A key component of the period following a major disaster is damage assessment, and Pan, Joe Wright’s ill-conceived remake/reboot/reimagining/origin story of Peter Pan, is no exception. After a somewhat less than confident delay from July to October and some of the worst reviews of the year (our own Alison Herman writes, “Pan has no idea who it’s for or how to appeal to them”), audiences have unsurprisingly rejected the movie — to the tune of 150 million big ones.
“The studio gambled big on the Peter Pan origin story in hopes of launching a new family franchise,” begins the Hollywood Reporter story on the loss, resisting the urge to add, “And they lost.” With $15.3 million domestic and $25.2 million in foreign box office to date, Pan looks unlikely to even cover its production budget (estimated at $150 million). Adding in marketing and distribution costs, Warner Brother’s write-down should land somewhere in the neighborhood of $130 to $150 million — another costly failure in a year that already saw the studio stumble with Jupiter Ascending and The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
So maybe, just maybe, that kind of a loud belly-flop will stem the tide of live-action remakes and origin stories for fairy tales and Disney classics. But who’re we kidding — that’d be Hollywood learning from its mistakes.