After the release of the first Harry Potter movie in 2001, which succeeded in turning a literary phenomenon into a box office behemoth and money-spinning monster, Hollywood executives instantly decided they’d found their new favorite bandwagon to jump on.
For the next decade and beyond, any popular book series that boasted even the merest hint of cinematic potential was plucked from shelves and thrown into active development, but an alarming number of them didn’t just fail to generate a sequel; they actively flopped hard and ended up losing money. Which brings us neatly to Ender’s Game.
The adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s novel had been in the works for over ten years, roped in a stacked roster of acclaimed talents to populate the ensemble, and drew decent reviews, but it still went down in the history books as a colossal flop after barely recouping the $115 million budget from theaters.
That was a shockingly low return for a high concept sci-fi that featured Asa Butterfield, Ben Kingsley, Harrison Ford, Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin, and Viola Davis putting their heads together to combat an alien invasion, but matters weren’t helped by the author’s views on homosexuality and same-sex marriage leading to widespread calls for a boycott.
Ender’s Game has largely been lost to the sands of time in the nine years since it first landed with a dull thud, but the underrated intergalactic adventure has been doing a solid turn on streaming this weekend. As per FlixPatrol, the film has cracked HBO Max’s Top 10 most-watched list in the United States, so a resurgence could be on the cards.