After two weeks the writing is on the wall for Vince Vaughn’s Unfinished Business. With a very modest budget of $35 million, the film has yet to cross the $10 million budget domestically in box office grosses and so far is on pace to lose money in the tens of millions for Fox. So far it hasn’t made as much domestically as The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which has a cast mainly comprised of elderly Brits and is focusing on drawing in a much smaller target audience (in terms of buying a ticket to see a movie), did during its opening weekend. When all is said and done a film headlined by Judi Dench and Maggie Smith will have thoroughly and profoundly outdrawn a comedy headlined by one of comedy’s supposedly biggest stars of the past decade.
It’s fairly sad … but this was something that has been coming for a long time. Vaughn has been having big failures for the last couple of years but there has never been a film that has failed on such a spectacular level as Unfinished Business has. It even earned bad reviews from both fans and critics, both of which rated it very poorly on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s a certified, genuine and profound flop and it represents the cratering of Vince Vaughn’s career.
It’s a downer, as he seems to be a celebrity who gets what that means on a macro level, but it comes down to one singular reason why Unfinished Business is the latest film property by Vaughn to flop. People are sick of the Trent character he’s essentially been playing in comedies exclusively in the past 20 years. Swingers celebrates its 20th anniversary next year, for those keeping track, and Vaughn has essentially been playing the following guy for almost his entire career.
The fast talking wise cracker has essentially been Vaughn’s go to character for his entire career. Swingers was the second film he ever made, after a cameo role in Rudy, and ever since he’s essentially been playing the same character any time a film needs Vaughn to be funny. Every one of his signature, major roles has been a variant on this initial role and now it’s come to a point where he’s the first of that troop of American comic actors that profoundly influenced the American comedy scene over the first decade of the 21st century to have found out that the game has moved on from him.
Vaughn hasn’t had a film cross $50 million domestically since 2009 and his two prior films to this (The Internship, Delivery Man) both marginally made money at best. So this isn’t a new thing, for Vaughn to be a part of a film that wasn’t financially successful. It’s just the latest in a string of failures that represents the cratering of Vince Vaughn’s career.
Stuff for General George S. Pimpage, Esq
I reviewed Liam Neeson’s latest, Run All Night, right here.
Scott Sawitz is an Inside Pulse original. He's also been featured on The Ultimate Fighter.com, Fox Sports.com, Nerdcore Movement.com, CagePotato.com, Inside Fights.com and Film Arcade.net (among others). When Scott isn't writing about film he's making his own. Check out Drunk Justice Productions right here.