Many came to see the return of The Rock. What they got, instead was something unexpected - and by all accounts, unwanted.
So, you saw Faster this weekend, right? Actually, that’s a bit of a stretch, considering the new action film from former wrestler turned actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson failed to ignite the box office over the traditional Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Indeed, for the muscular star, his return to hard-R territory was an unmitigated disaster, failing to make the Top 5 for the five day accounting (it was 7th) and unable to outpace established titles like Unstoppable and Megamind. Indeed, all of the new releases for 24 November found their niche - from Disney’s delightful Tangled to the tacky and somewhat tacky Cher-tina musical Burlesque. Heck, even Jake Gyllenhaal’s Viagra-tinged adult romance Love and Other Drugs did better.
As with most flops, there are many compelling reasons for why it failed to connect. One of the most important is the sudden shift back to brawn and bombast for the genial genetic anomaly. Over the last few years, ever since the decent drama The Gridiron Gang, Johnson has dropped the steroid portion of his onscreen personality to play a more likable, somewhat lunkheaded version of his pumped up self. He especially excelled in family oriented films, titles like The Game Plan, Race to Witch Mountain, and most recently, Tooth Fairy. Interestingly enough, each one of those movies took in more money on their opening weekends - $23 million, $24.4 million, and $14 million, respectively) - than Faster could muster ($12 million) over an extended stay.