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The Corona Movie Flops: Bloodshot And Onward


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[Total: 24 Average: 3.4]


Directed By: Dave Wilson
Written By: Jeff Wadlow, Eric Heisserer
Release Date: March 13, 2020
Domestic Distributor: Sony
Cast: Vin Diesel, Eiza González, Sam Heughan
Rated: PG-13
Genre: Adventure

Box Office Information

Budget: $45 Million

Financed by: Sony; Cross Creek Pictures; Bona Film Group

Domestic Box Office Gross: $10,021,787

Overseas Box Office Gross: $18,407,068


Based on the bestselling comic book, Vin Diesel stars as Ray Garrison, a soldier recently killed in action and brought back to life as the superhero Bloodshot by the RST corporation. With an army of nanotechnology in his veins, he’s an unstoppable force –stronger than ever and able to heal instantly. But in controlling his body, the company has sway over his mind and memories, too. Now, Ray doesn’t know what’s real and what’s not – but he’s on a mission to find out.

Official Trailer

Box Office Breakdown

Jeff Wadlow had written a Bloodshot spec script, which landed in the hands of producer Neal H. Moritz, who then took it to Sony. The studio acquired the Bloodshot comic series from Valiant Comics on March 1, 2012, and then paid Wadlow $450,000 against $1 million for his screenplay.

Bloodshot was looked at by Sony as a potential big-budget franchise and in the hacked emails published by Wikileaks, they listed their preferred directors to launch this series — which started with Michael Bay, who passed. Edgar Wright was #2, but he was gearing up to direct Baby Driver, then there was Daniel Espinosa, Joe Cornish, Justin Lin, Sam Raimi, Francis Lawrence, and Colin Trevvorow.

John Wick directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski then briefly became attached. Bloodshot finally landed Dave Wilson (making his big-screen directing debut), who was the Director & Creative Director of the VFX house Blur Studio — which was co-founded by Deadpool director Tim Miller.

With a director now committed, an offer went out to Jared Leto to star in this would-be franchise — which Sony had now planned to launch into a 5-film shared universe with other Valiant properties. Nothing materialized with Leto and in January 2018 Vin Diesel signed on as the title character.

Budget and Financing

Bloodshot carried a net budget of $45 million and the majority of the costs were provided by Sony. The studio’s financing partners in the picture were Cross Creek Pictures and China-based Bona Film Group. The Wikileaks emails noted that Neal H. Moritz and Valiant had 10% gross points between them.

Opening at the Start of a Pandemic

Bloodshot was dated for February 21, 2020 but was moved to March 13 after the big-budget flop The Call of the Wild was shifted to that date. Bloodshot would now open against another genre movie, the delayed The Hunt, I Still Believe and a society besieged by the coronavirus.

Before movie theater attendance was depressed from the outbreak, Sony did support the release with a solid promotional push to kickstart this franchise, but Bloodshot was tracking poorly for an opening just above $10 million. Vin Diesel simply does not pull in audiences in the domestic market outside of his existing Fast and Furious franchise. His previous vehicle tried to resuscitate a franchise he had abandoned with xXx: Return of Xander Cage — which tanked stateside but was saved by huge grosses in China. Diesel’s previous attempt to launch a series was the flop The Last Witch Hunter.

As the release date was approaching, the virus had led to the shuttering of many theaters and every film was obviously impacted negatively. Mixed to poor reviews certainly didn’t help with all of the real-world distractions and stress.

Bloodshot opened just under expectations with $9,176,695 — placing #2 for the weekend led by Onward. Since Bloodshot was tracking for $10 million before the virus and attendance was so severely depressed during its opening — the picture certainly would have exceeded its tracking in normal circumstances. Even if it did open a bit higher, these would still be numbers that would kill off a franchise.

Box office recording stopped only a few days into Bloodshot’s release when theaters were largely forced to shutter. It pulled in $10,021,787. Sony would see returned about $5.5 million after theatres take their percentage of the gross. The studio put the movie online for rent or purchase on March 24.

