The Wachowski brother’s latest film Speed Racer, based on the 1960s cartoon show of the same name, opened in second place at the box office this weekend but brought in low numbers and was beat out by Iron Man, which took the number one spot for the second week in a row with $50.5 million.
What the commentators said
“The summer box office season has seen its first crash,” said Joel Ryan in an E! Online blog. Speed Racer cost around $100 million to make but brought in just $20.2 million on its opening weekend. There’s even speculation that it “will struggle to get to $50 million domestically by the time it’s run is done.” It’s not really surprising: The trailers for the movie “didn’t click” and “the reviews weren’t good.”
“Did anyone involved take the time to have an actual thought—even just one—before investing time, care and money into this thing?” said Stephanie Zacharek in Salon. “Who is this movie for,” aside from “parents who want to cultivate ADD in their kids?” Speed Racer is “is bankrupt in terms of everything but color,” and it’s “so arrogant about its so-called stylishness and energy that it feels like punishment.”
Actually, it’s surprising that Speed Racer didn’t do better, said Richard Corliss in Time.com, because it has something in common with Iron Man. Both movies share the “notion of self-made heroism” and feature “the edifying display of people taking control of their own destinies by building beautiful, useful machines.” And “if you watch the film overwhelmed by the assault of seductive visual information and wonder what you’re seeing, here’s the happy answer: the future of movies.”