Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig in Cowboys & Aliens
Image: Universal/Dreamworks

Jon Favreau directs an all-star cast of actors in the 2011 film Cowboys & Aliens including, Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell, Paul Dano, and many others. It had everything to be a summer blockbuster franchise, but that didn’t happen. At the cost of $160 million, the movie only grossed $175 million worldwide, thus losing money for the studio. You know what that means—no sequel.

Ten years after the release of Cowboys & Aliens, Scott Mitchell, creator of the comic of the same name, spoke to Yahoo Entertainment to discuss what he thinks killed the film’s success. “It’s interesting: when it debuted at San Diego Comic-Con, the reviews from Variety and The Hollywood Reporter were very positive,” he says. “But the articles that came out after talked about the box office, and because it didn’t do better at the box office, the reviews were different, which I don’t think is very fair.”

According to Rosenberg, Universal’s constant micromanaging killed the film’s potential. “Universal announced the release date for the movie without going over it with DreamWorks,” he recalls. “Had everything been cordial, it would have been bumped to the following summer [of 2012] because that way we could have gotten a lot of merchandising going. It was just 11 months without a Christmas in between to do anything. They just weren’t working together on things, and people were pointing hands in different directions. It had its effect.”

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, though. Rosenberg once again has the Cowboys & Aliens movie rights and has big plans for the story’s future. “We’ve been talking to investors about a new movie,” he reveals. “It can’t be based on any of the stuff that came before, so we have to go back to the source material or create new source material.”

I know Cowboys & Aliens was panned by critics or audiences (according to Rotten Tomatoes), but I loved the western/sci-fi combo. Any fans of the film out there? What did you think of it?

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