It would seem as if Universal is preparing what they feel is the inevitable. According to Variety, Universal Pictures has deemed 47 Ronin a failure and has begun to write down some of the $175 million cost of the film prior to the end of the current quarter.
The film, which stars Keanu Reeves, premiered on Christmas Day to a dismal $7 million, placing the film in the 6th position. This averaged about $2,616 per theater.
The estimates are saying that the film will pull in somewhere in the vicinity of $20 million this weekend. This would be the worst debut for a film of this sized budget in 2013.
According to the report by Variety, Universal released a statement explaining their decision; however, they did not disclose the amount of the write down.
“Universal Pictures regularly evaluates its film slate for potential adjustment,” the studio said. “In the case of ’47 Ronin,’ we adjusted film costs in previous quarters and as a result our financial performance will not be negatively impacted this quarter by its theatrical performance.”
This is not the first studio to experience these kinds of issues during 2013. Disney suffered similar losses with The Lone Ranger. This is also not the first instance that Universal has had of this sort this year. They were put into a similar situation with R.I.P.D.
Thankfully, they have had strong performances with films like Fast and Furious 6 and Despicable Me 2 to carry some of the weight.
The critics have said that the movie is very visually pleasing and beautifully choreographed; however, they are too drawn out.
Have you ventured out to see 47 Ronin yet? If you have, what is your take on the film? Are the critics being too harsh, or was Universal right to start bracing for impact? Sound off in the comments and let us know what you think.