Peter Jackson’s ‘Mortal Engines’ is expected to lose at least $100 million at box office

It now looks unlikely that 'Mortal Engines' will become a successful franchise

Peter Jackson‘s steampunk fantasy adventure Mortal Engines is expected to lose at least $100 million at box office.

Mortal Engines is based on the Philip Reeves books that imagine a futuristic, apocalyptic London. Famed The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson bought the rights to adapt the books over ten years ago but opted to produce the film, with long-time collaborator Christian Rivers directing.

According to Deadline, the sci-fi film is expected to lose millions after a very disappointing first week, taking only $7.5 million at the box office. Mortal Engines has also been met with pretty lukewarm reviews. In comparison, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit made a combined near $5.9 billion in global box office takings.

In a two-star review, the NME said: “The plot is a distant secondary consideration to action set-pieces. There are so many gaps in the storytelling and so much reliance on chance and characters guessing things that it’s never even remotely absorbing or satisfying.

“It’s a beautifully designed world but no real life exists within it.”

The adaptation is believed to have cost $110 million and stars little-known actor Hera Hilmar as young assassin Hester Shaw who joins a gang of outlaws to stop a predatory city of London on wheels.

It now looks unlikely that Mortal Engines will become a successful franchise.

 Jackson recently applied modern production techniques to 600 hours of footage to create his new documentary about the First World War, titled They Shall Not Grow Old.

He applied colourising techniques to bring the film to life and hired lip-readers to decipher what those in the footage were saying to each other to come up with a script for actors to re-dub.