Having tanked at the domestic box office this past weekend, grossing just $29.5 million across the four-day Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, it is now being reported that Universal Pictures could lose up to $100 million on the Robert Downey Jr.-headlined Dolittle.
The fantasy adventure, which sees Downey taking on the role of Hugh Lofting’s classic character alongside a star-studded voice cast of his animal pals, is said to have cost $175 million to make (which included extensive reshoots following poor early test screenings), along with a hefty marketing campaign.
As per The Wrap, film finance experts are projecting a loss of around $100 million based upon its opening numbers, although this could be mitigated should the movie perform better overseas. That’s a tall order though given the near-universally negative reviews, and at this point all signs point towards Dolittle performing even worse than last month’s Cats, another big-budget box office disaster for Universal which is looking at a loss in the region of $70 million itself.
It’s also certainly not the best of starts for Downey post-Marvel Cinematic Universe, and he’ll surely be hoping for better success when he reprises his role as Sherlock Holmes alongside Jude Law’s Dr. Watson for next year’s as-yet-untitled Sherlock Holmes 3.
Dolittle features a cast that includes Robert Downey Jr., Jessie Buckley, Harry Collett, Rami Malek, Octavia Spencer, Kumail Nanjiani, John Cena, Emma Thompson, Antonio Banderas, Michael Sheen, Jim Broadbent, Marion Cotillard, Frances de la Tour, Carmen Ejogo, Ralph Fiennes, Selena Gomez, Tom Holland, and Craig Robinson.