‘Jack the Giant Slayer’ Bombs at the Box Office

Published 2 years ago by

jack the giant slayer nicholas hoult box office Jack the Giant Slayer Bombs at the Box Office

It seems that Hollywood just can’t get enough of reinventing fairy tales, though the audience and box office response to them has been mixed at best. “Beauty and the Beast in high school” romance flick Beastly was almost universally scorned by critics, though it managed to earn a modest profit off its relatively low production budget. Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters and Snow White and the Huntsman both did well enough overseas to compensate for their lukewarm domestic gross, and it was more or less the same deal for Snow White and the Huntsman‘s rival, Mirror Mirror.

The fairy tale trend is not over yet, though. Next year we can expect to see Maleficent, a live-action origin story for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty villain, and Guillermo Del Toro is planning another Beauty and the Beast adaptation with Emma Watson as the heroine. For whatever reason, live-action reinventions of classic fairy tales are incredibly in vogue right now. Personally, I blame Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, which was one of the few fairy tale success stories at the box office, earning a worldwide gross of over $1 billion.

Legendary Pictures hasn’t been so lucky with its big-budget, CGI-heavy fantasy adventure Jack the Giant Slayer. Despite a worldwide marketing budget of over $100 million, on top of the production budget of $200 million, Yahoo reports that the film has so far only earned only around $157 million since its March 1st release date, with THR predicting that it will top out at just over $200 million. This will leave Legendary Pictures (who financed half of the film’s total budget) with losses of between $125 and $140 million, and Warner Bros. facing significant losses as well.

jack the giant slayer ewan mcgregor ian mcshane Jack the Giant Slayer Bombs at the Box Office

The film’s plot was conflated from different sources, with the magic beans and beanstalk derived from the classic fairy tale “Jack and the Beanstalk”, and the title and royal love interest (Eleanor Tomlinson) drawn from the Arthurian folk tales of “Jack the Giant Killer.” It featured Nicholas Hoult in the lead role and was produced and directed by Bryan Singer, who will hopefully make a recovery with next year’s release of X-Men: Days of Future Past.

If the estimated numbers hold, Jack the Giant Slayer‘s overall losses will fall somewhere between those for 2012 disasters Battleship and John Carter, making it an early contender for 2013’s “Flop of the Year” award. It’s worth noting, however, that critic and audience responses were somewhat more positive than the box office intake. The film has received middling-to-good reviews, with Screen Rant’s Ben Kendrick describing it as “surprisingly entertaining,” and the majority of our poll voters rating it between 4 and 5 stars.

Were you one of the people who saw Jack the Giant Slayer in theaters last month? Did it deserve better numbers than it got? Share your thoughts in the comments.


Jack the Giant Slayer is predicted to get a DVD and Blu-ray release in July 2013.

Source: Yahoo (via THR)

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  1. I’m not surprised it bombed but I am surprised it earned as much as it has so far.

    I guess some people would rather spend money on a movie that looked bad in the trailers and find out if it sucked that way rather than waiting it out until it’s on television for free (while great movies like Dredd failed for the opposite reason….go figure…backs up my theory that most moviegoers are fickle and/or stupid).

    • @Dazz

      Ah, and you would know that it sucked because…

      Anyway, I saw this in a screening and it was actually entertaining… But what do I know, obviously you know more if you don’t watch it than if you watch it…

      • Yeah me and my wife both thought it was superior to Oz, and we were both really entertained despite a few shortcomings. I think this one’s another victim of an unclear marketing campaign where nobody can decide who the movie is being pitched to. Nicolas Hoult, while charming and good in the role cannot carry a tentpole movie yet. I think emphasising the giants was a mistake as they look pretty scary to kids based on the posters. This should have just been called ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ (goofy as that sounds) and positioned as the big Easter family movie.

    • I wouldn’t exactly say that Dredd was a great movie for making money. I understand the dread fans liked it because it was faithful to the source material but it wasn’t exactly appealing to most (and I never will understand why this is a justification for a quality movie). I for one hated it

      • @peejtennis

        Actually, I’ve never seen a single Dredd comic, same with my friends, and we all loved the movie. We loved it because the character was a no-nonsense bad-ass. Not to mention Karl Urban owns any role thrown at him and Dredd was no different.

