Thursday, December 20, 2012

Why Killing them Softly flopped.

The much anticipated crime-drama "Killing Them Softly" came out at the end of November and while critics were supportive of the film, it bombed with moviegoers.  It made just $7 Million on its opening weekend, tying it for 6th that week.  Did the movie just not resound with viewers, was the story poorly told, or was it a victim of bad timing?  Today we are going to take a look at a few reasons why "Killing Them Softly" bombed with viewers.

Critics Don't Have the Same Clout They Once Did

Brad Pitt's latest film had a ton of critical clout, which in the past would guarantee that it would have at least an average performance in theaters.  However, in recent years viewers have largely taken critical reviews with a grain of salt and critical reviews are now used to get the word out on lesser known films.  They can still help to bury weakly performing films, but saving a below-average flick like "Killing Them Softly" is beyond the modern critic's ability.

Some Expect Something Else

This movie was touted by some to be a poker themed film when it reality it has very little to do with the game.   Films such as the "card counting movie 21" resounded with movie and gambling fans as it looked deeper into the subculture of gambling.  Those going to the theater expecting a poker themed movie were certainly disappointed to find that the film had little to do with the actual game.

Genre Played Out?

Some feel that the movie's genre has been largely played out.  By that we mean the genre of violent, bloody comedic films.  In the past, films like "Pulp Fiction" were ones that we could not get enough of but nowadays these films have become somewhat commonplace and the desire for viewers to attend them has seemed to fall by the wayside.

Pitt's Star Power Waning

While putting Brad Pitt's name on a film has been enough to save a somewhat mediocre film in the past, see "Babel" as an example, one has to think that his drawing power just isn't what it was in the past.  At the same time, some feel that his being in the film may have hurt it.  Viewers may have went into the film expecting something like the Ocean's franchise but instead got "Killing Them Softly".

Worst Timing Ever

The only way that the timing of this film's release could have been worse is if it were going head-to-head with something connected with Marvel or the Star Wars franchise.  This film had to compete with "Breaking Dawn:Part 2", "SkyFall", "Rise of the Guardians", "Lincoln", and "Life of Pi".

To make things worse, it tied for 6th with "Wreck-It Ralph", and the movie had already been out 5 weeks.  The film had already been pushed back once, and maybe they should have pushed it back for another month.

If there is any consolation to the lack of success of "Killing Them Softly", it is that it only cost $15 Million to make the film.  Perhaps the film will pick up fans once it hits DVD and Blue-Ray.  For now though, it will have to suffer the stigma of being one of 2012's Hollywood flops.


  1. Very good points, especially the one about timing. I could go see this one in theaters but there is just such a bunch of films out right now that should be seen on big screen, I'll wait for Killing Them Softly on DVD.

  2. I think it was timing as well as marketing. I think it was presented as something that was a crime thriller but the result was something extremely different.

    1. That is a good point. The trailer was very misleading