Forbes‘ Scott Mendelson believes that The Great Gatsby will either tank or open flat or underwhelmingly next weekend. Not because the film is a problem in and of itself (although the consensus among those who attended Thursday night’s Gatsby premiere is not encouraging), but because the the release date of May 10th (or the 2nd weekend in May) exudes some kind of spooky mood pocket vibe that kills or wounds big Warner Bros. movies.
“The proverbial ‘second weekend of summer’ has been a pit stop for one high profile Warner Bros. disaster after another,” Mendelson writes. “It has given them almost nothing but pain for 15 years.” And yet, he adds, the second weekend of summer “isn’t completely cursed. There have been any number of smaller-scale pictures that had flourished, mostly because they didn’t need to be blockbusters to succeed.
The Great Gatsby “isn’t traditional counter-programming,” he notes. ‘Yes it’s a literary period piece drama in a summer of fantasy adventures, but it’s also a $120 million 3D spectacle. Correlation isn’t causation, but history is not on the side of Baz Luhrmann’s latest adaptation. Obviously the film may very well under-perform in the states only to flourish overseas. But purely from a domestic point of view, it seems beyond odd that Warner Bros. seems to keep tempting fate by attempting to open expensive summer movies during a period where audiences have rejected their pictures in favor of the summer kick-off film again and again.
“If the pattern holds, The Great Gatsby is doomed.”