Ask anybody in Hollywood and they’ll all tell you the same thing; the romantic comedy genre is the worst investment you could possibly make.
This was a genre that was booming in the 1990’s in America but steadily, over time, romantic comedies began to lose more and more money – becoming virtually obsolete. There are anomalies like “Crazy Rich Asians,” which made $175 million domestically but it wasn’t a genre-focused film and instead focused more on the minority aspect to really market the film.
But one romantic comedy did so poorly at the box-office last weekend that it might have very well ended the genre altogether.
“Avengers: Endgame” is on its way to becoming the highest-grossing film of all time with a total worldwide earnings of $2.18 billion after just two weeks at the box-office.
To give you perspective, it has already taken over “Titanic” for second place and the nearly 3-hour James Cameron epic was in theaters for a full calendar year before being pulled. “Endgame” has been in theaters for 12 days. “Avatar” remains the biggest moneymaker but it won’t last for much longer.
Any studio would be silly to put anything up against a movie that closed a twenty-two-film culmination, unless you think the genre is so far different that a blockbuster of that magnitude would have no effect on its box-office gross.
That’s why the romantic comedy, “Long Shot,” (starring Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen) was released in “Endgame’s” second weekend. And it absolutely bombed –raking in a pathetic $10 million in its debut.
The story follows a Secretary of State of the United States (Theron) who gets word the current President of the United States (Bob Odenkirk) won’t be seeking reelection so she decides to run. On a chance occasion, she meets someone she used to babysit for at a party – who just quit his job as a journalist (Rogen). That’s when she hires him as a speechwriter for her presidential bid and a romance begins.
What’s shocking about the abysmal box-office numbers was how “Long Shot” was really well-received with a current 83% on Rotten Tomatoes which is even more impressive when you take the genre into account. Critics and audiences frequently pan romantic comedies.
Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus said, “A sharp and deceptively layered comedy that’s further fueled by the odd couple chemistry of its leads, this Long Shot largely hits its marks.”
But that wasn’t enough.
You could blame the worldwide clamoring for “Avengers: Endgame” or even HBO’s final season of “Game of Thrones” as reasons why it performed poorly, but it’s unreasonable to think that.
Romantic comedies are without a doubt one of the few genres that you don’t have to venture out of your house to see it at a movie theater. That’s the biggest thing.
The Ringer noted, “Netflix has been tinkering with the rom-com formula to largely satisfying returns, finding the right ingredients and actors—once again, Noah Centineo season is in full bloom—to churn out trendy hits. The company is notoriously tight-lipped on its viewership data, but even Netflix couldn’t resist flexing a bit about how well its “Summer of Love” —featuring films like The Kissing Booth, Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, Like Father, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and Set It Up—was received by subscribers in 2018.”
The key words there are “notoriously tight-lipped on its viewership data,” so we have no way of knowing if they’re doing well or not, but it seems they are doing just fine because the streaming giant continues to churn them out.
But it might be awhile before you see another romantic comedy hitting theaters until the upcoming sequel for “Crazy Rich Asians” hits theaters.