Why Blackhat Was Mostly Ignored By Audiences

Why Blackhat Was Mostly Ignored By Audiences

In  January 2015, long-time director Michael Mann came out with his latest feature, Blackhat, featuring Chris Hemsworth (The Cabin in the Woods, Thor), Wei Tang (Monster Hunt, Long Day’s Journey Into Night), and Viola Davis (The Help, The Suicide Squad); The film centers around a federal agent getting help from convicted hacker Nick Hathaway, after a Hong Kong nuclear plant and the Mercantile Trade in Chicago are hacked by unknown perpetrators. In years past, January was considered a month where really bad films were released; however, Michael Mann has an impressive resume, with some of his big movies being Collateral, Heat, and Manhunter. Unfortunately, Blackhat fell into that January perception, scoring an abysmal 32% on rotten tomatoes despite the high level of talent in front and behind the camera. What’s worse, Blackhat bombed financially, as Legendary Pictures reportedly lost nearly $90 million on the expensive film. Overall, Blackhat only made about $20 million worldwide. So, what happened? As previously stated, this movie was packed with talent and Michael Mann is considered one of the best filmmakers in the business. Let’s dive deeper into why the 2015 feature failed to connect with audiences at the box office.

Chris Hemsworth Is Not Much Of A Box Office Draw

There’s no denying that Chris Hemsworth is an A-list star. His contributions to the Marvel cinematic universe certainly sky rocketed his career; however, once you strip away Hemsworth’s name in Marvel and Star Trek, it’s apparent that he’s not much of a box office draw. His highest drawing film outside of his franchise movies is Snow White and The Huntsman, making nearly $400 million worldwide. However, Hemsworth isn’t the lead here and part of that success can be contributed to the fact that Snow White is an popular intellectual property. When the A-lister took over as the lead in Huntsman: Winter’s War, it only made back $165 million worldwide. Hemsworth’s filmography is pretty solid, with The Cabin in the Woods, Rush, and Bad Times at the El Royale being some of his best work. However, the Men in Black, Ghostbusters, and Red Dawn reboots also flopped hard. As to why Hemsworth’s Marvel star power isn’t rubbing off on his other projects, it’s actually a mystery. Hemsworth is generally liked as a public figure and he’s certainly proved his worth as an actor. However, it’s been noted by critics and audiences that Hemsworth felt miscast as the lead in Blackhat. The actor does indeed give it his all in the role, but Hemsworth being a hacker never feels natural.

Michael Mann Isn’t Much Of A Draw Either

The only feature in Mann’s filmography that has been a smashing success is 2004’s Collateral. Despite most of his movies being critical darlings, Mann hasn’t really built up an audience like Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino, or The Coen Brothers. The veteran filmmaker has a distinct style and voice that definitely separates himself from other directors; however, his movies haven’t been the financial kings that they should be. It’s strange because Mann’s movies are perfect for mainstream audiences. The stunning imagery, strong characterization, and the level of coolness that his movies ooze wins over the crowds more often than not. Mann is likely in the same situation as Edgar Wright, he probably needs to do some type of franchise film to really win over audiences. This worked for Nolan, Taika Waititi, and The Russo Brothers. Of course, this method isn’t a sure fire guarantee of increased popularity, but given Mann’s lack of film presence in the director’s chair for the last decade, that isn’t too bad of an idea.

There Wasn’t Much Buzz For Blackhat

Advertising was not the issue for Blackhat. Legendary Pictures generally believed that this film would be a hit and its easy to see why. The feature had two top-level talents (Hemsworth and Davis) and a director with more hits than misses. The studio spent over $20.4 million in advertising this film; however, the movie never resonated with audiences. Part of it is the fact that audiences didn’t buy Hemsworth in the lead role as a hacker. The other part was American Sniper was a hot commodity; The Academy Award nominated picture shattered January records at the time, making an astounding $105 million on its opening weekend. While the feature did have its fair share of controversy, it still wasn’t enough to slow down its box office success. Blackhat and American Sniper aren’t in the same genre, but both films were going after the same demographics. With adults mostly being distracted by American Sniper, and Taken 3, The Wedding Ringer, and Paddington having some success in their own demographic, Blackhat wasn’t able to truly find an audience. The critical reception surely didn’t help the movie’s cause either.

Start a Discussion

Main Heading Goes Here
Sub Heading Goes Here
No, thank you. I do not want.
100% secure your website.