Critics have been left wondering if maybe Steven Spielberg has lost his touch, after his new film The BFG has flopped at the box office.

The $195 million film opened with just $27.3 million at the box office, and according to Variety, "is shaping up to be one of the biggest flops of Spielberg's career".

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The pieces were all there - the same lonely child meets other-worldly new friend formula, the Spielberg brand, the Roald Dahl brand, the same writer that penned the script for E.T - all that was missing was some star power in the cast.

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The talents of three of the world’s greatest storytellers – Roald Dahl, Walt Disney and Steven Spielberg –finally unite to bring Dahl’s beloved classic “The BFG” to life.

So what went wrong?

Variety puts it down to changing tastes. The industry is chock full of comic-book heroes, and children's films are dominated by Pixar - Finding Dory outshone The BFG racking up $58.4 million, and that's in its third week of release.

That, and the actors Spielberg used to tie himself to - like Tom Cruise and Tom Hanks - simply don't have the same pulling power they used to, not like a group of superheroes do, anyway.

However, it may just be a matter of relatability. Perhaps Dahl's BFG is not a story this generation cares about.

But Spielberg's Ready Player One is due in 2018 - an adaptation of a best-selling novel set in virtual reality - which should curry favour with a younger audience.