Artemis Fowl, Disney’s big budget fantasy movie based on a popular young adult series of books, is an unmitigated disaster. It’s also the lowest-rated film to premiere on Disney Plus.
Ahead of its official release on Friday, critics were able to screen it and let’s just say it’s earning its straight-to-video badge. The problem is though that unlike most movies which skip theaters, Artemis Fowl reportedly cost $125 million to make and had a prime summer release date. But COVID-19 nixed that plan.
Of the films that have premiered on the streaming platform, the critical rating based off of Rotten Tomatoes for Artemis Fowl is by far the lowest. The five movies to premiere before it were Lady and the Tramp, Noelle, Togo, Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made and Stargirl. Togo and Timmy Failure received glowing reviews with 91% and 88%, respectively, and of the three remaining, only the Anna Kendrick/Bill Hader Christmas movie, Noelle, had a rotten score at 53%. Artemis, meanwhile, sits at 10%.
Every year, you can kind of predict which releases are going to bomb and Artemis Fowl felt like a prime suspect. YA adaptations aren’t exactly big anymore and the fantasy genre in general has not fared well lately. Another big Mouse House release, Tomorrowland, is a good comparison. Released five years ago in late May, the movie cost nearly $200 million to produce and barely made a dent. And that had Brad Bird behind the camera and George Clooney in front of it.
Despite a talented director and a fresh cast, Artemis Fowl will probably be remembered as an expensive flop that faded into obscurity on a streaming service. Perhaps they should have made it a show from the very beginning, like they’re doing with Percy Jackson.