on the polar opposite, Warner Bros.’ Gravity is kicking ass because it’s a good, no, great movie, and word of mouth is hot as hell. Yes, George Clooney and Sandra Bullock star, but my personal reaction is that they weren’t used to sell the movie as much as critical acclaim and great footage.
Whatever the case may be, Machete Kills opened to $3.8M, which is the 8th worst opening in history (there’s nothing like being in the company of Firehouse Dog!) for a movie in over 2,500 theaters.
What’s interesting is that Fox’s Machete opened to $11M and went on to $26M, which is great for the low price of an indie production. So what happened? Was it bad marketing (I actually thought the trailers were cool, for what it’s worth)? Bad timing? Or maybe people just hated the first movie (it sucked) and didn’t want to waste their money on the second?
The one question that now has to be asked is can Rodriguez get the third film off the ground, and would anyone even care if he didn’t?