Monday, June 17, 2024

Life Itself, a Box Office Disaster: Amazon Studios Bets on “This is Us” Creator, and Bombs with $2.1 Mil Weekend


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.


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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