While tentpoles resurrected cinema last summer with photos like Top Gun: Maverick, It is true that a more adult fare is going through a much tougher time now. Nowhere was this more true than with David O. Russell’s Amsterdam, which rivals believed had a chance of opening at $ 12 million- $ 15 million last weekend based on the absurd vintage comedy ensemble of Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Rami Malek, Robert De Niro, Anya Taylor-Joy, Taylor Swift, Michael Shannon (the list doesn’t stop).

But that didn’t happen: with an opening of $ 6.5 million in 3,005 theaters, boosted by sales of Imax and PLF tickets which accounted for more than a third of that number, overall it came out with a measly $ 10 million start in Worldwide. Russell was looking to replicate the success of his starred 10-time Oscar nominee The American hustle and bustlewhich coined a nationwide opening of $ 19.1 million at Christmas 2013, over $ 150 million gross in the US and $ 251.1 million worldwide with a manufacturing cost of $ 40 million. Amsterdam, fully funded by New Regency for its deal with Disney / 20th Century Studios, was double the $ 80 million, being the most penetrating fingernail of the photo in its coffin. What should have been an awards season game with its originality was quickly dismissed by critics at 34% on Rotten Tomatoes. So much, critics, for celebrating what is original on the big screen.

RELATED: “Amsterdam” Review: Christian Bale and All-Star Cast Illuminate David O. Russell’s Timely Blend of Fiction and Fiction

Yes, even by pre-pandemic standards, this comedy set in the 1930s was expensive, so how did that happen? Based on a projected global gross of $ 35 million, an estimated $ 70 million global expense and acquisition expense – which I’m told is the bare minimum for a great movie like this – backed by Regency, Amsterdam after that all home accessories will lose about $ 100 million ($ 97 million to be exact).

The French expedition

Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch” has finished its $ 16 million domestic run, which is around where “Amsterdam” will end.

Pictures of the lighthouse

While there is a green light in which it is possible to make each film, as it has been done the cost per Amsterdam get that tall? Of course, we want to keep seeing original movies like this on the big screen and not thrown into streaming immediately. Sure, a streamer can take a project like this off the table, but then the movie would never get the big global launch. As for the box office, AmsterdamThe start isn’t far from where a Wes Anderson-directed film would be over a broad weekend. Although it is a version of the platform, that of the director The Grand Hotel Budapest in its fourth weekend in 977 theaters in March 2014, it earned $ 8.5 million. On its second weekend in 788 theaters, The French expedition made $ 2.6 million. What is triple that theater counts but a gross in the $ 7 million range. So as for the numbers for an unusual star-studded period comedy, Amsterdam he was doing what he had to do. It was even more expensive than Anderson’s biggest bomb, that one being Aquatic Life with Steve Zissou, which was made for $ 50 million and grossed just under $ 35 million worldwide.

From left: Chris Rock, David O. Russell and Christian Bale on the set of “Amsterdam”.


But, again, that high production cost – why?

they told me AmsterdamThe company’s high price was reduced to the change of location, from Boston to a recovery in Los Angeles, and to the production brake when the pandemic struck in March 2020. Amsterdam it was supposed to shoot and the start date was postponed to January 2021. None of the cast wanted to travel to Boston because of Covid, so Los Angeles was more important. The historical nature of the film and the move from Boston to Los Angeles pushed the production cost from a planned $ 50 million to $ 80 million. That’s with a $ 2.5 million California tax credit.

This kind of situation, where production costs would skyrocket by tens of millions, was not abnormal at this time of the pandemic. Once Amsterdam was up and running, there were no Covid arrests and none tested positive despite cases increasing by 19,000 per day, and it went well during the 49-day shoot.

RELATED: How Christian Bale and David O. Russell Cooked the Famous Historic Whodunit “Amsterdam” through five years of table dining

The Nordic

Robert Eggers’ risky Viking epic, co-financed by Regency, “The Northman”

Focus functions

Despite all the power of the stars involved, I was told that this is not the reason Amsterdam it was so expensive. The actors showed up because they wanted to work with Russell, some even working on a scale. This is despite the noteworthy conflicts that the intense Russell has had over the years with actors including George Clooney, Lily Tomlin and Amy Adams. Bale wanted to make this movie and wrote the script with Russell for five years of dining at the table. I heard that Bale was paid below his normal $ 5 million rate. Oscar winner Malek received six-figure pay. No one was making crazy demands, and above-the-line costs accounted for around 20% of the entire budget. Ultimately, no one will receive any bonuses from a shared cash draw pool as the photo is in red.

