Bad Times at the El Royale

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    [Total: 58 Average: 3.6]
  • Directed By: Drew Goddard
  • Written By: Drew Goddard
  • Release Date: October 12, 2018
  • Domestic Distributor: FOX
  • Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson

Box Office Info:
Budget: $32 millionFinanced by: FOX; TSG Entertainment
Domestic Box Office: $17,839,115Overseas Box Office: $14,043,609


In March 2017, Drew Goddard sold his Bad Times at the El Royale spec script to FOX and then landed a fantastic large ensemble cast which agreed to cut their salaries to keep the budget down, so Goddard would have more creative freedom.  The budget for Bad Times at the El Royale was $32 million and most of the production was moved to Vancouver to take advantage of a 28% tax rebate.  FOX majority financed the picture and TSG Entertainment invested a minority share, which contributes coin into most of the studio’s slate of movies.

Bad Times at the El Royale was first dated for October 5, 2018 and then bumped back one week to keep it away from Venom and A Star Is Born.  FOX was bullish on the marketing and gave Bad Times an expensive P&A blitz.  $24.46M was spent on nationwide TV ads (as per iSpotTV) and after other traditional means of advertising, the domestic P&A expenses were north of $35M.

Despite the exposure, Bad Times at the El Royale was tracking soft and none of the cast are reliably bankable.  The complaint that adult movies with mid-range budgets like this no longer get made because that core audience never shows up to see them, was sadly yet again substantiated here.

Bad Times landed lukewarm reviews and bowed against First Man and Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween.  Tracking was pointing to an opening near $12M, but it tanked with $7,132,647 — placing #7 for the weekend led by Venom.  Bad Times sank 52.1% the following frame to $3,420,067 and plummeted 60.4% to $1,354,507 in its third session and then promptly lost most of its theater count.  The domestic run closed with a dreadful $17,839,115.

Bad Times at the El Royale did abysmal business overseas and the reported cume was just $14M.  The worldwide total was $31.8M.  FOX would see returned about $17.4M after theaters take their percentage of the gross — leaving tens of millions worth of P&A expenses in the red and the budget untouched by the theatrical receipts.

8 Comments

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  1. Really good movie, acting and story line. I missed it at the theater. Don’t recall seeing the ads for it. Nonetheless, it’s intriguing and a good watch. The thought that it should have been shorter would be an injustice to the story. It opens with a bang and never stops. At least you get your moneys worth.

  2. This was an incredibly entertaining film. I was chomping at the bit to see it in theaters but bad reviews made my wife less than enthused. By the time I went to see it myself it was gone. Finally it’s in Redbox. I rented it last night. Watched it again tonight with my wife. We both loved it. They don’t make too many movies like this. Sad that it bombed. Guess people need more Transformer type of movies. I’ll buy it on Amazon to show my support. Best thriller in a long time. My hats off to the cast,everyone of them and the producers.

    • I too neglected to see the production in theaters, but sas it via Redbox. This movie was highly entertaining! Very intense production and kinda scary.

      • this movie could’ve been good but the director’s too self indulgent and thought of himself as an auteur. he could’ve cut it to less than 2hours and it’d still be too long. if the suits were smart, they’d cut it to 90 minutes and sell it to netflix and saved themselves 35 million dollars in P&A spending. i guess this guy will never make another hollywood movie. another one bit the dust. such wasted talents among the cast

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