Why’d it Bomb? Rules Don’t Apply (2016)
Kevthewriter wonders why Warren Beatty’s Rules Don’t Apply bombed.
Poor Warren Beatty. He used to be one of the biggest movie stars in the world and now he’s most well-known for mixing up La La Land and Moonlight. Of course, he did try to have a comeback last year. Unfortunately, it was Rules Don’t Apply, a movie that bombed horribly at the box office and received mixed to negative reviews from critics and audiences basically ignored altogether. You know how much they ignored it? Well, when I went to see it, I was literally the only person in the theater. Then, when I went to review the movie on the blog, it hardly had any views and no one commented on it. I’m not admonishing you for ignoring my review, don’t get me wrong, I’m just pointing out how little people cared about this movie.
But why did no one care about this movie? I think the problem was there was no real incentive for people to care about it. It was touted as Warren Beatty’s big comeback and also the movie about Howard Hughes he’d been trying to make for over 30 years. Problem is, Warren Beatty hasn’t acted in a decade and has barely been in the spotlight for 15 years. Thing is, though, the man has always been picky. Just a look at his IMDB shows a rather big gap between projects. In the 90’s, for instance, he only starred in 4 movies, all of which, from 1990-1998, came out within a few years of each other. And in the 80’s, he was only in 2 movies. But even by his standards, 15 years is a long time to wait when it comes to making another movie. By that point, I think the majority of people went from thinking “whatever happened to Warren Beatty?” to just assuming he retired to basically forgetting he ever was a big star in the first place. Therefore, when he finally made the Howard Hughes movie he always wanted to make, people were just indifferent to it.
Now I’m not saying that if you don’t act for years, or decades, you should just stay in retirement. I’m just saying you also shouldn’t just expect people to go see a movie because you’re in it. Look at all the big comeback stories when it comes to movies: Carrie, The Wrestler, Birdman. They weren’t just popular because an actor who used to be famous was acting and/or in a starring role again but because the movies themselves were considered great and, because of positive word of mouth, many people went to see those movies. As a result, Piper Laurie, Mickey Rourke, and Michael Keaton became famous again (though it didn’t last for Mickey Rourke because, well, he acted like Mickey Rourke but oh well…). On the other hand, look at Snatched, starring Warren Beatty’s friend Goldie Hawn. She, like Warren, hadn’t been in a movie for 15 years but, instead of being a big comeback vehicle for her, the movie came and went because the movie itself received negative reviews.
Same thing with Rules Don’t Apply. Had the reviews been better, more people might’ve come out to see it but, because the reviews weren’t hot, people stayed away. It also didn’t help that, while the movie had many celebrities in it, none of them were box office draws. It definitely didn’t help that the two young people he got to star in the movie, Lily Collins and Alden Ehrenreich, aren’t exactly big names (though that might change for Alden with the Han Solo movie).
Therefore, the reason Rules Don’t Apply bombed is because Warren got too cocky and thought that, after 15 years of being out of the limelight, he could sell a movie on his name alone when the truth is many people moved on from his brand and stopped caring whether or not he’d make another movie.