Sometimes a movie has monster hit written all over it, and it lays an egg. There’s no way of forecasting this; it seems the buzz was that this was a solid story, starring George Clooney, and it looked great. What could possibly go wrong? Well, as William Goldman famously said in his phenomenal book Adventures in the Screen Trade, “Nobody knows anything.”
Watching it, I tried to figure out why people stayed away in droves. It wasn’t just word of mouth that this was a stinker, or anything like that. The opening weekend was a disaster. This, in spite of a trailer that I thought was fascinating.
And, in truth, like John Carter, another huge flop, it’s not all that bad. True, it did not really deeply engage my emotions, but it was fun to look at and had some interesting ideas.
Is that the problem? That there was something new, or at least not old and tired, in this movie? What a lot of people are saying now, and it seems to be sadly true, is that selling a movie without a number after it has become very difficult. Everybody is eager to make a sequel, or a threequel, or a fourquel to the current hot franchises. They’re scared to death of making anything new. There will be no Tomorrowland 2, you can count on that.