Finally, some good news for Sony's Holmes and Watson -- kind of.
So far, the film is at 6%, with 34 reviews counted, only two of which are positive. One, from veteran critic David Edelstein at Vulture, is headlined "Holmes & Watson Doesn't Make It Easy, But There's Fun To Be Had," which is not much of a ringing endorsement.
It is not uncommon for movies' Rotten Tomatoes scores to fluctuate upon release, and while Holmes and Watson had nowhere to go but up, it would be difficult to imagine a world in which a $40 million comedy starring two of the most famous comic actors in Hollywood didn't get at least up into the single digits.
It did, however, manage to become the rare movie so universally reviled that nearly ever entertainment site (including this one) compiled a list of critics' sickest burns.
Lest you think this is another cast of snooty film critics failing to grasp the appeal of low brow comedy designed for mass appeal, the movie has received only a D+ CinemaScore from moviegoers, and a 1/2-star rating from PostTrak, with 28% of moviegoers saying they would recommend it.
The film opened on Christmas, which means it has not yet had a full week in theaters, but early screenings have yielded only 25% positive reviews from audiences on Rotten Tomatoes and widespread stories of walkouts.
Deadline claims that test audience responses to the film were so bad that Sony moved to mitigate its damage ahead of time, first by trying to sell the movie to Netflix, and later by selling a chunk of the rights off to Mimran Schur Pictures. The odds are low that it will make its money back, although if it meets its current projections (Sony is expecting it to earn around $20 million by the end of the weekend) it will still have beaten out last year's December family comedy Father Figures, which only earned $17.5 million in its domestic theatrical run.
The film is in theaters now, but if you want to see it...well, probably hurry. It does not sound like it will be there long.