Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Boss Was a Huge Flop, and Here's Why [Guest Poster: Julia]

It’s a rarity that a Melissa McCarthy movie isn’t hilarious or doesn’t perform well in the box office. Unfortunately, The Boss qualifies for both of these unsavory labels. With limited comedy that wasn’t previously shown, a thin script, and poor critic reviews, The Boss may be McCarthy’s lowest grossing wide-release.


Who thought too much promotion could be a bad thing? After seeing the trailer prior to every film I saw for two straight months, The Boss lost its humor, since most of the comical parts were shown in the trailers. A few other “good” scenes were shown ahead of time in the TV commercials, which were frequently all over every channel. Seeing so much of the film ahead of time ruined the story for me, as well as the jokes.

I never usually think that a lot of promotion is a bad thing. Typically, the more a company advertises, a greater number of people can be reached. This, in turn, can lead to more people wanting to buy a product, or in this case, go see a particular film. For about two months, I couldn’t escape the promotions for The Boss. I got tired of seeing the trailer and commercials, even though I wanted to see the film. Maybe I see too many movies and/or watch too much TV, but it was overkill to watch the same scene being advertised continually.

When I saw The Boss, there were very few scenes that I actually thought were entertaining. Anything that was supposed to be funny was no longer amusing to me. Only two scenes in the entire film were hilarious, with one being the 20-minute end sequence. When comedy is spoiled ahead of time, there isn’t much of a point to actually see the end result, which is exactly what went wrong for The Boss.


An even larger problem with the film is that the story and characters weren’t written well. The story drags for a while and never really gets its footing. The characters were hard to become emotionally attached to, leading to lackluster performances. I can’t say anything bad about McCarthy’s acting because she is always good, even when the film as a whole isn’t. She brings her obscene humor and charm to her character and still manages to give a decent performance.

I was disappointed in two of the other top actors, Kristen Bell and Peter Dinklage. In my original article, “5 Upcoming Films That Feature Your Favorite Television Stars,” I had hoped that The Boss could help launch a better film career for Bell. Her performance wasn’t what I expected, as she simply didn’t act very well. Her character was a bit whiny and didn’t have a character arch. As much as I wanted to like her character, I couldn’t get past the shallowness of the writing. This was the true disappointment of the film because Bell, like McCarthy, is a good actress and deserves more credit for her work. She should have a more successful film career, but it hasn’t quite taken off for her yet. However, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she will give a better performance in the summer comedy Bad Moms.

Dinklage also gave a poor performance as the antagonist of The Boss. His stoic acting didn’t add anything to the overall story. His character was pretty much worthless until the end of the film. Dinklage is another good actor that I expect more from, but he hasn’t been particularly stellar in his last two film roles (Pixels and The Boss).


Some people question whether critics’ opinions actually influence the public’s thoughts on films before they are released. I think the critics’ reviews do still matter, which is definitely a reason why The Jungle Book did so well. If you are a skeptic, then take a look at the ratings of all McCarthy’s films on Rotten Tomatoes: the only two films that have very poor reviews, in which McCarthy played the lead role in a wide-release, were Tammy (23%) and The Boss (19%). These also happen to be the two films that have done significantly worse than her other break-through comedies, according to Box Office Mojo.

The Boss had a successful first weekend release of $23.58 million and a number one finish at the box office. Its second weekend dipped 57.8% to $9.95 million, giving it a third place finish. That’s a pretty steep drop, which was probably due to poor critic reviews and word of mouth. The film has grossed $42.68 million, as of April 20, which is probably a lot less than Universal hoped it would make.

There’s a slim possibility that The Boss could turn itself around and perform better considering that there aren’t any R-rated comedies being released until May 20. However, it’s not very likely considering the user reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB are right around average, as of April 22. Out of 17,695 Rotten Tomatoes user ratings, only 48% of viewers liked the film. Similar results are in at IMDB, where 3,200 user ratings averaged 5.2 stars out of 10 stars.

Don’t expect a huge turn-around for The Boss, but at least we have Ghostbusters to look forward to! Let me know what you thought of The Boss in the comments section below.


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