'RoboCop' 2014: Full-Fledged Domestic Box Office Bomb

RoboCop 2014 Joel KinnamanJoel Kinnaman in 'RoboCop' 2014.

'RoboCop' 2014 movie: Full-fledged flop at domestic box office

Directed by José Padilha, and starring Joel Kinnaman and Abbie Cornish, Sony Picture's $100 million-budgeted RoboCop 2014 remake opened with disappointing numbers on Wednesday, Feb. 12. Things improved a bit over the weekend, but there's no denying that RoboCop 2014 will become a major domestic box office bomb. (See also: José Padilha hates 'RoboCop' 2014 filmmaking process.)

According to studio estimates found at Boxofficemojo.com, Padilha's remake of Paul Verhoeven's 1987 “classic” (as mentioned elsewhere on this site, just about anything made before 2003 is considered a classic these days) landed in third place this extended Presidents Day Weekend, February 14-17, trailing both Warner Bros.' overwhelmingly well-received The LEGO Movie and Sony Pictures / ScreenGem's low-budget romantic comedy About Last Night.

Directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 21 Jump Street), and featuring the voices of Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Will Ferrell, Charlie Day, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Alison Brie, and Cobie Smulders, The LEGO Movie grossed an estimated $63.51 million at 3,775 theaters over the four-day weekend.

Steve Pink's Los Angeles-set remake of Edward Zwick's 1986 movie starring Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, James Belushi, and Elizabeth Perkins – itself a bastardized film adaptation of David Mamet's play Sexual Perversity in ChicagoAbout Last Night collected a relatively strong (estimated) $28.49 million from 2,253 venues in its first four days out. In the cast: Michael Ealy, Kevin Hart, Regina Hall, Joy Bryant, Christopher McDonald, and Paula Patton. The not so good news for About Last Night is that it was down each day following its Friday, Valentine's Day, opening; in fact, according to studio estimates it trailed RoboCop 2014 on Monday.

'RoboCop' 2014: Far behind 'RoboCop' 1987

What should have been a summer blockbuster, RoboCop 2014 opened at a time of the year when action movies generally have underwhelming debuts and short legs. Not surprisingly, the film's $25.6 million gross over the four-day Presidents Day Weekend was on a par with the (subpar) opening weekend performances of the Bruce Willis actioner Another Day to Die Hard last year and the Nicolas Cage bomb Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance the year before. The former movie, which opened on a Thursday, debuted with $28.64 million at 3,372 sites over the four-day weekend; the latter, which opened on a Friday, collected $25.47 million during the same period. Neither movie managed to hit the $70 million mark in the U.S. and Canada. After six days out, RoboCop 2014's gross stands at $30.3 million. [Update: RoboCop 2014 raked in $25.06 million over the four-day weekend.]

RoboCop 2014 also trailed the Sony Pictures-distributed remake of another Paul Verhoeven “classic” of that era: the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger box office hit Total Recall. A major domestic bomb, the $125 million Total Recall remake directed by Len Wiseman, and starring Colin Farrell, Jessica Biel, and Kate Beckinsale, scored $25.57 million on its first (three-day) weekend out, cuming at a dismal $58.87 million.

And finally, Paul Verhoeven's own RoboCop 1987, made for a reported $13 million (about $27 million today), opened with $8 million at 1,580 locations in mid-July, eventually cuming at $53.42 million domestically. In 2014 dollars, that represents approximately $17 million on opening weekend (at less than half the number of theaters of the RoboCop 2014) and a $114 million cume. RoboCop 2014 will be lucky if it ends its run with $65 million in North America.

The silver lining: After about ten days, RoboCop 2014 has already collected an estimated $69.9 million internationally, and it has yet to open in a handful of major markets, such as China, Japan, and José Padilha's native country, Brazil – where Padilha is best known as the director of the controversial 2008 Berlin Film Festival winner Elite Squad and its sequel, Elite Squad 2, officially Brazil's biggest box office hit ever. Also worth noting, Another Day to Die Hard, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, and Total Recall 2012 all fared much better at the international box office.

'RoboCop' 2014 cast

Besides Joel Kinnaman and Abbie Cornish, RoboCop 2014 features former Batman Michael Keaton, Michael Kenneth Williams, Jay Baruchel, Jennifer Ehle, Aimee Garcia, Douglas Urbanski, John Paul Ruttan, Patrick Garrow, and Oscar nominees Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Marianne-Jean Baptiste (Secrets & Lies), Jackie Earle Haley (Little Children), and Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction). The RoboCop 2014 screenplay is credited to feature-film newcomer Joshua Zetumer.

Paul Verhoeven's RoboCop 1987 was written by Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner. The cast included Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Ronny Cox, Miguel Ferrer, Kurtwood Smith, Robert DoQui, Ray Wise, and veteran Dan O'Herlihy.

Joel Kinnaman RoboCop 2014 photo: Sony Pictures.

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14 Comments to 'RoboCop' 2014: Full-Fledged Domestic Box Office Bomb

  1. Honestly Hollywood takes the risk in giving these classic to directors that have no clue.
    Green Lantern is a great example. that director even said “why me ive never read a GL comic”

    My name is Jesse Kailin Eliasen and I would direct that movie for free and honour the classic one at the same time
    I really have a vision and i really have the talent, give me a shot and i will not let you down.

