It's a non-news sort of news item, granted, but this Weekend Box Office Reflects a Season of Big-Budget Stumbles is kind of a fun read, since the subtext seems to be that we — as in, you and me — do know better, as in better from worse.
Since I work for one of the studios that are guilty as charged in all of this, I can only tell you as fly on wall that our batting average of late has actually been pretty good, and that nobody sets out to make a stinker (see corollary: A Great Movie is a Miracle). What I find heartening, though, is the evidence that today's audience is as smart as ever.
We rubes have been duped in the past, but when you've seen the best apocalyptic alien invasion movie (e.g. The Avengers), the tenth mediocre one foisted on you in quick succession is liable not to make much of an impression, no matter how much money's been thrown at it. Even fans of the successful Man of Steel complained of its last hour's hammering worlds-collide CGI overkill.
The audience is the boss, and once again, the industry's tacit greed (i.e. just give them more, more, more of what they seemed to like before) has proven to be their Achilles' heel. The good news that comes with this passel of box office bombs is contained in writer Barnes' succinct sentence: "What’s needed, some studio executives said, is a recalibration of the kinds of movies being put into production."
Recalibrate on, dudes! I'll drink to that.