No Jazz for ‘Babylon’ at the Domestic Box Office with $4M+ Debut; Margot Robbie’s epic Brad Pitt won’t get $250 million to break even: Here’s why

Updated with the latest box office: Damien Chazelle $80 million in the 1920s Babylon It caught fire at the local box office this past weekend with an awful $4.85 million A four-day start, short of its forecast forecast of $5.3 million Monday morning.

Brad Pitt in the movie “Babylon” (Everett Collection)

Say what you will about harsh winter conditions affecting movie viewing across the country, but this movie — green-lighted by the former Paramount regime and heavily supported by the new Brian Robbins management — was against the odds once it was shown to the more cynical press before. Over a month into the Academy Theatre, it had lackluster reviews with a 56% Rotten Tomatoes score. Further burying the pic’s fate was audience exits including C+ CinemaScore and PostTrak scores of 74% and 47% selected, not to mention its 3 hours and 8 minutes running time. Babylon It is the lowest grossing US opening for star Margot Robbie at $3.6 million, bested by Amsterdam$6.4 million, also Brad Pitt as the leading man, less than $4 million at the start of 1993 True romance.

Kaia Gerber and Lee Jun Lee in “Babylon” (Everett Collection)

With such results, no one achieves Babylon An option for festive viewing, although there is no competition aimed at adults. According to funding sources, it’s too early to say how much bleeding there will be here because the Robbie-Pitt movie doesn’t start being released overseas until mid-January. However, the profit point of this movie is about it $250 million WW, with a worldwide marketing spend of about $80 million, which is the same as the production cost. I was told that Paramount, like any studio, would reduce the film’s marketing costs in the wake of fluctuations in the United States. The pic scored five Golden Globe nominations including Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.

It’s important to note that in the new era of Covid: whatever movie hits at the box office hasn’t been shown to dampen its chances at the Oscars. And there are plenty of examples to prove it, one of the most notable being Searchlight’s 2021 Best Film winner Bedouinwhich achieved single-digit totals and which the Disney Arthouse brand never announced as official ticket sales for the pic.

local to Babylon It would be lucky to reach $20 million, which puts an enormous amount of pressure on the outsider to deliver, which means another $230 million – an impossible task. However, Paramount believes that the PIC’s runtime, which is more appetizing to audiences abroad, as well as reviews in the UK and France, will give Babylon Kind of pulse outside. “They love these kinds of movies,” says an insider. Chazelle first man It made 57% of the total amount of US$105 million abroad. Japan, South Korea, the UK and France were major territories for this film, as well as the multiple Academy Award winner for Chazelle La La Land. Last year, Guillermo del Toro’s piece was worth $60 million Nightmare Alley $11.3 million domestic and $39.6 million USD.

Before anyone wrote an obituary on original films at the box office BabylonOutcomes, it is important to distinguish movie than all the others. The pic was already a gamble with its inside Hollywood story, not to mention its tough one, which in the first 30 minutes before the title name involves an elephant pooping on a human and a fatty arbuckle pooping. whore. Ruby’s bow-like character, Clara, vomits at a packed Hollywood soiree later in the film. Who was the audience for this other than the critics and who rewarded the voters? Movies about the inner workings of Hollywood have historically been low-grossing. Not to mention the price point on this period piece, just like a WWI-era set Amsterdam, making the project an impossible task to achieve profitability for the competing studios. So they passed.

Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr. in ‘Chaplin’, 1992 (Everett Collection)

Examples of Hollywood insiders that didn’t translate to mass audiences: Three-time Academy Award nominee Chaplin Starring Robert Downey Jr., who made just $9.5 million in 1992 (although he made Hollywood obsess over SNL I seriously blame it as an actor) and two-time Cannes title-winning Robert Altman player It only made $21.7 million in earnings that year as well.

Paramount thought he had it The Wolf of Wall Street And the Once upon a time in hollywood in a Babylon. It didn’t: Both films starred Leonardo DiCaprio. The Wolf of Wall Street (US$406.8 million) worked on its intriguing theme appeal to high-profile audiences about the ups and downs of stockbroker Jordan Belfort, while Once upon a time in hollywood ($377.6 million) had an electric novel by Quentin Tarantino and an Academy Award-winning supporting role for Pitt. Doorycolor Following the chaos that followed Hollywood’s transition from silent films to talkies, it was, in Chazelle’s eyes, an allegory for what the industry is witnessing today in the clash between the big screen and the live broadcast. If the director has to Babylon Again, he was going to go to the movies. The question is whether it can hit a lower price point, which is the likely fate of some of these original films for adults.

