It might be a bedtime classic in the UK, but Steven Spielberg’s new, big-budget take on Roald Dahl’s ‘The BFG’ has flopped in the States.
Over the Independence Day weekend, it’s made a dismal $19.6 million (£14.7 million).
It’s what the the big-eared giant, dream-catching himself might call a catasterous box office disastrophe.
To put into context, 'Finding Dory’ made $42 million (£31.6 million) over the weekend, a movie which is on its third week of release and seemingly showing no signs of slowing down.
'The BFG’ landed in fourth place in the US top 10, behind 'Dory’, 'The Legend of Tarzan’ ($38 million), and 'The Purge: Election Year’ ($30 million).
It means it’s the directors lowest-grossing movie since 'Munich’ in 2005 (his biggest bomb was the star-studded comedy ‘1941′, released in 1979).
Starring Spielberg’s current actor crush Mark Rylance as the Giant, and newcomer Ruby Barnhill as Sophie, it received decent reviews on its premiere in Cannes.
But why it’s failed to capture the imagination of the young US audience might be rather fundamental.
Analyst Jeff Bock told The Hollywood Reporter: “These days, Pixar, Minions and Disney’s fairy tale adaptations rule the box-office roost in terms of kids fare.
“The BFG has always been a recognizable children’s book, but not a classic in the U.S.”
Plus, he adds that this is the first Spielberg movie aimed at kids since 'Hook’, which was all of 25 years ago.
Since then, Spielberg has increasingly moved away from family movies in favour of historical epics.
However, this was something of a passion project for the director, along with ‘Star Wars’ producer Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall, who had worked on making a movie of the book since the 90s.
It was also the last screenplay by the late Melissa Mathison, who penned ‘E.T.’ the Extra-Terrestrial’.
It’s thought that the movie, which cost $140 million, will top out in the US around the $60 million mark, though it should do better in Europe and around the world.
But so far, worldwide, it’s made just $23 million (£17.3 million).
‘The BFG’ opens in the UK on July 22.
Image credits: Disney