Home Movies Mel Gibson Film Makes Scant $104K in Limited Release

“The Beaver” is dead. No matter of life saving technique will revive cinema’s first and last hand puppet psychiatrist. Jodie Foster’s movie about a suicidal man, played by a man who’s already committed career suicide and a kind of personal Hari Kari, earned just $104,000 over three days at 22 theatres.

They were the kinds of theaters where depressed people might go. But they didn’t. They didn’t want to see an anti Semitic, Holocaust denying son of a neo Nazi, anti Pope essayist who threatened to harm his girlfriend and their baby–in a movie about a man who has no responsibility for his family, continually plots to off himself, has violent outbursts, and looks like he’s been sleeping on a park bench. Imagine that.

The movie got middling reviews but not enough, I hear, to bring Gibson to Cannes for an out of competition screening. Jodie Foster continues her tour as Joan of Arc, defending Gibson, the title of the movie, and the sullen tone of of the film she created. But if she comes to Cannes, she’ll be welcomed, even though she told our Q&A audience last week after the Lincoln Center screening, “I don’t care if the movie doesn’t make any money.”

Luckily, Summit Entertainment has made so much money on vampires that a mere beaver won’t get in their way.

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
4 replies to this post
  1. Up until this weekend, despite the small # of theatres, the per theatre #’s exceeded $4K per theatre per Box Office Mojo. Also per Box Office Mojo nearly 60% of those watching rated the film an “A”. Mel Gibson may be a jerk off the screen, but given the initial reactions, I don’t understand why the film wasn’t given a chance with a two time Oscar winner directing and acting (Foster). Frankly this sort of blacklisting for actors behaving badly seems way over the top compared to others who have behaved much worse.

  2. Maybe, just maybe if Gibson would express some REAL remorse and give a believable apology along with seeking help for his mental problems the public might forgive him. Until then he through.

  3. I respect Jodie Foster, and her defense of Mel Gibson obviously comes from her own experience of him as a basically decent man. But his demons seem to be something she can’t help him with, and on top of that, in spite of her serious efforts, the short clips I’ve seen of the film are unintentionally funny. The toy sounds like it’s out of a cartoon. I’ve been depressed, but if I heard that voice, I wouldn’t be able to keep a straight face.

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