Wednesday, May 22, 2024

X-Citing: NC-17 Rated “Passages” About a Menage a Trois Scores Highest Per Screen Average this Weekend

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We haven’t a really good menage a trois movie in quite a while, have we?

So, welcome to “Passages,” directed by Ira Sachs and starring Franz Rogowski, Ben Whishaw and Adèle Exarchopoulos. “Passages” hails from indie distributor MUBI. It was rated NC-17 because they all have a lot of sex with each other. (The two guys are married to each other, Rogowski’s character also falls in love with Exarchopolous’s. Hilarity and fornication ensue.)

Over the weekend, “Passages” — only in theaters — had the highest per screen average of any movie — $21,333 in each of three theaters. I’m sure the number of theaters will grow next Friday. “Passages” has a very high 93 on Rotten Tomatoes.

It looks “steamy” from the trailer. MUBI — which is only six years old — has gotten a fast reputation for repping cutting edge films around the world — movies like “Drive My Car” and “Aftersun.” But “Passages” is their first one sent just to US theaters with no streaming as of yet.

NC-17 films used to be rated “X” and can’t be advertised in old school media like newspapers. But it’s a new world now with the ‘interweb’. Social media and the like have changed all the rules. Also, Sachs has a reputation for making daring films, so his name carries a lot of weight, too. Actress Exarchopolous also already has an NC-17 movie under her belt with “Blue is the Warmest Color.” Whishaw you know from James Bond movies, although he’s an important theater actor in the UK.

“Passages” was a big hit at Sundance last winter — of course — and soon everyone will see it. How well it does in theaters is almost beside the point. When it hits the MUBI streaming service, the company will have to buy extra bandwidth.

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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