Gamers, all over the world, were anxious with anticipation for Assasin’s Creed the movie. With a rock solid cast, a critically acclaimed director and a supposedly fail-proof storyline, this was to be a new dawn where video game-based films would finally find a place among the Hollywood bigwigs. Expectations were sky high and excitement levels on the very edge of explosion. However, when the movie finally released one could hardly catch a glimpse of the so-called “new dawn”. Instead there were only disappointments all around.
The film adaptation of the highly successful Ubisoft video game opened to a feeble $14.9 million over the four-day Christmas holiday. Even a lead like Michael Fassbender couldn’t save the film from becoming a major dud. To be fair, Fassbender has given everything that an actor of his caliber can but the movie fails in so many aspects to be able to be resurrected by a lone man’s talent.
So here’s exactly why Assasin’s Creed failed to capture the top spot at the box office:
Harsh Critical Reviews
Even before a whole section of moviegoers had had a chance to watch Assasin’s Creed and form an opinion of their own, the critic had already torn the film to bits. A respected newspaper wrote, “I bet playing the game is much more exciting. But then getting Fassbender to slap a coat of Dulux on the wall of his hi-tech prison cell and monitoring the progressive moisture-loss would be more exciting.” Ouch! While the response from the audience wasn’t much to boast about, perhaps less stinging reviews would have pulled in more people to the cinema.
Marketing Gone Wrong
Even though the cast and crew of the movie worked hard to create the hype, Assasin’s Creed wasn’t able to break the curse of video games of failing miserably on box office. The major contribution goes to the mixed message in the first trailer, making it difficult for non AC players to understand the intensity of the movie. Regardless of a strong plot and all-star cast, along with superb animations, the marketing department did little to develop the interest of general audience, who didn’t really know anything about Templars and Assassins. Interestingly, this is the same team that did commendable job with Deadpool’s marketing earlier this year. Atop this, the media coverage was too traditional and uninspiring to be creating any buzz in the entertainment industry.
No Emotional Connection
For any movie to succeed the audience has to find a certain emotional connection; mere visual spectacle just won’t cut it. Even action-packed comic adaptations like X-Men and The Avengers fulfill this criterion! But unfortunately Assasin’s Creed does not deliver any element that impels movie goers to immediately develop a soft corner for characters in the movie. To cite another example, much of the success of Deadpool came from the fondness for the main character, portrayed by Ryan Reynolds, even though the unlikely superhero was supposed to be irreverent and libellous. This emotional bond is wholly missing from Assasin’s Creed which makes it really hard for audience to like the movie or connect with it on any level.
The 12A certificate
Many people have complained about the 12A certificate of the film arguing that the plot including action sequences have failed to reach their full potential because of this reason. Compare this again to Deadpool, the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time, where there was all the liberty in the world for a free flowing script.
Maybe video-games can’t ever translate into good movies. May be they all will suffer the same fate. But maybe one day there will be a break out and one of the game adaptations will become a massive success that inspires a new movement. While big budget and impeccable actors is a necessity, films that can create a solid experience can stand the test of time. For now, it’s just a pipe dream, but you never know when that becomes a reality.