Dec 15, 2011
Hugo: the kids are not alright
Hugo dribbles on at the box office: $34 million at the last count. On its current course it should take about $50 million — a terrible figure for a kid's film costing $170 million, not an out-and-out bomb but perilously close. To give you some idea of figures for comparable films, the first Narnia film took $290, Bridge to Terebithia took $82 million, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory $206 million, Lemony Snicket $118 million, Jumanji $100 million, Toy Story $191 million. The critics love Scorsese's film. Scorsese fans are in seventh heaven. But the kids aren't buying. And yet Scorsese's sluggish marvel trundles through awards season, nobody says a word, and the critics continue to blame audiences for being too "mainstream" ("may be too esoteric for mainstream audiences", "may be an obstacle for mainstream acceptance" and so on). What on earth are they talking about? It's not Taxi Driver! It's a $170 million Christmas kid's movie in 3-D. I guess that's the problem with small children — too mainstream in their tastes. Bourgeois! Phillistines!