Some box-office bombs can be spotted a mile away, and that seems to be the case with Monster Trucks. After appearing as Havok in the X-Men movies and starring as CBS’ new MacGyver, Lucas Till will star in the Mattel-based film for Paramount. Sadly, even the studio seems to be aware of the quality of the film as a new report reveals a write-down of $115 million.
THR noticed that Paramount’s parent company Viacom cited “a programming impairment charge” in this amount related to “the expected performance of an unreleased film.” The trade cites unnamed sources who link this film to Monster Trucks, claiming that the title was supposed to appeal to a broad audience but has since become more like a kids movie. The release date for the film was also pushed back a number of times, which may be reflective on its on-going issues.
Collider visited the set during production in June of 2014, and the film doesn’t even open in theaters until January 13, 2017. Monster Trucks is directed by Chris Wedge and stars Till, Jane Levy, Rob Lowe, Amy Ryan, Holt McCallany, Barry Pepper, Tucker Albrizzi, Danny Glover, and Frank Whaley.
Paramount has had some success this year, however, an analyst for Drexel Hamilton, Tony Wible, noted “the studio is gradually losing its major franchises.” This year, the only major franchise success was Star Trek Beyond. It didn’t have a Mission: Impossible installment (reportedly stalled because of pay disputes with Tom Cruise) and there was no Transformers (filming on The Last Knight was stalled as the Hasbro writers room worked out the longterm plan). Perhaps the studio will fair better next year.
Here’s the official synopsis for Monster Trucks:
<blockquote>Looking for any way to get away from the life and town he was born into, Tripp (Lucas Till), a high school senior, builds a Monster Truck from bits and pieces of scrapped cars. After an accident at a nearby oil-drilling site displaces a strange and subterranean creature with a taste and a talent for speed, Tripp may have just found the key to getting out of town and a most unlikely friend. Melding cutting edge visual effects and state-of-the-art CGI, Monster Trucks is an action filled adventure for the whole family that will keep you on the edge of your seat and ultimately touch your heart.</blockquote>