Saturday, April 13, 2024

Box Office UPDATED: Will Ferrell-Julia Louis Dreyfus “Downhill” Disaster with Just $4.6 Mil Opening 3 Day Weekend


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.

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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