Friday, May 24, 2024

Madonna’s “W.E.” $45k Weekend


UPDATE SUNDAY MORNING: “W.E.” took in $45,000–estimated–over the weekend. That may be a bit high, and could still be revised. It’s unlikely it will get more of a push beyond its 4 screens.

UPDATE SATURDAY MORNING: Friday night–“W.E.” played on 4 screens, and took in $14,000. Basically, no one went to see it. Let’s compare: When “The Artist” — a silent, black and white movie made by French people with no stars– opened on 4 screens, it took in $75,000. When “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” opened on 4 screens, it took in $90,000 the first night, and $119,000 on the second night. Viewing comparative costs, Madonna probably spent $14,000 on eyebrow treatments yesterday. All that build up, millions spent by Cartier and other sponsors to drag “W.E.” all over the world for premieres. According to the New York Times from 1998, the lowest priced item that sold at the Duchess of Windsor’s estate was a Charles Baskerville painting for $19,500.

EARLIER: Madonna may be getting ready for her big Super Bowl half time show on Sunday. But her movie, “W.E.” has opened to the worst reviews of her entire horridso called film career. “W.E.”–cleverly redubbed “WTF?” by Kyle Smith in the New York Post, has scored a measly 18% on That’s out of 100%. Critics around the country and the world-especially the British papers–hate it. I told you this would happen last September when “W.E.”–Madonna’s misinterpretation of the love story of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor–opened at the Toronto Film Festival. Since then much has happened–including Madonna’s ex-communication of cast member Abbe Cornish, who, according to sources, “she simply doesn’t like.” Only actress Andrea Riseborough, who plays Wallis Simpson, has made the publicity rounds.

Ironically, just as Madonna is performing in Indianapolis on Sunday, the full weekend box office numbers should be out–and they won’t be pretty. That is unless you’re interested in seeing the Duchess of Windsor dance to Chubby Checker’s “The Twist” while her husband watches from his death bed. Or listening to Madonna dismiss the couple’s visit to Hitler and their support of Nazi Germany. Or see actor James D’Arcy– a six foot two slim model–play Edward, the five foot seven nincompoop who abdicated (thank goodness) the British crown to marry an already twice wedded American who reportedly cheated on him.

“W.E.” is an odd and off putting movie, that’s for sure. The dialogue is crass, the sense of history is derived from skipping high school classes. But I must take credit for one thing — I dubbed this film “Wally and Wallis” in July 2010 as a tribute to “Julie and Julia.” Now everyone’s hopping on the bandwagon. But when people from two different eras–one dead, one alive because she’s breathing–start talking to each other, you know there’e trouble.

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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