  2. zac

    So far, “Robocop” 2014 has earned $241.46 million worldwide (internationally as of April 13) on a (officially) $100 million budget — not including (at least) another $50-$60 million in marketing and distribution expenses. The studio will collect about $110-$130 million of the film's worldwide box office gross.

    The only reason “Robocop” 2014 won't turn out to be a flop for Sony Pictures — despite its solid international box office performance — is because of ancillary revenues that should eventually push the movie into the black.

    But at the box office, “RoboCop” 2014 was an undeniable disappointment (or a downright flop, in relation to its cost) — and a major bomb domestically, no matter how one looks at it.

  3. Whocares

    Wrote an article titled “Box Office Movie Flop: Robocop 2014” about a movie that ended up making around twice its budget. That's gotta hurt…

    And granted, he added “domestic” to the title on the page itself, but we all know what he was going for. At least he has a justification, which was smart.

  4. Leon

    Should have been R with over the top violence. Movie execs are scared little girls at this point. Bring back the 80s. We all miss them.

  5. LEEE777

    Oh well, I never wanted to see a remake of Robocop, you can't beat the original, stupid Hollywood with all these crappy remakes, could of made a good Robocop Continuation movie of classic Robocop! Ofc it would've had to be better than Robo 3.

    End of the day, Hollywood needs to wake up, I'm happy to hear there's going to be a ARMY OF DARKNESS 2 with Ash! Much better than a sequel to the remake Evil Dead ugh, Hollywood I'll say again leave THE CROW (Eric Draven) along too, some movies you just don't touch!

  6. Jason

    If people would have just given it a chance, I think they would have been surprised, but there are too many people that think it's a bastardization of the original. I liked the remake, and I liked the differences. If you want to see the original, then watch the original. What's the point of totally remaking a movie shot per shot, idea per idea?

  7. dave

    I dont got to thearter for imax I saw avatar in imax it didnt impress me soundwas not as loud, picture big yes but not Iimpressed by that and 3d another joke hype I saw better 3d effects in other movies that where not fromnot avatar avatrar 3d effects where blurry most of time, I saw ttransformers 1, and 2 on 2d screen in no imax version non 3d version I sat in middle of the of theater and all the way in back of theater sound was that loud it made ring when movie was over.

    Imax, 3d movies at theaters dont impress me on movies I see them for entainment pourpuse as fan of film series not for some crappy big useless effects they put into movie itself 3d, and imax I saw remake of robocop in theaters it was I liked it not as good as original be better if it was rated r, batman trilogy by nolan never was once in 3d after batman begins second and third where made into imax versions all three nolan batman films became successful at boxoffice without use of imax or 3d same with harry potter, twilight series

  8. todd

    I some how knew this would happen, the trailers didn't impressed me and it looked wrong to me as well.

    I found the new Total Recall to be so much better than Arnolds. I find that people bitch too much about any film.

  9. RazrMaxx

    Box Office numbers don't mean crap anymore. People's movie viewing habits have changed dramatically over the past 15+ years with the advent of DVD and now Blu-ray and Netflix. I've literally only been to the theater twice since Dec. 2002 with LotR: TTT. (I've seen Valkyrie and Lincoln since.) There is simply no compelling reason to go to the theaters anymore if you can get nearly the same experience at home without having to pay $20 for a popcorn and coke. The only real reason to go to a theater is perhaps seeing something in IMAX. Other than that, you can get the 3D experience at home (providing you have the necessary equipment), and near IMAX experience if you have a large enough TV or dedicated projection screen.

    Most movie income comes from DVD or Blu-ray sales. Even some of the worst BO bombs do very well on Blu-ray. Even the recent Riddick film that was a bomb at the BO was #1 in Blu-ray sales when it came out in January. So I'd expect ROBOCOP to do very well on Blu-ray. Besides, one of the rumored causes of Robocop's poor BO numbers has to do with the bad weather conditions along the East Coast. It was released in the middle of the Snowmageddon event. No one is going to get out and go to films when they can't even get out to go to work.

  10. orko

    I knew this would be a flop after seeing first photo's of the black suit on superherohype.com if they kept the armor gray it would been much better.

  11. richard casey eggleton

    How is a flick thats qlready two thirds of its budget back, a flop?

  12. Whitey

    No-One gives a Fu(& about domestic box office results….if they relied on America for box office success alone…..then pretty much 8 out of 10 movies would be flops……what a pre negative generating forecast is this ??? You put down movies before they've even been released let alone had their run….SO Wrong…..this movie is already over $150mil figuring in international numbers……which you can thank the rest of the world for !!!! Because if you didn't have the rest of us to bolster box office success no more movies would ever get made to the degree they do based on pathetic domestic negative support……so over it !

  13. Chris

    I am a big fan of the original Robocop movies and I actually liked this new Robocop. Too bad it flopped. Maybe that'll be a lesson to film makers to stop remaking films and come up with something new.

  14. I was somewhat disappointed, there was just a little to much back story for an action feature, especially a remake, the back story was well written it was just to drawn out. I did, however, enjoy the movie as a whole and so did my boys, but they really could have done without the many lulls in the action. If 75% of the movie would have resembled the beginning(non Robocop storyline showing the use of OCP bots and drones), and the end battle with the ED-209's, I think there would be more money in the coffers at this point. You can't fault them with crappy numbers opening weekend as it is a bad time for action features, but I guess they didn't want it going up against the likes of Spiderman??

    All in all, yes I would have still gone and seen, even if I knew it was going to disappoint somewhat, but I would not have spent the extra dough for IMAX.