Geostorm,” the global disaster movie directed by Dean Devlin and starring Gerard Butler, looks like that it is going to be such a box office bomb that it is going to lose its investors between $50 million and $100 million, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The response of audiences should not be much of a surprise as the movie was shot in 2014 and had its release date pushed back multiple times due to weak test audience reaction. The question arises, why?

‘Geostorm’ was released too soon after the hurricanes

One pat answer to the question as to why the film failed is that it was released too soon after real-life weather-ravaged Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico.

The theory is that no one wants to watch a fictional depiction of weather run amuck on a global basis so soon after real-life storms wrecked such destruction, death, and mayhem.

Maybe it was just a bad movie

One of the critics quoted in the Hollywood Reporter piece, Jeff Bock of Exhibitor Relations, stated, "The fact that Geostorm looked like a mashup of every single disaster movie ever created is probably the culprit here.” That fact may be closer to the truth. If the movie was a string of spectacular CGI shots of landmarks getting destroyed held together by a thin plot of a film, it is no wonder why audiences stayed away in droves.

Movies, while they are visual experiences, are a narrative art form meant to tell a story.

Devlin should have known this because he was the producer of one of the best big budget box office smash hits of the 1990s, “Independence Day.” That movie had a lot of shots of landmarks like the White House and the Empire State Building being obliterated by aliens. However, the real story was about how a group of people from diverse background experienced the alien invasion and how they helped to overcome it.

What was the real story of “Geostorm?” Something about a weather control system causing worldwide havoc. But what was the story behind it? How did the characters react, suffer, and ultimately prevail? Who knows? Nothing about story or characters seem to be featured in whatever marketing campaign accompanied the movie.

Some advice from a movie fan

I have not made a movie nor been in one (Note to film producers: I have a novel or two that would be great on the big screen with rights available at reasonable rates). I have, however, seem plenty of them so I think I know what makes for a successful couple of hours in a dark theater.

Tell an interesting story. Populate that story with believable and relatable characters. Do not insult my values or intelligence. Have lots of car chases, gun fights, space battles, combat, and stuff blowing up. Have at least one obligatory sex scene. That’s it.