Welcome to Marwen, in theaters December 21, tanked at the box office. Considering production, marketing, and distribution costs, the movie is expected to lose $50 million for Universal, Dreamworks, and Perfect World Pictures, among other partners. The film opened to a sad $2.4 million from 1,191 theaters. This movie was pushed out of notice in the wake of movies like Aquaman, Bumblebee, and Mary Poppins Returns. Theaters are less likely to show Welcome to Marwen, vying to make room for the newest hit films.
Zemeckis is the director of great films such as Forrest Gump, The Polar Express, and the Back to the Future trilogy. He wrote the screenplay for Welcome to Marwen alongside Caroline Thompson. The movie is biographical in that it is based on the life of Mark Hogancamp, an artist and photographer. Hogancamp suffered permanent brain damage and erasure of all memories at the hands of attackers outside a bar. Inflicted with PTSD, Hogancamp endures and recovers by constructing a World War II village filled with a population of dolls representing himself and people from his life. In this village, Hogancamp is a hero of sorts.
The film suffered because of poor reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gave it 27% and IMDb a 5.5/10. Critics from Screen Rant and Variety had nothing positive to say about the movie which reportedly didn’t do the real Hogancamp’s moving life story justice. Zemeckis and Carell have not been doing their best. Zemeckis’ recent movies like Allied and The Walk were nothing special. Carell made some money voicing Gru in Despicable Me but other movies such as Beautiful Boy earned him little profit.