    • The movie wasn’t bad. It’s entertaining but it does have some issues. The fact that it was marketed as a “kids” movie didn’t help out that much as the Giants didn’t do so well with the kids. My nephew was a little scared of the giants. I’d say apart from some plot issues the movie wasn’t really all that bad. I found it more entertaining than Oz. I just wasn’t sold on Franco. Oz felt slow and dull at times. Either way I would have liked to waited for these two movies to come out on DVD rather than have to see it at the big screen.

  2. I blame WB’s penny pinching marketing style AND their secrecy rules.

    These days a steady flow of rumors, set photos and plot reveals are the way to go.

    Thanks to the WB lock down I’m not very excited for the upcoming Man of Steel too.

    • And yes the movie apparently sucked too…. though I didn’t see it. Again. If they had marketed it right at least I would have been interested in going to the theater and THEN hating it.

      • @Heustis

        So if you didn’t watch it, probably best to not assume that it sucked. You know what happens when you assume right? I actually saw this movie, although didn’t help it since I saw it for free during a screening. It was actually surprisingly entertaining. I wouldn’t say that it sucked at all. There were plenty of movies that sucked that made tons of money though…

      • @Heustis

        And I don’t think I would call over $100 million in marketing as penny pinching…

      • As someone who actually saw the movie, I was surprised by how good it actually was. ‘Surprised’ is the keyword here, as the trailers and pre-movie buzz made me think it would be a cheap waste of my hard earned cash.

  3. I did enjoy it, it was never going to be great. I think that when you get the rehatch of movies and fairytales it makes it harder to make because you are limited to the source material and limited to what you can change within the story, as they already have a begining middle and ending to it that pretty much has to be followed.

    It is what it is … a popcorn film where you don’t think about anything but the visual aspect of it flick.
    The part that was probably the best was the ending, just a teeny tiny 30 secoond twist which made u go hmmmm

    The really good part about it was seeing how the giants interacted within the movie, were you looking at them going that is fake etc…gives me high hopes of how Mr Bryan Singer will handle the sentinel aspects within the Days Of Futures Past!! :)

    Great movies like Dredd?? What the ??

  4. I personally am not a fan of this whole ‘reinvent fairtytales’ bullsh*t, i think it is a horrendous idea and it has been proven so but that Hollywood refuses to accept that. Why can’t we just leave the fairytales as they once were, at fairytales?

  5. None of the trailers made it seem like an interesting or creative world, just people in a pastural setting juxtaposed with uninspired cg characters. The marketing artwork and typography was also lackluster and insipid.

    • @Spacer

      I agree, even though they spent a lot on marketing, they didn’t really do a great job at it… There was plenty of humor in the movie that could have made for good marketing, but it just wasn’t done right…

      • @KenJ.

        Depends on how you view 100 Million dollars on marketing and defining penny pinching. Star Trek Into Darkness has 2 Teasers and 24 Combined Trailers for different regions. Iron Man 3, 2 teasers and 4 trailers.
        Man of Steel, 2 teasers and 2 trailers?
        I have seen trailers for Star Trek into Darkness and Iron Man 3 going back to the Superbowl and being shown regularly on Prime time Television. I have even heard spots for both movies on radio. Man of Steel is due out June 14th, where are the spots for Man of Steel? I have seen billboards for Ironman and Star Trek each with about a 5:2 Ratio to Superman, higher for bus stop posters. I have seen the Comcast Commercial with the kid who makes an Ironman suit for science fair. That is marketing when you can get Disney to get commercial integrated into a Comcast Commercial and Comcast owns Universal Pictures.

        Man of Steel….Where are you? Evil Dead is being promoted more than Man of Steel.

        • @Jeff W

          It COULD be the fact that they are hoping that they don’t NEED to market the crap out of Man of Steel so they are being a little reserved about it…

    • my thoughts exactly Spacer.

