Why did the Elton John biopic bomb?

jammybastard

"I'm losing my edge, but I was there..."
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5,883
“Rocketman” was much better than BoRap IMHO.

BoRap = a serviceable but very sanitized version of the Queen/Mercury story. “Behind the Music” in film form. If you are a long time fan you already know it all and you know why Brian and Roger went this way: to keep the Queen brand alive & playing arenas worldwide instead of casinos in the USA.

“Rocketman” - incredibly creative, interpretive telling of Elton John’s story.
Honestly this is what a biopic looks like when the artist doesnt give a flying *f* about protecting a “legacy” or a “brand” and instead gives the filmmakers complete creative license to tell a story
that goes beyond the usual “Behind the Music” format.
It really captures the music, fashion, drugs, sex, etc...of the 60s through the 80s.
The musical numbers are excellent and are there represent what was in his imagination at the time.
One other thing...this movie is very accurate about the music business, how it works, and how the artist comes to be seen as a commodity by their management, label, etc...to be exploited to make money from no matter the effect on their health.

TL;DR -
BoRap is a safe, simple movie that tells a good story. The film equivalent of WonderBread, filling but empty.
Rocketman is a incredibly entertaining and challenging movie that tells a “warts and all” story through various means. The film equiv of 7 grain bread, filling and full of different tastes.
 

Tidbit

Member
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1,051
Well, Art Buchwald had been in the writing and publishing business for a few decades before his court case, so...
Then again, maybe the haul is still coming. May noted the massive team it takes to assemble a movie—which means other people probably get paid first. “There’s so many people, of course. People don’t realize that will take pieces off the top,” he said.

Representatives for Queen told Vanity Fair the band had no further comment. But though May does not say this in the interview, it seems fair to assume that the members of Queen will eventually make money from the film? Largely because it uses their music, and they were the ones who shepherded it into existence?

“It was a long labor of love, 12 years in development,” May noted in the interview. “We thought it would do well . . . we didn’t realize it would do that well. It’s incredible.”

It’s unclear how much the band will make once (if?) their cut starts rolling in.
There have, however, already been reports that ousted director Bryan Singer might earn up to $40 million for his role in making the film, even though he was fired less than three weeks before shooting wrapped after reported difficult behavior.
Though Dexter Fletcher stepped in to replace him, Singer retained his director credit, which reportedly contributed to his lucrative backend compensation.
 

jammybastard

"I'm losing my edge, but I was there..."
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5,883
Brian May is a Savvy Businessman. I read his comments between the lines and hear - I can't afford to pay a 80% tax rate on my earnings - so I had our lawyers write the agreement up that the money is paid through production channels that costs so much for Queen to maintain that they don't earn a dime. Anyone who thinks that the remaining members of Queen don't have a cadre of genius tax accountants and business managers that scrutinized the contracts they signed until the paper shredded are living in La La Land.

Rock bands like Queen are international corporations and treat taxes just like corporations do.
They don’t pay a cent unless they absolutely have to if/when they get caught.
;)
 

Tidbit

Member
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1,051
Brian May is a Savvy Businessman. I read his comments between the lines and hear - I can't afford to pay a 80% tax rate on my earnings - so I had our lawyers write the agreement up that the money is paid through production channels that costs so much for Queen to maintain that they don't earn a dime. Anyone who thinks that the remaining members of Queen don't have a cadre of genius tax accountants and business managers that scrutinized the contracts they signed until the paper shredded are living in La La Land.
Exactamundo.
 

A-Bone

Montonero, MOY, Multitudes
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Bryan Singer might earn up to $40 million for his role in making the film, even though he was fired less than three weeks before shooting wrapped after reported difficult behavior.
Though Dexter Fletcher stepped in to replace him, Singer retained his director credit, which reportedly contributed to his lucrative backend compensation.
It's good to be established -- and in the DGA.
 

