Why’d it Bomb? Entourage (2015)


At one point in time, Entourage was a popular TV show with critical acclaim and Emmy nods. As time went on, however, the show got less and less popular. It got to the point where it seems like no one really cared when it got a movie, as it barely made any money at the box office. In fact, if it wasn’t for worldwide numbers, it basically bombed.  In America, it made $32 million on a $30 million budget and, even when you put in worldwide numbers, it made $49 million on a $30 million budget. If we’re being generous, Entourage was a disappointment at the box office in not an outright bomb.  Why did it fail to duplicate the success of another long-running HBO show adapted to the big screen, Sex and the City??

1. Competition from other R-Rated Movies
In the same weekend Entourage came out, Spy, which was also Rated R, was released as well. Now the critics’ job isn’t really to convince people to see or not see a movie but to just give their opinion. However, many people do base their opinions on whether or not a critic liked a movie. And Entourage got bad reviews while Spy got a 90-something percent on Rotten Tomatoes. This might’ve made many people get cold feet when it came to checking out Entourage and decide to see Spy instead, as they wanted to see whether or not it was as good as they heard. Not only that but Mad Max, another movie that was doing well and had good reviews, came out around the same time so Entourage not only faced competition with Spy but it also faced competition with Fury Road.

2. Values Dissonance
Entourage‘s sexual politics haven’t aged well. In other words, Entourage has been to known to be a pretty sexist show. To make matters worse, the show is very popular among many frat boys, or “bro’s”, many of whom are not exactly known for being respectful to women. While there has almost always been feminists and other people fighting for women’s rights, in addition to other social justice groups, feminism has definitely become more relevant again in the 2010’s than it was in the 2000’s, with the rise of group like SJW’s, Black Live Matter, etc. What didn’t help its case is that other R-Rated movies around the time, like Mad Max and Spy, were actually praised for having pro-feminism messages in their movies so Entourage ended up looking like it was really behind the times in comparison to other movies.

3. People just don’t care about Entourage anymore
Once you get past the competition and sexism, this is probably the biggest reason why. Entourage came out 4 years after the season finale. By that time, the actors’ careers had cooled down and people just stopped caring so much about Vince and the gang, as no one really talks about the show anymore. Now, if it came out in 2012 or 2013, it might’ve made more money because it might’ve still been somewhat relevant.  But, by 2015, people stopped caring whether or not an Entourage movie was coming out. And, as a result, it underperformed at the box office.


Posted on November 10, 2016, in Movies, Why'd it bomb? and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Since I was a fan of Entourage back in the day I can add my two cents here. In the early years of the shows’ run I found it very funny and entertaining; for a few years it was ‘must-watch’ television for me. By the time the series went into its final season however, the series just went to shit, pardon my language. Vincent became an unlikable jerk so that they could give him a “character arc”, but a really lousy one. I disliked that final season so much that it just tainted the series as a whole for me; by the time the final episode aired I was just glad it was over and done. Truth be told I have never watched an episode of Entourage since, the last season really was that bad.

    When the movie premiered last year my memories of that horrendous last season still stood out, and with only so-so reviews for the film I just stayed away. Considering how hated that final season was among Entourage fans back then I suspect many others stayed away for the same reasons. At least that’s my hunch.


  2. Why wasn’t the Entourage movie a box office smash?

    Were savage movie reviews that influential in turning off viewers? Or was it the marketing?


  3. Maybe people just got tired of watching smug jerks/unlikable characters/etc.


    • When Good Shows Go Bad: Entourage

      The Bad

      Like I said, the main characters are *********s. Now, Ari can arguably get away with this because this aggression is a nature thing, designed to make sure he survives in a cutthroat world, plus despite his apparent expressions of sexism and homophobia it’s fairly clear it’s bluster. The rest of the guys meanwhile are pretty damn shallow. Vince is pretty unapologetic about how shallow he can be, only really falling for a small handful of women and effectively ditching the women he’s with when the excitement is gone. While Turtle can genuinely be a nice guy when he tries he’s frequently happy to go to any lengths to basically trick a woman into having sex with him, though he also crashes and burns a lot. The later seasons of character growth for Turtle were really for the best since early on not only was he a borderline (if not actual) sex offender but he was a wee bit racist too. Drama basically never dated anyone, and given as a man hovering around forty years old or more still happily objectifying women and being more than a little creepy (trying to force an onset romance with Brooke Shields was painful to watch, and I’m a Drama fan) that was actually a shame since this was the one part of his character that always seemed frustratingly flawed. Finally, E. Oh man, did I grow to hate E. Only someone like Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui) could put up with this guy. Despite trying to act above the womanizing ways of his friends E happily indulged in his behavior many times, also frequently treating his way too loyal girlfriend Sloan like dirt (treating moving in with her like no big deal, constantly blowing her off, not talking to her about stuff that could affect her). Again, major redeeming factor was this often blew up in his face. To put a point on it, the show shoots to be a male fantasy show, so the objectification of women was gonna happen period, but at points it really got kind of awkward, especially to the detriment of the central characters.

