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Hops and Box Office Flops: ‘DREAMCATCHER – A Bad Case of Alien Hemorrhoids’


Dreamcatcher is based on a novel by Stephen King. King is indisputably this generation’s most prolific writer of horror. Unfortunately, for too long, the film’s based on his novels weren’t up to snuff.

Dreamcatcher certainly falls into that category. It’s filled with laughable dialogue, slapstick scares, and a near nonsensical plot. In short, it’s a mess.

Damian Lewis, Thomas Jane, Timothy Olyphant, and Jason Lee in Dreamcatcher

But it shouldn’t have been. Its cast is excellent, featuring Thomas Jane, Jason Lee, Timothy Olyphant, and Damian Lewis in the lead roles, as well as Morgan Freeman and Tom Sizemore in supporting ones. And it was written and directed by Lawrence “The Empire Strikes Back” Kasdan (co-written by legendary screenwriter William Goldman).

On paper, this seemed like a surefire hit, yet that’s not how movies are made. It takes more than just legendary pedigree and a host of capable leading men.

Dreamcatcher, not necessarily known as one of King’s better works, has the elements to be a taught film. It’s part The Thing mixed with a dash of Alien, as well as other familiar elements. Yet none of them work here. Something clearly went wrong in the translation.

Critics and audiences agreed. With 183 reviews, it sits at 28% on Rotten Tomatoes; the users average a 35%. That less than lukewarm reception is probably why it flopped, earning just $75.7 million on a budget of $68 million.

The "Shit Weasel" in Dreamcatcher

In the end, only sometimes, dead is better; but books are better all the time. If you are pressed for time, though, and high on seeing a man shit out a penis shaped alien with teeth, that does happen here. 

So sit back, have a shit weasel bite the top off a Pumpkinhead from Shipyard Brewing Co., and dust off your Scooby-Doo lunch box! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. CashChumpzilla, and Mayor McCheese are rifling through all the weird crap in Jonesy’s Memory Warehouse.

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction/Plot Breakdown – There was a roadmap, but they decided to scrap most of its interesting elements. (00:00)
  • Lingering Questions – As yet another sub-par Stephen King adaptation, we debate whether it deserved to flop. (59:03)
  • The “No Bounce, No Play” Trivia Challenge – Chumpzilla challenges the field to a series of questions about the film. (1:28:12)
  • Recommendations – We offer our picks for the week, and next up: the third entry in our “Flops that Go Bump in the Night” series, Doctor Sleep! (1:37:21)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to check out all the interesting factoids—the book to film differences and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbeanSpotifyAcastTuneIniHeartRadio, and Amazon Music!


Thomas L. Kelly

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