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Film critics have gone mild for Zac Efron's latest star turn in the remake of sci fi horror Firestarter, with the movie crashing at the box office amid a dire Rotten Tomatoes rating.
Opening up over the weekend, the flick made just $3.8 million at the US Box Office and $5.8 million worldwide, according to Forbes. It comes after a slew of bad reviews, which have left Firestarter yet another lowlight in Efron's career.
Take a look at the trailer below:
The original film adaptation of the Stephen King novel of the same name came out in 1984 and, while not perfect, the Mark L. Lester directed version did get some love for its special effects at the time and was a modest box office success.
Unfortunately the 2022 update has received no praise, with widespread panning by critics and a 13 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes no doubt playing some part in its poor opening weekend against an estimated budget of $12 million.
The plot revolves around parents Andy (Efron) and Vicky (Sydney Lemmon) on the run to hide their daughter Charlie (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) from a federal agency keen to harness her gift of being able to create fire, so that they can use it as a weapon of mass destruction.
Charlie has been taught to repress her power but, as she gets older, it's becoming harder and harder to do so, and the feds are getting ever closer to finding her – not that she's going to give up without a fight.
That might not sound terrible in theory, but if you believe, well, nearly everyone, the execution of it is.
In its review, the Daily Beast wrote: "The only mood conjured by this dud is one of extreme torpor, and the only response it elicits is confusion as to why anyone – including headliner Zac Efron – thought this was worthy of their time or energy in the first place."
In its own damning review, the AV Club wrote: "A waste of a talented cast and crew that somehow, against all odds, makes the 1984 film seem like a staggering achievement in the realm of King adaptations."
Empire Magazine at least found time to praise soundtrack maestro John Carpenter, but was short on finding other positives, writing: "Only a thrilling throwback synth score from John Carpenter keeps this inferior, modernised take on Firestarter off the lower end of a list of Stephen King adaptations."
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