Late November saw Rules Don’t Apply, Warren Beatty’s first film in fifteen years, bomb at the US box office, making just a million dollars from over 2,000 screens and ranking as one of the worst Thanksgiving weekend debuts in film history.
Unfortunately for Beatty, who also wrote and directed the film, it’s not the first time his name has been so intimately involved in box office disaster. The romantic comedy, which stars Lily Collins and future Han Solo Alden Ehrenreich as young Hollywood lovers kept apart by the meddling of Beatty’s Howard Hughes, has been in development since 1973, when Beatty first began plotting a Hughes biopic.
It was a long, torturous journey, full of half-starts, revised scripts and development troubles. But, once again, this wasn’t something new for Beatty. Peek into his back catalogue and you will find a checkered history of bloated epics, behind-thescenes chaos and, ultimately, empty cinema seats.
So how did the one-time Hollywood sure-thing, an iconic lothario and acting legend, become so synonymous with a very particular brand of expensive bombs? The answer seems to lie in four specifically disastrous movies. Ishtar; DickTracy; RulesDon’tApply. LoveAffair.
Warren Beatty (right) as Howard Hughes in
alongside Glenne Headley in alongside his real-life wife Annette Bening in
From left: Warren Beatty, Isabelle Adjani and Dustin Hoffman in