    • Totally agree. The whole thing had such a dull palette. Even though what was happening on screen was pretty engaging for the most part, I can totally see how the pastel blues and greens of rural England are completely unappealing for this kind of movie.

  6. Okay first off, Dredd was a good movie. Second of all, I was Jack the Giant Slayer twice. It was amazing, and my favorite fairytale reimagining with the runner-up being the aforementioned Alice in Wonderland which is undoubtably the cause of all the fairytale hubbub, including Once Upon A Time and Grimm. Jack has however been in production since BEFORE all these, and therefore wasn’t intending on reaching that audience directly for those reasons. This filmwas marketed terribly, and I personally wouldn’t have changed the title, which I believe was much of the cause for the failure.

    Having said that, this has become one of my all-time favorite movies. Movies such as Pirates 1, Inception, Lawrence of Arabia, some John Hughes films, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Cast Away, and Letters from Iwo Jima. I’m not some guy who goes to Mirror Mirror because it looked cute, I see REAL movies. And Hear me now, Jack the Giant Slayer was FANTASTIC. It had all the elements of a classic adventure film; Romance, Intrigue,just the right amount of humor and plenty of intensity.

    I felt that Bryn Singer did a remarkable job with the film, pulling decent but not overpowering performances in all the right places. Ewan McGregor was incredibly entertaining in a role of self-parody, one that I found respectable and amusing. The plot,(while predictable), was not cheesy and the humor was in only the right places and cleverer than get-out. The most stand-out moment of these would be the infamous Beehive incident that my friends and I could not stop laughing at, and for not the reasons you might believe. A following fight between McGregor and Stanley Tucci was intense and gritty, which I found surprising and had several parents ushering their kids out the door. Being an 18 year old fan of action it was indeed epic. “Jack the Giant Slayer” has become actually a bar, a standard to be set to, in my mind of what fantasy movies should be. This movie did not apparently “suck”, it was a masterpiece of entertaining cinema, one that I saw twice and will purchase to watch again and again. In fact I may see it a third time, along with the rerelease of Spielberg’s classic Jurassic Park and Harmony Korine’s newest film “Spring Breakers”, which frankly looks fascinating.

    I loved Jack, and I hope you will too, providing the lot of you give it a chance to shine. And like Battleship and John Carter, it didn’t get the audience it deserved. I am disappointed to see this headline and hope to God that it finds success on DVD.

    • @jDirk

      I have to disagree with a few things. First, Dredd wasn’t a good movie. It was an amazingly awesome movie, ok, get it right! 😛

      And secondly, I saw this movie in 3D for free in a screening. I agree that I really enjoyed it. The humor was good, the world was actually pretty well developed, and overall it was a very polished looking big-budget film. Even the 3D gags were done in a very entertaining way. But I wouldn’t put it as one of the best movies, but I know that’s your opinion, I’m just sharing my opinion. It was a good movie though. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m also a little bummed that it didn’t do well. The characters were all pretty loveable. John Carter was another let-down in terms of the box office. I would have loved to see a sequel to that…

      • Oh, that’s a perfect comparison. Jack the Giant Slayer is like John Carter. Both movies were pretty good but the way it was marketed was really the downfall for these movies.

  7. People who actually watched it liked it, such as I.

    • @cody

      Oh, but didn’t you know, only people who haven’t seen it know better. Those of us who have seen it, what do we know??? *rolls eyes*

  8. I saw it and I really enjoyed it.

    The problem is that USA mainly started to support many big movies like this since some years ago. There are many examples already, John Carter, Battleship or even X-Men First Class got more than $200m on the foreign market, but on USA they didnt even got 150m, and John Carter even less than 100m, same as Jack the giant killer.

    So I guess there is a problem on the marketing side of these movies, specially on USA. Or maybe USA is becoming a slower market than it used to be back in the day.

    There will always be big numbers for some movies and franchises, but its obvious USA is becoming a smaller market than the foreign one. So studios should star spending a less money with their huge budgets, and improve the promotiong a bit more on USA, if possible.

    • @Warren

      Well, actually USA is usually smaller than the world market since you’re comparing one country versus like 210 other ones, lol. Remember the “international box office” numbers is a combination of all other countries…

  9. my mistake: Usa started to STOP supporting.

