Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Box Office: Stain-Removing “Ammonite” and Mel Gibson’s Awful “Fatman” Find Few Takers in Theater Debuts


The two new movies actually being shown in theaters this weekend didn’t find a lot of love.

“Ammonite,” starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan, took in just $85,000 at 280 screens. Audiences, like me, might have confused Ammonite for a stain remover or a substitute for Formica. Either way, there wasn’t much interest in waiting for these two fine actresses to have a sex scene, apparently. With $304 per screen, “Ammonite” looks like it’s headed the way of “Carol,” the last big serious lesbian drama. Remember how all the early reviews were sending “Carol” to the Oscars that year? And then it vanished. Here we go again.

Racist, anti-Semitic Mel Gibson’s hideously awful “Fatman” about a psychotic Santa hunted by a hit man did only a little better. It made $107K on 259 screens. Mel might as well have stayed in the chimney blowing smoke up his own you know what. Like all Mel Gibson movies, “Fatman” is headed to life on video on demand and in cut out DVD bins. By Christmas Eve, it should be a dimmed memory.

No, the big movie in theaters this weekend was the horror film, “Freaky,” from Universal Pictures and Jason Blum’s Blumhouse. Jason has found a way to make money during the pandemic, and I’m not surprised. This is 10th hit in a row in 2020. He paid his dues at Miramax/Dimension, and then went on to scare everyone silly. Vince Vaughn even got a “comeback” piece in the LA Times. How do you like that? Pigs have flown. “Freaky” made $3.7 million this weekend and finished at number 1.

Too bad Mel Gibson can’t get into Blumhouse. But my guess is, he burned that bridge a long time ago.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
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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