Does America Not 'Get' the 'A-Team' Anymore?

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Once upon a time in the 1980s, there was a television show called The A-Team. Many people enjoyed this particular program, especially the parts in which George Peppard, Mr. T, and their two unfamous co-stars blew things up. The show lasted 98 episodes before being canceled by NBC, much to the dismay of light-hearted mayhem enthusiasts and connoisseurs of TV shows about ragtag bands of mercenaries accused of a crime they did not commit.

This past summer--27 years after the first episode aired following Super Bowl XVII--director Joe Carnahan's big screen adaptation of the series hit multiplexes. For some reason, 20th Century Fox decided Carnahan needed a $100 million budget to properly realize his vision for the film, which ultimately ended up grossing $77 million. And while most discussions about the film's disappointing performance at the box office have centered on the project's troubled production, the general crumminess of the movie itself, and the inherent problems in counting on young audiences to turn out for a movie based on a modestly successful, Reagan-era drama, Carnahan offered another theory in an interview with The Wall Street Journal yesterday: America just doesn't get The A-Team anymore. He explains:

... We blew it. Hopefully, we can make it up and find the audience the film should have found during the summer on Blu-ray and DVD. Fingers crossed ... We kind of fell victim to a marketing misstep in that there wasn't necessarily an understanding of what the show was. We didn't do an adequate enough job of telling people what the movie was, if you know what I mean.

Carnahan might be on to something. The following trailer, for instance, makes no reference to the original Jane Austen novel.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.