Amsterdam may have an all-star cast but its box-office receipts are dwarfish.
According to a report in Deadline, David O. Russell’s production may lose close to $100 million. The film, which opened at 3,005 theaters, initially garnered only $6.5 million domestically and $10 million worldwide. This despite a production budget of some $80 million. This even when global TV revenue is figured in.
New Regency reportedly financed the film in full as part of its arrangement with Disney/20th Century Studios. Because of the pandemic, location shooting was moved from Boston to Los Angeles, which was said to have added another $30 million to the film’s expense budget.
And poor reviews have not helped matters. Despite a stellar cast that includes Christian Bale, Robert De Niro, Rami Malek, Margot Robbie, Michael Shannon, Taylor Swift, Anya Taylor-Joy, and John David Washington, audiences have apparently not been lining up at the box office.
Industry observers are wondering if this is part of a trend. Are traditional Hollywood-style dramatic productions going the way of the dinosaurs as blockbuster action films like Tom Gun: Maverick take center stage? It’s a phenomenon that studio bean-counters will be closely monitoring. As described in The Hollywood Reporter, “Amsterdam was a risky bet from the start, considering the flight of older adults from the multiplex even before the COVID-19 crisis struck. And the pandemic further stoked fears that streaming has become headquarters for older-skewing fare.”
Still, Baz Luhrmann’s biopic Elvis did well at the box office, despite its older demographic. And, reports THR, New Regency’s recently released horror-thriller Barbarian grossed nearly $40 million worldwide against a $4 million budget.
It’s probably too early to tell whether the weak response to Amsterdam presages a major shift in audience behavior. As pandemic lockdowns vanish, will newly unmasked moviegoers be returning to the nation’s cineplexes or will they still prefer to shelter in place and watch movies at home?
David O. Russell’s ‘Amsterdam’ to Lose Almost $100 Million
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