‘Mother!’ takes a ‘Black Swan’ dive at the box office, but that might be good news – ANITH
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‘Mother!’ takes a ‘Black Swan’ dive at the box office, but that might be good news

‘Mother!’ takes a ‘Black Swan’ dive at the box office, but that might be good news

Image: paramount pictures / protozoa pictures

Black Swan didn’t open big either, for what it’s worth.

Mother!, the latest mindf*ck from writer/director Darren Aronofsky with stars Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem, is off to a seemingly slow start at the box office. Despite opening this weekend in more than 2,300 theaters, the current three-day domestic estimate is $7.5 million. 

That’s less than one-third of the movie’s reported $30 million budget. It’s still enough to land Mother! in the #3 slot on the weekend box office charts, behind fellow newcomer American Assassin ($14.8 million) and record-breaking horror champ It ($60 million).

I want to repeat myself so I can emphasize: It’s a seemingly slow start. That $7.5 million is actually the second-best opening to date for Darren Aronofsy, behind the big-budget domestic flop, Noah ($43.7 million). It’s still ahead of The Fountain and, more importantly, Black Swan.

Black Swan, released in Dec. 2010, had an opening weekend of just $1.4 million at the domestic box office. It’s still Aronofsky’s biggest hit in the U.S., with a $107 million total box office; it’s also #2 for the director behind Noah globally, with $329.4 million (against Noah‘s $362.6 million).

Much like Mother!, Black Swan leans in on delivering a surreal, frequently difficult-to-comprehend story that is heavy on the symbolism and subtext. It’s not buzzy in quite the same way as Black Swan, but both movies were greeted warmly by critics while general audiences expressed confusion.

Mother! also arrives in a world with much more developed social media platforms than its predecessor. People are talking about this movie a great deal: the ones that liked it, the ones that didn’t, and the ones that just want to figure out what the hell was actually going on

All of which is to say: Don’t read too much into what looks like a very slow start at the box office. Mother! is making waves, but we won’t start seeing the full extent of how it all ripples out for a few more weeks.

All current and historical box office data was provided by comScore and BoxOfficeMojo.

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Anith Gopal
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