In a somewhat strange decision by Warner Bros., last night saw the first public screening of the upcoming blockbuster Jupiter Ascending at the Sundance Film Festival, which was met with a muted reaction, reports Variety.
In a “surprise screening” at the indie film festival, the Wachowski sibling’s film was not billed as a premiere but was the first screening with a public audience. No clues were given to the ticketholders when they entered the screening, but the need for 3D glasses let them know that it wasn’t going to be the typical Sundance fare.
But despite the hype and interest in the screening, many of the 300-strong seats were empty in the cinema, as well as the film suffering many walk-outs throughout its two-hour runtime. Understandable given that many of the patrons were at the festival to see a very different line-up of films that this one, but the lack of interest will surely give Warners even more food for thought in addition to the six-month delay the film has had.
“I hated it,” said one of the festival’s volunteers, who asked Variety not to be identified “It’s just ridiculous.”
“It’s a combination of a whole bunch of things wrapped into one,” said the volunteer’s husband.
Neville Kiser, a Hollywood screenwriter, had a different reaction: “I actually liked it,” he said. “But the Sundance context is weird. There were so many people in the audience scoffing and sneering. They are forgetting they are watching a movie targeted primarily to teenage boys. I’m sure those 15-year-old boys, and hopefully girls, will like it.” Kiser also said that the film screening at Sundance probably hurt the film even more due to the highbrow nature of the festival.
None of the cast and crew of the film were in attendance, but one industry expert speculated to Variety that the film could lose Warner Bros. a a significant chunk of money from its $175million budget. Critics reviews are embargoed until next Monday night.
Jupiter Ascending, starring Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis, Sean Bean and Eddie Redmayne, opens on February 6th, and our review will appear very soon here at Flickering Myth.