Monday, 29 September 2014

Why did Dredd Fail at the Box Office?

Dredd is a 2012 British-South African science fiction film set in a dystopic American city called Mega City One, in which its 800 million inhabitance mostly consist of criminals, gang members and drug lords. It was based on the not so famous British comic strip 'Judge Dredd' and was distributed by Lionsgate and Entertainment Film Distributors. With a budget of $41 million USD and only grossing $41 million USD worldwide during its theatrical run, Dredd turned out to be a massive box office failure.

Dredd was produced by Alex Garland, Andrew MacDonald and Allon Reich. It was scripted by Alex Garland and was distributed by Lionsgate and Entertainment Film Distributors. The films producer and script writer, Alex Garland, was the same man who produced the films Never Let Me Go and 28 days later. The film's distributor 'Lionsgate Film' is a Canadian-American entertainment company owned by the Lionsgate Cooperation. The company is well known for the distribution of famous films such as the Hunger Games. The film was produced by several production companies, these include IM Global, DNA Flims and Reliance Entertainment. IM Global is one of the worlds leading film financing, sales and distributing companies and is largely owned by Reliance Entertainment. DNA Films is a British film production company which was founded by a joint venture between Fox Searchlight and Alex Macdonald &  Duncan Kenworthy. 

The film arguably starred only one famous actor which was Karl Urban who played the role of Judge Dredd, his face was not shown once throughout the entire film which most likely removed the beneficial effects of his fame. The film also starred Olivia Thirlby who isn't particularly famous and probably did not benefit the films publicity. I believe the casting of unknown actors in Dredd is one of the factors that contributed to the film's box office failure. Often, people will only go to watch a film if they know at least some of the actors which play certain roles. In the case of Dredd, the only well known actor who was casted was not identifiable, I think this limited the film's audience as people were generally unfamiliar with who was casted for it and thus didn't go to watch it. 

When it came to marketing I believe that Dredd was limited right from the beginning due to the very few marketing campaigns utilised by its distributors and due to poor advertisement of the film. The only marketing campaigns that were pursued by the film's advertisers were a comic strip about the film and an online trailer for the film. This led to the film having very little publicity and was overshadowed by the publicity of rival films such as The Avengers, The Amazing Spiderman and The Dark Knight Rises.

Another factor that I think contributed to Dredd's poor box office performance was that almost all showings of the films were in 3D.  This I believe had an effect on the number of people that chose to watch the film as a large majority of people prefer not to watch films in 3D. Even when certain cinema's requested for a 2D version of the film Dredd's distributors (Lionsgate) refused to send one. This was quite a stupid thing to do as it was obviously going to limit the amount of showings of the films and limit the amount of cinema's that showed the film. And thus, limit their profit that they'd make from the film. 

During Dredd's theatrical run the film was met with overwhelming competition from rival block busters such has The Dark Knight Rises and Skyfall which I believe impacted the films box office performance.

The Dark Knight Rises was produced by Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas and Charles Roven. It was also directed Christopher Nolan who also wrote the script in partnership with David S. Goyer. The film starred many famous actors such as Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman. The Dark Knight Rises had a newsworthy budget of $300 million dollars and grossed $1.08 billion during its theatrical run; a massive box office success unlike Dredd. The Dark Knight Rises was based on the well known and famous comic book super hero Batman and was the last instalment of Christopher Nolan's Batman Trilogy, so it was bound to be a success right from the get go. 

1 comment:

  1. Ollie, there is a reasonably clear sense of argument in your response, however you do take a bit too long to actually address the question (you don't do this until paragraph 3). I would like to see more examples in your response, when discussing 3D then you must analyse the release pattern and the amount of screens which had a 3D print as opposed to a 2D one. You could also give examples of films which have benefitted directly from having an A list star. With the films marketing is there more you could say? Remember the trailer actually won an award so was it simply that the marketing wasn't sufficiently aggressive that the film flopped or was it something else? When discussing competition you must include statistics on box office, screens etc.

    Remember you are marked on exmaples and argument, currently this response is lacking in examples.