  10. If you’re gonna reinvent fairy tale stories, go for the extreme. I think Hansel and Gretel does this right, turn the characters into something the viewers didn’t guess or imagine before, with actually new reinvented storyline, and a bit of gory spice. What, you can’t imagine (reinvent) Jack as a grumpy widower whose wife and kids are killed by a group of giants during their siege of the kingdom 5-10 years before? And then he’s got the bean seeds from a traveling magician/carny who’s secretly also had a grudge for the giants for stealing his prized golden goose which secretly is somehow a magical WMD he’s gonna use to rule the kingdom Jack lives in?

    • @Garth

      The thing is, I’ve seen both of these movies at screenings, Hansel and Gretel was OK, but honestly, it was very sloppily put together, and there were so many distracting inconsistencies in that movie. If I were to rate them both, I would give Hansel and Gretel like 2.5 to maybe 3 stars out of 5 and Jack the Giant slayer at least 3.5 easily. I didn’t think it was the best movie, but it was very entertaining, and even the normally cheesy and annoying 3D gags were done well and were very entertaining.

      • I’m gonna be honest, I’ve never seen Jack the Giant Slayer yet, but from the trailer I’ve seen and the previews in magazines and movie websites (including SR), I can see that the story is pretty generic, I mean straight from the books, only they added a couple of stuffs here and there, which by the look of it didn’t really add to the story. Jack still sell his cows for a couple of magical bean seeds, still gotta rescue the princess from the giants. I think I might be wrong, I’ll see it when I had a chance.
        My point is, Hansel and Gretel puts a different twist to its story, which makes it interesting (before you actually watch the movie, at least), and offers new concept and storyline for the character. I might not be fair by comparing the two movies which clearly have different spins to the story. Hansel and Gretel seems like a sequel to the actual fairy tale, and Jack the Giant Slayer actually seems like it just started and telling the actual story from the fairy tale. But still, the movie can use the creative writing by going off the fairy tale track a little bit.

        • @Garth

          Seriously, we all have pretty much said many times already just how poorly this movie was marketted. So honestly, if you’re going by the marketing materials for this movie, then your opinion is literally based on nothing… I’m not saying you need to spend your money, but honestly, until you’ve seen the movie, it really doesn’t matter if you “think” this movie’s story is “generic” or whatever you want to assume about it…

          I mean, do yourself a favor, read all of the comments from people who have actually SEEN this movie. You’ll get much more information from just these two pages of first-hand comments than all of those materials you listed combined, times 10…

  11. I went and saw this despite the awful advertising and actually enjoyed it a lot, much like what I did for John Carter. Awful yet cripplingly expensive advertising is ruining otherwise worthy movies chances at a profit and I sincerely hope studios wise up and this stops.

  12. Bombed?! Heck, this looks like mildly-entertaining fun. I will watch it when it comes to Netflix!

  13. I don’t think this movie really had much appeal or intrigue in the first place. Pretty simple, if people don’t care to watch then it doesn’t matter how good the movie is.

  14. Yeah as Johnny3Piece said the appeal wasn’t there but it looked like a movie I would definitely watch on dvd or on a movie date but it didn’t do enough to draw me out.
    G.I. Joe is the only movie so far that has done that for me this year, next up Star Trek,Man of Steel and Thor2….for now.

  15. It does not surprise me at all, Singer messed up the X-men franchise IMO with the first 3 X-movies. X-Men First Class was an improvement but WRONG. The first Class of X-men was Cyclops, Beast, Iceman, Marvel Girl (Jean Grey), and Angel. I am intrigued by Days of Future Past but since Singer’s mythology will be used it will be wrong too. Not to mention hoe messed up Superman Returns was…

    • He only made the first 2 x-men films.

