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Will 'Evan Almighty' bomb?

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Evan Almighty
Cinematical noted that a few early reviews of Steve Carrell's latest film Evan Almighty, sequel to Jim Carry's Bruce Almighty, aren't anything to write home about. That's very bad news for the studio and the future of writer-director Steve Oedekerk. Oedekerk experienced a near-famous meltdown in front of studio executives within the past two weeks over the studios marketing budget. The film reportedly cost somewhere between $200-250 million to produce, an outrageous sum for a comedy, one that will make it hard for this film to see any kind of profit.

I would be very concerned right now if I were Universal. I can't possibly express how bad this is. A $250 million budget needs half a billion in worldwide gross just to break even, and this summer has already sustained probably too many films that have so far, and will soon break into the 700's. There's no room for viewer sympathy, there's only so much money to go around in any given season and there's just not enough to cover mistakes like this.

And it was a mistake, letting a comedy run out of control with that kind of budget. Oedekerk had a right to be angry at the studio for skimping on his films marketing, but it's his own fault that it was necessary. When you break the studios bank, you can't cry about it to them later.
The biggest complaint between both reviewers -- the words behind it -- "Bottom line, the plot is silly and stupid, with obvious comedy beats throughout," and "Pretty much everything in the movie is a stereotype of what you've seen before... The script is lazy." While one would imagine words like that would be the kiss of death for the flick, that's not the case.

From Cinematical, I completely disagree. It is the kiss of death, because we're not talking about a film that can survive on moderate reviews and moderate box office returns. This thing cost a quarter of a billion to make and needs twice as much to break even for the studio, if it isn't bringing in $90 million over its first weekend, it's officially a historic bomb.

And hopefully Oedekerk has learned a lesson here as well, first being (and this is personal opinion) that if he wants to play director, that's what he should do, leaving the writing to the professionals. Second, he should probably leave directing to the professionals too, if he can't control his budget. I wouldn't give this guy $5 to take a picture of me for fear he'd break the camera and end up costing me $200.

I need to find out when this film opens and break it down, since I haven't done one of those in a while. Should be fun, counting all the ways it's going to fail. $1..$2...$3...$4...$400..$40,000...$250,000,000. It's going to be a long article.

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The text of this article is Copyright © 2006,2007 Paul William Tenny. All rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Attribution by: full name and original URL. Comments are copyrighted by their authors and are not subject to the Creative Commons license of the article itself.