Top 5 Reasons Why ‘Horrible Bosses 2’ and ‘Penguins of Madagascar’ Underperformed
Both Warner Bros./New Line Cinema’s Horrible Bosses 2 and DreamWorks Animation’s Penguins of Madagascar got whupped by the second-to-last installment of The Hunger Games this Thanksgiving weekend. Both films respectively earned $13 million and $44 million respectively on their opening weekends compared to Mockingjay: Part 1‘s $394 million take-in. Those figures don’t take into account both Penguins’ and HB2‘s respective budgets of $132 million and $43 million.
The question both DreamWorks and Warners are asking right now is, “why?”
1. Confusion With The TV Show – There is a TV show with the same name still airing on Nickelodeon to this day, and that may have led audiences thinking that it was nothing but an extended episode of said series, and that alone guarantees little success. Just ask the people behind Nickelodeon’s 2002 dud Hey Arnold: The Movie. While there’s little doubt that the Madagascar franchise still ranks in the dough for DreamWorks, that doesn’t mean it’s invincible.
2. Propaganda Disguised as Marketing – Never has an animation studio let a prominent political figure (at least from what I know) advertise a movie for them, especially a first lady of the United States. When you invite one of your political heroes, Michelle Obama, to advertise your movie to the mainstream in order to please your Hollywood peers, there’s bound to be a fallout.
3. Dated Jokes – From the trailers, you can tell the jokes are pretty dated, and despite not being related to the TV show of the same name, it definitely looks like an extended episode of the Nickelodeon program. That, and these jokes will indeed be out of date in 5 years. It’s what’s been happening with most DreamWorks Animation films since the release of Shrek in 2001.
4. Pandering To An Audience – The film is most definitely aimed at kids and tweens only, since it is a Madagascar film. That’s all I can basically say about that.
5. Poor Marketing – Marketing is a huge monster when it comes to a film doing well. Poor marketing caused DreamWorks to have some high-profile flops. Remember Rise of the Guardians, Turbo, and this year’s Mr. Peabody and Sherman? All three films were poorly marketed, and they bombed.
1. Second-Product Syndrome – This seems to happen a lot with sequels. The original film is very good (just ask fans of Beverly Hills Cop and The Hangover), and the sequel ends up being a dud. That’s exactly what critics thought as well when they saw Horrible Bosses 2.
2. Repetitive Jokes – If you’ve seen the original Horrible Bosses, you’ve seen the second one.
3. Foxx Burnout – Jamie Foxx adds another box office bomb he can add to his resume. White House Down, the left-wing pipe dream of director Roland Emmerich (in which he starred), flopped last summer/
4. Poor Marketing – Like Penguins, HB2 has suffered from poor marketing. I don’t think anybody saw an internet ad on YouTube or a TV spot anywhere.
5. Tone Deaf – Who doesn’t want to go to an R-rated comedy? The difference is HB2 is a total mess, sparring a few laughs here and there, but mostly a huge bore for those who may have seen the original.