Monday, April 1, 2013

Why Dredd failed at the box office – Part II

Pick a Dredd, any Dredd (just don't pick the one on the right).
You're probably pretty bored of me going on and on about last year's reboot of Judge Dredd (actually, it's not really a re-boot, more of a 'let's get it right this time'-boot). I thought Dredd 3D was a pretty awesome film and, naturally, I placed a pre-order for the DVD via Amazon as soon as I was able.

Now, like most of the fans I was pretty gutted that Dredd hardly made a dent on the cinema takings in the the US – a crucial proving ground for any possible sequels. I loved Dredd so much I wanted to see more of Urban playing the future lawman but chances are it will never happen. Most of America didn't bother going to see it because, well, they couldn't be bothered.

It got me wondering, though.

One of the main reason people give for Dredd's under performance is the lack of decent marketing in the States.

Dredd's distributor in the US was Lionsgate films, which also happened to be promoting The Expendables 2 at about the same time.

The Expendables was Sylvester Stallone's project ... Sylvester Stallone was in the 1995 version of Judge Dredd ... Dredd bombed at the box office.


Just imagine if Dredd 3D has been a huge success. Surely it would have dented Stallone's Hollywood-sized ego at least a bit – especially as the vast majority of people slate his camp portrayal of Mega City One's number one lawman.

I just wonder if the Italian Stallion pulled a few strings behind the scenes and scared the marketing guys at Lionsgate into holding back on any real publicity for Dredd 3D stateside. Apparently, some showings of Dredd were playing to empty theatres which is bonkers (given that, in the UK it was no. 1 for about two weeks).
Ah am dur luuaaawww!
Admittedly, there is the lack of awareness of Dredd in America (which I point out here)... but with the right kind of campaign and a few clever stunts, I'm sure more of an impact could have been made. I mean, Dredd starred the guy who played 'Bones' in Star Trek so surely there would have been some interest?

As recently reported, it looks like a Dredd sequel will definitely not happen (at least for the next ten or fifteen years) but the latest incarnation featuring Karl Urban has inspired a new generation of Dredd followers to make their own fan-films, which can only be a good thing.

Let's hope we'll see a lot more of Dredd on screen (even if it is only the small one) in years to come.

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