SUNDAY: It was worse than expected. Three day weekend was just $4.6 mil. Holiday weekend: $5.1 mil. I don’t know why, never saw it. Wasn’t invited. I guess I know why now. Talented people were misled, I guess. This will have to be removed from theaters quickly.
SATURDAY: Julia Louis Dreyfus must be wondering, what the heck is going on? She’s literally the Queen of Comedy TV after incredible successes with “Seinfeld” and “Veep.” But her post-“Veep” movie, “Downhill,” has skied right off the mountain. On Friday, the movie– with very mixed reviews– made just $2.1 million. A $5.5 million weekend is ahead of it, if luck intervenes. It’s all, shall we say, downhill from here.
For Searchlight, formerly Fox Searchlight, “Downhill” is another box office non starter after a tough season. Even though “Jojo Rabbit” got a lot of attention, the numbers are hard: $28.7 million. There wasn’t wide appeal for a Hitler- Nazi satire. For some reason, Fox Searchlight bought the Terrence Malick movie, “A Hidden Life,” even though it had no commercial prospects. Box office stands at $1.7 million. It was a hidden audience. “Lucy in the Sky”– well, forget it, $320,000. And so on.
The last big hits for Fox Searchlight were the Oscar-producing duo of “Shape of Water” and “Three Billboards,” which arrived at the end of 2017. Even they didn’t go crazy with dollars. “Shape” made $63.8 million and “Billboards” did around $54 mil. But those numbers seem like a dream now. “Downhill,” despite Searchlight’s new owner, Disney ABC, plugging it on the Oscars, is a nightmare.
Still, Searchlight has two big movies coming. “The Personal History of David Copperfield” is coming on May 8th. It’s from the “Veep” creator, Armando Iannucci, and it’s hilarious. Dev Patel and the whole cast are completely zany, the movie should be a hit if it’s marketed properly. And Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch” looks great from its trailer. Fingers crossed they will each go up hill, but not be uphill battles. Searchlight means too much to us.