Box Office: ‘Gods of Egypt’ Falling Flat, ‘Deadpool’ Still King

Gods of Egypt Trailer
Courtesy of Lionsgate

If Lionsgate dreamed of replacing “Hunger Games” with “Gods of Egypt,” the company better keep searching for another way to fill the gap left by Katniss Everdeen.

The $140 million production is staring down the barrel of a $15 million domestic opening, a paltry start for a film with such a big price tag. At one point, Lionsgate had teased the idea of spinning “Gods of Egypt” into a new franchise, but analysts say that for a film of this size to justify sequels, it needs to open to $30 million or higher.

“This is on target to be one of the biggest box office belly flops of 2016,” said Jeff Bock, an analyst with Exhibitor Relations. “They didn’t greenlight this film with the thought of having one film. They greenlit it hoping to get three films out of this.”

Directed by Alex Proyas (“I, Robot”), “Gods of Egypt” centers on a mortal hero who allies himself with a god in order to save the world. Gerard Butler, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Geoffrey Rush head up the cast. The production was embroiled in controversy for tapping white actors to play Egyptian characters, leading Proyas to apologize for not employing a more diverse group of performers.

Related

Film Review: ‘Gods of Egypt’ an Extravagantly Silly Epic

The furor died down, but it may not matter. Sources close to Lionsgate stress that the company has protected itself from potential losses through a combination of foreign pre-sales and a 46% production incentive from the Australian government for shooting in the country. In a 2014 presentation with analysts, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer said the studio’s exposure on the budget was under $10 million.

Lionsgate’s stock has slid sharply in recent months, as investors have worried about a post-“Hunger Games” future and media companies across the sector have been battered by fears about weaknesses in the cable industry. But the likely disappointment of “Gods of Egypt” doesn’t appear to be putting a strain on Lionsgate’s shares. In fact, the company’s stock was up 8.73% on Wednesday at $21.54.

In a note to investors, Bernstein Research analysts wrote that while the film may be “a complete disaster,” its long-term impact is minimal and even if it flops, “It arguably wouldn’t change future years’ earnings at all.”

“Gods of Egypt” may do better overseas, where audiences could be dazzled by its clashes between deities. It opens in 68 foreign markets this weekend, including Russia, South Korea and Brazil. It has also scored a Chinese release next month, which could bolster its bottom line. That doesn’t do much for Lionsgate, of course, since those rights were pre-sold at a guaranteed minimum level of box office performance.

Part of the issue that “Gods of Egypt” and others face is that “Deadpool” is a box office phenomenon with few equals. Entering its third weekend, the foul-mouthed and violent comic book adventure shows few signs of flagging. It should pull in $30 million to easily top the weekend box office, and is on pace to do at least $300 million Stateside.

“Gods of Egypt” isn’t the only new release trying to get out from under the “Deadpool” juggernaut. Open Road will field “Triple 9,” a $20 million heist thriller from John Hillcoat (“The Road”) that stars Casey Affleck and Chiwetel Ejiofor, in 2,205 locations. Fox will offer up “Eddie the Eagle,” a $23 million sports dramedy about an unlikely Olympian with Hugh Jackman and Taron Egerton, in 2,038 locations. Both films should earn roughly $10 million.

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  1. Jake says:

    Bring on the sequel, foreign box office is decent.

    • i never even seen it an i no its horse shit ,, more an more the white mans ways ,, keep showing the world how weak ,their really are by trying to mentain conral whit curruption lies about histery to brainwash the up coming children of today ,,

  2. d80io says:

    Color has nothing to do with the lack of quality (fantasy,entertainment be it Blackula or White Queens of Africa, politics can be out of it, good is good)

    This film is in no way good. Crap cgi, crap concept and execution (heroics from people the size of the gods legs and immortal deaths) Sigh, it had a big name cast,everywhere you look, but it was all hammy. You could black it up all you like, no actor was going to save this, and judging from their performance the whole thing must be a group prank of some sort. All it needed was a dramatic……………………….pause and a black face shatner and it could have been deep. Deep as the outhouse they dropped the final cut in and gave up on washing off.

    A truly horrible film

  3. Paul Archibald says:

    Well a low box office for gods of egypt huh LOL well what do you expect for having white people play black gods. It’s ancient North African Egypt not Caucasus Mountains Lolz

  4. Either you do right by people of color or we will make sure you continue to flop.

  5. Mohamed says:

    Egypt is in Africa, there were no bkacks, Arabs or anybody of olive color in this movie as main actors. Me and many of the people I know are boycotting the movie because irmt is white-wash

    • plumpdn says:

      Yes. They seem to have discounted to very deliberate boycotting of the movie by people of color. When exactly did the furor die down? People are laughing at this flop daily on black and brown Twitter. We messed up your Oscar ratings too. Keep it up, boys.

