Last Year's Gambles | EW.com

News

Last Year's Gambles

How accurate was the EW crystal ball?

WE Here at ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY never claimed to be Nostradamus. In fact, our Gambles cover last year was Star Wars. Some risky crapshoot that turned out to be: The value-added trilogy raked in more than $250 million. We were, however, a bit more prescient with some of our other forecasts, though not all of them. Here’s the tale of the tape:

TITANIC A year ago, we asked if it was safe to go back into the water after the costly Waterworld and dubbed Titanic a sink-or-swim venture. A year later, with the flick’s mounting Oscar buzz and its box office haul chugging toward break-even ($400 million worldwide), Cameron looks more like a visionary than a free-spending lunatic.

RISQUE FLICKS In the wake of Ted Turner’s tongue-lashing of Fine Line’s Crash, we doubted that anyone besides the raincoat crowd would get hot and bothered enough to see that film and its steamy theatrical bedfellows Boogie Nights and Lolita. The score? Crash wiped out; Boogie Nights snagged raves but only mediocre box office; and Lolita still hasn’t found an American distributor.

STAR-STUDDED SITCOMS We thought a Playboy centerfold, a fist-cranking talk-show host, and a fallen spaz could become 1997’s sitcom royalty. Whoops. Jenny McCarthy’s painful show quickly became Must She? TV, Arsenio’s already been yanked, and good ol’ Pee-wee’s big adventure is still in development.

SCI-FI TV Weekly versions of Stargate and Timecop didn’t seem so out there to us, but sans Kurt Russell and the Muscles From Brussels, their TV spin-offs were hardly future perfect.

U2’S POP We were iffy on whether the Irish masters of hubristic bloat could poke fun at themselves and deliver the techno goods with Pop. And although the album did go platinum, Pop is perceived as an artistic flop.

TIBET MOVIES We warned that religious movies would be a tough sell, and the Dalai Lama-themed twosome Seven Years in Tibet and Kundun proved they weren’t box office miracles.

AEROSMITH’S NINE LIVES The first album in the band’s $30 million return to Sony was hardly the cat’s meow – it went platinum after 7 weeks on the charts, but in the 36 weeks since, it hasn’t achieved multiplatinum status. Who’d have thunk it? Not us.

THE BIG SEQUELS We predicted that the latest offerings in the Jurassic Park, Speed, Alien, and Home Alone franchises weren’t the safe bets they seemed. And we were mostly right – those slightly warmed-over sequels were hit-and-miss…and miss, and miss.