Friday, April 12, 2024

Clint Eastwood’s Excellent “Richard Jewell” Finding Audience After All, Box Office Up Since Dismal Opening Weekend


Hold on a second. “Richard Jewell” may not be as dead as we thought.

After a dismal opening weekend, Clint Eastwood’s excellent drama about the wrongly accused Atlanta security guard is gaining at the box office.

On Tuesday night, “Richard Jewell” made $825,000. It was up 54% from Monday night, one of the largest increases of any current film.

On Monday night, the movie made $536,102, which was one of the lowest percentage dips of all movies from the previous night. Monday night always sees a fall off from Sunday, but for “Richard Jewell” it was less severe than expected.

Audiences may be slow to finding “Richard Jewell,” and the enormous publicity from the weekend may have sent them to theaters to see what’s going on. On Rotten Tomatoes, Eastwood’s film as 96% rating from the audience and a 73 with critics.

Critics seemingly turned against the film when the Washington Post revealed that the Atlanta Journal Constitution was angry about the depiction of a female reporter.  Before that, the early reviews for “Richard Jewell” were excellent. Indeed, it’s a very good film with top notch performances from Paul Walter Hauser, Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates, Olivia Wilde, and Jon Hamm.

Warner Bros. had positioned the film as Oscar worthy, and they were correct. But when the scandal about reporter Kathy Scruggs broke, the studio seemed to back away. Won’t it be ironic if movie audiences come to Eastwood’s rescue? And then maybe the Academy voters will come to its aid. Anyone who actually sees this movie gets its importance and its craftsmanship.

#SaveRichardJewell. See it tonight, or as soon as you can. Let me hear your thoughts.

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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