BABYLON Bombs Over Holiday Weekend Due to Excessive Immorality and Bloated Runtime
By Movieguide® Staff
BABYLON, Paramounts’ R-rated blockbuster starring Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie, bombed at the Christmas weekend box office with just $3.6 million.
Although the movie boasted A-list talent and debuted in 3,343 venues over the weekend, it failed to attract audiences due to its excessive foul language, sex, and oddities.
“Clocking in at more than three hours. BABYLON is an exercise in excess. It has more than 200 obscenities and profanities and many lewd, explicit images, especially in the big party scene that seems to last forever,” Movieguide®’s review reads. “Even when the movie creates a moving homage to the Golden Age of Hollywood, the sequence goes on too long. BABYLON also contains two vomit-inducing scatological scenes, brief extreme violence and politically correct attacks on morality and decency.”
BABYLON had an estimated budget of $80 million plus millions more for marketing. However, over the course of three days in theaters, the movie struggles to crack $5M worldwide.
Although some outlets blamed the slow holiday weekend box office on the freezing conditions that span across most of the United States, the family-friendly movie, PUSS IN BOOTS: THE LAST WISH earned $57M worldwide.
A portion of Movieguide®’s review of THE LAST WISH reads:
Funny and exciting, PUSS IN BOOTS: THE LAST WISH is well made, with interesting animation. The movie has a strong Christian, moral worldview where Puss in Boots must learn to be less selfish and egotistical, think of others above himself and realize he’s not invincible. Another character realizes the value of loving her family. THE LAST WISH also has a priest character and a reference to church. MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for younger children, because the Angel of Death and some other characters are scary.
As many in Hollywood gear up for the awards season, BABYLON is expected to push for Oscar nominations after grabbing 9 nominations for the upcoming Critics Choice Awards.
However, Hollywood screening rooms are a far cry from the general audiences desire for on-screen entertainment, as evidenced by BABYLON’s failure to connect with viewers over the holiday break.
Awards shows like the Academy Awards and Critics Choice continue to champion gross, immoral and excessive box office failures like BABYLON despite their lack of profitability. Movieguide Awards works to highlight the good, the true, and the beautiful, which—coincidentally—includes some of the most successful box office movies each year.
Actor Pat Boone recently told Movieguide®:
““I consider the Movieguide® Awards the most important awards of any movie season. The Movieguide® Awards are just a light shining in what is becoming the gathering darkness I think, in the movie industry. A light that illuminates films that are themselves light, about the better parts of human nature, about how a family can grow and develop and be a wonderful family and succeed in our American society, which itself is becoming corrupted.”
“It does spread the word and the light that good things can be rewarded. Good things can reap rewards,” he added.
This year, movies that have upheld uplifting, biblical and moral values, as well as resolved to put patriotism and family in the spotlight, have made the most money at the box office (TOP GUN: MAVERICK, THE BAD GUYS, MINIONS: RISE OF GRU).
Movieguide® previously reported:
Movieguide® notes that if studios and filmmakers want to return to box office normalcy, immorality doesn’t sell, especially today when people desire uplifting content amidst COVID.
“Considering that the pandemic was the greatest existential challenge to moviegoing ever, we are very proud of this record,” Fithian added. “We were able to survive because Americans love the communal experience of the movies and the government decided it didn’t want this cultural, artistic institution of the cinema to go away.”
As Abhijay Prakash, president of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, points out, box office numbers remain the best metric for a movie’s success despite the boom of streaming content and releases.
“What does success look like?” Prakash said. “It’s moved around. It used to be film studios were almost solely defined and measured by the things that you could see and observe, like box office. It’s still the best signal of how profitable a movie may end up being, but the earlier you have something going to a subscription service or on-demand may change that significantly.”
“We’re really leaning into 2022 as ‘only in theaters’ to create heat that these movies are to be seen first in theaters and afterward on streaming,” Warner Bros. domestic distribution chief Jeff Goldstein said.
If theatrical releases are the most accurate gauge for success, the good, the true, and the beautiful will trump excessive violence, language, and sex.
Now more than ever we’re bombarded by darkness in media, movies, and TV. Movieguide® has fought back for almost 40 years, working within Hollywood to propel uplifting and positive content. We’re proud to say we’ve collaborated with some of the top industry players to influence and redeem entertainment for Jesus. Still, the most influential person in Hollywood is you. The viewer.
What you listen to, watch, and read has power. Movieguide® wants to give you the resources to empower the good and the beautiful. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support.
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