For many, Edge of Tomorrow became the blockbuster that wasn’t.
Critics loved it, and so did its audience:
“Gripping, well-acted, funny, and clever, Edge of Tomorrow offers entertaining proof that Tom Cruise is still more than capable of shouldering the weight of a blockbuster action thriller.” [Rotten Tomatoes]
—only there were never enough of those fans to bring the Tom Cruise-led action flick into the black: It opened to a disappointing $29.1 million and today stands just under the $100 million mark, which is $78 million short against its $178 million budget (foreign grosses and marketing expenses aside.
So what went wrong? Warner Brothers Studio has apparently concluded that ‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy.
Per IndieWire, we’ll all have a chance to see whether or not that which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet:
“With its upcoming Oct. 7 release to home video and download, it seems as if Warner Bros. has pulled the trigger and effectively allowed “Live Die Repeat” to supplant the movie’s real title. Here’s the Blu-ray artwork, which makes it seem like Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt costarred alongside an actor named “Edgeoftomorrow.”
Will it work? If so, are there any branding lessons to take away? Maybe and maybe not.
Personally, I do recall a shift in my own perspective from “Ew. Another creepy Tom Cruise movie” to “Hmm. I might order that on iTunes someday.” once the posters on the subway platform adopted the stronger tagline.
That said — and as Ethan Sacks from the Daily News points out, the likely lesson is a sad one — If a studio is going to gamble on a $200 million movie, it’s safest to stick to sequels or presold comic book properties.
The question: was this really a case of poor marketing, or have Americans simply grown tired of taking a chance on unfamiliar movies starring everyone’s favorite Scientologist?