      Season 7 of Entourage is where things really started to go wrong, though Season 6 wasn’t exactly the most amazing of seasons either (pretty average really). Now, in theory Season 7 is awesome from a dramatic standpoint: we see Vince start to downward spiral after a near-death experience makes him an adrenaline junkie who soon wants to just live every moment like it could be its last, while Ari has to deal with one of the biggest opportunities of his career not only blowing up in his face but taking his family with it. Unfortunately the result is relatively laugh free and at times just unpleasant to watch, taking away from the show’s general charms. Now the drama could still make the show work but unfortunately without the laughs the weaknesses in the performances were more apparent and the blandness of some characters would just ebb out. Vince without charm was just a complete drug-addled ********* (a plot that dragged most of the season), Ari without the hilarity was just an unpleasant angry man and even director Billy Walsh (Rhys Coiro), originally a nutty spoof of Quentin Tarantino, was now just this sort of neutered, mild guy. Sasha Grey also showed up, further adding to the blandness given the apparently lack of emotion the woman was able to project into her performance, and you’ve got drama more bland than an argument at a WASP dinner table.

      Season 8 was generally a better season, but the big issue was a lack of finality. Now, the Entourage film did eventually fix the problem of the show ending relatively abruptly by offering a bit more (and while open-ended it worked better), but as it stands it wasn’t really until the end that you got any impression the show was on its final season. Ari separated from his wife only to realize his family is whats most important in his life was nice, and Turtle becoming a millionaire thanks to fortunate meetings only possible due to his connections with Vince and his own growing competence were fine. Vince wanting to do something nice for Johnny really felt a bit odd for a final arc, so perhaps it was a mistake for him to meet the woman he’d marry halfway into a truncated season. E likewise managing to win back Sloan yet again after lying about sleeping with her former stepmom didn’t exactly endear him more to people. The film ended up effectively undoing most of the final arcs, with Vince getting his marriage annulled (though he remained friends with his former wife, apparently), E having once again broken up with Sloan (due to the stepmom thing), and Ari coming out of retirement. The film even recycled the Johnny plot a bit, with instead of Vince writing something for Johnny to star in he got him a major supporting role in his directorial debut, making a good chunk of the final season pointless. Such a shame.

      The Blame

      Really hard to say who is ultimately at fault here, but it’s probably the writers. Entourage, while ostensibly a dramedy, had gotten some attention in its later seasons for the dramatic elements, so the writers perhaps were so keen to mine for good drama they didn’t realize that they were straying too far from the wheelhouse. It also seems like when approached with the possibility of the story ending the crew wasn’t sure how to end things while obviously still leave the story open (since as a sort of biographical show the adventure would always continue, unless everyone died). Essentially Entourage is a great example of the problems with writing real life as a series.

      So can I recommend it? Yes, though like I said this will probably play better for men than women. While Entourage is an enjoyable fantasy show it is unapologetic in its nature to a fault, though at the same time the humor and drama really make it something special. If nothing else my one time I delivered food to a movie set can attest that what I saw does pretty much show up on the show, meaning reality at times can be stranger than fiction.


      • I have to be honest, if there’s one problem I had with the show, it’s that the characters did always seem to get off too easy. However, I disagree the movie really changed that as, again, it seemed like the character’s problems were mostly whisked away with little to no problem. The only character that really seemed to face a real problem and actually worked to hard to fix it was Vince, surprisingly enough (my problem with his character in the show was always that he seemed too unambitious and not more concerned about his career). The other characters? Well, in the movie, Drama has an embarrassing video about him uploaded to the internet and then it’s all forgotten about when he gets a golden globe!


      • Also, despite being a pretty sexist show, I actually know some women who liked the show as well


  4. The Case Against a ‘Will & Grace’ Reboot

    If you’re looking for a similar situation to compare this to, consider the unmitigated disaster that was the Entourage movie. This was a case of culture shifting and leaving a once-beloved piece of entertainment behind. When Entourage was in its original run, it was praised effusively by critics, while Ari and Turtle became household names. In theory, a movie seemed perfect. The problem was, this was a show that essentially portrayed white male entitlement at its most unhinged. Furthermore, the female characters on the show often had paper thin personalities and pretty much only existed because the male characters needed them to. At the time, no one really cared because, well…the show was fun! The antics of Johnny Drama and company were just a good time, and no one ever really analyzed them. However, in the time between the end of the series and the release of the movie, modern feminism had an increasingly strong presence in film and television criticism. Suddenly, a show about rich white guys without any real problems just seemed dated, and the movie felt like a relic as it flopped at the box office. A Will & Grace reboot could face a similar fate if it continues to traffic in the stereotypical gay humor that marked its original run.


