Blackhat opened this weekend throughout North America. The numbers are in and the movie is officially the first bomb of 2015.
Originally, Universal and Legendary Pictures were pitched the idea for a film about combating cyberterrorism. So, what we have here is a movie about a hacker who is combatting cyberterrorist threats. Your first thought would be a scrawny hacker, clad in a shirt with an unfunny joke, a big beard, and possibly a fedora, who is employed by the authorities to help combat these cyber criminals. No, instead, the movie studios chose Chris Hemsworth, best known for portraying Thor.
Now, this isn’t a knock on Hemsworth. He is a decent actor and he played Thor pretty well, but he isn’t the guy you cast to play a hacker. He is the perfect jock.
How poorly did the movie perform over its opening weekend? It brought in roughly $4 million on a $70 million budget. Of course, it could ramp up, and word of mouth could help the film recover its losses, but in reality, this isn’t a must see film, it is a bland action film with nothing special going for it. In addition, the movie is competing with the Oscar-nominated American Sniper and Liam Neeson’s Taken 3, which opened to $40 million the weekend before.
Audiences are going to romanticize an American sniper over a cyber-hacker. The idea of a glorious military hero who killed countless terrorists is a lot more appealing than the concept of a nerdy hacker who is stopping cyberterrorists from reading your emails.
Critics have been harsh on the film as well. Many have called it an unattractive film with nothing redeemable, while Chris Nashawaty at Entertainment Weekly suggested that the film was a dud with miscast Hemsworth as the lead.