Kristen Stewart was humiliated for being dumped from her “Snow White” sequel. But she’s probably thanking her lucky stars now. “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” tanked at the box office after critics blasted the “silly, vacuous and boring” plot.
Some Stewart fans crowed that the movie failed because she wasn’t in it. But don’t believe it.
Not even her and her legion of “Twilight” groupies could have saved this bomb.
The movie managed to finish second during its weekend debut with a $19.4 million domestic box office. But it was blown away by the No. 1 film “The Jungle Book” on its second week out. It pulled in $61 million.
In contrast, “The Jungle Book did $103.3 million during its opening weekend and has now topped $533.5 million in worldwide sales.
Counting overseas tickets, “The Huntsman” did $98.6 million, which should put it on track to just about break even on its $115 million production cost.
If it’s any consolation, “The Huntsman” doubled the take of the No. 3 film “Barbershop: The Next Cut.” It earned just over $10 million domestically from about a third fewer theaters.
But you can bet “Huntsman” is heading straight to pay per view. And, forget another sequel. This franchise is dead.
The film proved an old Hollywood adage, not even an all-star cast can save a film from bad writing. The “Hunsman’s” included Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastian.
Critics just weren’t buying the movie’s premise. It received a 9 percent rating from top critics, according to rottentomatoes, which tracks reviews. The overall rating was a mere 17 from all 130 critics who weighed in on the film.
The common theme among those who panned it was the stale script. About half of those who saw the film felt the same way. Only 51 percent of those surveyed said they liked it, and they were the fans!
“When people gripe about Hollywood’s reliance on sequels and cheap franchise cash-ins, this is the kind of movie they mean: no Grimm’s Fairy Tale, but a grim tale nonetheless,” wrote David Sims in The Atlantic.
The script lifts so much plot from Disney’s animated Frozen that it could qualify as a remake. No one sings “Let It Go,” but my advice to audiences is to do just that,” added Peter Travers in Rolling Stone.
Could Stewart’s appearance in the film lifted its performance? Unlikely, since it was so savaged going in to its debut weekend that it never really had a chance.
On the other hand, instead of dropping Stewart from the sequel, what would the film have been like if it had focused on her character, Snow White? It may have been a totally different story.
Snow White would have given the film a very identifiable character, known to millions. As it was, The Huntsman was an ill-defined and barely known.
Sad thing is, we’ll never know. Perfect World Pictures, Roth Films and distributor Universal Pictures aren’t about to invest in another sequel after this bomb.
Meanwhile, Kristen’s next picture “Equals,” a sci-fi thriller co-starring Nicholas Hoult looks like it’s heading for the same fate. It’s received a 44 rating so far from critics, which puts it squarely in rotten territory.
If it performs as predicted it will be her third bomb in a row. Her latest picture “Anesthesia,” went straight to video. Her other 2015 film, “American Ultra,” also crashed and burned.
But at least no one can blame her for “The Huntsman.”
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