- Paramount Pictures
It’s looking more and more like Hollywood will want to forget the 2016 summer movie season. Ticket sales are down about 10% from last summer as a slew of blockbusters (“Alice Through the Looking Glass,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows,” “The BFG,” to name a few) have underperformed.
And it looks like the end of the summer isn’t going to be any better.
Early projections suggest that Paramount’s “Ben-Hur” will open with between $14 million and $15 million at the domestic box office, according to The Hollywood Reporter. For a movie that cost just under $100 million to make, according to THR, that’s a horrific prediction for the latest adaptation of Lew Wallace’s novel. The classic 1959 film of the story starring Charlton Heston won 11 Oscars.
Paramount certainly wasn’t looking for that kind of performance for its update. In fact, it seems this time around the movie will have a more uplifting feel as opposed to the 1959 version, in which Heston’s Ben-Hur was fueled by revenge. As director Timur Bekmambetov (“Wanted”) told Business Insider earlier this year, “It’s not a story about revenge but a story about forgiveness.”
With three weeks left before the film opens on August 19, marketing will be focused on faith-based audiences to help the opening weekend, according to THR.
The movie stars Jack Huston (“Boardwalk Empire”) in the title role. Morgan Freeman also stars.