That was fast. With only one weekend under its belt, Variety reports that the Peter Jackson-produced steampunk fantasy adventure “Mortal Engines” is on track to lose up to $100-125 million for Universal Pictures.
The film opened worldwide last week and in the U.S. this past Friday, and has so far pulled in a mere $42 million globally from a budget of over $100 million along with tens of millions spent in marketing and promotion. In the States this past weekend, it debuted to a disastrous $7.5 million in fifth – a far cry from both “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” which took the top spot with $35.4 million and Clint Eastwood’s “The Mule” which came in second with $17.4 million.
Reviews for the film weren’t terrible but were not good by any means. Jeff Bock, an analyst with Exhibitor Relations, says: “This is a true Christmas disaster and a lump of coal for Universal. They took a big swing, and they struck out. Everybody is having a tough go trying to appeal to that young adult marketplace. It’s a generation gap between studios and what they think young audiences like. TV is getting it right, and movies aren’t.”
Various studios passed on the project over the years as it was always a hard film to market. The film’s failure comes after Universal has had a bumper few months with major successes like “Halloween,” “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” and “The Grinch”.