Chazelle and producers Olivia Hamilton and Matthew Plouffe took the pic Babylon to Paramount, where Wick Godfrey was president of the Motion Picture Group. Godfrey was a producer at Chazelle’s first man. Godfrey’s MO at the time was to find and make awards season movies like Babylon For a lot of MelroseAnd the Not transformers Movies. Chazelle had been developing the project for some time; Plouffe first learned about her as a former Focus Features executive when the two met at Sundance some 13 years ago.

“He responded to it and became that hero,” Chazelle told us of Godfrey’s support. Babylon on deadline Crew call Podcast. “He fought very hard to sponsor the movie to the studio. Without him, I’m not sure it would be a Paramount movie.”

After Godfrey left, former Paramount production chief Emma Watts took over Babylon It aims to reconfigure it before its departure in September 2021.

“Modern Times,” 1936 (United Artists).

Babylon Production was originally scheduled to begin in March 2020, but the pandemic spread and filming didn’t begin until July 2021 in Santa Clarita. The area is still a hotbed of Hollywood films dating back to the silent era, when Chaplin shot modern times In the High Plateau region, 25 miles north of Los Angeles. The mansion of the late Western star William S. Hart served as the home of the movie’s superstar Pete’s character, Jack Conrad.

Tell us buff on Crew call“There was something fundamental to us about making the movie the way movies were made in the ’20s, in the places where they made movies and not faking it.”

Despite California tax breaks and local filming, looking at productions in California comes at a cost due to the high rate of unionized labor. Not to mention starting and stopping a movie during Covid, which also affected production cost at its worst. Amsterdam. Emma Stone was originally the female lead before exiting due to a scheduling conflict in December 2020. That’s when Robbie’s attachment was announced, as the deadline was first reported.

From left: Brian Robbins, Daria Krysik, Michael Ireland, Olivia Wilde, Carolina Shemchak, Damien Chazelle, Eric Roberts, Olivia Hamilton, PJ Byrne, Margot Robbie, Flea, Tobey Maguire, Lee Jun Lee, Rory Scoville, Brad Pitt, Govan Adipo, Max Minghella, Lucas Haas, Diego Calva and Jean Smart at the “Babylon” premiere in Los Angeles (Getty Images)

Normally, films from the previous studio system would become orphaned as new masters emerged, but this did not happen Babylon. Godfrey left in June 2020, when Watts was arriving. She left shortly after Jim Giannopoulos was removed as Chairman and CEO in September 2021, when Robbins took over. He was nothing but supportive of Babylon and Oscar-winning Chazelle La La Land First Sight production deal manager for his Wild Chickens label at Paramount.

Babylon Paramount+ will hit before the Epix pay-TV window. Model sources tell me it’s in a 45-day theatrical window. The studio has laid off the stakes at Toronto-based C2 Motion Picture Group, led by Jason Kluth, who, I’m told, has a large chunk of the film in the works. At the international box office of $230 million and the estimated domestic finale at $20 million, this will generate revenue of $114 million in theatrical rentals, $10 million in home and broadcast entertainment, $28 million in international entertainment, and $2 million in revenue. in free domestic TV, $4 million in pay TV and $40 million in international pay. That’s $198 million in revenue against $188 million in costs that includes contributions, residual and interest for the $10 million earnings (but that’s not likely to happen). Duly note: Neither producer nor Dwayne Johnson handed us those numbers (the stars and producers don’t have access to the studio’s profit and loss data, duh). These estimates come from movie funding sources and are par with all profit and loss calculations and research we’ve conducted over the years.

says an insider connected to the production’s defense BabylonProduction Cost: “We moved very quickly to get what we needed. We didn’t have the luxury of a dollar more. It was the incredible faith of Paramount that moved mountains to get this movie and Damien’s vision made.”

Our source adds, “The movie became a spiritual quest, very different from the green-screen Marvel movies. We didn’t have a lot of money, and there wasn’t a lot of money coming in.”

As far as Paramount goes, awards season’s prospects Babylon, It’s not even close to fading to black.

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