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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: The Biggest Box Office Bombs Of 2019 So Far

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Although the biggest movies these days seem to be making more money than most small countries,

that doesn't mean everyone is sharing in the wealth.

Sadly, quite a few 2019 moviessome with big names and big budgetshave already

been given the thumbs down from critics and audiences alike.

Here's why these 2019 films bombed at the box office.

Replicas is one of those science fiction/horror movies that seems to exist solely to warn

the world's mad scientists that dead people are supposed to stay that way.

Keanu Reeves plays Will Foster, a scientist working on transferring the consciousnesses

of the dead into new bodies.

After his wife and children are killed during a boating trip, he enlists the help of a fellow

scientist to resurrect them via cloning.

Predictably, things quickly go wrong.

Replicas performed dismally at the box office, grossing just a little over $4 million, and

its aggregate Rotten Tomatoes score doesn't suggest this was an under-hyped gem, either.

Critics ripped the sci-fi thriller to pieces, calling out its preposterous story, its numerous

plot holes, and the squandering of its novel potential.

A number of critics have suggested that Reeves was horribly miscast as a grieving genius,

and more than one argued that Nicolas Cage would've made a much better fit.

Amidst a storm of unkind reviews of Replicas, perhaps the best takedown of them all came

from The Los Angeles Times, which explained:

"The filmmakers manage to avoid every potentially interesting choice for far dumber, and far

more inexplicable, conclusions."

Don't worry, Joss Whedon fans: you haven't missed anything important.

2019's Serenity is a very different beast indeed than the 2005 sci-fi cult classic.

"I am a leaf on the wind.

Watch how I soar."

No, this movie follows Baker Dill, the captain of a fishing vessel who is dragged back into

his ex-wife Karen's life when she tries to hire him to kill her current husband.

So far, so straightforward, right?

Well, guess again.

Because it is eventually revealed that Dill is actually a character in a video game designed

by a boy named Patrick.

When Patrick's real-life mother remarried an abusive man, he redesigned his game to

be about destroying the new man in her life.

Some critics praised a number of fine performances that nevertheless failed to save an absurd


Most critics, however, agreed that Serenity's script was horribly writtenand its premise

was downright ludicrous.

The biggest problem seems to have been the film's poorly executed reveals, which The

Sunday Times called "shoddy narrative gimmicks."

Rather than adding depth or a fresh perspective to the story, reviewers felt the twists were

"self-indulgent", while The Arts Desk wrote:

"Its as if youve been watching a movie which wasnt that great to begin with, and

then the director crashes through the screen, doubling up with laughter and telling you

youve been had."

Louis Ashbourne Serkis plays a young boy in present day England who stumbles upon the

legendary sword Excalibur in 2019's family-friendly fantasy The Kid Who Would Be King.

Unfortunately for Alex and his friends, King Arthur's old enemy Morgana knows Excalibur

has been discovered and wants it for herself.

Aided by the backwards-aging Merlin, Alex and his friends embark on a quest to defeat

the dastardly sorceress.

Sadly, their victory against the forces of evil couldn't save the movie from grossing

just a little over half of its production budget of $59 million.

Unlike most of the films that flopped in 2019, The Kid Who Would Be King enjoyed mostly favorable

reviews, earning an impressive 90% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

While writing about the film's inability to turn a profit, Forbes placed part of the blame

on competing intellectual properties, pointing out that Kid was forced to face off with films

like Aquaman and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

These movies featured characters audiences were familiar with and wanted to see on the

big screen, whereas audiences simply struggled to care about King Arthur and his friends.

For a long time to come, the thing most people may remember about the darkly comic revenge

thriller Cold Pursuit will be the interview star Liam Neeson gave while promoting the


During this interview, Neeson revealed that, in the wake of the sexual assault of a close

friend by a black man, he had once walked the streets hoping any black man would start

a fight with him so that Neeson could kill him in retaliation.

"It was horrible, horrible, and I think back that I did that, and Ive never admitted

that and Im saying it to a journalist, God forbid."

The interview sparked a firestorm of controversy, eventually prompting an apology from the actor.

Cold Pursuit's opening weekend pulled in $10.8 millionthe lowest numbers for a Neeson

movie debut since 2010's The Next Three Days.

Eventually, however, subsequent grosses helped the film break even with its $60 million budget.

It's impossible to know how much of that poor performance was influenced by the response

to Neeson's colossal public blunder, though according to some critics, there was plenty

in Cold Pursuit to dislike even if you'd never heard his notorious interview.

Whether it was Neeson's interview or the film itself that led to Cold Pursuit's chilly reception,

it's probably safe to say that it'll probably be a while before Neeson is allowed to veer

off-topic during a press interview.

In the world of Captive State, 2019 is the year aliens invade the Earth, ultimately leading

to humanity's capitulation to the extraterrestrials who rule the planet from their underground

"Closed Zones."

A decade later, two brothers join a resistance force against the aliens and find themselves

hunted by a shadowy Police Commander who has dedicated himself to ending the resistance

once and for all.

Or so it seems

"No no no no.

Im going to watch it later.

Ive got it, mum's the word."

Captive State eventually grossed an unimpressive $8.6 million worldwide.

Overall, the movie's reviews agreed that the plot was convoluted and that the film didn't

have the budget it needed to tell its story.

Meanwhile, others felt the focus on the unwieldy plot sacrificed believable characters.

Reelviews's reviewer wrote:

"Characterization is perfunctory and unsatisfactory.

