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Keanu Reeves’ epic 47 Ronin is finally hitting theaters Christmas Day and Universal is bracing for a flop. The film encountered several delays before it was finished and even though the movie features no other well-known stars besides Reeves, the studio continued pouring in money to finish it. Now that it’s finally coming out, the reviews are terrible and ticket sales are also expected to be bad.
The film was at one time supposed to come out in November 2012, but was pushed to February 2013 to be turned into 3D and for reshoots. It was then delayed again for the final date, Christmas Day 2013. Then, there were reports that the budget skyrocketed to $225 million and editing was taken away from rookie director Carl Rinsch.
Now that critics have seen the final product, Universal is probably wishing it never greenlit 47 Ronin in the first place. It has an 11 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The LA Times called it an “overlong, underwhelming movie now hitting theaters that certainly wasn't worth the wait.”
Reuters reports that the actual cost of the film ended up being $175 million and the studio is ready to take a write-down. While that’s not as big as Disney’s loss from The Lone Ranger, 47 Ronin is expected to have an even worse opening than that summer flop. Analysts predict that the movie could make as little as $17 million over the five-day Christmas weekend.
Universal can take the loss, though. The studio scored huge hits with Despicable Me 2 and Fast & Furious 6 earlier this year and reached $2 billion internationally for the first time its history, which goes back 100 years. In North America, Universal’s films made a combined $1.4 billion.