Although the entertainment media will never admit it, will do everything in its sycophantic power to write all around it (see: Line, Dead), the chickens have finally come home to roost for Jennifer Lawrence’s hateful mouth.
The once-bright superstar who could open even a poorly reviewed piece of low-budget horror-junk like House at the End of the Street to $12.2 million, has just hit a devastating career low (for a wide release), a humiliating $8 million opening for her latest, the critically-lauded, psychological horror-thriller Mother!
This is a catastrophe for Lawrence, one of Hollywood’s most stridently bigoted (former) stars. The Oscar-winner’s hateful attacks on Christians, conservatives, President Trump and his supporters have chipped away at her popularity going back to 2014, but no one expected this, expected anything close to $8 million, to single digits. At worst, Mother! was projected to squeak in at $12 million.
Almost exactly two years ago, in October of 2015, a gothic horror film created by auteur Guillermo del Toro opened wide on 2,984 screens. With a 71% fresh rating from critics and a couple of respected but mid-level stars (Jessica Chastain, Charlie Hunnam), Crimson Peak opened to $13 million.
Two years later, a gothic horror film created by auteur Darren Aronofsky opened wide on 2,368 screens. With a 70% fresh rating from critics and starring Oscar-winner and supposed superstar Jennifer Lawrence, along with Oscar-winner Javier Bardem and the long-established Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer, Mother! bottomed out with a pathetic $8 million.
The butt-smooching entertainment media will argue that Mother! was swamped by the mega-hit It. First off, that is not the way it is supposed to work. New releases, especially those fronted by supposed superstars, are supposed to be the swampers, are supposed to cause the damage, not the other way around.
But going back to our example of Crimson Peak, it opened against week three of the blockbuster The Martian and the debut of the hit Goosebumps. Together they ate up $44 million of the box office, which still left $13 million for Crimson Peak.
Crimson Peak also failed to generate the controversy Mother! enjoyed all kinds of free must-see publicity and we have been told again and again and again by the entertainment media that controversy is a wonderful thing, a sure-fire box office boost.
Mother! earned an F from Cinemascore, Crimson Peak earned a C-, which is six of one, half dozen of the other, especially for an opening weekend. Nevertheless, for the pedants among us, The Devil Inside earned an F in 2012 and opened to $33 million. So please tell me again how Cinemascore affects the opening weekend.
Lately, I have been assured and reassured that the Rotten Tomatoes score is what makes or breaks an opening weekend. But Mother! is a critical hit, “certified fresh” — which means you are all out of excuses.
So what is the real difference between Mother! and Crimson Peak?
There is just no question that Lawrence’s bigoted rantings have systematically undermined her box office appeal for going on three years now, beginning with a much lower than expected opening for the final chapter of her Hunger Games franchise. Then Joy opened to a disappointing $17 million… Then the barrel bottom appeared to have been scraped when Passengers — a splashy, high-concept, big-budget tentpole — collapsed with a $15 million opening (projections were as high as $25 million).
And now, after screaming “F*ck you” at Trump and appearing to blame two fatal hurricanes on the president and his supporters, J-Law is facing a whole new barrel bottom.
In its second weekend at the box office, Stephen King’s It took the top spot, and it wasn’t even close. The shockingly good It is expected to end the weekend with around $60 million. That’s not only a terrific second weekend, it would break a lot of box-office records as an opening weekend. To put that number in perspective, that’s the second best September weekend ever at the box office, behind only the first weekend of . The second weekend of It would also place it first, all time, for an October opening, ahead of the $55 million that Gravity opened with back in 2013. The second weekend of It is also a better opening weekend than any horror movie all time, ahead of Paranormal Activity 3 ‘s $52 million in 2011.
Indeed, after only ten days at the box office and $218 million, It is already approaching The Exorcists‘ $232 million box-office record for highest grossing R-rated horror movie of all time, and it has a beat on The Sixth Sense’s $293 million record for highest grossing horror movie ever. It’s also surpassed Get Out for the year’s highest grossing horror movie, and it has entered – after only ten days – the top ten box office hits of the year with a clear shot at entering the top five by next week.
So much for the box-office slump, huh?
Indeed, It has already surpassed the overall gross of last fall’s two highest grossing movies combined ( Sully and The Magnificent 7). It’s also well on its way to the highest grossing fall release ever, once it surpasses the $274 million of Gravity. It is officially a box-office juggernaut, and if I’m Entertainment Studios, I might rethink the release of the horror movie Friend Request next weekend, because it’s likely to get steamrolled by the third weekend of It.
Jennifer Lawrence is pretty sure that absolutely everything is all about her.
In this particular case, she is 100% correct.
Sources: Breitbart and Filmdrunk