According to Deadline, TRON: Legacy‘s Joseph Kosinski has becomes the highest grossing first time director in Hollywood. I guess having your first film pull in $399 million will do that to you. Kosinski has taken the title from J.J. Abrams who previously held it due to his film Mission Impossible 3 pulling in $397.5 million. Now on first glance this may seem impressive but really, it isn’t. And it begs the question ‘so what?’.
Of course TRON: Legacy was going to make a killing at the box office. The budget was close to $170 million plus there was the exuberant amount of money Disney put into the marketing and promotion. No one expected it to make any less than a couple hundred million, at least. It was destined to be a money maker. Plus it had those IMAX/3D ticket sales pushing it along. So sure, it made about $400 million but the film is still not a good piece of cinema. It’s a complete mess and it doesn’t give me any amount of confidence in Kosinski as a director.
Look at two other cases that Deadline points out. Sam Mendes made his debut, American Beauty for $15 million and the film took in $356 million and Jan De Bont’s debut was Speed, which was made for $30 million and brought back $350 million. Those films were also made in the 1990’s so when adjusted for inflation those totals are higher. So while Disney did make some money off TRON: Legacy, the aforementioned films brought their studios a lot more profit.
Now Disney may have bet big and gotten out alive, but I still don’t think a sequel is warranted. Make no mistake, there is already one in the works, but it really shouldn’t be happening. The first film was bad, really bad. Kosinski isn’t a good director and TRON: Legacy does not deserve to be turned into a franchise. But then again, Hollywood is all about money so that’s exactly what is going to happen.
For those who agree with me, fear not as Deadline points out that Kosinski’s crown may soon be removed. Carl Rinsch has his debut coming up with The 47 Ronin and Rupert Sanders is directing Snow White and the Huntsman for his first. Both of these have the potential to take the title from Kosinski, and hopefully one of them does.