Has there ever been a bigger fall from grace in Hollywood then the Wachowski brothers? Entering the 00s they were the hottest duo due to the surprise success of The Matrix. They quickly showed they had no ability to understand what made The Matrix good as the two sequels are considered two of the worst sequels to ever come out. While Reloaded made 281 million, it cost 151 million to make. For comparison the first Matrix made 171 million on a 63 million dollar budget and Revolutions made 140 million on a 150 million dollar budget.
But Hollywood wasn’t done throwing money at them. V for Vendetta barely made back it’s 51 million dollar budget, making 70 million. The Wachowski’s though hadn’t directed V for Vendetta. They hadn’t directed anything since Matrix Revolutions while still writing and producing. But Speed Racer was going to change that. An anime that hardly anyone remembers and was most notable for being on MTV in it’s early days, Speed Racer was going to be the summer blockbuster. It was even given a 120 million dollar budget.
It made 43 Million dollars domestically (like all totals I have reported) but even combining the overseas total it only made 93 million. It is widely considered one of the all time movie busts. That they haven’t written or directed another movie in 4 years since it was released should tell you something. They did of course produce a movie during that time, Ninja Assassin. A movie that once again made 38 million against a 40 million dollar budget.
Once again though, someone has given the Wachowski’s another 100 million dollar budget. You would believe this has to be their absolute last chance to actually make money on a movie. For 100 million you could probably make 5 20 million and one of them will make more then enough to recoup your 100 million. It’s also a movie adaptation of a Novel, and so far the Wachowski’s have shown a penchant for slaughtering source material.
For a business that complains it’s losing money hand over fist due to the internet, that Warner Brothers will continue hand money over to the Wachowski’s is a joke. At least maybe only give them 50 million and see if they still got it first. Nope, let’s let them follow up one of the all time biggest busts by giving them 20 million less then last time.
This is one of the reasons why the Studio system needs to die. There seemingly is never an original thought due to it. When something original does happen, it gets milked dry and then some. Hell the Wachowski’s basically stole Wire Fu from Hong Kong movies, and stumbled upon a decent plot twist. The Matrix doesn’t really stand up to multiple viewings. The beginning even drags a bit. But hey, they are geniuses, give them all your money!