Why Did Stardust Tank?

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Maybe that’s unfair. It has earned $26.4 million in the U.S., according to IMDB. That’s against a budget of $65 million or so. Given foreign sales and DVD it’ll probably make some money, so I guess it’s unfair to say that it tanked. But I never thought that after three weeks it’d be down there at #8, with Mr. Bean’s Holiday taunting it cruelly from #4.

What happened? Stardust has ridiculous numbers of big stars in it, including Robert De Niro, Claire Danes, and Michelle Pfeiffer. It has hordes of Gaimanistas to go see it. It has action for the dudes and romance for the ladeez and fantasy for the nerds. Moreover it’s actually good. Or I thought so. In the movie studio in my mind, I would have greenlit it. What happened?

The conventional thinking is that the studio didn’t know how to market it. It looked too nerdy for the ladeez and too sappy for the nerds not really that action-y at all. I suppose that must be it. I can only hope it develops a cult following and lives on for years on the USA network, like Princess Bride before it. Am I the only one who saw it?