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Box Office - '47 Ronin' underperforms despite positive feedback

'47 Ronin' misses its mark

In the end, nothing could really save '47 Ronin' from disaster. It started off weak in Japan, and its doom was predicted even before it hit the States. It wasn't generating enough discussion ahead of its release, despite its epic budget, spectacular trailer, and action star Keanu Reeves. However, in the face of terrible reviews, the film managed to top the box office in several overseas markets.

Feedback from audiences who had seen '47 Ronin' was generally positive on Twitter throughout Christmas Day. Interestingly enough, audience expectations were low for the film in many of the tweets, but their reviews of it after seeing it, were much more enthusiastic.

17 out of 24 user reviews on IMDB (at the time of writing) were positive giving it a 70% (7/10 rating), which was in stark contrast to the dismal reviews from critics that saturated the web with a negative overview of the film. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film only managed to garner a miserable 11% (a drop from 18% before it was released). However, audience reviews on the site were generally positive, with a 66% score.

Related : Bad movie reviews alone can't kill '47 Ronin'

Universal reportedly took the writedown on the $175 million movie ahead of time, knowing that it would flop from several pre-screening studies. '47 Ronin' opened in 2600+ Theaters on Christmas day but is forecast to make less than $10 million between Thursday and Sunday. Former Deadline blogger Nikke Finke tweeted that the film's early estimated box office takings for Christmas Day hovered around the $6 million mark although since then this has been upgraded to approximately $7 million.

The question this leaves us with is, why did a movie on this scale, and with such positive feedback from the people who went to see it fail at the box office? Was it badly timed? Has Keanu Reeves lost his edge or did this story just not resonate with audiences? We may see an improvement in the film's weekend estimate as positive reviews from audiences encourage others to go theaters. This predicted flop may not fall as badly as previously predicted..but we have yet to see the numbers from other big markets including the UK.

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