George Miller’s art film starring Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba grossed just $2.9 million against a production budget of $60 million.
The good news is that Miller will be doing just fine, as he’s already working hard on the much-anticipated “Furiosa,” a sequel to the box office blockbuster “Mad Max Fury Road.” But you’ll have to go back to the classic 1981 “The Road Warrior” to find one of his films with a low opening.
In short, this is not great. But the financial cost to the studio, MGM, and its own distribution arm, United Artists’ Release, will be minimal, and several individuals with knowledge of the film tell TheWrap that they doubt it can still make a modest profit for MGM.
That’s because UAR was just the local distributor for “Three Thousand Years of Longing,” with FilmNation Entertainment handling its international funding and distribution, and MGM acquiring the local rights to the film for just $6 million, according to one person with knowledge.
That might then explain why MGM, under its new ownership with Amazon, says one, not allocating more marketing, printing and advertising costs to the film, knowing that it doesn’t need a large domestic gross to make money. And while it had a great showing at Cannes and was meant for the big screen, it’s likely that the nature of the film will help it perform via Amazon Prime Video once it goes live.
“MGM was pleased to partner with FilmNation to bring an original film of George Miller to US theater audiences this past weekend, and to continue contributing theatrical films to studio exhibition partners,” the MGM representative told TheWrap.
FilmNation did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Although “Three Thousand Years” comes from the director of Mad Max Fury Road, the film is an avant-garde and intimate tale aimed at an older audience, despite the director’s brilliance in color and other cinematic flourishes, with equal trailers proudly touting a review One cash he called “Aladdin for adults”. So it begs the question of why such a film would not be released on a limited scale before expanding on a larger scale.
As it turns out, an insider explained that “Three Thousand Years of Longing” was designed to be more targeted at just 600 theaters in major cities rather than the more than 2,400 that eventually came into operation. Needing a Producer On Dog Days in August, they were willing to seize the opportunity in George Miller’s movie, and United Artists were able to expand the show at no significant additional cost, and they moved to the opportunity to show films on a lower-than-usual multi-screen. Perhaps the circumstances did not consider it.
So, while the film’s top markets included New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, San Diego, Austin, and Washington, D.C.—all places where it was expected to perform and even take first place in some of those markets— audiences elsewhere simply didn’t care, and up to 500 screens combined for just over $150,000 of the film’s weekend total. This resulted in the film not reaching the distributor’s initial expectations of still modest $5 million in its opening weekend.
And while international audiences are unlikely to turn “Three Thousand Years of Longing” into a winner if domestic audiences overlook it, the film is expected to open in most major markets, except for China, over the next three weeks, with a Japanese release expected sometime soon. else. And FilmNation, having sold the rights to the film individually rather than in a global deal, may still be able to mitigate some of its overall losses.
While box office analysts like Comscore’s chief media analyst, Paul Dergarabedian, aren’t quite ready to write “Three Thousand Years of Longing” just yet, especially as National Film Day approaches, word of mouth should be great for a movie like this to be It has legs. Notably, both critics’ reviews and audience scores were respectable in fact, with the film achieving a score of 71% on Rotten Tomatoes and 60 out of 100 on Metacritic, as well as an audience score of B on CinemaScore. And in an effort to appeal to an older demographic, it wasn’t enough when other films like “Top Gun”, “Elvis”, “Nope”, the R-rated “Bullet Train” and even “Beast” (also starring Elba) were all no still in the market.
“I love that United Artists gave the movie a shot in theaters. Theater owners wanted new movies. This is not the most commercial of films. It lands in the sweet spot in terms of theme in August, which has always had exciting and diverse films,” Dergarabedian told TheWrap. ‘But the wind blew out of the sails this part of August after a very formidable summer.’