METALLICA frontman James Hetfield has admitted that the band could not understand why its 2013 concert film, “Metallica Through The Never”, failed to connect with a wider audience.
“Metallica Through The Never” took in just $3.4 million at the U.S. box office in four weeks of release after costing more than $20 million to make, with the band putting up all the money for the project.
The band filmed the bulk of the movie at two concerts in Vancouver in the summer of 2012, using a $5 million stage show specially constructed for the production.
Speaking to the official METALLICA fan-club magazine So What!, Hetfield said: “It’s very bittersweet, the whole movie bit. We put a lot of money, time and effort into it, and how awesome we thought it was, and how ‘wow, this is pretty unique’ we felt about it, at the end of the day, was its downfall. It was not so much a concert film, not so much an action drama, it was somewhere in the middle; it just fell right down the crevasse. It disappeared. And it was sad to see that.”
He continued: “The way life is now in the entertainment field, especially movies, two years of work came all the way up to a Friday night. ‘Okay, the movie’s released!’ By Friday night, you know pretty much what the full picture is and how the movie is actually gonna do at the box office. But management said — and I agree with this; it makes total sense — that Hollywood is about perception. Hollywood is about rumors spreading and things like that, so if someone tweets, ‘Hey, the movie’s great,’ if that spreads, then it helps. A lot of people don’t go to movies because of reviews, I guess… I don’t understand that so much.”
Hetfield acknowledged that “Metallica Through The Never” did in fact get mostly good reviews, but went on to explain: “I will say to my wife, ‘Hey, let’s go see this. It looks really good!’ And she’d say, ‘Well, it got bad reviews. We’re not going.’ It’s like… I don’t care. It looks good to me. Let me go find out if I like it or not. A review’s just another opinion. But anyway, I guess across the board it lasted in the theaters, what, two weeks? I’d tell people, ‘Hey, we’ve got this movie out,” and they’d say, ‘Cool, I can’t do it this week. Maybe I’ll go next week.’ Well, it’s not gonna be around next week.”
The METALLICA frontman revealed that the band experienced a lot “frustration” over the fact that they “couldn’t get more people to see” the movie. He said: “It’s, like, wait a minute. We go to these screenings and all the people are there and were they there to see the movie? Yeah. Would they be there if we weren’t gonna show up? I don’t know. It’s not our forte. As simple as that. We make good music, we like touring, we like performing. And it didn’t translate into the theater as well.”
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