Monday, May 20, 2024

Box Office: Bracing for George Clooney Disaster with “Suburbicon,” Strike 2 for Paramount


I take no pleasure in saying this, but Paramount is at DefCon 4. They are bracing for a box office disaster this weekend with George Clooney’s “Suburbicon.”

This should be labelled under When Bad Movies Happen to Good People. Matt Damon, Julianne Moore (in a dual role), the Coen Bros. What could go wrong?

Basically, everything.

There’s a reason why “Suburbicon” is down to a 28 on Rotten Tomatoes. Last night it made only $180,00o from 1,614 locations. Tonight, “Suburbicon” will die an ugly death.

We’ve known about this since the Toronto Film Festival, but no one wanted to admit. For Paramount, this is the second strike counting “Mother!” It’s very painful. And soon, inevitably, will come “Downsizing.”

As for “Suburbicon”: it’s two movies that have backed into each other. One is a warmed over “Fargo,” in which a man plots to kill his wife and then cover it up. Remember William H. Macy’s Jerry? That’s Matt Damon in this movie. Only Jerry didn’t have a little boy whom he threatened to kill. That’s right. Gardner toys with the idea of murdering his own child to get away with the original murder.

Then, add a total non sequitur: a movie about race relations in a small town neighborhood. A black family moves in and the white folks of Suburbicon lose their minds in such an irrational way you wonder about the sanity of the filmmakers. Even the Jeffersons found more love with ArchieĀ  Bunker.

And then the two movies collide. For god’s sake, I don’t know what anyone was thinking or if they were thinking. If you’re still in the theater it’s because you’re too lazy to get up and go get a drink. But really. “Suburbicon” is not for viewing. I’m so sorry. I wish it were otherwise. I do. People would learn more about the world by not seeing this movie.

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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