Dwayne Johnson and Rawson Marshall Thurber‘s Skyscraper (Universal 7.13) has been assessed as a serious box-office shortfaller, if not a calamity. Yesterday it made a lousy $9,268.000 on 3782 screens for an average of $2451, and will end up with an estimated $24 to $28 million by Sunday night — a third-place finish behind Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation and Disney-Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp.
“Skyscraper Falls,” a Variety headline announced; “Skyscraper Up In Flames,” proclaimed Deadline.
Could it be that audiences are finally waking up to Hollywood Elsewhere’s longstanding assessment of Johnson, which is that he’s fundamentally opposed to making good films and that his default instinct is to topline high-concept action flicks that are relentlessly stupid and implausible? Did audiences steer clear because critics are saying that Skyscraper is so bone-dumb it’ll turn your brain into a volley ball? Are they finally starting to realize that Johnson has repeatedly shown contempt for audiences by making nothing but crap?
Not so much, says Deadline‘s Anthony D’Alessandro. “There [are] a few reasons why Skyscraper is in shambles,” he wrote this morning, “but chiefly Johnson’s family crowd here is being swallowed up whole by both Hotel Transylvania 3 and the second weekend of Ant-Man and the Wasp.”
AD also said something about Johnson’s brand being over-exposed with the recent release of Jumanji and Rampage, i..e, “where’s the fresh face?” He quotes a RelishMix observation about Skyscraper “literally [looking] like a Die Hard update, but with a hero challenged by a prosthetic.” But shouldn’t the fact that Skyscraper is a shitty film…shouldn’t that at least be factored in? Quality counts for a little something…no?
It’s ironic that on a day that everyone is talking about Johnson’s first significant box-office stumble, The Guardian‘s Steve Rose has posted a “yay, Dwayne!” piece called “Let’s Rock! Why Dwayne Johnson is the new Schwarzenegger.”
Posted on 12.8.16: “With the exception of Michael Bay‘s Pain and Gain, Johnson has demonstrated time and again that he’s fundamentally opposed to appearing in films that are (a) good and (b) at least semi-believable. He makes big, dopey, adolescent cartoons.”