The troubles are continuing to pile up for Paramount Pictures. After a summer that was marred with underperforming, expensive movies for the studio, their parent company has now lowered their projected earnings for the year because of yet another movie that is expected to flop. After a ton of delays and production troubles, the expensive live-action and CGI comedy/action movie Monster Trucks is expected to tank when it finally gets released in January.
The Hollywood Reporter states that Viacom, who owns Paramount, has lowered its earnings forecast for their current quarter. The company has posted a $115 million "programming impairment charge," which is "related to the expected performance of an unreleased film," which is just a nice way of saying that movie is about to bomb in a big way. While Viacom didn't come out and say exactly which movie it was, THR's sources have confirmed to them that it is indeed Monster Trucks, which is a serious blow.
Things weren't looking good for Monster Trucks anyway, given that the release was delayed several times and there has been very little marketing for the movie. The movie reportedly cost around $100 million to make and was originally slated to come out on May 29, 2015. It was then pushed back several more times, first to Christmas Day in 2015, then to March 18 of this year. Monster Trucks will finally see a release in January of 2017, which has historically been a dumping ground for lesser quality movies, save for awards season movies that expand to wider releases. Apparently, Paramount had originally thought the movie would have mass appeal, but the final cut wound up being more of a kids movie, and by the sound of it, not a very good one. In case you missed the trailer for it, here is what Monster Trucks is about.
"Looking for any way to get away from the life and town he was born into, Tripp (Lucas Till), a high school senior, builds a Monster Truck from bits and pieces of scrapped cars. After an accident at a nearby oil-drilling site displaces a strange and subterranean creature with a taste and a talent for speed, Tripp may have just found the key to getting out of town and a most unlikely friend."
This is not the first we have heard of mounting troubles for Paramount, but this certainly isn't going to help anything moving forward. Last month we reported that the studio was looking to lose $500 million over two years, with Star Trek Beyond, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows and Ben-Hur all seriously under-performing at the box office. According to Drexel Hamilton analyst Tony Wible from THR's report, this $115 million loss for Monster Trucks has made matters even worse.
"Paramount will have lost about $500 million this year despite a favorable box office, home entertainment and licensing environment."
Paramount has some big movies slated for 2017, which should hopefully help to pull them out of their slump. Transformers: The Last Knight will surely do very well, but other movies like XXX: The Return of Xander Cage and the upcoming Friday the 13th reboot are less certain to be the big hits the studio needs. We'll have to see just how bad it really is when Monster Trucks finally hits theaters on January 13, 2017.