Wide-release Flops for 'mother!'

   Sept 18, 2018-Paramount Pictures decision to go wide in theaters with quirky, genre-bending drama mother! turned out to be a bellyflop. The Jennifer Lawrence/Michelle Pfeiffer movie grossed just $7.5 million for the three-days ending yesterday on 2,368 screens. Over 1,000 screens is a wide release.
   Filmmaker Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan and The Wrestler) has an arty reputation, which ordinarily would call for a gradual platform release starting out on hundreds of screens and building. But
Mainstream audiences found mother! too arty

Paramount was banking on the star-power of Jennifer Lawrence and expectation to “hopefully trigger a huge conversation on social” media, wrote Deadline’s Anthony D’Alessandro in an campaign-focused story.
   However, mother! seems dead-on-arrival with the mass audience, after getting upbeat reviews on the film festival circuit—where arty plays better. It got a rare “F” rating from CinemaScore from actual moviegoers on Main Street. The movie has a $30-33 million production budget.
   “It’s very simple what happened here: Paramount backed an audacious auteur’s twisted genre film and aimed to sell it to a mass audience,” D’Alessandro wrote in another Deadline article. “You could say it’s high art and that its proper place is in a Specialty house.” But Paramount went wide instantly to the mass audience.
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