In-“Flight” Disaster? Why Denzel’s New Film May Lose Money

October 24, 2012  |  

Denzel at the Los Angeles premiere of “Flight.” Image: Todd Williamson/Invision/AP Images

Flying can be scary. So when people are 7,000 feet in the air, the last thing they want to see is a film about a frightening flight.

This could be a problem for Denzel Washington‘s new film, Flight, in which he plays an alcoholic pilot who is faced with an in-flight emergency. The movie, which cost $35 million to make, hits theaters on November 2. The studio, Paramount Pictures, has received lukewarm reception from the various airline companies about showing the film onboard during flights.

While the aviation disaster flick wouldn’t have made a ton of money from being shown in-flight, the fees airlines pay to show films does usually add up to a few million dollars. And during a time when ticket sales are down, any extra profits are good news. “According to The Wrap, summer ticket sales dropped nearly 20 million from 545 last year to 526 million summer 2012,” reports Business Insider. In fact, ticket sales have dropped $100 million over the last ten years.

“Don’t think it’s going to happen,” the film’s director, Robert Zemeckis, said of the chances that Flight would be shown in-flight, reports The L.A. Times.

Even Delta Air Lines, which helped train Washington in a cockpit simulator, might not show the film on its planes.

The film also stars Don Cheadle, Melissa Leo, Bruce Greenwood, Kelly Reilly and John Goodman. It is actually based loosely on the 2000 crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261, in which the pilots attempted to recover from catastrophic loss of control by flying the aircraft upside down. That crash had no survivors.

Although the airlines aren’t jumping at showing Flight, early reviews have been good, according to Rotten Tomatoes.

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