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Jack The Giant Slayer Turns Out To Be A Big Budget BOMB For Warner Bros.

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Jack the Giant Slayer was the number one movie at the box office this weekend and that would normally be a cause for celebration. Unfortunately, with a low gross of $28M, it was considered a big bomb for Warner Bros., because the CGI spectacle starring Ewan Macgregor had a budget of over $195 M.

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It was an off weekend at the multiplex in general and two other new movies, 21 and Over and The Last Exorcism Part II, also underperformed. It remains to be seen how much Warner Bros. will be affected by Jack‘s disappointing returns, but the low theater attendance is coming at a time when both Disney and Dreamworks have announced they are planning to restructure their film divisions in order to remain profitable as a direct result of low performing releases. Both studios have had to rebound after big flops.

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For Disney John Carter, released last year made less than half of its $250 M budget. In addition to announcing plans to diversify their business model, Dreamworks has also laid off employees after Rise of the Guardians made much less than expected during its theatrical run in November.

The problem with Jack the Giant Slayer may be that it simply wasn’t very good. In his review, Rolling Stone‘s Peter Travers wrote:

Jack the Giant Slayer proves the axiom. If you can’t make it good, make it 3D.

That statement rings true for many of the disappointments that the studios have been churning out since the release of Avatar led the studios to assume that the combination of a huge budget and 3D  would reliably generate big hit movies. Clearly the formula doesn’t always work and, if it doesn’t, the losses are tremendous.

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