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12/14/15

Heart burned: Why new Ron Howard, Moby Dick movie tanked

Ron Howard is one of the more lauded and highly acclaimed directors, but he's lost more than just a little of his Midas touch in recent outings. His latest flick, "In the Heart of the Sea" is no different.
In some ways, this is surprising turn for Howard given that the film was highly regarded and critically acclaimed and truthfully was supposed to be the coming out party of sorts for Howard and his return to the top of the directing game.
That didn't play out as the movie earned only a touch over 11 million dollars and cost about 100 million to make. That latter figure was around 85 million until the tail end of filming when that number jumped quite a bit.
The money spent on the movie isn't the real issue or even Howard and how he's perceived as a director. The problem is the movie itself just isn't the type of movie that resonates with the masses and certainly isn't the type of film that star Chris Hemsworth's fans can really wrap their brains around to the point where this film is going to be a box office success.
"In the Heart of the Sea" is about Moby Dick, a story that isn't all that bad but hardly the kind of film that is going to get everyone all hot and bothered about rushing to the movie to see. This is a big budget, blockbuster just on previous alone but the story itself isn't going to gain a whole lot of fans buzzing.

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Hemsworth does an admirable job in the film as far as trying to carry it as the leading man and you'd believe that he's perfectly in the right spot, but he's more of a heartthrob than a Leonardo DiCaprio. Hemsworth's fans aren't enough and nor does he have the track record to pull off a hundred million dollar flick.
The combination of an outdated story and Hemsworth will lead to speculation that casting was off and the story and the star just simply don't line up.
"In the Heart of the Sea" will undoubtedly make up its money overseas and won't go down in history as a bust overall, but it's lack of success in week 1 isn't going to bode well for its run in the United States.
But it should be a wake up call for the movie studio that sometimes the perfect director and a hot actor don't jive with a story that is terribly passe.

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