Cinema is saved! Except for when it isn’t. It is hard to figure out what is going on these days. Every time a Top Gun: Maverick comes along and is trumpeted as a savior of the theatre going experience, other high profile films don’t fare quite so well. Like She Said.
She Said was released this past weekend. It tells the true story of two New York Times journalists who helped expose Harvey Weinstein’s decades of sexual harassment and assault. It scored great reviews and the buzz around it has talked of awards.
Yet nobody went to see it.
Blockbusters get people into multiplexes these days. Adult-orientated drama, even as counter programming to the latest capes and tights movie… not so much. Not in the age of streaming.
She Said took in $2.2 million this weekend, coming in at less than half what was predicted. According to reports in the trades this morning, this makes it one of the worst results in history for a wide theatrical release from a major studio. Commentators are looking for reasons.
First up in Shawn Robbins, chief analyst with Boxoffice Pro, who spoke Variety about the wider context right now:
“It’s a tough sell. People are looking for escapism right now. Even adult audiences are looking for something that takes them away from reality.”
Jeff Bock, an analyst with Exhibitor Relations, also spoke to the trades and said:
“Across the board, it’s a scary time for prestige films. We may be witnessing a sea change in cinema. Ultimately, audiences decide what gets made and right now audiences aren’t choosing to watch these films in theaters.”
2022 box office is dominated by sequels and comic book movies and this trend shows no signs of reversing any time soon.