The weekend saw "Prisoners" effortlessly swim past "Battle of the Year" at the box office.
“Battle of the Year,” a 3-D dance movie starring Chris Brown, got beaten in the box office charts by an action flick starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal? Pardon us, while we go look for the “You don’t say!” t-shirts. “Prisoners” came out of the weekend as the undisputed box office champion, largely due to the combined star power of Jackman and Gyllenhaal, but also to the fact that in the third week of the fall season, there was hardly anything better on offer, won “Prisoners” an easy victory with a $21.4 million opening weekend while “Battle” trailed all the way at the bottom with a measly $5 million.
What could have gone wrong?
So how exactly did "Battle" manage to do so poorly? Yes, the budget may have been tight – just $20 million – but a dance film doesn’t really require complex CGI or sweeping landscapes to work. And we have, of course known plenty of dance movies to become instant cult hits ("Step Up", "Bring It On") or even live on in cinema history ("Dirty Dancing".) Add to that Brown’s $13 million Twitter followers (aka an easily accessible market segment) and there seems to be no possible explanation for the movie barely cracking the top five in an already barren film landscape. Except maybe… it wasn’t all that good?
That seems the only likely cause, especially considering that the dance flick is currently averaging a 6% approval rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes with no positive reviews. And while it isn’t unheard of for the critics and the audience to judge a movie differently, it looks like by now, moviegoers have finally wizened up and wisely decided to skip this one.