It’s hard to believe that Red Tails, the long-awaited new film from George Lucas, already hit theaters a month ago.
Of course you couldn’t have expected it to do Star Wars level business, but did the movie actually flop at the box office? It didn’t come in at #1 on opening weekend, but supposedly did much better business than many expected.
Red Tails also didn’t receive positive reviews overall, but both Spike Lee and Tyler Perry gave it the thumbs up. Plus, there was hope a lot of people would come out and support the film, as Lucas had warned that if Red Tails didn’t succeed, it would mean trouble for African American movies in the future.
Although it’s doubtful that African American cinema will collapse as a result of Red Tails failing, according to Box Office Mojo, Red Tails has made $47 million in the States, which means it still hasn’t recouped its $58 million budget.
It used to be a movie had to earn back twice its costs to recoup, but with budgets so high these days, a movie may have to earn back even more to break even.
Meanwhile, one writer at IndieWire weighed in on why he felt the movie didn’t do well. “To put it into a few words, the film sucks… big time. What could have been a truly important and inspiring film has been trivialized by the heavy hand of George Lucas into an inconsequential, juvenile, badly acted film with laughable dialogue aimed at 12 year olds.”
Other reasons IndieWire felt the movie didn’t fly includes, “No star power,” and “tough competition,” although I wouldn’t consider the third tired entry in the Underworld series to be that tough to go up against.
If Red Tails winds up Lucas’s last movie, it still may not be an unfortunate ending to his career, because many could be waiting to see it on DVD, Blu-Ray and VOD, and maybe Lucas can keep tinkering with it, and bring it back out in a 3D conversion in the future like he’s doing with the Star Wars series.