    • Everyone hates ‘Entourage’ now. When did the world turn on the hit show?


      September 2008 to September 2011: Just as quickly as the show took off, fans start to sour on it. Thanks to the writer’s strike, there’s a year-long gap between the fourth and fifth seasons: When it returns in Fall 2008, the series continues to get award nominations for a couple more years, but mainstream buzz and acclaim takes a dive.

      The most frequent complaint: Nothing ever actually happens. The plot begins to cycle inanely: Vince wants to star in a movie. There are problems with the movie. The problems get resolved in some absurd way. Rinse, repeat. Viewers grow bored of the consequence-free life and predictable plot lines — even when Vince genuinely struggles after the biggest bomb of his life (that Pablo Escobar biopic), Martin Scorsese swoops in and offers him a leading role. It inspires a College Humor parody called “Every Week on ‘Entourage’”:

      The decline comes along with a new awareness and mockery of “bro” culture. According to the ever-reliable Know Your Meme, the idea really takes off in 2008, with sites like “BroBible” and phrases “Don’t tase me, bro” going viral. The public starts to tire of the entitled bro archetype, which is what the “Entourage” guys had been before there was such a label, and now they were caught in the backlash. And as a recession hits, it was maybe not as fun to watch dudes bask in excessive wealth.

      The breaking point comes in 2009 at the beginning of Season 6: Even though the show introduces more serious conflicts via Vince’s attempted career comebacks, many decide they can’t get invested — obviously, everything will turn out okay in the end, as always. New York Magazine’s Vulture announces it will stop recapping the show with the headline “We renounce ‘Entourage.’” Alan Sepinwall also throws in the towel.

      Some still defend it: “It’s easy to slag off HBO’s ‘Entourage’ at this stage in the game,” the Tampa Bay Times writes, “Now critics are carping because this year’s season kicks off with Chase and his buddies … actually growing up a bit.” Still, the snark prevails. “‘Entourage’ expired two years ago, only they never told the cast,” one columnist writes in assessing the show’s Emmy chances.

      After Season 6, the awards dry up while the series quietly continues. By Season 7, critics are truly over it. The Post’s Hank Stuever suggests the only way to save the show — or make people care again — is to kill off Vincent Chase.

      By the time the eighth and final season airs in September 2011, the show has lost almost all of its goodwill. Showrunner Doug Ellin blames the backlash on the fact they went with darker plots, like Vince going to rehab for a drug problem.

      “The critics, all of a sudden, seem to have turned on us and forgotten that we were actually critically acclaimed in the past,” he tells TV Guide. “I don’t feel there’s been a lot of shows in the history of television that have mixed up tones as much as we have and I think that throws people. I think that shocks them.”

      Just after the series finale, there’s one very public dig, as Jane Lynch introduces the guys on stage to present at the Emmy Awards: “A lot people are very curious as to why I’m a lesbian: Ladies and gentleman, the cast of ‘Entourage,’” she cracks.

      “It was funny, but I think it’s not fair at the same time,” Kevin Dillon later complains to E! News. “We all have good senses of humor but I think the men of ‘Entourage’ treat women well for the most part. … Maybe she was going on season one when everyone one in the world was like, ‘That show is so male chauvinistic.’”


  5. Besides changing culture, the big failure of this movie was I would say was 70% not striking while the iron was hot and 30% the actual TV show went so downhill in its later years that it ended with a whimper. I feel a prerequisite for making a movie from a TV show is that it goes out on top or has such good feelings about it people are nostalgic to see the characters again.

    Entourage basically lost its edge over the series and other than Ari Gold, the four main characters basically were pretty lame at the end. Everything always turned out okay for them and there was very little drama. It was a show that was a biting satire in season 1, got popular where Hollywood loved it..which then caused them to “go easy” on the satire. You cannot do a takedown of Hollywood when every episode had three big name cameos. Instead of biting Hollywood, it embraced it and basically became lifestyle porn, which is not good for a “guy” picture


  6. Why Adrian Grenier doesn’t get many movie offers anymore

    Actor and activist Adrian Grenier is best known for portraying up-and-coming movie star Vincent Chase in Tinseltown bro comedy Entourage, appearing in almost 100 episodes of the HBO series between 2004 and 2011. He and his castmates were collectively nominated for Teen Choice and Screen Actors Guild awards during the height of the show’s popularity, which was still considerable right up until the final curtain—they went out on a high when the last ever episode pulled in 3.1 million viewers. 

