Metallica’s Hetfield on Commercial Failure Of ‘Through The Never’ Movie

November 27, 2015

Metallica singer James Hetfield admitted to fan-club magazine So What! that the band never understood why their 2013 concert film “Metallica Through The Never” flopped.

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“Metallica Through The Never” took in just $3.4 million at the U.S. box office in four weeks of release after costing the band more than $20 million to make!

The band filmed the bulk of the movie at two concerts in Vancouver in the summer of 2012, using a $5 million stage show specially constructed for the production.


Hetfield said: “It’s very bittersweet, the whole movie bit. We put a lot of money, time and effort into it, and how awesome we thought it was, and how ‘wow, this is pretty unique’ we felt about it, at the end of the day, was its downfall. It was not so much a concert film, not so much an action drama, it was somewhere in the middle; it just fell right down the crevasse. It disappeared. And it was sad to see that.”

He continued: “The way life is now in the entertainment field, especially movies, two years of work came all the way up to a Friday night. ‘Okay, the movie’s released!’ By Friday night, you know pretty much what the full picture is and how the movie is actually gonna do at the box office. But management said — and I agree with this; it makes total sense — that Hollywood is about perception. Hollywood is about rumors spreading and things like that, so if someone tweets, ‘Hey, the movie’s great,’ if that spreads, then it helps. A lot of people don’t go to movies because of reviews, I guess… I don’t understand that so much.”


Hetfield acknowledged that “Metallica Through The Never” did in fact get mostly good reviews, but went on to explain: “I will say to my wife, ‘Hey, let’s go see this. It looks really good!’ And she’d say, ‘Well, it got bad reviews. We’re not going.’ It’s like… I don’t care. It looks good to me. Let me go find out if I like it or not. A review’s just another opinion. But anyway, I guess across the board it lasted in the theaters, what, two weeks? I’d tell people, ‘Hey, we’ve got this movie out,” and they’d say, ‘Cool, I can’t do it this week. Maybe I’ll go next week.’ Well, it’s not gonna be around next week.”

Regarding METALLICA’s decision to to fund the making of “Through The Never” without using outside investors, Hetfield told So What!: “Well, there’s no hard line on that decision. You know, ‘Gosh, we’re really creative. We’re artists!’ And someone’s money becomes an opinion, and we all kind of know that when someone else is investing, they have the space vocally to come in and say, ‘Hey, I think this could do this,’ or, ‘You can try this.’ And all our careers, we’ve been either guarded or we’ve just plainly pushed people away who tell us what to do as artists, whether it’s record companies or whatever, along the way. But there are also times where you do think, ‘Let’s do this really professionally. Let’s see what else is out there and get a producer to help develop our music another way, or start using art designers instead of, ‘Here’s my concept for the album cover.’ People who can contribute with their gift.”

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