The saga of Geostorm was a rough one. The Gerard Butler-helmed ecological disaster thriller was originally supposed to be released almost two years ago, but the film’s obvious shoddy quality got that date pushed back repeatedly. An additional $15 million in reshoots ballooned the film’s budget to an unrealistically large $120 million; far more than most non-franchise films these days. In short, Geostorm was pretty much set to be a financial disaster from the beginning, and now the prophecy has come to pass.
In its first weekend of release, Geostorm grossed a piddly $14.7 million in domestic box office. That’s a horrible number for the Warner Bros.-Skydance feature, made only slightly less terrible by the fact that it made a bit more worldwide—$66.8 million in total, including the U.S. money. But these numbers make it clear that Geostorm will be taking a loss, and a big one at that. Considering the fact that Geostorm will likely need to make more than $300 million worldwide to hit its break even point, we’re looking at a potential loss of $100 million or more.
It certainly didn’t help that the film was savaged with glee by both critics and audiences, earning some of the most hilariously scathing reviews in recent memory. English critic Mark Kermode, not exactly known for holding back in his reviewing style, was practically beyond words, calling Geostorm the most stupid film he’s ever seen. Impressive accolades, indeed. The film stars Butler as an engineer who is tasked with saving the world after a weather-controlling satellite system goes on the fritz, triggering climate disasters.
Believe it or not, despite all that, Geostorm is only the second biggest flop in 2017 for Warner Bros, who also released the disaster that was King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. It’s also one of five films with a $100 million-plus budget to take a loss at the box office this year, being preceded by Monster Trucks, Ghost in the Shell, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. All of these factors contributed to sinking summer box office numbers, which were at record lows in 2017.
Still, Warner Brothers isn’t in any real trouble here, because the failure of Geostorm is offset by the studio’s other big successes this year. Indeed, this has been an unusually up-and-down year for the studio, which also produced some of the year’s biggest hits: Wonder Woman, Dunkirk, Annabelle: Creation and the unstoppable box office juggernaut that is Stephen King’s It. As a result, it’s probably too much to ask that they learn anything from Geostorm’s failure—maybe a lesson along the lines of “leave movie concepts this stupid to The Asylum in the future.”