Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Box Office: The “Beaver” Getting Buried, “Pirates” Loved Only Overseas


The weekend box office is in, and there are a couple of notable situations. For one, Jodie Foster‘s “The Beaver” is pretty much a dead issue after two weeks. This Friday it will go wider than its current 105 theaters, but it won’t matter. So far, “The Beaver” has grossed around $580,000–the same amount, to compare, as Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris.” The difference is that “The Beaver” has been out two weeks and has played in those 105 theaters. “Midnight” did the same in one weekend in six theaters. So that’s it for Mel Gibson and “The Beaver” no matter what happens this weekend. Summit brought Jodie and Mel to Cannes, did a cocktail party for Jodie–which Mel didn’t attend. Likewise he skipped their press conference. Will overseas audiences buy “The Beaver”? That’s all that’s left.

The worldwide take for the new “Pirates of the Caribbean” was a record setter, while American audiences seem to have had it pretty much with the Johnny Depp franchise. In America, “Pirates” took in $90 million for its first weekend–way down from the 2007 opener of the last “Pirates” which did $128 million domestically. Will they really make a fifth movie? Probably, given the wild $246 million the movie’s done abroad. But that also means a possible domestic take of $60-$70 the next time around. Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney cut costs this time by ditching Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, and replacing them with much less expensive actors (Sam Claflin, Astrid Berges Frisbey). But they still have the increasing costs of Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, and Penelope Cruz (if she returns). The overseas success of “Pirates” this week does show that the world is hungry for any brand name entertainment, which is worth noting. Americans, however, know when they’re seeing the same thing over and over.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
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.

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