We're watching a bunch of pawns on a filmmaker's chessboard."

A remake of a 2011 Spanish film with the same name, 2019's Miss Bala stars Gina Rodriguez

of Jane the Virgin fame.

The film brings Rodriguez to unfamiliar territory, casting her as a Los Angeles make-up artist

who trains to fight a Mexican drug cartel after her friend is kidnapped during a trip

south of the border.

While the casting of Rodriguez as an action star may seem strange, most critics seemed

to agree it's just about the only thing that ended up going right with Miss Balawhile

the rest of this would-be thriller is merely a watered down, uninspired, and cardboard

cutout version of the 2011 film it reimagines.

The Galveston Daily News wrote that Miss Bala director Catherine Hardwicke "feels more like

a director for hire" than in her previous films.

No doubt partly as a result of all the negative critical buzz, Miss Bala's gross barely broke

even with its $15 million budget.

In spite of its poor performance critically, a number of critics saved space to praise

Rodriguez's performance in their reviews.

While agreeing that Miss Bala is largely a ho-hum movie, Rolling Stone wrote:

"This Hollywoodized remake is mostly generic and uninspired, but it also proves that Rodriguez

has the makings of a true movie star.

Itll be exciting to see what she does nextso long as its not a sequel to this."

2019's Hellboy reboot faced an uphill climb from the start, and unfortunately it didn't

even come close to making its way to the top.

With a worldwide gross of $21.8 million, the movie failed to make up even half its production

budget of $50 million.

Hellboy's hype machine got off to a rocky start.

Fans reaction to the release of the film's first trailer was mixed at best, and not even

close to what any studio executive would want for a superhero blockbuster.

In a sense, however, the reboot's toughest competitors were the two previous Hellboy

movies directed by Guillermo del Toro, which starred Ron Perlman.

The shadow of Hellboy's predecessor was that much darker for Perlman's very public regrets

over he and del Toro's failure to get their own third Hellboy movie.

And although he held no evident ill will for new Hellboy David Harbour, Perlman wasn't

shy about his disappointment; speaking to Collider, he referred to someone else being

cast in the role as an "open wound."

Considering the inherent difficulties in overcoming these challenges, Hellboy would have needed

to be very good indeed to establish itself as the basis for a revived franchise.

Sadly, it wasn't.

The Chicago Tribune warned readers Hellboy's pacing is such that:

" don't so much watch this movie as submit to being pummeled by it."

Meanwhile, Book & Film Globe asked readers to:

"...imagine del Toro's movies, except without any spark, wit, fun, tension and excitement."

By all accounts, Hellboy is the kind of bad film that invites a storm of brutal takedowns

so much so that the London Evening Standard's critic wrote that, if he were free to decide,


"...write nothing about the movie and leave this space blank for readers' notes."

Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy made cinematic history, and even the less

well-received Hobbit movies made plenty of money, but there's at least one J.R.R.

Tolkien movie out there that didn't make a splashthe one about the man himself.

Starring Nicholas Hoult as Tolkien, and Lily Collins as Tolkien's future wife Edith Bratt,

Tolkien is about the author's early experiences in school, how his life was rocked by the

outbreak of World War I, and how all those experiences informed his writing.

Tolkien earned an unimpressive $2.2 million on its opening weekend, and hasn't gained

much ground since.

As Forbes' review pointed out, as a biopic without any A-list actors to support it, Tolkien

never really stood a chance of making it big at the box office.

Unfortunately, the critical response wasn't much better, either.

Critics tended to think the movie was unimaginative, unoriginal, and boring.

For example, Salon's reviewer wrote that Tolkien was doomed by a lack of vision, while The

Young Folks warned that the movie simply couldn't escape the weight of its own tedium.

Poms is a comedy about a group of older women in a retirement community who start up a competitive

cheerleading squad.

And that premise would be difficult enough to pull off at the box office, even if the

movie hadn't been faced with tremendous competition.

But Poms was released the same weekend as Detective Pikachu and another all-female-led

comedy, The Hustle.

It also faced Avengers: Endgame, which was still busy breaking records when Poms was


Factor in the skew towards an older audience, who tend not to show up on opening weekends,

and the movie's limping opening weekend gross of $5.6 million isn't that much of a surprise.

Regardless of its target demographic or its stiff competition, Poms' failure with the

critics can't exactly have helped the movie's chances.

With an embarrassing Rotten Tomatoes score of 32%, the movie apparently showed off a

great cast burdened with lazy writingwith the star power of Diane Keaton and Jacki Weaver

being simply not enough to save the movie from box office oblivion.

Based on Nicola Yoon's young adult novel of the same name, The Sun Is Also a Star didn't

impress critics in the slightest.

Reviewer consensus was that the teen drama is poorly written, stretches believability,

and full of cliches.

CNN called it "half-baked," The Observer called it "contrived," while Jackie K. Cooper described

it as "sappy to the nth degree."

If nothing else, even the critics unimpressed by the movie agree that the film's leads likely

have a bright future in Hollywood, but even they couldn't save a seriously disappointing


These reviews likely contributed to the film's lackluster opening weekend of $2.6 million,

across 2,073 screens.

Not only that, but the fact that The Sun Is Also a Star was released the same weekend

as the incredibly successful John Wick: Chapter 3 may also have contributed to the teen romance's


"You wanted me back - I'm back."

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The Description of The Biggest Box Office Bombs Of 2019 So Far