BOX OFFICE: “Wrath of Man” underwhelms, Billy Crystal bombs — big time

Guy Ritchie’s reunion for a not-quite-humorless/entirely-too-American and violent and “serious” heist picture with Jason Statham didn’t stir the box office much — $8.1 million was all “Wrath of Man” could manage. Decent reviews could have helped, but weren’t allowed to.

Billy Crystal’s sentimental comic-in-winter “Here Today” proved he’s over, and Tiffany Haddish is about 14 minutes into her 15. Well over a thousand streets, well under $1 million at the box office.

Another $3 million went to the anime “Demon Slayer,” another $2.4 or so to “Mortal Kombat” one-mo-time.

With the ongoing pandemic, movies without the fanatical fanbase that horror, comic book franchises or anime mainstays, etc (“Godzilla vs. Kong”) remain a very hard sell.

I don’t know what Sony could have done with Crystal’s comedy. His “crowd” has aged out of the habit and won’t be dragged into theaters for anything less than the comic second coming, which “Here Today” most definitely is not. Can’t have cost much, low risk and all, and I still wouldn’t have written him a check. Not for starring, co-writing and directing. Nobody to rein in that ego? Sure, NOBODY saw this coming.

Miramax releasing the MGM co-production “Wrath of Man” and imposing an after-the-last-minute embargo on reviews seems a dated, arrogant and in this case, wildly misguided effort to hide a movie that didn’t need hiding.

Welcome back to the game, Miramax. Embargoes are for losers. Not a great picture, not that bad, either. You had a winner, and labeled it a loser. Live and learn.

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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2 Responses to BOX OFFICE: “Wrath of Man” underwhelms, Billy Crystal bombs — big time

  1. Jen Newlon says:

    Please fix the review of VFW. They were Vietnam vets, hence the story about 1968. The Korean War ended in 1953. That would’ve made these guys in their mid-80s. Have some sense, especially if you are writing a piece of criticism.

    • Roger Moore says:

      Williamson’s character describes himself as a Korean War vet. The others are from Vietnam. As it says in the review. The movie is what makes little sense. Have somebody read it to you, since you’re criticizing a piece of criticism without having your facts straight.

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