“This morning sees yet another high-profile trailer drop, this one presumably timed to mostly play in front of prints for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice next week. As I discussed a couple of weeks ago, Dawn of Justice is one of twenty movies that WB is releasing in 2016. And of those, almost half (Midnight Special, The Nice Guys, etc.) are outright original films. And one of those isCentral Intelligence, an action comedy starring the seemingly unbeatable duo of Kevin Hartand Dwayne Johnson. Assuming it does even moderately healthy business, it has a chance of being the year’s biggest live-action original movie (or close to it).
At least regarding presumed budget, I cannot say for certain if it’s the third-biggest “not based on anything” live action entry after Gods of Egypt and the $90 million Passengers. I don’t have budgetary information. The film looks polished without looking insanely expensive, so maybe they brought this one in under $40m. But concerning the would-be releases in 2016, the vast majority of the films expected to do good-to-great business this year are sequels, franchise revamps, remakes, and animated films.
That’s not unusual, as that’s been par for the course for the last ten years. But what is interesting is how few live-action original films of anything above “cheap horror/cheap-ish comedy” scale we’re seeing this year in the live-action arena. The good news is that we’re getting a lot of those this year, like The Bossand The Witch. But this would-be action comedy (being sold as a light riff on Real Men) may end up being, by default, one of the biggest original live-action hits of the year.
Maybe the Jennifer Lawrence/Chris Pratt sci-fi drama Passengers will prove the existence of modern day movie stars outside of the comedy world. Maybe Mad Money will become a water cooler sensation. All of these scenarios would be good news, regardless of how well the Johnson/Hart movie performs.
Or heck, maybe Central Intelligence will disappoint. But presuming this film does anything close to even Hercules business worldwide ($244 million) and/or Ride Alongbusiness in the states ($134 million), it will probably end the year as one of the biggest not-based-on-anything live-action movies of the year…”