Dull weekend for Booksmart at US box office
Monday, May 27, 2019
A surprise for many at the Memorial Day weekend in the United States, was “Booksmart,” an Annapurna film distributed by United Artists Releasing, which debuted in sixth with only US$6.5 million, despite excellent reviews and steady buzz from its SXSW film festival debut.
Although in line with studio expectations going into the weekend, some had thought that this would be a summer breakout hit.
Olivia Wilde directed the film that stars Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein as two teenage overachievers and rule-followers who decide to go to a party on their last night of high school. Many compared it to “Superbad,” which opened in August 2007 to US$33 million.
Despite all the hype, including a lot of celebrity endorsements on social media from the likes of Natalie Portman and Ryan Reynolds, audiences just didn’t turn out for “Booksmart” in noteworthy numbers.
Wilde saw the writing on the wall Saturday and tried to change the course with a Twitter plea.
“Anyone out there saving @Booksmart for another day, consider making that day TODAY,” Wilde wrote. “We are getting creamed by the big dogs out there and need your support. Don’t give studios an excuse not to green-light movies made by and about women.”
Those who did make it to “Booksmart” were mostly women (61 and under the age of 35 (74 percent). And the target 17-34 age group gave a more favorable exit score (an A) than audiences overall, who gave it a B+.
“People are in a popcorn mood,” Comscore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian said. “Films trying to be more introspective and fresh are having a tougher time getting their head above water.”-AP