EDIT: Added a new paragraph about low amount of show times.
On January 10th, Underwater made its debut with mixed reactions from the critics and audiences. Then, the numbers for that weekend came on January 12th showing Underwater pulled in only a measly $7 million. The budget for the movie is estimated around $80 million, so the target number that this movie has to aim for is around $160 - $200 million in order to be successful. I have heard that a lot of criticism is because of Kristen Stewart being box office poison and that the movie could have done better if she was replaced with a different actress. Yet, is that really the reason why Underwater sank? Would replacing Kristen Stewart have made the movie better?
My answer is no, replacing Kristen Stewart would not have helped the movie. Even if you replaced Kristen Stewart Underwater would still have bombed. There are other reasons why the movie failed as it did and I think it has more to do with marketing and Christmas and New Years.
Last year, Underwater got its first trailer on August 19th, 2019. People watched the trailer and thought, "That looks like a cool movie," and forgot about it. Then, there was nothing until December when there were TV spots being hammered out each week leading up to the movie's release. December was all about Star Wars IX: The Rise Of Skywalker. There was no way Underwater could be able to compete with Disney in terms of marketing. Marketing for movies now a days has to be interactive in some way. Cloverfield, Godzilla, Star Wars, and The Avengers all have had a type of marketing that was interactive with the audience to get them to see the movies. Cloverfield had an interesting marketing campaign where it was turned into a game of finding clues and putting together a puzzle to create this story outside of the main movie. Godzilla and the Monsterverse had the Monarch Sciences website and videos showing a timeline of how Monarch was established and the organization's involvement with Godzilla and the other monsters. Star Wars has a new theme park that opened in Disneyland and has comic books that expand the story of Kylo Ren and has fall to the dark side. The Avengers had a series of spin off movies that act as marketing for the main story of what would later be the main two-part event, The Avengers: Infinity War and The Avengers: EndGame. While Underwater is not a big budget blockbuster movie and was never trying to be, the marketing for the movie just did not grab a lot of people's attention for this movie.
Also, since the marketing was in December people were more concentrated on celebrating Christmas and New Years. Even I kept forgetting at times that this movie was coming out because I was busy being with family celebrating Christmas and New Years. Even coming back home afterwards had me more concerned in getting back into my regular day-to-day routine. And all of you could at least relate to that. It's the new year, you are just getting home, and you realize that the Christmas decorations are still up, you have appointments you have to get to, perhaps you have kids and you need to get them ready for school the next day, making sure you have food in the house, or perhaps you have a friend or family member that has a birthday coming up, or maybe concentrating on your goals for this year whether it is to get that job you wanted or lose the extra weight you gained from November and December. Whatever your routine is it is a real hurdle to get back into. So I believe that the holiday hurdle is another factor for why Underwater did not make as much money. Perhaps if the date was not so close to when people are just getting back from celebrating Christmas and New Years then maybe it could have done better.
The last thing I forgot to bring up after posting this was that on opening weekend I noticed that there were only 3-5 showings for Underwater. Usually, a new movie on opening weekend would have 5-8 showings in a single day. Unless it is a big summer blockbuster movie then it could range to 10-15 showings. I found this a little odd for a movie to open with a low amount of showings on the first weekend because it seems like there was no confidence for this movie in the first place. The amount of showings were as low as the movie showings for movies that are just leaving theaters. I'm not saying that this is another reason, but if any of you have noticed this as well then I would like to know. Because if there were a low number of showings for this movie all across the country then that as well can play a factor for the movie sinking at the box office.
So why are people criticizing Kristen Stewart? It mainly has to do with the movie, Charlie's Angels, which she was in last year that was also bombed for not being marketed properly. Honestly, the hate has more to do with the rebooted Charlie's Angels movie and the movie's director, Elizabeth Banks, than Kristen Stewart. Banks was selling this movie as a pro-feminist movie and her main target audience Banks was aiming for was women only and that "men should stay away." After the Charlie's Angels opened with $8.5 million, Banks started blaming men for not seeing her movie. The budget for Charlie's Angels was $48 million and made only $68 million.
Kristen Stewart is mainly known for the Twilight Saga movies, yet she and Robert Pattinson have been trying to move on from those movies all these years later with other roles. Robert Pattinson proved that he can be more than a sparkling vampire and put on a great performance in The Lighthouse and is about to become the next caped crusader in The Batman, which is expected to release June 25th, 2021. Kristen Stewart, on the other hand, seems to only be okay at best in terms of her acting and this is where she struggles. I think people just have a hard time seeing her as a serious actress and not taking her image seriously. The only way to change her image is to do actual serious roles. If she can do more serious roles and do them well like Robert Pattinson has then perhaps Kristen Stewart may have a chance in escaping her career limbo and be recognized for more than just Twilight.
What are your thoughts on Underwater? Do you think the movie's marketing was fine or do you think it was mishandled? Do you think Kristen Stewart is movie poison? Leave a comment in the comments section on your thoughts on Underwater. Make sure to follow me on my Facebook, Twitter, and Minds pages to stay up to date for more news, reviews, and discussions.