It’s all over for the movie no one saw but got great reviews: Jacques Audiard’s “The Sisters Brothers.” The movie cost $38 million and made just $1 million in a month of release.
Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly got terrific notices, and everyone was excited about Audiard making an English language film. But Annapurna Pictures, owned by Megan Ellison and backed by her father, Oracle Corp. billionaire Larry Ellison, blew it. Now, the film is done, a total loss, and Annpurna is in peril.
What happened? No marketing. No publicity. No distribution plan. The people Ellison has hired didn’t have the experience or the know how to launch the film.
But Annapurna has been plagued as of late with issues since Megan Ellison went from backing terrific indie flicks to attempting to be a studio overnight. The five movies they’ve released that have made a total of $38.8 million. Most of that comes from Kathryn Bigelow’s 2017 “Detroit,” which made $17 million and lost much more, and this summer’s “Sorry to Bother You,” which also made around $17 million.
Just recently, Annapurna has backed off of making three films they had in their production ramp. They have to deal with two imminent releases– Christian Bale as Dick Cheney in “Vice,” and Nicole Kidman as a dirty cop in “Destroyer.” These are two BIG releases with Oscar winners and major stars. If either of these two releases goes sideways, that could be it for Annapurna, even with Larry Ellison reportedly trying to fix things.
On a personal note, I never saw “Sisters Brothers.” When I asked for tickets to the premier, I was told there were no more tickets. I never saw “Sorry to Bother You” either. I’ve never received anything about “Vice.” I was lucky to see “Destroyer” only because it was shown in Toronto.
(PS I can’t be the only reviewer or press person to have this sort of problem with Annpurna. In Toronto, I was told not to speak to the cast of unknowns in “If Beale Street Could Talk,” which opens at the end of November and requires all the help in the world to make it work.)