  6. what do you expect when you dont realise it world wide, The UK has even had a realise of the film, yet it was meant to be out on the 26th February, no wonder it flopped

  7. Ali Shwon says:

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  8. Murica! says:

    WTF are you talking about? Americans won’t watch this movie, but foreign audiences “could be dazzled by its clashes between deities”. What kind of condescending prick are you?

  9. Mike says:

    the furor never died down from the white actors playing Egyptian gods….and it never will

  10. Maria Rose says:

    Can you please tell the studios to cancel or re-cast that Alibaba movie with Liam Hemsworth and Anthony Hopkins.

  11. brian whittle says:

    When you can’t even show a coherent reason why you would want to watch it in the trailer, which is a mess BTW you have a problem. Who is this movie for?

  12. Leeloo says:

    I don’t believe anyone is surprised. Exodus suffered the same deal. Do people not learn? Apologizing does not make things better. This should have been called Gods of Everywhere Else Except Egypt or Gods of Scotland and Australia. Where is the notion that star names bring in the money in this case? Unknowns probably would have done better.

  13. Mel says:

    Can you please tell the studios to cancel or re-cast that Alibaba movie with Liam Hemsworth and Anthony Hopkins.

  14. Mel says:

    Thank goodness it flopped. I guess it’s not true that movies need “stars” to sell them, or that people only care about seeing “white” actors in movies.

    Can you imagine if white male actors were treated the same as nonwhites in Hollywood? Oh, both Ryan Reynolds (enjoying his first successful films in 15 years) and Gerard Butler would have been kicked out of Hollywood a long time ago. Despite an endless string of flops, they keep getting work because they’re white males and therefore don’t have limits or expiration dates placed on them.

    • Holly Wood says:

      You and people like you who make everything about something else – race, religion, the government, the Rosicrucians, the whites, the men, the liberals, the conservatives, the Illuminati, the Freemasons, – you are the worst, the dirge of our society. For every Ryan Reynolds who was fortunate enough to weather a storm of non-performing movies, there’s a list a mile long of actors and actresses who never got a second chance, actors of every demographic, including – gasp – white males. So you root for a movie to flop not because you think it sucks – not that you’ve even seen it! – but because it has white people in it, you divisive, racist idiot.

      • TCDH says:

        It’s called sending a message. Get off your high horse and see how the other side lives.

      • dachooster says:

        That’s not the cry being made here Holly Wood. The cry is, a movie about people in Africa… yes, Egypt is on that continent…. doesn’t have an Arab, Middle Eastern person, Hebrew, African, Turkish, Egyptian, Indian, or any other olive complexioned person in the starring role. It’s totally about race and the fact that before God forbid a person that is a representation of the title of the movie gets the job… it goes to a white person. Btw…. I have tickets to see it tomorrow night at 10:25 in 3D so I’m not a racist hater… I’m just a person that wants to go out and see a damn movie but realize that racism and Hollywood go hand in hand

  15. what the fuck are you talking about its not out until tomorrow night

    • dachooster says:

      That’s not the cry being made here. The cry is, a movie about people in Africa… yes, Egypt is on that continent…. doesn’t have an Arab, Middle Eastern person, Hebrew, African, Turkish, Egyptian, Indian, or any other olive complexioned person in the starring role. It’s totally about race and the fact that before God forbid a person that is a representation of the title of the movie gets the job… it goes to a white person. Btw…. I have ticket to see it tomorrow night at 10:25 in 3D so I’m not a racist hater… I’m just a person that wants to go out and see a damn movie but realize that racism and Hollywood go hand in hand.

  16. Dunstan says:

    One look at the trailer and you know it’s a giant turkey. Whoever greenlighted this turkey should be out looking for work. What a mess.

    • Don't Mind Me Now says:

      I think it was green-lit back when everyone was still looking for the next “Clash of the Titans”. And a movie that looks great on paper can wind up horrible on screen, not to mention that no one really had any success trying to imitate “Clash”, including that movie’s own sequel. Essentially, this movie was way too late to a party that never really happened.

      I really don’t get why they thought this would get sequels though. Even on a conceptual level, this premise doesn’t scream “franchise!”.

  17. Austin Whitley says:

    Okay I don’t honestly give a crap on historical matters the movie looks wicked so I will be going to see it and why even worry about a sequel when the first movie isn’t even out yet that’s just stupid.

