Promotional Art for The Rocketeer
Comics,  Film,  Podcast

Hops and Box Office Flops: ‘THE ROCKETEER’

The Antifa Adventurer That isn’t Dr. Jones

Promotional Art for The Rocketeer

The Rocketeer is a beloved 1991 Disney film. Based on Dave Stevens’ comic series, which debuted in 1982, it revolves around stunt pilot Cliff Secord’s (Bill Campbell) fortuitous discovery of a jetpack created by Howard Hughes. Of course, adventure ensues.

The character was created as a tribute to the 1930s serials that had inspired wonder in the youth of their day. Both the comics and film execute that homage perfectly. The Rocketeer is indeed a cult classic. Loaded with charm—which is anchored by the majestic score of James Horner—it serves as a delightful reminder of the comic book films of yesteryear. Those films had to rely far less on CGI and far more on making the viewers organically believe in the magic they were presenting.

Billy Campbell as The Rocketeer

They also had a much slimmer margin for error. They weren’t the commodity they are now, so there wasn’t an excess of “superhero” cinema.

Unfortunately for The Rocketeer, it failed to take flight at the box office. It grossed just $46.7 million on a budget of $40 million, sending the sequel plans to the crap heap.

The good news: Despite some dodgy green screen here and there, it remains a very enjoyable time; and its enduring appeal seems to be leading to a sequel series for Disney+!

So sit back, blast off with a Hazecraft IPA from Great Lakes Brewing Co., and don’t let Lothar snap you in half! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. Cash and two special guests are punching Nazis and crashing zeppelins!

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction/Plot Breakdown – 30 years later, The Rocketeer still packs plenty of fun. (00:00)
  • Lingering Questions – The Double Turn Podcast tunes up the band, and then we discuss why this film should’ve soared, rather than crashed, at the box office. (56:16)
  • The “Rocket Man” Trivia Challenge – We hear from our brothers in beer at Hop Nation USA, and then Capt. Cash challenges the field to trivia about the movie. (1:14:42)
  • Recommendations – We offer our picks for the week and next up: We finish off “Hops and Attempted Franchise Flops” with the least self-aware Skynet creation, Terminator Genisys! (1:22:10)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to check out all the interesting factoids—the upcoming reboot and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcherPodbeanSpotifyAcastTuneIniHeartRadioVurbl, and Amazon Music!

Thomas Kelly

Writer, Superman aficionado, lover of odd and underperforming sports teams, and co-host of the film adoring podcast, Hops and Box Office Flops