Sony Pictures had a harsh opening weekend for The Girl In The Spider’s Web after making a huge splash last month with Venom (still earning big bucks).

Box office estimates from Box Office Mojo places the film’s domestic at a poultry $8 million ($16 million globally) and with a budget of over $43 million, it’s not looking good. Sony also spent a lot of money on an extensive marketing campaign, which likely means that they’ll have an uphill battle to turn a profit.

This stumble is quite interesting if you understand why the studio rebooted the franchise in the first place.

In 2011, David Fincher’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, starring Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig opened to $13 million. The studio seemed upset with this box office performance despite an overall earning of $233 million globally on a budget of $90 million. The Hollywood remake eventually earned five Oscar nominations in 2012 including Best Actress for Mara, it would end up winning Best Achievement In Film Editing. Making it somewhat of a prestige picture for the studio.

Sony Pictures then had screenwriter Steve Zaillian and Fincher adapt the next two books in the series for sequels with the aim to film them back-to-back to save money. The scripts were said to cost Sony a pretty penny to develop and there was a point that something happened behind the scenes then both Steve and David were pushed off the project. Then, later on, Mara and Craig were also asked to leave despite being required to come back.

Apparently, frustrations with David Fincher over budgets and suggesting Girl With The Dragon Tattoo didn’t hit box office goals led to the studio looking to find another direction with the franchise without David and Steve. Sony moved forward with their soft-reboot adapting the fourth book to avoid using the material from Steve Zaillian. From these opening numbers seems like this move has backfired as audiences seemed less inclined to support this version and couldn’t even hit the opening numbers from 2011.

Essentially, it looks like Sony made another large miscalculation with one of their franchises and is going to have a tough time earning a profit off the film. These low box office numbers place the prospect of future sequels in jeopardy as it actually won’t make much sense financially, for real this time. It’s possible that overseas numbers could float the weak domestic box office, but that is a big maybe.

SOURCE: BOX OFFICE MOJO

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