Woke Indiana Jones sequel likely to play to near empty theaters on opening weekend after low pre-sales: report

"There is no excuse on God’s green Earth for a movie that cost $300 million to look this bad," one critic's review said.


The fifth and final installment of the Indiana Jones series is being released in theaters across the country this week, with an official release date of Friday, and sales expectations are not looking good. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny has earned a 66 percent critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, making it the lowest rated in the series. 

According to the site, the consensus among critics is that the movie had a nostalgic element but was underwhelming when it comes to being as thrilling of a film as one would expect from the series. 

"There is no excuse on God’s green Earth for a movie that cost $300 million to look this bad," said Sean Burns of WBUR's Arts and Culture. 

Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times said, "The main plot line is creaky, corny and contrived, and the final action twist lands the story in such disastrous, B-movie territory that not even Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones can rescue it from collapsing in a dusty heap of mediocrity." 

"Ford still wears the character’s signature fedora like nobody’s business, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s new Helena Shaw brings refreshing vigor and roguish attitude to a throwback story that feels both wildly bizarre and way too safe," said Biran Truitt from USA Today. 

According to Gamer Rant, there were some glimpses of what the films used to be but in the end, it fell flat when it came to the action sequences. 

These critic reviews have seemingly translated into a lack of excitement to see the film. Twitter user Kaya Masters posted a thread of ticket reservations that show almost empty theaters less than 24 hours till release. She said the theater referenced serves around 200,000 people.

"Remember: this is INDIANA JONES, a flagship movie franchise from Lucasfilm. OPENING NIGHT," she wrote. "Oh. My. God. Is that one EMPTY? What a sh*tshow this is going to be."

A sample of theaters from other metropolitan theaters shows the same trend that could lead to empty theaters during the film's opening weekend. 

The Dial of Destiny is the fifth and final film of the Harrison Ford classic Indiana Jones series. The first film in the series, the Raiders of the Lost Ark, was released in 1981 and has the highest Rotten Tomato Score of 93 percent. It was followed by the Temple of Doom in 1984 with a rating of 77 percent, the Last Crusade in 1989 with an 84 percent rating, and the relaunch in 2008 was the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull with a 77 percent rating. 

The Dial of Destiny is the only film in the series not directed by Steven Spielberg. 

According to The Wrap, box office projections have the final film making around $65 million during the opening weekend, well below the $100 million seen over the three-day weekend Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull saw in 2008. The film has a budget of $295 million.

The film features actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge taking over as the lead adventurer, playing Jones’ goddaughter, Helena.

"Insiders claim Kathleen Kennedy, the Hollywood producer behind the franchise, is keen to make 'big, bold' changes – with few bigger than switching the lead character to a woman," the Daily Mail reported last year.

Test screenings in December were reportedly poorly received.

The trailer sees characters from the film talking about "stealing" an object, with Waller-Bridge quipping that "I stole it, it’s called capitalism."

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