It’s hard to say where the numbers would have landed overseas, but Diesel’s biggest market potential would have been China, which had already closed theaters. Bloodshot was in 50 offshore markets and had grossed $18.4 million. Would Sony have gone ahead with a franchise that did mixed to terrible business in almost every country except China? Probably not. In better times, Bloodshot might have been a break-even type of movie, but not a foundation to build a crossover series.


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[Total: 24 Average: 3.4]

Onward pixar

Directed By: Dan Scanlon
Written By: Dan Scanlon, Jason Headley, Keith Bunin
Release Date: March 6, 2020
Domestic Distributor: Disney
Voice Cast: Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Rated: PG
Genre: Animation, Adventure


Box Office Information

Budget: $200 Million (estimated)

Financed by: Disney

Domestic Box Office Gross: $61,555,145

Overseas Box Office Gross: $41,626,274


In Disney and Pixar’s ONWARD, two teenage elf brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot (voices of Tom Holland and Chris Pratt), get an unexpected opportunity to spend one more day with their late dad and embark on an extraordinary quest aboard Barley’s epic van Guinevere. Like any good quest, their journey is filled with magic spells, cryptic maps, impossible obstacles, and unimaginable discoveries. But when the boys’ fearless mom Laurel (voice of Julia Louis-Dreyfus) realizes that her sons are missing, she teams up with a part-lion, part-bat, part-scorpion, former warrior – aka The Manticore (voice of Octavia Spencer) – and heads off to find them. Perilous curses aside, this one magical day could mean more than any of them ever dreamed.

Official Trailer

Box Office Breakdown

The first flop in the entire canon of Pixar movies was The Good Dinosaur, which had a torturous production history and a budget that swelled. Now, due to force majeure, Onward is the second Pixar flop — but due entirely to the coronavirus pandemic.

While reviews have slighted Onward as a second rate Pixar product and the picture would have likely seen box office receipts lower than their usual output — there was no reason to believe that if the marketplace was not affected by a pandemic, that Onward would have pulled in profitable grosses.

The Disney marketing machine supported the movie with its full muscle and launched a global marketing blitz, which usually costs the mouse house about $150 million. Before the coronavirus wreaked havoc, iSpotTV had listed Disney’s TV ad spend at $26 million, two weeks before the March 6 opening. At least $40 million worth of TV spots would have been spent going into release and domestic P&A costs would be north of $60 million. No budget figures were released by Disney, but the film was expected to cost about $200 million.

Marketing and the Coronavirus Release

Along with the traditional P&A push, the mouse house also partnered with Hasbro, Mattel, and Funko for merchandise, clothes, and backpacks were at Old Navy, there was a tie-in with McDonald’s and dozens of other corporations that gave exposure to Onward.

It bowed against The Way Back, landed lukewarm reviews and opened below estimates at $39,119,861 — placing #1 for the weekend. Many analysts pegged the soft numbers on the product, not the impact of the virus, which was simply ridiculous. With a portion of our society panic shopping and hoarding mountains of toilet paper, this was not a normal movie going climate.

As the second weekend was approaching, movie theaters were closing across the US and there was a huge 72.9% decline in attendance to $10,601,952 — where it won the very slow weekend. Just a few days later the box office stopped being reported and the stateside numbers were $61,555,145. Disney made the film available for rent/purchase digitally on March 20.

International numbers are at $41.6 million, bringing the global gross to $103.1. This would return about $56 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross.

Written by Bomb Report


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  1. The Sony crossover universe with Valiant characters was killed off early when the Harbingers project moved from Sony to Paramount (similar to the Sonic movie). Maybe Paramount can learn about what went wrong with Bloodshot creatively so that Harbingers can be a better product that will properly start a cinematic universe that can rival DC and Marvel.

    The Bloodshot movie could have made about $50 million without the coronavirus, which wouldn’t be blockbuster numbers for Sony.

  2. Disney and Pixar’s Onward is probably my most recent favorite film to have been considered a commercial flop (though that can be blamed entirely on the corona-virus pandemic outbreak), as well as being the last film I saw in theaters before they closed down.

    It’s a really great animated adventure film that really deserved a better box office performance had it been released during a different time before the outbreak, and I’m glad that Disney has made the film available to purchase/download on March 20th as well as being available to stream on their streaming subscription service Disney+ on April 3rd for free so that people can still see the film at their home.

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