The third big-screen comedy pairing of John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell — which would have once seemed like easy box office gold — was decidedly a swing and a whiff, according to the court of public opinion, anyway. Holmes and Watson premiered on Christmas Day to overwhelmingly negative reviews, initially earning an impressively bad zero percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. (The score currently sits at five percent.)
Of course, it’s always a bad omen when a studio neglects to screen films for critics, which was the case with the Sherlock Holmes spoof. Even worse though was that the film reportedly performed so poorly with test audiences that when Sony tried to pass it off to Netflix, the streaming service turned it down:
We had heard for quite some time that test scores for Holmes & Watson were so bad that Sony tried unloading the movie to Netflix, but the streamer wouldn’t buy it. The Culver City lot kept the movie and opted to do the best that it could do with it, selling down its share on the movie with Mimran Schur Pictures taking a minority stake.
Remember, Netflix inked a four-movie deal with Adam Sandler and Happy Madison Productions in 2014, even as Sandler’s box office clout was weakening. They knew that Holmes and Watson was a stinker. The Wrap critic Alonso Duralde also reported the news this week, noting that Netflix previously made a similar deal with Paramount to purchase The Cloverfield Paradox.
Holmes and Watson came in fourth on opening day, earning just $6.4 million on a $42 million budget, and was projected to earn $18 to $20 million over the course of the first six days. And with the negative buzz growing, it seems like a long-shot that Sony will break even.
(Via The Playlist)