Saturday, April 20, 2024

What Cost More and Made Less than the Met Ball? The Met Ball Movie “First Monday in May”


We already know that the Met Ball has annual costs of over $3 million that get absorbed somehow in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s budget. Anna Wintour’s annual Halloween party in May is an expensive ad for herself and the Museum. And the Museum, as we know, is bleeding money right now.

A year ago, the Met Ball was preceded by a film release– do you remember this? “First Monday in May” opened the Tribeca Film Festival. It was a long, tedious account of how the MetBall comes about. There was a limited audience for this, as it turns out.

“First Monday” made about $500K in the US and $500K total from the UK, New Zealand, Australia and Russia, of all places. The UK was the least interested. There it took in only $97,000.

So far there’s no accounting for how much “First Monday” lost or if any of the money that came in went to the Museum. It was such a bore it sank into oblivion after 62 days in release. In its last week in release “First Monday” made $1,006. It was not offered for awards consideration. I don’t believe (I may be wrong) that its distributor, Magnolia Pictures, included a DVD of it in their Oscar package.

The actual DVD, released in August 2016, is ranked at number 6,458 on

According to reports, the Met is now considering a mandated admission fee. The current suggested entrance fee is $25.

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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