    Unfortunately for Grenier, despite his attempts to stay relevant in the years since his entourage disbanded, he has fallen off the radar somewhat, turning to different genres and new ventures in an effort to prove that he was more than just a one trick pony. As it happened, the character we loved watching him play for the best part of seven years was a much bigger star than Grenier himself ever turned out to be. Here is why he doesn’t get many movie offers anymore.

    He couldn’t shake off the Entourage tag

    Post-Entourage, Grenier has struggled to shake off the high-rolling party-boy typecast, with the shadow of Vincent Chase seemingly destined to hang over him for the remainder of his career. The nature of playing an actor in a show meant that there was always a danger of people blurring the line between the real actor and the character, though in truth Grenier himself has never really helped separate the two. “It’s funny because what people don’t know is I too wish that I was Vince,” Grenier said. “I’m not, I play the character. At the end of the day, I go home and I’m me. I share that fantasy as well—have a lifestyle with no consequences? Sounds great!”

    While he admits to fantasizing about the A-list lifestyle and everything that comes with it, Grenier isn’t quite ready to be recognized absolutely everywhere he goes just yet. He revealed that he finds getting spotted by Entourage fans a little weird at times, with some of them seemingly unable to recognize boundaries. 

    “Fans can sometimes lose themselves and lose sight of the fact that we’re in public or the situation might be awkward,” he said.”I’ve been using the bathroom, the urinal, and fans have come up to me and literally wanted to hug it out in that moment, and I’m like, ‘Are you out of your mind? Can you give me a second? OK, cool. Thanks!'” 

    He got “greedy”

    Grenier’s best shot at solidifying himself as a genuine movie star came when he was given the chance to front the Entourage movie, though it was a project fraught with setbacks, eventually coming out four long years after the show had ended. Entourage wasn’t exactly fresh in the memory by 2015, and when the film flopped both with the critics and at the box office, the stars only had themselves to blame according to producer Mark Wahlberg. The real Hollywood A-lister put the pretenders on blast when quizzed about delays to the movie, telling paparazzi at LAX that Entourage would begin production “As soon as them guys stop being so greedy.”

    Grenier took the outburst personally, taking to Instagram to explain himself to followers. “I take my role as Vince on the show and off very seriously,” he posted. “All decisions I make personally and for business are for the principle of friendship and brotherhood. It has, and never will be about the money for me, I promise.” 

    The actor went on to defend his refusal to sign a deal, claiming he was holding out until his castmates received similarly lucrative offers. “The spirit of Entourage is about sharing the opportunities given to us and I will sign any deal that gives ALL the boys an opportunity to share in the upside of success EQUALLY. I assure you, despite the perception, there is no greed in my heart.”

    He fell flat on his face as an action star

    Grenier recently attempted to follow in the footsteps of Entourage producer Mark Wahlberg (whom his character Vincent Chase was based on) by reinventing himself as a no nonsense tough guy, though his 2017 action thriller Arsenal fell flat on its face. Nic Cage and John Cusack appear in forgettable guest roles, with Grenier starring as a good guy taking on numerous bad guys after his no good brother gets into trouble with them. Its generic VOD fodder at its most blatant and it wasn’t fooling anyone, only managing an embarrassing four percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

    The LA Times named it an early contender for the worst movie of 2017 in their review and called Cage’s performance worthy of a Razzie award, while other critics took aim at the leading man himself. “Grenier’s vaguely unconvincing attempts at toughness” were highlighted by AV Club, while Roger Ebert called him “lackluster” and questioned whose idea it was to cast him as an action hero. 

    Arsenal was Grenier’s second botched attempt at reinventing himself in as many years, also failing to impress in 2016 bank robbery flick Marauders, a “hyper-convoluted heist movie that’s every bit as generic as its title might suggest,” according to IndieWire.

    Audiences don’t find him funny, either

    The failure of the Entourage movie made many viewers (including fans of the show) realize that the characters just aren’t that funny a lot of the time, a fact that became oh so clear on the cinema screen. 

    “Entourage is feeble, and the big screen magnifies its unselfconscious obnoxiousness,” The Guardian wrote, echoing the popular opinion that the film was neither funny nor entertaining enough. The terrible reaction to the movie shouldn’t have come as that much of a surprise, however, as a look back at Grenier’s record in comedy shows that he’s never really been able to make people laugh.

    You could argue that 2006’s The Devil Wears Prada is a notable exception to this rule, though that film has been bookended by several comedic flops. Drive Me Crazy, Harvard Man, Tony ‘n’ Tina’s Wedding, and Adventures of Power all have terrible scores on Rotten Tomatoes, rated at 33 percent or less by the website’s extensive network of critics. While his rom-coms have admittedly been slightly more bearable than his action outings, he isn’t exactly in demand on Hollywood’s comedy circuit right now.


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