Director Dean Devlin's Geostorm is on track for an opening weekend at the box office that won't even be able to cover the cost of reshoots. The Independence Day producer does his best Roland Emmerich impression with the Gerard Butler-starring disaster flick, which concerns a network of weather-controlling satellites that suddenly and mysteriously begin to pound Earth with a global catastrophe along the lines of 2012 and The Day After Tomorrow.
In retrospect, perhaps Devlin should have let his longtime collaborator Emmerich - or anyone else - handle directorial duties, because the real disaster appears to be the film itself. Geostorm has opened to mostly abysmal reviews; one called it "the stupidest movie of the year or any other," and that description was mild compared to others. Even the "positive" reactions mostly put it in the "so bad it's good" category. The film took nearly three years to produce, suffering through massive reshoots with new director Danny Cannon at the helm and producer Jerry Bruckheimer coming aboard. The results are predictably ugly, and its performance at the box office is only going to make things worse.
As reported via THR's Thursday box office preview, Geostorm is expected to earn in the range of $10-12 million in its opening weekend, a terrible start for a film that cost $120 million to make. Even a full $12 million wouldn't cover its extensive reshoots, which alone cost a reported $15 million. It doesn't help that Geostorm arrives in a crowded weekend with many moviegoers preferring horror as Halloween approaches, as Tyler Perry's Boo 2! A Madea Halloween is expected to lead the way with $20-plus million and The Snowman also opening.
Geostorm may not even be able to beat low-budget holdover Happy Death Day, which took the box office crown in its opening weekend. The Skydance Media production has been troubled for quite some time, as significant changes were made in late 2016 after poor test screenings. THR reported in Dec. 2016 that the high cost of the reshoots was mainly due to "reassembling the international cast" after being away from filming for two years, in addition to updates in the music and visual effects department. There were even changes to the script, as certain characters were added and removed.
Reshoots alone aren't a sign that a film was made poorly, although clearly, Geostorm's problems go well beyond simple pickup shots. Devlin has had some success as a producer, particularly in the '90s with Independence Day and Stargate, but he will have a hard time getting another chance at directing after the calamity that his first film became.
It's mostly been a rough year at the box office for Skydance Media. The company also produced the sci-fi thriller Life and the Baywatch reboot, both of which were commercial disappointments. The Hitman's Bodyguard turned a nice profit, but that won't be enough to save them from Geostorm, which is almost certainly going to be one of the year's biggest bombs.
- Geostorm (2017) release date: Oct 20, 2017