The BFG Is Spielberg's Biggest Flop Since 1979
At least that's how it's shaping up for the famous director
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2016 6:30 PM CDT
"The BFG" will likely be Steven Spielberg's biggest flop in 37 years.   (Disney via AP)

(Newser) – With a $140 million budget and an opening weekend take of only $24 million, The BFG is poised to be Steven Spielberg's biggest flop in 37 years, Rolling Stone reports. That's left people wondering if the man who essentially invented the summer blockbuster with Jaws has lost his summertime feeling. Here's what some of the experts are saying:

  • Slash Film argues you can't blame Spielberg for the failure, as he's far from the first director to flop when adapting a story by Roald Dahl. In fact, only one film based on a Dahl book—Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory—has made more than $34 million in US theaters.
  • The Wrap has a list of seven reasons The BFG bombed, from "Roald Dahl is no JK Rowling" to a lack of stars and a confusing title.
  • The BFG might be proof it's time for Spielberg to step away from family films, according to the Hollywood Reporter, which points out the director hasn't had a hit family film since Hook a quarter of a century ago. He's had better luck with recent grown-up fare like Lincoln and Bridge of Spies.
  • The Wall Street Journal details Spielberg's history of being able to "bounce back" after cinematic disappointments, something he should have a good chance of doing with his next three films currently including a historical drama, a science-fiction movie based on a popular book, and an Indiana Jones sequel.
  • But the "reason this stings" is because every other time Spielberg disappointed at the box office, it was with a "good for you" film, according to Forbes. Whereas The BFG was intended as a money-maker for the studio.
  • Finally, Movie Pilot argues that the failure of The BFG shouldn't count against any future Spielberg or Dahl movies. "The main issue of the movie is more about being unremarkable than disastrous.”