Chris Pratt’s new film “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is enjoying massive early acclaim, which is in stark contrast to his last film, “Passengers.” The pitch of Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence in a romantic sci-fi action movie — it seemed like a can’t miss, and Pratt even praised “Passengers” as “maybe the best script I had ever read.” So when the movie came out, and critics hated it, and fans only kinda liked it, it was a surprise for everyone.
“Passengers” currently has a 31 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with an Audience Score higher at 64 percent. Many critics called out a key aspect of the plot as creepy, stalking, and even Stockholm Syndrome.
Variety asked Pratt if criticism of the film surprised him. He hesitated, then answered:
“Yeah. It did, it really did. I was really caught off guard by that. It was definitely a lesson. I personally think the movie is very good, I’m very proud of it. I’ll be curious to see if it holds up — the criticism and the movie. […] But the critical score was disproportionately negative compared to the Cinemascore. It got the same rating on Rotten Tomatoes as ‘Paul Blart: Mall Cop,’ maybe worse.”
Yep, worse. “Mall Cop” has a 33 percent RT rating (and an Audience Score of 43 percent), vs the 31 percent for “Passengers.” “Passengers” has a “B” on Cinemascore, though, which does show that fans liked it more than critics. (But “Passengers” initially looked like a potential blockbuster, so even a B is kinda disappointing.)
However, Pratt is not angling to get into a fight over this, telling Variety:
“I never want to be in a situation where I’m blaming critics for not liking a movie. So I’ll just stop talking. It is what it is and I’m proud of it.”
Pratt added that the movie “did just fine” to make money back for the studio. “Passengers” had a reported budget of $110 million and made $100 million in its domestic release, and just shy of $200 million overseas for a total just under $300 million.
Meanwhile, the “Guardians of the Galaxy” sequel (out in theaters May 5) will probably break some box office records and get very high ratings from both critics and fans. But to each his own.
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