I think this publicity still tells you everything you need to know about the Inhumans. Everyone knows Lockjaw is cute, and this pandering shot of him, floppy tongued and welcoming eyed, entreats you to love him, LOVE him, just give him a chance, while the awful CGI looks like something your uncle Fred who got a new iPad Pro for his birthday did while experimenting with Sketch Club.
In an unusually shade-filled report, The Hollywood Report paints a picture of just how bad Inhuman’s weekend box office was: bad. As expected. Or as they charitably put it: “underwhelms.”
The straight-to-series is produced in partnership with Imax and, in a groundbreaking deal, launched this weekend in 676 Imax theaters around the globe, grossing an estimated $2.6 million. That included an underwhelming $1.5 million from 393 theaters in North America. (To be clear, Inhumans is a Marvel TV show and is not connected to Marvel Studios, home of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies.)
Adding slightly more salt to the Inhumans wound, the comic book drama was beat by a special 40th anniversary release of Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which earned $2.6 million from 901 locations.
ZINGGGG! Better but some ice on that burn. The piece also reveals some behind the scenes – in a lady or the tiger scenario, Marvel had to choose between making Medusa’s wig somehow less frightening or Lockjaw’s continued appearance, and the hair had to win out. Even the embarrassing CGI shown below was too costly for this Marvel TV production:
Sources tell THR that the eight-episode series was produced over three months in Hawaii and underwent a number of reshoots. Among them was an estimated $100,000 to fix the visual effects for the wig worn by Swan’s Medusa, who has the ability to move and control her hair the way most people use their hands and fingers. (Feature director Roel Reine, who helmed both Imax episodes, noted that the first trailer for Inhumans may have been released too early, as it featured unfinished VFX, including Medusa’s hair.) Meanwhile, some insiders say Lockjaw eventually disappears from the story because the production couldn’t afford the continued cost to deliver the huge canine.
Inhumans will debut on ABC later this month in an EXPANDED 84 minute first episode with extra footage for masochists. Given a timeslot of death on Friday nights, the future looks grim for the show if you have the ability to read between the lines a little, as its hopes for survival are pinned on DVR viewing:
“Marvel understands just as well as we do how loyal that SHIELD and the Marvel audience is,” says Andy Kubitz, executive vp program planning and scheduling at ABC. “For the ability to move a show from one day to another, we have more confidence that that core audience — those very faithful watchers of Marvel product — will travel with it. The great thing about Friday night for these shows is it gives three days of downtime for a lot of these younger viewers to be able to catch up on it. You’ve got Saturday and Sunday viewing that will be able to be counted into our C3 to help us monetize it.”
To make matters worse, Inhumans currently stands at 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. As there are only 11 reviews it likely won’t claim the all time lowest rating crown, sadly.
But in a sea of pretty bad news for Inhumans, there’s some ray of hope as this headline reveals:
Ikwuakor plays Gorgon on Inhumans. So for all you Coloradians you can see your local man made good on the TV! And maybe start preparing the welcome home signs now, because this may be a very short gig.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.