Sunday, April 14, 2024

“Cloud Atlas” Gets Shrugs at Box Office from Moviegoers


The Wachowskis’ “Cloud Atlas” is getting mostly shrugs from fans and critics. It made only $3.5 million last night, and will do maybe $8 million for the weekend. The film cost well over $100 million– more like total costs around $150 million–but will finish second this weekend to hold over “Argo,” also a Warner Bros. release. It’s too bad. If “Cloud Atlas” had been released in 1977, more people would have seen it and no one would have released its box office numbers.

But this is a different time. If WB had given it an art house release, maybe that would have worked, because “Cloud Atlas” is the “Tree of Life” of 2012. It’s beautiful to look at and difficult to comprehend. It’s actually easier to deal with than “Tree of Life” since the six stories that cut back and forth at least make sense within themselves. They just don’t connect to each other in a meaningful way.

I still think that Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and Jim Broadbent– leading a big cast that also includes Susan Sarandon and Hugh Grant in more minor roles–shouldn’t be overlooked. Given the material, they’re sort of brilliant. And the look of the film–every production credit– is outstanding. “Cloud Atlas” is more frustrating than challenging, but worth it if you love film and don’t mind a non linear, un-formulaic approach to moviemaking.

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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