David O. Russell is one of those directors that Hollywood stars are lining up to see. In the early 2010s, he had a sensational run with The Fighter, Silver Linings and American Hustle, earning three Oscar nominations as director and two as screenwriter. All three films also grossed at least five times their production budget at the box office. And even if Russell’s last directorial effort “Joy” from 2015 fell far short of expectations both critically and financially, few would have expected that his comeback after seven years would turn out to be a disastrous flop. But wrong thought: “Amsterdam’ received shockingly poor reviews and was massively disappointed at the box office when it was released in the US.
“Amsterdam” is about the soldiers Burt (Christian Bale) and Harold (John David Washington) as well as the nurse Valerie (Margot Robbie), who meet in a military hospital during the First World War, become best friends and some time later become involved in a criminal case where they are suspected of the crime, whereupon they embark on a search for the truth.
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In addition to the three top stars already mentioned, Robert De Niro (“The Godfather II”), Chris Rock (“Fargo”), Anya Taylor-Joy (“The Queen’s Gambit”), Zoe Saldana (“Guardians Of The Galaxy”) and Mike also play Myers (“Austin Powers”), Michael Shannon (“Bullet Train”), Timothy Olyphant (“The Mandalorian’), Rami Malek (‘No Time To Die’), and pop star Taylor Swift (‘Cats’) in ‘Amsterdam” With. Yet the many well-known names are apparently not even remotely sufficient to attract enough people to the cinemas and recoup the high costs.
It made just $6.5 million at the North American box office in its first weekend. A bad sign, because the production of “Amsterdam’ swallowed up 80 million dollars!
The US industry magazine calculates together with the marketing expenses and financial expenses for various secondary exploitations deadline with a total cost of approximately $164 million. This contrasts with a forecast total profit (i.e. cinema, home cinema, TV and streaming revenues) of only 67 million. The total loss would be $97 million – and that’s still an optimistic estimate! So it could well be more than 100 million dollars flying out the window…
Roughly speaking, the fact that a film flops is always due to two mutually dependent factors: too high costs and too little profit. In fact, “Amsterdam’ was damn expensive for a film of its kind. With its budget of 80 million, it cost twice as much as “American Hustle”.
Noisy deadline The main reason for the high budget is a sudden change in the production location from Boston to Los Angeles, which had to be carried out due to the corona pandemic. But even with the associated expenses, “Amsterdam’ had a fair chance of making a sizeable profit. “American Hustle” eventually grossed over 250 million.
So the problem is also on the profit side and the fact that so few moviegoers are interested in the historical comedy is probably due to the simplest possible reason: “Amsterdam“ is probably simply not a film worth seeing, at least if you take the disappointing audience feedback and the reviews that have since appeared as a benchmark.
Noisy Rotten Tomatoes Just 33 percent of the critics have “Amsterdam“ positively rated – a catastrophic value for a film that should actually get involved in the awards season. The audience ratings Rotten Tomatoes (60 percent) or at the IMDB (6.2 out of 10) are also just mediocre.
It will still be a few weeks before we in Germany can form our own opinion. “Amsterdam“ will be released in German cinemas on November 3, 2022.
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