Movie 43 Flameout: Why Huge Stars (Halle Berry! Kate Winslet! Hugh Jackman!) Couldn't Save It

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Emma Stone, Movie 43
Emma Stone, Movie 43

There were so many A-listers in this Movie 43 thing, so why did it flop? And don't say "because it was bad," because Valentine's Day was bad too.
—Waterloo Father X, via Twitter

I actually kinda liked Valentine's Day, but we digress.

Yep, Movie 43 disgusted critics, and it also failed to make ordinary folk whip out their wallets.

But you're right: Movie 43, which also starred Gerard Butler, Halle Berry and a bowl of guacamole, Seth McFarlane, Kate Winslet, Uma Thurman, Elizabeth Banks and Richard Gere, and many others, did not flop because of mere badness.

In fact, in a way, you can blame the one person who wasn't in the movie: Will Ferrell.

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In case you don't know what Movie 43 is, it's actually a bunch of little vignettes put together—sorta like Valentine's Day.

A screenwriter manically pitches a bunch of ideas to a movie executive, and we see each of those ideas as short stories. (Overseas, the structure of the film is different; a bunch of kids seek out the most banned flick in the world—sounds better, maybe?)

And therein lies the movie's biggest fault, says box office analyst Jeff Bock of Exhibitor Relations explain.

"[Movie 43 studio] Relativity took a pretty big risk releasing a compilation comedy in wide release, especially one aimed at the YouTube generation," Bock points out. "As everyone knows, short comedies are readily available for free on Web sites like Funny or Die.

"Asking people to pay for that sort of content—no matter how big the stars—is sort of like pretending the Internet doesn't exist."

And, as we know, Ferrell is a co-founder of Funny or Die, you get it.

Tweet us with your movie questions!

Gerard Butler, Movie 43 Relativity Media

All that said, just because the film is a flop, having brought in only $5 million so far, don't write it off as a failure.

"Although it seems like a massive bomb, the film only cost $6 million, so Relatively will probably make a profit on this since they hold worldwide rights," Bock reveals. "In fact the film already made $8.5 million in Russia...further proof that comedy just doesn't translate."

Is that a joke? If so, it's a lot funnier than anything in Movie 43.

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Need a cure for Movie 43? How about the best movies of Oscar season?



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