Whoever is green-lighting films at Universal is about to get an earful or worse. Another Universal movie is likely to be in the hole after a miserable showing opening weekend. Robert Downey Jr.’s Dolittle film is estimated to lose $100 Million at the box office. Sound familiar? It should. Another recently released title just a little over a month by the time of Dolittle lost around $100 Million. Also, it’s one of the worst-reviewed films by critics and moviegoers alike in recent years. Universal also made cats. Again, someone’s chair at the studio is basically on fire as we speak.
Dolittle Budget is Not Little
Robert Downey, as “Dolittle,” is likely not the mistake at all. The budget is a concern, though, $175 million? Bit of a steep price when you think about it. Dolittle franchise isn’t exactly a juggernaut, the films in the late 90s and early 2000s didn’t rock the box office. To give a little perspective on film budgets in 2019. John Wick 3 cost $75 million to make. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, cost $90 million. Terminator Dark Fate cost $10 million more than Dolittle. Ford v Ferrari cost only $97 million. I digress. The point is the budget seems to have sunk the ship before it even set sail.
Opening Weekend Disappointment, Still Hope in Other Markets
A report by Yahoo! Believes Dolittle is in for a loss of $100 million, a number given by “multiple film finance experts.” The four days domestic opening weekend brought in $30 million while globally it brought in $50 million. This spells trouble as all movies rely on their opening weekend to knock it out of the park and give them a huge lead. According to the report, if the estimation is correct, it will actually lose more than Cats (much lower budget).
All of that said, there is hope. Dolittle hasn’t released in more than 20 markets, nine of which are opening the film next weekend. France and the UK won’t debut it until the first week of February, while China has it releasing on Feb. 21st. This seems to be the film’s main hope, but the struggle is real. The ratings will be tough to ignore for some moviegoers. Dolittle currently sits at 19% on Rotten Tomatoes, a number lower than that of Cats.