It's not a happy ending for Warner Bros. as "Jack the Giant Slayer" is the latest reason why Hollywood should maybe reconsider this whole revisionist fairy tale thing.
Director Bryan Singer's mega-budget screen adaptation of the "Jack and the Beanstalk" yarn has made for that rare mega-bomb for the studio, as The Hollywood Reporter brings word that the film is on track to lose somewhere between $125 and $140 million when the dust clears. Admittedly, WB and financial partner Legendary Pictures smelled more than the blood of an Englishman pretty early on with this project, as it was pulled from a Summer 2012 release and underwent a title change ("Slayer" was swapped out for the much more malevolent-sounding "Killer").
"Jack," which opened on March 1, currently has a U.S. gross of just over $61 million and an overseas gross of about $96 million, putting its worldwide total at around $157 million. The film had a budget cost of about $200 million and marketing expenses totaling around $100 million.
WB executives seemed to expect a modest box office performance domestically but were hoping to score major overseas numbers, a la "Clash of the Titans" and its sequel, "Wrath of the Titans." However, "Jack" has been slow overseas due to stiff competition from both Disney's "Oz the Great and Powerful" and Paramount's "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" ... and perhaps also due to the fact that maybe nobody wants to see a stupid Jack and the Beanstalk movie with stupid-looking CG giants.
With a loss between $125 and $140 million, "Jack the Giant Slayer" ranks somewhere in-between Disney's "John Carter" (an estimated loss of $200 million or some such crazy nonsense) and Universal's "Battleship" (an estimated loss of $83 million). It could've been worse, though: at least "Jack" isn't the new "Cutthroat Island," director Renny Harlin's notorious 1995 disaster that had a net loss (with inflation adjusted) of over $147 million, which plunged Carolco Pictures into bankruptcy and effectively destroyed the pirate genre until Disney introduced us to a fellow named Jack Sparrow.
"Jack" flopped, "Mirror Mirror" didn't exactly set the world on fire and Universal's "Snow White and the Huntsman" just barely made enough (overseas, at that) to warrant a sequel that seems more like a studio obligation than a response to audience enthusiasm. Maybe fairy tales aren't "the new comic book movie" after all?
Watch a battle scene from 'Jack the Giant Slayer':