'Jem and the Holograms' Director on Film Bombing, Getting "Death Threats" From Show Fans
"I don't know if you've looked at box office numbers — this morning specifically, it hasn't been the greatest," the director told the Film Independent Forum crowd.
Jon M. Chu has no problem admitting that this isn't exactly the best weekend of his life.
Chu, who directed the film Jem and the Holograms, delivered the Filmmaker Keynote on Saturday at the Film Independent Forum in L.A., where he began by telling the crowd that the movie failing at the box office has been tough on him.
"So, this is a bit awkward only because I'm supposed to be here this morning talking about how great it is to be in the movie business — it's so awesome — but currently, I don't know if you've looked at box office numbers, this morning specifically, it hasn't been the greatest," Chu said. "So you might get some real shit today. (Laughs.)"
Chu, who has also directed such films as G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Step Up 3D, told the crowd that he and producer Jason Blum have been working for the past 10 years on developing Jem, which opened Friday. But he acknowledged that fans of the 1980's cartoon series haven't necessarily been on board with the film version.
"I get fans sending me hate mail, I get death threats, I get racist remarks — it's a really fun business," he said. "Reviewers have been harsh, to say it lightly."
Chu credited the film's studio, Universal, for being "one of the most successful marketing studios in the world," but he pointed out that the film is nonetheless projected to earn roughly $1.2 million in its opening weekend at 2,413 theaters. This would mark the worst opening ever for a major studio release playing in at least 2,000 theaters.
"Yes, we only made the movie for five [million dollars], but it doesn't get easy when you hear those [box office] numbers," he continued. "I'll probably get some texts along the way today saying it's not going anywhere. (Laughs.) So this morning isn't the best kind of day."
Video of Chu's speech can be seen below.