Amazon Studios, like Netflix, wants hit movies of their own so badly they can taste it. They’ve made valiant tries, and even come up with one Oscar worthy film, “Manchester by the Sea.”
On Friday they released Dan Fogelman’s “Life Itself” into 2,609 theaters– a wide release certainly. But the results are daunting– just $760,000 for the night in ticket sales. UPDATE “Life Itself” made $2.1 million for the weekend.
The movie comes from the writer-director of the hit NBC show, “This is Us.” I guess it should have been a bad omen that NBC’s Universal Pictures didn’t release the movie. They, wisely, knew.
Fogelman has been kvetching that male reviewers didn’t understand his hideous film. But women reviewers didn’t like it, either. There is nothing to like whatsoever. It’s a big mess, full of good actors trying to make sense of the crazy, over written, under thought, screenplay. I’m personally offended because it takes place in my neighborhood and involves a city bus killing someone. Thanks, we have enough problems.
Amazon Studios will have to write this off and ponder anew their strategy. They are sitting on Woody Allen’s “A Rainy Day in New York” because they’re scared of false accusations against the great filmmaker. That is also a problem. It takes courage to release films. I am sure that the actual people at Amazon Studios are having headaches from the produce (as in lettuce, not produce as in producers of films) department. Believe me, no people who “absolutely hate” Woody Allen for the wrong reasons, armed with inaccurate info, are going to buy TVs somewhere else on line.