Older women didn’t come out in sufficient numbers to support Sarah Gavron‘s Suffragette last weekend, and as a result the Focus Features release is now being assessed as an under-performer. The idiotic analogizing of box-office heat with artistic validation also means that Carey Mulligan‘s entirely deserving Best Actress campaign is now regarded as being in a cool-down mode. Despite the fact that (a) Mulligan is one of our finest actresses (right at the top, unquestionably Streep– and Blanchett-level) and (b) this is her finest performance since An Education. Brilliant!
The following was posted yesterday by Thompson on Hollywood‘s By Tom Brueggemann: “A year ago Pride, a retelling of the struggle for equal rights with a much lower marketing and awards profile than Suffragette‘s, grossed around $75,000/$15,000 PTA for its five New York/Manhattan theaters (it also opened in five other cities) on its way to a sub-$2 million national total.
“While Suffragette‘s total at a little under $20,000 PTA (at very prime theaters) is best for the weekend, it is very ordinary for the advance festival and awards league territory and has to be considered disappointing compared to expectations and where it needs to be even as a Best Actress contender for rave-reviewed Carey Mulligan.
“The main problem again is competition for the vital but finite older audience. But it also suggests that historic/social activist dramas like this, particularly with good but not great reviews (the L.A. Times called it ‘noble’) might be running out of steam as so many worthy films compete for attention.”