Warner Bros.' box office bomb "Getaway" grossed a mere $4.49 million its opening weekend, well under an expected $6 million.
Teenyboppers likely to turn out for the movie's lead Selena Gomez, a former Disney Channel star, headed to the "1 Direction: This Is Us" premiere instead. The boy band documentary earned $15.8 million over the weekend.
"Getaway," a car-chase thriller co-starring Ethan Hawke, almost became one of the worst-reviewed movies in Rotten Tomatoes' history.
A day before its theater release, it had a 0% rating by 55 critics. To crack the bottom spot, held by the 2002 action flick "Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever," "Getaway" would need to maintain 0% with 108 reviews, The Wrap reported.
It came close over the weekend, claiming two "Fresh" ratings out of 97 reviews.
How did a film with the elements of a summer blockbuster — an Academy Award nominated actor fresh off a cinematic mega hit (Hawke, "The Purge"), a Disney Channel child actress turned bikini-clad starlet, and the Shelby Mustang Super Snake — go so sour?
It's likely audiences didn't know the movie existed until the media started predicting it would tank.
Analysts told The Wrap that Warner Bros. had "screened and marketed the film in normal fashion," and yet, anticipation held zip momentum on social media.
Tweets related to "Getaway" had been overall box-office-friendly — positive and negative reviews popping up by a 16-1 ratio last Wednesday. But still, they were few. BoxOffice.com counted a mere 1,332 tweets about the movie in the three days before its release.
The social buzz, despite being positive, paled in comparison to the hype surrounding "One Direction: This Is Us." Thursday alone, the documentary racked up more than 13,000 tweets, that were positive 12-to-1.
Interesting to note, Joel Silver was an executive producer of "Getaway."
Silver — whose credits include the "Lethan Weapon," "The Matrix," and "Sherlock Holmes" movies — unceremoniously split from Warner Bros. in 2012 after years of allegedly causing internal conflict and bickering with the company's movie chief, Jeff Robinov.
Deadline reported that Silver made a lot of noise in Hollywood about Warner Bros.' mishandling of "Sherlock Holmes 2" promotions in late 2011. The 25-year relationship quickly unraveled into a string of blame games when their collaborations underperformed at the box office.
"Getaway" was one of the last projects shared between Silver and Warner Bros. If the studio purposefully botched the movie's marketing, the move could be seen as a final blow to the film's producer.
That makes Gomez' budding acting career and Hawke's veteran run, the casualties here.
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