      • @MarkBartlett

        Yah, thanks, I was already ready to click on “Reply” when I read him saying that Singer made the first 3 X-Men movies, lol…

  16. its the old adage “bryan singer is a terrible director”

  17. I’m telling you it’s Singer. He made out with the first X-Men films only because we were so anxious to see them in a live action movie. It was the product, which already had a significant fan base, not the director. I still remember seeing an interview with him before X1 came out. He was almost bragging about be unfamiliar with the material, like he was too sophisticated to be knowledgable of comic book lore. How much more money will they lose and fans disappoint before they realize the truth?

    • Oh, about one more… Let’s call it next Summer.

      He seems to do good developing less characters or smaller scales, and has huge problems with ensemble movies or huge productions.

      Let’s see… which category is “X-Men: Days of Future Past”?

      Geez, I hope he proves us wrong….

      • Not sure about the ensemble thing, Usual Supects was an ensamble cast and that was a good movie.

        Totally agree with the budget thing though, deffinatly seems the more money he’s got the bigger hash he makes of things.

        Needs to get his mojo back, do an indie film or two.

  18. Success ratio aside, they will keep doing these type of movies because they are public domain and have name recognition. Hollywood will roll the dice on something like that before doing a semi-original story.

  19. Hansel and gretal is a super campy shoot em up. HELLO, what do u expect. Hollywood and they’re bright ideas, I know it sucked and I haven’t even seen it. It would of been great as a period piece thriller/horror. But no lets add guns and lame 21 st century comedy. Snow White and the hunts man was a bomb in my boos too. Had potential but failed.

  20. I enjoyed it! It’s much better than the trailers and marketing suggested.

  21. I thought it was an extremely entertaining movie. Over 150 million is really a pretty successful movie actually, it was just so expensive that it doesn’t seem that way to the bigwigs. I’m sure a lot of money will be recovered in bluray sales.

  22. Not interested in the subject matter, not inspired by the casting or the creative team attached to the project and the marketing did a fly by and didn’t do anything to change my mind.

    Jack the Giant Slayer = Large dose of MEH!!

    I can only assume a lot of others felt the same.

    That said, I’m with Max on this one, $150m aint abad haul at the BO so it’s just they’ve let the budget get WAY out of hand.

    Trying to recoup $250-$300m, that was never gonna happen, to much of a niche product, you need mass market appeal or a rabid fan base to cover that sort of budget.

  23. Anyone I know who’s seen this film has said its actually pretty good. Online reviews too have been fairly kind. Most people seem to think it was superior to OZ too, I’m sure most people giving it stick are people who haven’t seen it.

    The problem was the marketing, 100 million was spent to market it and yet I’ve never even seen a trailer for it, first time I heard about it it was already in the cinema 2 weeks.

  24. I saw and thought it was okay. Not great. I’m surprised that it’s projected to make $200 million+. I saw it making about $125 to $150 million.

  25. When you invest that much in a risky project, you really are pushing it.

    Proven star, yet he is not a name and has very little built in fan base.

    Source material is familiar, but by no means something people were excited about.

    Historically, movies released before May do not reap huge, monstrous numbers. Lots of exceptions are out there, of course, but really tough to expect a March movie to jump into the 300 million dollar range. Lower budget films are usually slotted into that January to early April time frame with the hopes of a break out hit. (Does it boggle anyone else’s mind that studios need 300 million to just break even now???)

    Just steep odds against it. I guess it had a chance to do well, but it doesn’t exactly shock the living crud out of me that it didn’t beat those odds.

  26. Ya WB stop wasting your time and money in these projects and find real talaents and scripts to bring Flash and Wonderwoman into the big screen!

  27. The CG looked like something out of the early 2000s!

  28. Right from the very first trailer I thought this movie looked pretty bad. Kind of surprised it performed as poorly as it did though.

    Just more confirmation that Bryan Singer blows as a director.

  29. Will this make WB more skiddish about spending 200 million on a JL movie, if it ever happens?

    This movie did absolutly suck, no doubt, but I did enjoy Mcgregor’s (sp?) performance.

    Singer is starting to put together a string of bombs, I hope the same is not true with X-Men.

    • The answer to your question is WB will continue to make these other movies fail or not and bypass JL, WW, Flash etc..Lets count, JTGS, Wrath of the Titans, Gangster Squad…….