Ron Howard notches up fourth flop in a row with Inferno

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Howard… Inferno hasn’t set US box office alight – Credit: Britta Pedersen

Things aren’t going too well for ‘Inferno’ in the US, the latest in the adaptations of Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon novels, which started with ‘The Da Vinci Code’ back in 2006.

That movie made a very handsome indeed $758 million (about £618 million).

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But so far ‘Inferno’, which finds Tom Hanks teamed up with ‘Rogue One’ star Felicity Jones, has made only $15 million (£12.2 million) in its first three days at the cinema in the US.

To add some context, it was beaten at the box office by Tyler Perry’s low budget spoof ‘Boo! A Madea Halloween’, which pipped it to the number one slot.

“We are proud of Ron’s film, and it’s clear from the numbers we’re seeing around the world that the film is striking a chord with global audiences,” Josh Greenstein, Sony’s president of worldwide marketing and distribution told the New York Times.

(Credit: Sony)

Though it’s done better business abroad, making $147 million (£120 million), it’s still some considerable distance from ‘The Da Vinci Code’s success, and signals the fourth film in a row to flop at home for Ron Howard.

Though you’d presume the whole ‘Happy Days’ business would make him something of a national treasure, domestic audiences have been ignoring his films in droves, not gifting him a hit since ‘Angels & Demons’ in 2009.

Prior to ‘Inferno’ was ‘In The Heart of the Sea’, the ambitious story which took up the events that inspired Herman Melville to write ‘Moby Dick’.

Despite a solid cast including Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy and Brendan Gleeson, it bombed disastrously, not only in the US, but everywhere else too, making $93 million back from its $100 million budget.

(Credit: Warner Bros)

‘Rush’ in 2013, the James Hunt vs Niki Lauda formula one movie, also starring Hemsworth, also flopped, making $90.2 million, not enough to provide Universal Pictures with a return after advertising and marketing.

Then there was ‘The Dilemma’, an unloved comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Kevin James, which made $69.7 million. But cost $70 million.

You could also count his Beatles documentary ‘The Beatles: Eight Days a Week’ from earlier this year as a box office disappointment too, having made just $8.2 million.

His documentary with Jay-Z, ‘Made In America’, can’t have been a significant money-spinner either.

Let’s hope ‘The Dark Tower’, the Stephen King adaptation featuring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey due out next year, and which Howard is producing, brings home the bacon.