This summer has been filled with question marks. We've seen a surprising number of films underperform, even when they looked for all the world like winners on paper. The latest is 'Elysium,' an ambitious, original sci-fi action film, starring bankable actor Matt Damon and directed by 'District 9' maestro Neill Blomkamp. It just debuted to a so-so $30 million, surprising since it appeared that it would provide the boost the summer box office has needed lately. So this begs the question: Why didn't 'Elysium' fare better?
Of course, it's way too early to write the obituary for 'Elysium': it's only been out for three days, and it has a slew of international territories to arrive in, so its longterm prospects may indeed be bright. But there's no getting around the fact that it's opening leaves something to be desired; even 'District 9' - a movie that had no stars and was directed by a complete unknown - had a healthier debut with $37 million in 2009. It ultimately made $115 million domestically, and 'Elysium' will have to work mighty hard to achieve that number.
Audiences are always yearning for something original; a movie not based on an existing property like a comic book or video game, and yet 'Elysium' failed to draw a significant crowd. (Even 'The Purge' made more with $34 million, and that movie cost peanuts comparatively.) Was it the marketing? Did it look too "male oriented"? Or are audiences just getting burned out on big, loud, summer blockbusters at this point?
Why do you think audiences didn't flock to 'Elysium'? Vote in our poll below and let us know what you think!