In a packed December that includes the DC blockbuster Aquaman, animated superhero adventure Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Disney sequel Mary Poppins Returns and Transformers spinoff Bumblebee, it was always like that at least one film was going to find itself struggling in the marketplace – and that film is Mortal Engines.
The Peter Jackson-produced adaptation of Philip Reeve’s book series debuted to just $7.5 million in its opening weekend in North America and has grossed $42 million globally to date.
Given it has a production budget north of $100 million, plus an expensive marketing campaign, Variety is reporting that Universal is likely to see a loss of between $100 million and $125 million on the film, depending on how it performs in China.
“This is a true Christmas disaster and a lump of coal for Universal,” states box office analyst Jeff Bock. “They took a big swing, and they struck out.”
Mortal Engines will likely slug it out with Robin Hood for the unenviable title of the year’s biggest bomb, with the Lionsgate film having grossed $73 million worldwide from a similar budget and marketing.
housands of years after civilization was destroyed by a cataclysmic event, humankind has adapted and a new way of living has evolved. Gigantic moving cities now roam the Earth, ruthlessly preying upon smaller traction towns. Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan)—who hails from a Lower Tier of the great traction city of London—finds himself fighting for his own survival after he encounters the dangerous fugitive Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar). Two opposites, whose paths should never have crossed, forge an unlikely alliance that is destined to change the course of the future.
Mortal Engines sees Peter Jackson protege Christian Rivers directing a cast that includes Hera Hilmar (Da Vinci’s Demons), Stephen Lang (Avatar), Hugo Weaving (The Lord of the Rings), Robbie Sheehan (Fortitude), Ronan Raftery (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), Leila George (Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?), Jihae (Mars), Colin Salmon (Limitless), Patrick Malahide (Game of Thrones) and Rege-Jean Page (Roots).