The most crucial question that studio executives and producers ask themselves when giving a project the go-ahead is "Will this make money?" Having an A-list star or adapting a beloved series is a great way to get butts in seats but it's never a guarantee.
You would assume the most logical way to tell if a movie is going to do well is by listening to what the people want. If you just go online for five seconds, you will see millions of cinephiles imploring Hollywood to adapt a book series, reboot a franchise, or make a sequel to a classic.
After being worn down for years or decades, Hollywood finally buckles and makes the exact film we said we wanted and yet, nobody turns out at the theatres. There are all sorts of reasons why this can happen. The movie mightn't have been advertised well, it came out at the wrong time, or it just wasn't very good.
Society loves to criticise Hollywood for churning out the same mindless trash but you can't blame them when the films we want to see turn out to be box office poison.
There are two rules to making a solid adaptation of 2000 AD's Judge Dredd. First, we must never see the titular judge's face. Secondly, Rob Schneider isn't allowed to be in it. Somehow, the 1995 adaptation, starring Sylvester Stallone as the snarling street judge, forgot these golden decrees.
When it was announced that the 2012 reboot would be "Judge Dredd done right", fans were excited. This new iteration, simply titled Dredd, was faithful to the source material and Karl Urban proved a perfect choice for the lead role.
Unsurprisingly, a lot of people had no interest in seeing the film, assuming it would be more of the same as its terrible predecessor. Also, the distributor wanted to show off the film's gorgeous slo-mo effects (which took years to perfect) and insisted that Dredd had to be shown in 3D. Because 2D screenings were limited and 3D screenings were expensive, a lot of cinema-goers gave the movie a pass, sinking its chances at the box office.
Even though Dredd only had a $50 million budget, it only recouped $41 million. So, not only did it fail to break even, it didn't even make HALF the amount as the Stallone adaptation!