Sunday, May 26, 2024

Box Office: “Lady Bird” Bests “LBJ” in Accidental Juxtaposition of Cinema and History


Greta Gerwig’s marvelous and Oscar bound “Lady Bird” bested Ron Reiner’s “LBJ” this weekend. It’s a victory, not really, of sorts, for Lady Bird Johnson, the first lady from 1963 to 1969 and wife of President Lyndon Johnson.

Unfortunately, Gerwig’s movie is not about the former First Lady, who was famous for making America stop littering while her husband was promoting civil rights and digging us deep into the Vietnam War.

“Lady Bird” is the nickname of Gerwig’s main character, a 17 year old played by Saorise Ronan who is as endearing and charming as could be possible on film– a modern, younger Annie Hall. The movie opened in limited release and has made $375,000 in just four theaters. The Reiner movie, in 500 theaters, made less than a million dollars.

But oh, that headline is a nice one. The real Lady Bird is smiling in heaven regardless.

“Thor” made something like 9 billion dollars and added absolutely nothing to the canon of movies or cinema. But everyone involved got rich, and kids had a good time.

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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