Papanate

Member
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19,874
Rock bands like Queen are international corporations and treat taxes just like corporations do.
They don’t pay a cent unless they absolutely have to if/when they get caught.
;)

Well...I have to ask how you know Queen's internal structure? LOL! That said I am saying the same thing - like most corporations they hide their income - burying it in mysterious ways.
 

Route234

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8,940
The problem with selling Rocketman is Taron Egerton looked like a guy on Saturday Night Live doing an Elton John sketch. He just is never at any point believable as the person he is imitating. I think the people who made the movie must have obviously known that and been happy with the way he did it, but that is why the movie never made a bunch of money. You just do not feel like you are watching Elton John. There wasnt that signature Oscar type performance to drive the movie.
 

ejeffreyhorn

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Budget $40 million
Box office $180.6 million

And still playing....

Our definitions of "Bomb" are quite different.
I was reading an article earlier this week in Variety (Hollywood rag) that stated that 3X the production budget was the rough benchmark for a successful film. At $900M gross, I'd say Rocketman was a smash hit. I'll bet there are teams of people at these studios working on a dozen other potential biopic projects as a result - Hendrix, Lennon, etc.
 

tiktok

Silver Supporting Member
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22,483
The problem with selling Rocketman is Taron Egerton looked like a guy on Saturday Night Live doing an Elton John sketch. He just is never at any point believable as the person he is imitating. I think the people who made the movie must have obviously known that and been happy with the way he did it, but that is why the movie never made a bunch of money. You just do not feel like you are watching Elton John. There wasnt that signature Oscar type performance to drive the movie.
Well, I never felt I watching Freddie Mercury in "Bo Rap", but he got the point across.
 

Kevy_Metal

Member
Messages
3,274
Budget $40 million
Box office $180.6 million

And still playing....

Our definitions of "Bomb" are quite different.
Agreed.

Bombing would be if those numbers were switched around.

Anyways, Rocketman was pretty incredible. Admittedly, I'm not one for musicals , but I wouldn't be surprised if in 2-5 years this ends up as an award-winning Broadway show and I loved it for being different from Bohemian Rhapsody. They're both great movies that approach their subjects differently.
 

Route234

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8,940
Well, I never felt I watching Freddie Mercury in "Bo Rap", but he got the point across.
I dont either but the crowds did and he won an award for it. I feel like if the main character is not an "Oscar worthy" performance that the movie will not fair too well.
 

A-Bone

Montonero, MOY, Multitudes
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I dont either but the crowds did and he won an award for it. I feel like if the main character is not an "Oscar worthy" performance that the movie will not fair too well.
Or maybe vice versa.
 

sleewell

Member
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10,291
The problem with selling Rocketman is Taron Egerton looked like a guy on Saturday Night Live doing an Elton John sketch. He just is never at any point believable as the person he is imitating. I think the people who made the movie must have obviously known that and been happy with the way he did it, but that is why the movie never made a bunch of money. You just do not feel like you are watching Elton John. There wasnt that signature Oscar type performance to drive the movie.

i disagree with this. i thought he did a great job and felt he was very believable.
 

utterhack

Member
Messages
3,355
“Rocketman” was much better than BoRap IMHO...

TL;DR -
BoRap is a safe, simple movie that tells a good story. The film equivalent of WonderBread, filling but empty.
Rocketman is a incredibly entertaining and challenging movie that tells a “warts and all” story through various means. The film equiv of 7 grain bread, filling and full of different tastes.
I agree with all of this except Bohemian Rhapsody has no story to tell and really nothing to say, and doesn't even have the confidence to show two guys harmonizing in a parking lot without dubbing in a studio track.

I finally watched it on an airplane and I want the two hours back. The only scenes that felt real and honest were the ones with cats in them.

Rocketman's not the best thing I've ever seen but at least felt true to the spirit of the artist and the fantasy aspect helped get across just a little bit of what made Elton a compelling artist during his imperial phase.
 




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