I’ve done it and it’s not a bad experience. But when I did it it was nothing quite like this…
Over its opening weekend at the beginning of March, only around a dozen people went to see Motherhood, a semi-autobiographical account of parenting in New York written and directed by Katherine Dieckmann.
The film took just £88 at the British box office on its opening weekend.
Sounds like a load of solipsistic chick-flickery about bugger-all but 88 quid is Ashoka*. It gets worse.
On its debut Sunday, takings at the box office were just £9 – the price of a ticket for one person.
Wow! But hey! She did buy popcorn and a hot-dog and a large Diet Coke so it’s not all bad. Aside. Is it just me or has a cinema trip become really pricey over the last few years? The Manchester Odeon Imax 3D is £12.50 for a decent seat and the food is outrageous**.
Only one British cinema was given permission to launch the film earlier this month, with the film’s producers hoping that exclusivity would generate a buzz and lead to box office success by word of mouth.
What marketing genius came up with that one? They ought to do the decent thing and fall on their sword. In Japan that would probably be expected quite literally.
Motherhood, which also stars Jodie Foster and Minnie Driver, is thought to have made only £40,000 when it opened in America last year, despite costing around £3.4 million to make.
Personally, I’d pay good money not to see the ludicrously monikered and lantern-jawed Minnie Driver. So, maybe it isn’t the marketing folks to blame. Maybe, just maybe, the film is utterly dreadful. It sounds sort of like an extended episode of Friends without the lads. I know what they can do! They can flog it to the US Military and they can show it at Gitmo. The jihadis will spill all the beans before the second reel and no need for the tedious old waterboarding.
When Jana Edelbaum, one of the producers, was told how badly it had fared at the British box office, she said: “You’re kidding? We must have broken a new record for grosses.”
But she defended the film, insisting that Metronome [marketing] was to blame and that she would demand a full explanation.
She said: “Think how much crap succeeds at the cinema. Motherhood is not bad. I’ve seen movies that are not half as good.”
That’s a spirited defence from the producer is it not? She’s basically saying, it’s not that crap, really. From the producer!
Barry Norman, the film critic, said: “I have never heard of anything like this before. This is not some small, independent movie. It’s astonishing that only about 11 people could be bothered to go and see Uma Thurman.
Now Barry I might have an explanation…
That’s Uma Thurman in Motherhood. This is how we are used to seeing Ms Thurman…
You decide. All I’ll say is that in the first picture Ms Thurman seems to have borrowed Cameron Diaz’s fright wig from Being John Malkovich and in the second picture… Well a beautiful woman with a sword and a gun does it for me.
We go to the cinema to be entertained. Not to hear Uma, Jodie and Minnie wittering on about the difficulties of finding affordable child care or some such nonsense. I want car chases, explosions, sexy birds, bad-ass leading men and fights. I want Bruce Willis in a dirty vest and Scarlett Johansson in as little as possible. And probably, Dear reader, so do you.
Full story here.
*Traditional Indian epic. Pronouced as though by a Celtic fan who has just seen his team go down 5-0 to Hamilton Academicals.
**Ashoka again but this time Rangers going down 9-0 to Stenhousemuir.