Jennifer Wunsch

Why Was The Irishman Considered A Flop Despite Its Hype?

You’ve probably heard the buzz – Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Irishman,’ despite its acclaimed director and star-studded lineup, didn’t quite hit the mark at the box office. You might scratch your head, wondering how a film with Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci could be considered a flop.

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However, with a daunting 3.5 hour runtime, an intricate narrative structure, and the controversial use of de-aging technology, ‘The Irishman’ faced a slew of criticisms that may have contributed to its underperformance.

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Yet, could there be other factors at play in this film’s unexpected downfall? Let’s venture further into the intriguing world of Hollywood economics and audience preferences to uncover more.

Key Takeaways

  • The overwhelming 3.5-hour runtime of ‘The Irishman’ deterred potential viewers and limited repeat viewings.
  • The complex narrative structure, with non-linear storytelling and multiple timelines, made the film challenging to watch.
  • The controversial de-aging technology used in the film stirred up debate in the industry and raised ethical implications.
  • Despite a lukewarm reception at the box office, ‘The Irishman’ garnered critical acclaim and a significant viewership on Netflix.

Overwhelming Runtime Length

Overwhelming Runtime Length

One of the significant factors that turned ‘The Irishman’ into a daunting viewing experience for many was its overwhelming runtime length of a whopping 3 hours and 30 minutes.

This marathon-length movie, directed by Martin Scorsese and streamed on Netflix, led to decreased viewer engagement. The overwhelming length deterred potential viewers, impacting the film’s success and potentially limiting repeat viewings.

Complex Narrative Structure

Complex Narrative Structure

Alongside the daunting length, another element that made ‘The Irishman’ a challenging watch was its complex narrative structure. It was a labyrinth of non-linear storytelling, multiple timelines, and interwoven plotlines.

Despite featuring Robert De Niro and costing a hefty 53 million to make, the film’s intricate design was a puzzle that not all viewers were prepared to solve. This complexity contributed to its less than stellar performance.

Controversial De-aging Technology

Controversial De Aging Technology

Diving into the pool of controversy, let’s talk about de-aging technology, a digital wizardry that’s stirring up quite the debate in the film industry, especially after its prominent use in ‘The Irishman’.

This technology was a key element in the film’s narrative, but also a contributing factor to its flop.

It’s controversial due to:

  • Ethical implications
  • Impact on authenticity of performances

Lackluster Audience Reception

Lackluster Audience Reception

Struggling to make waves in the box office, ‘The Irishman’ found itself sinking under the weight of a limited theatrical release and the subsequent lackluster audience reception.

Despite 64 million users watching it on Netflix, this didn’t translate to box office success.

The question persists, why was ‘The Irishman’ a flop? Perhaps the absence of major theater chains contributed to people’s lukewarm reception.

Its Performance at the Box Office

Its Performance At The Box Office

Despite its glittering array of stars and critical acclaim, ‘The Irishman’s’ box office performance tells a different tale. The film pulled in an estimated $7 million in North America. However, this was mainly due to its limited theatrical release and absence from major theater chains.

  • Box office numbers:
  • $7 million gross from limited theatrical release
  • Absence from wide release impacted earnings


So there you have it – The Irishman’s downfall can be attributed to a multitude of factors, from its taxing runtime to its intricate narrative.

They say ‘all that glitters isn’t gold,’ and in this case, even a star-studded cast and advanced technology couldn’t save the day.

Despite its hype, this flick didn’t quite hit the mark, leaving audiences and box office returns rather lackluster.

Here’s hoping Scorsese’s next venture is more of a crowd-pleaser.

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