Still, good on Regency to commit all-in Amsterdam. The production finance studio has a history of financing risky auteur projects, since 1997’s film noir LA Reserved to the gritty Leonardo DiCaprio, a frontier western The avenger – both were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture to the Robert Eggers Viking epic, which grossed $ 70 million this year The Nordic, that I have heard that the company owned by Arnon Milchan will not lose the jersey for funding 50% of the release of Focus Features. On the other end of the spectrum, Regency has the affordable horror movie Barbarian at $ 4 million, which grossed more than $ 38 million worldwide.

(LR) Margot Robbie (on screen), Christian Bale, Rami Malek, David O. Russell and Pete Hammond of Deadline at an Imax event in September

While Disney received a single-digit million fee for running the film, Amsterdam it was not a deployment error. Given the vacancies on the calendar, the company anticipated the film for the show from the first weekend of November, earlier Black Panther: Wakanda foreverto a weekend in early October where Amsterdam he could breathe – plus, the photo had access to Imax screens for all Russell film buffs. EntTelligence showed that of the top three films this weekend, Amsterdam, due to its surcharge, it had the highest average ticket price next door Lyle, Lyle, crocodile And Smile at $ 12.62. There was an Imax preview day and the stars showed up to promote, but it was decided that the film would not go to the Toronto Film Festival which was a good thing because the dirty word would have been out of the bag sooner and probably. it would hurt the ticket sales even more.

Disney could not platform Amsterdam like an Anderson movie, given the negative reviews and audience diagnostics (3 stars and 72% on Comscore / Screen Engine’s PostTrak). According to iSpot, Disney spent more than rivals on US TV commercials at $ 15.2 million versus Sony with less than $ 9 million in Lyle, Lyle, crocodile; Warners has nearly $ 10 million to date with the release of Dwayne Johnson on October 21 Black Adam; and Universal’s $ 7.1 million to date Halloween ends, which opens this Friday. Disney didn’t go cheap and, in the end, Regency was lurking for marketing costs.

From a social media perspective, RelishMix has observed this AmsterdamThe social universe size of nearly 64 million on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok was smaller than that for a drama / comedy. “Chatter was mixed positive with skepticism as fans were obviously thrilled with this invitation sheet, as well as David O. Russell and his film track record,” said RelishMix. Convo wondered how singer Taylor Swift would stand on the big screen, thumbs up for Margot Robbie’s dark hair, excitement for Robert Di Niro, return of Michael Shannon, #wow for John David Washington, joy for Anya Taylor-Joy, glass-eye Batman Christian Bale’s transformation … the skeptics felt this might be too good to be true and they were chewing on reviews and other news. “

Breaking down the numbers here, industry sources tell us that from a global last revenue of $ 35 million per Amsterdam that would activate $ 15 million in global theater rentals, home accessories net cash through home entertainment, a Hulu / HBO Max streaming run, free TV, and $ 52 million international TV. That is if the film goes through Disney’s international TV release deals. Self Amsterdam no, then the loss could be greater than $ 100 million, with foreign television deals amounting to a number in the teens. A total of $ 67 million in total movie revenue versus $ 164 million in total costs for theater and home entertainment get Amsterdam with a loss of $ 97 million.

Don't worry honey

Warner Bros

So does tanking Amsterdam You mean that such a sophisticated adult fare is destined for the big screen? That will remain the question of what works in theaters versus streaming, as long as adults are slow to return to the box office. New Line made the tall, risky Olivia Wilde genre film Don’t worry honey with Harry Styles, Florence Pugh and Chris Pine for a $ 35 million manager, and it’s just under $ 70 million worldwide. Other distributors, including Focus Features, are not giving up on the director-driven exclusive rate: he has sold Tar – Todd Field’s return to theaters after a 16-year hiatus – a platform release (the photo recorded a solid four-city average of $ 40,000 last weekend) and classic label Uni acquired Anderson’s City of asteroids. The risky royalty fee for cinema will continue to be realized, be it hell or high tide.

Here’s another way to look Amsterdam: A critically panned highbrow version made for streaming would disappear from conversation and menu highlights much faster.

But in the end, thanks to a big screen launch, we always will Amsterdam.

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