THE CREATOR is the latest example of an increasingly rare film genre, an original sci-fi epic. Written and directed by Gareth Edwards, director of 2014’s GODZILLA and ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY, THE CREATOR stars John David Washington as spy mercenary Joshua, on a mission to protect a robotic child seen as the key in a war between humans and AI robots.
Original films such as THE CREATOR aren’t common anymore because of the challenge of marketing a theatrical release movie with an original story. Only two of the top 25 grossing movies of 2023, M3GAN and ELEMENTAL, were completely original stories.
The production company behind THE CREATOR is New Regency, one of the few that will take the chance to fund an auteur director to make an original movie. They financed Alejandro González Iñárritu’s western THE REVENANT which grossed over $533 million in 2015, and Robert Eggers’ THE NORTHMAN which earned over $69 million in 2022.
In partnership with Disney, New Regency has marketed THE CREATOR using similar campaigns to those from M3GAN and SMILE, by placing AI models at NFL and MLB games. While these approaches have generated increased visibility on social media, their impact on the box office has yet to be seen.
After a production cost of $80 million, the movie will need significant success in theatres to produce a profit. And with the actors’ strike preventing its stars John David Washington, Gemma Chan, Allison Janney, and Ken Watanabe from promoting the film, it will be a remarkable achievement for this film to turn a profit.
See Also: An AI nukes Hollywood in ‘The Creator.’ The movie’s director has thoughts about that (LA Times)