With a sub-50% score on Rotten Tomatoes and an opening weekend gross that will likely be less than 10% of the movie's production costs, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is shaping up to be the year's first genuine comic book bomb.
Every other comic book movie in wide release this year -- The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Guardians of the Galaxy -- made big bucks and most of them earned stellar reviews.
For Sin City, a sequel to a "certified fresh" film that was a surprise hit on a relatively small budget, to earn neither isn't necessarily surprising (it had failed to generate much in the way of buzz over the last six months) but the extent of its financial failure might be a surprise.
The sequel's opening night haul was off 78% from Sin City's earnings in the same period last time around -- and that's with nine years of ticket price inflation and the addition of 3D premiums to artificially inflate an apples to apples comparison.
It's also less than half what The Expendables 3 made its opening night, in spite of the fact that the latest testosterone-fueled sequel was considered a big disappointment, and that it was presumably impacted by a major leak that saw a completed version of the movie make its way online over a month ago.
Neither Frank Miller, whose Holy Terror is often used as a punchline, nor Robert Rodriguez, who hasn't had a $40 million opening since Sin City, are guaranteed hitmakers, but to have this film perform comparably to R.I.P.D. is surprising.
That said, if it took six out of the seven comic book movies to finally hit one that didn't make a ton of money might be at least one better than many had predicted.