I was in the Hollywood Arclight last night around 8 pm, buying a ticket for Allied so I could see the Silence trailer. After the purchase I asked one of the ticket guys “so what’s dying?” He looked at me oddly and said “huh?” I said, “You know, which films aren’t selling tickets?” “Oh, heh-heh…nobody ever asks me that,” he chuckled as he scanned some data on a screen. “Uhm, let’s see. Rules Don’t Apply…Loving…Elle.”
According to Boxofficemojo, Rules Don’t Apply opened on 1100 screens last night, and managed a $65,000 haul. Repeating: It opened on 1100 screens last night and earned $65K. In other words, it earned 59 dollars per situation. Five-nine. I’ve done the math over and over and get the same figure.
I ran this by a box-office analyst this morning, and here’s what he said: “This movie was never supposed to do well. Ever. It’s out of its time. [Beatty] should have made this back in 1975. Rules is really an arthouse release, but it made no sense to platform it” — i.e., open it on 20 or 30 or 40 screens and let the word of mouth build — “because it doesn’t have awesome reviews.”
I’m heartbroken that Rules turned out like it did and has now obviously hit the pavement. I half-liked it. It’s flawed, yes, and all over the place but brilliant in spurts and far from dismissable. Here’s my 11.12 review.
By the way: I told the Arclight ticket guy that he should really see Elle. “It’s taut and perverse and sexual and really different,” I said. “It’s really turns you around. And you can see it for free!” “Yeah,” the guy said, smiling, “but I’ve been really jammed.”