Monday, May 27, 2024

Clint Eastwood’s “The Mule” Makes $17.2 Mil Without Much Promotion– Will Academy Reward Him with Nominations?


Clint Eastwood’s “The Mule” made $17.2 million over the weekend with almost no promotion. Will the Academy reward him with nominations? Let’s hope so.

“The Mule” deserves nominations for Best Actor, Picture, Director, Supporting Actress (Dianne Wiest), and Screenplay– at the very least. But Eastwood missed all the early awards groups by turning in his movie at the last minute. So it has no awards momentum. There’s a list of films to choose from, and that’s what’s going on now.

But “The Mule” not only has generated very good reviews, it’s now made money. It did better than its multiple, meaning word of mouth grew after Friday’s opening at $5.7 million. Indeed, the $17.2 million estimate may be low– it could be a total of $18 million when Sunday is fully adjusted.

Clint’s performance alone is worth the price of admission to “The Mule.” He is one sly fox. He’s very funny, self-effacing, and a little meta. But the underpinning of the movie is the sorrow his Earl carries for never being able to live up to his family’s needs. And that sorrow is beautifully expressed in Wiest, who has a scene toward the end that is heartbreaking. I hope the members of the Academy really see this film before Ballots go out in mid January.

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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