By Brent Lang
Lionsgate once hoped to turn “Gods of Egypt” into its next major film franchise.
But those dreams were dashed this weekend, after the $140 million fantasy epic opened to a feeble $14 million across 3,117 theaters. The film is shaping up to be one of the year’s biggest flops, all but guaranteeing there won’t be a part two. Its failure demonstrates the difficulty that the studio behind “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent” series faces as it struggles to find new projects to replace its retiring franchises.
With “Gods of Egypt” clattering to earth, “Deadpool” continued to soar. The Fox comic book movie added $31.5 million to its $285.6 million domestic haul for a first place finish. After three weeks of release, it ranks as the third highest-grossing R-rated film on a domestic basis behind only “American Sniper” ($350.1 million) and “The Passion of the Christ” ($370.8 million).
Although hugely disappointing, Lionsgate took steps to limit its financial hit on “Gods of Egypt.” It protected itself from potential losses through a combination of foreign pre-sales and a 46% production incentive from the Australian government for shooting in the country. Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer has reassured analysts that the studio’s exposure on the budget was under $10 million.
Internationally, “Gods of Egypt” also struggled, grossing an estimated $24.2 million from 68 markets, including Russia, Brazil, and the Philippines.
Misery loved company this weekend. Sports comedy “Eddie the Eagle” and heist thriller “Triple 9” both failed to connect in their debuts. “Eddie the Eagle,” a Fox produced story about an unlikely Olympic athlete (Taron Egerton) face-planted to a paltry $6.3 million from 2,038 locations for a fifth place finish. It cost $23 million to make.