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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:

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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. 

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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.

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But in a sea of pretty bad news for Inhumans, there’s some ray of hope as this headline reveals:

Colorado’s Eme Ikwuakor to star in ‘Marvel’s Inhumans’ this fall on Denver7

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.

9 COMMENTS

  1. But here’s my question: will “Inhumans” be such a mistake that it will finally cause Disney to take MarvelTV away from Marvel Comics and hand it to Marvel Studios? You know someone there is probably not happy that they brought this disaster to theaters, and essentially made Marvel’s first theatrical “bomb”.

  2. In the 90’s TV show M.A.N.T.I.S. the final episode killed off the title character with a cost effective invisible dinosaur (not joking!)

    See INHUMANS found a similar solution to cut costs of Medusa’s hair living hair effects…by shaving it off completely! (guessing it’ll be back just in time for the final episode)

  3. “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.”

    If anyone can draw that well experimenting with an iPad, they should be a pro artist.

  4. I saw it for free Saturday.
    Why Imax? I don’t know… it didn’t have the cinematic OOMPH of an Imax movie. (It didn’t help that it was on a “LieMAX” screen.)
    Better to have scheduled one screening via Fathom Events, add some exclusive swag (See: Inside Out), and maybe pad the 90 minute screening with a live Q&A.
    (Is IMAX concerned about Fathom Events “must see” marketing? I’d say so, given the success of Doctor Who screenings worldwide.)

    How does this screening compare to Game of Thrones’ IMAX screening in 2015?
    (It was the success of that screening that inspired IMAX to fund the first two episodes of Inhumans.)

    Overall, I enjoyed it. The costume design is very faithful, and there’s a lot of storylines set in motion.
    I’m not an avid TV watcher, but I’d probably binge-watch the eight episodes off a DVD or cable marathon.

    As for ABC’s Friday? Once Upon a Time (Disney fans), Inhumans (Marvel fans), and 20/20. What replaces Inhumans in December? I suspect ABC pushes OUaT to 9/8, and fills the 8/7 slot with Holiday specials. Then, it’s Midseason season in January…

  5. To review:
    IMAX pays Marvel to produce the first two episodes, so that IMAX can screen the episodes as a series premiere, filling their calendar during a period devoid of blockbuster new releases.
    (There’s a two-month gap between Dunkirk 7/27 and Ninjago 9/22.)

    IMAX gets to promote a “special event”, adding luster to their brand.
    That event also brings in more people than a normal Labor Day weekend, when many people aren’t watching movies.

    Marvel gets to promote a “special event”, engaging fans in another dead period (Labor Day weekend). The weekend also is a slow news period, so Marvel will get better coverage than if it had premiered at NYCC.

    Not bad, considering.

  6. “Not bad, considering.”

    Unless, you know, the product sucks and makes the audience less likely to watch the show on TV or attend future IMAX special events.

    Mike

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