Home Movies Box Office: “The French Dispatch” Expands to 788 Theaters Despite A Week...

Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch” has not been an easy release.

Postponed for over a year, the triptych film opened last Friday in just 52 theaters and headed into a steady decline. Every single day since the opening the numbers went down. Yesterday, Thursday, saw a drop of over 81% in 6 days, from $556K to $102k.


Despite this, Searchlight is taking a Hail Mary pass and expanding the all-star experience to 788 theaters this weekend. Will it work? Will audiences flock to a movie that some critics openly hated and preview audiences walked out of?

Here’s the deal if you’re a Wes Anderson fan and are on the fence about “The French Dispatch”: it’s three separate stories. The only through line is that Bill Murray runs a kind of faux-twee French based version of The New Yorker. He’s in the movie a little bit, and Elisabeth Moss even less. I really liked first chapter, with Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, and Tilda Swinton.

But the next two chapters, while amusing and cast with celebrities, become mired in diminishing returns. By the end you’ll need a cappuccino. Which isn’t it say that the production values aren’t as high as possible and completely original. It’s a worthwhile project. But it’s not up to Anderson’s best work. Here’s hoping his next one is more cohesive.

PS Searchlight, which won the last couple of Best Picture Oscars with “Nomadland” and “The Shape of Water,” may not be in the hunt this year. “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” didn’t cut it, and “French Dispatch” will merit art noms only. Their last card is the Guillermo del Toro horror film, “Nightmare Alley,” which everyone is crossing fingers for.

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