  18. jim says:

    Wow I don’t get the hate. I was planning on seeing this over the weekend. Deadpool is so 2 weeks ago on with the new.

  19. Justin says:

    So White Gods of Egypt is opening on the same weekend as OscarsSoWhite are given out. Ohh, this makes my tweeting fingers so excited. Let the social media bashing begin.

  20. alex downey says:

    if this film had been in anyway good it would have done well box office wise but it aint. people dont get turned off by details in movies being wrong. they get turned off by bad reviews. also how did they spend so much and wind up with gerard butler.

  21. FM Talks says:

    After the Exodus / Ridley Scott arrogant debacle you would think studios would have learned from that hot mess. For being stuck on stupid this film deserves to flop.

  22. The Black Guy says:

    The real reason it’s gonna fail is because THE EGYPTIANS WERE BLACK and still are! Egypt is in Africa! They left evidence of how they looked! Why does hollywood want to ke white washing everything????

    • sarah says:

      Most ancient Egyptians weren’t totally ‘black’. If you look on temple walls they made clear distinctions of different cultures/races. Even a few red-heads and blondes (European imports?). Easy to tell apart Black, Libyan, Egyptian, Semite, etc.

    • Holly Wood says:

      The Black Guy, huh? Gee I wonder what you’d think if I called myself the White Guy. Just kidding. I know exactly what you’d think.

      Anyway, as Anon helpfully points out, Egyptians were and are Arab, so if you want to speak to issues like this do everyone a favor and crack a book first, or at least learn how to use Google. But the fact that you think a movie will fail because of some dopey notion that the audience gives a crap about genetics is pretty funny.

      I swear… if someone wants to see racism at work, all they need to do is read posts from people like you. There are plenty of them in these Variety threads.

      ps – as I’ve mentioned before, “Hollywood” isn’t a thing. “Hollywood” doesn’t make movies, people make movies. But I’m sure that won’t stop people like you from ranting.

    • Anon says:

      @The Black Guy: I’m sorry to tell you this but the Egyptians weren’t & aren’t black. The Nubians married in to the hierarchy of the royalty in the very late dynasties but that doesn’t make Egyptians in general black. They were & ARE Arab. They didn’t “leave evidence of how they looked!” because they’re still alive & well & living in Egypt. There are in fact real live Egyptians living in the US & they aren’t black either. And yes, Egypt – like Morocco, Libya, & Algeria – is in Northern Africa but that does not make the people who live in those countries black either. They are not.

      Nevertheless, the casting for this movie stinks.

      • RK says:

        33 “known” dynasties since the beginning of Egypt; a country invaded by the Hyksos, Persians, Arabs [7th century A.D.], Macedonians, Greeks, Romans, etc… It’s like visiting the ancient ruins of Mexico and assuming the Mexicans were the native inhabitants because they’ve been there for centuries; not knowing of the Mayans, Aztecs, and Olmecs… Cleopatra [descendent of Ptolemy] was alive closer to the construction of the iPhone than the construction of the pyramids.

        The ancient Egyptians referred to their land as KEMET, which means “black land”, but some say that could be referring to the fertile soil. The artist Vivant Denon accompanied Napolean through Egypt, and his sketches of the Sphinx denote “negro features of the nose and lips” before the nose was allegedly shot off by one of Napolean’s soldiers. The ancient Greek philosopher Herraditus claimed “The ancient Egyptians were true negros ‘of all types’, just like the native born Africans… [cir. 426 BCE]. The point being made is that the Egyptians have not “always been Arab”.

  23. ;lk says:

    When Proyas apologized, he killed his own movie. Fool.

    • Don't Mind Me Now says:

      At least it was a while back, so people had time to potentially get over it. He didn’t make the ultimate suicidal move of bashing his own movie the night of the premiere. The result is that Proyas will still have a career after this, unlike that certain other someone who was disappointed with how his movie turned out.

      And to compare it to Ridley Scott, it’s better than claiming “I had no choice” and making yourself look like the bad guy. Scott must be counting his lucky stars that The Martian was already past the point where he reasonably could have been removed from the project when Exodus flopped. Otherwise he could have been drummed into DTV movies over that.

  24. Lou says:

    Note to Hollywood:

    We the public are really sick of all this fake CGI garbage. Thank you.

  25. Jim says:

    Hollywood never learns. They are more interested in creating a “franchise” than a good movie. Make a good movie and then worry about sequels if it turns out any good.

  26. Nanny Mo says:

    The trailer said “Stay Away from this One!” So I did.

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