June 13th, 2012 / 9 Comments


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I guess small budget, lack of funds for promotion which is why Rob and noone else for that matter other than Christina Ricci promoted this film (didn’t see Uma or Kristin pounding the streets) leads to low box office.  Oh and of course the harsh reviews  because I forgot Edward can only sparkle and not act.   I know people are quick to jump on the – it’s a flop bandwagon – but it’s playing arthouse cinemas, sometimes only one screening per day and I’m not blaming the cast for their lack of promotion.  It costs a lot of money to promote and have a premiere.   I  understand the distributors of indie films can’t justify spending millions to promote when they know it’s not the kind of film that is going to reimburse those efforts.  You get what I’m saying – it’s further proof too of what Rob’s been saying during the Cosmopolis promotion – it’s hard to find directors/studios who will take this kind of risk because it’s not always about financial success.  And no I’m not making excuses – bigger budget films have had less box office success than Bel Ami in comparison – yeah I’m side eyeing a few of them now.   Well at least we can thank Russia for getting behind this film, but Russians more than likely love period dramas since they really do only appeal to a small minority … like me.   Oh I’m rambling … anyway here’s some stats:

Box Office Mojo – US – $38,018 (15 cinemas over 3 days … 15 cinemas?)

Box Office Mojo – International – $7,467,691 (are my calcs but I didn’t double check and we know the Aussie figure is wrong).

UrbanCine – Australia – $684,726 (dropped out of Top 10 and is sitting at no. 13 and screening at 84 cinemas)

On a side note – at this stage it hasn’t met budget.  And I think the formula for what Hollywood considers a success is that a film needs to make 2.5 times its production costs or something like that … yeah.  Oh well – onwards and upwards.  I enjoyed it … that’s all that matters to me.

  • Cindy
    Posted on June 13, 2012

    Thanks for the update Maria. Maybe when the DVD comes out folks who didnt go to the pics will buy or hire it and enjoy.

  • Vertigo
    Posted on June 13, 2012

    15 cinemas in the states? We knew it was limited release but that’s just ridiculous.

  • Michelle
    Posted on June 13, 2012

    OMG only 15 cinemas in the US??? That is just crazy!!!!

    Thanks for the update & couldn’t agree more Maria, I enjoyed the film so much & loved Rob’s performance as Georges. That is all that matters to me too. Give me a movie like BA anyday. The majority of films these days are zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, don’t interest me at all. Quality film is what I like, something different, new & fresh. Shame people aren’t willing to give films like BA the go they deserve. It really is their loss.

    Oh & have to say, I know I complain about Tasmania a lot LOL but the Arthouse cinema in Hobart (capital city for those who aren’t familiar) are still screening Bel Ami & up to four sessions a day. Made me feel so happy that they’re giving the movie a good go & clearly they’re still getting reasonable numbers with it being on for almost 3 weeks & still all those sessions. Made me feel great seeing that 🙂

  • Shirl
    Posted on June 13, 2012

    This is the problem with most independent films; they never get wide release so most of middle America never even gets to see the films since they aren’t released in any theatres nearby in small towns. I’m really glad we got to see Bel Ami renting it from iTunes but it would have been so much nicer to have been able to see it on the big screen.

    I’m afraid this will be the situation from now on if Rob continues to star in small budget and small production indie films, sad to say. There’s always DVD/blueray but it just ain’t anywhere near as nice as seeing Rob on a nice big screen in a dark movie theatre.

  • Maria
    Posted on June 13, 2012

    @Shirl I guess I forget living in Sydney and close to arthouse cinemas how much this truly affects those who can’t get to see it at a cinema. It really is a different feel isn’t it – TV/DVD to big screen.

    Unfortunately I think you are right re what to expect from future Rob films. He seems to be seriously going down the indie road and as much as I’m happy about that, it’s unfortunate that not everyone gets to appreciate him on cinema screen, so I’m sad for those of you who aren’t able to do so 🙁

  • Val
    Posted on June 13, 2012

    If it’s ok I’m going to add my own little rant that our local cinema (non-metro area) started only playing once each day at 3.15 from last week after having good session times the first week. Due to circumstances TOTALLY beyond my control, I only got to see it Monday arvo for the first time & despite best efforts of the 5 other friends wanting to come see too, they couldn’t get mummy-leave-passes so I was on my own (had a leave pass owing to me big time, he he). However, i was not the only one in the cinema and I could feel the vibe that everyone there seriously enjoyed it and I had a ridiculous grin on my face at the end because I enjoyed it soooooo much 🙂 Another country town is playing it next week (independent theatre) so I am trekking for an hour to go see it again with a friend down there. Honestly if they show a period-drama at 3.15pm only (school pick-up time, much?!), what else do they expect with the box office numbers?

    I love that Rob is not all about the dollars when choosing his roles; he gets criticized for doing big-budget films that are all about the marketing, & then criticized when a small-promo-budget film doesn’t make it sales-wise. What then, is he allowed to do?

  • Martha M
    Posted on June 13, 2012

    I’m ashame to live in the states at this time. It really was very limited where they were showing it.

    I went to see it on Saturday I took a friend, I had loaned her the book and she really enjoyed it and I took my brother. I didn’t tell either of them that I had already seen it serveral time on VOD. I wanted to see their reaction without telling them what I thought.

    Well they both loved it. They both thought Rob did a really good job. My brother never read the book, so he didn’t know what to expect, but he really enjoyed it.

    The cinema were they played it was an old cinema no stadium seating. I was really disappointed in the theater. I had never been to that theater before. It was in Pasadena, it is a very nice city. lots of shops, clubs, bars, and eateries. The cinema was pretty much full. But what took me by surprise was that 95% of audience were senior citizens. They all must have been between 65 and 80 years old. There were folks with canes and walkers. I never imagine that older folk would want to see this movie. But my brother did make a good point he said “Old people like to read, and all these people are retired, so they have plenty of time to read”. I guess he might be right.

    Non the less I was glad to see the cinema full, it didn’t matter how old the audience was. I did enjoy the move so much more on the big screen then on the telly.

    So those of you that did see it on VOD go see it at the cinema. I promie you you’ll like it so much more and appreciate it so much more.

    Thank Maria for keeping us updated.

  • Ephie
    Posted on June 13, 2012

    @maria, firstly you are not rambling!!! 15 theatres across the US is next to nothing!! I had exactly the same reaction – REALLY PEOPLE??? 15 Cinemas???? It’s like they wanted the movie to bomb out…I guess we have to wait for the VOD figures to get the real picture of the total takings.
    I certainly enjoyed it and both friends I took with me – I saw it twice – liked it very much and enjoyed the plot, the costumes, the setting and the performances. It’s a shame the movie was not given a better chance to perform at the BO. But I guess “c’est la vie” (to quote the French) and that is the fate of arthouse, indie movies these days.
    I hope Cosmopolis will have a wider release than that both in the US and here – hopefully because it’s a Cronenberg film.

  • Carmel
    Posted on June 13, 2012

    Bel Ami deserves better than 15 screens in the US.

    It would be hard to be a Rob fan and not get the opounity to see his work on the big screen. I feel for all those effected. Stay strong and thank goodness for RPAU where at least keeping up to date is easy.

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