Steven Spielberg has been synonymous for the movie business for many decades. The filmmaker has created some of the big screen’s most enduring moments, delighting audiences by spinning fantasies involving lovable aliens, menacing dinosaurs and one very hungry shark. And he’s even done the unimaginable and made movies about brutal subjects like the Holocaust and the D-Day landing that find commercial success, as well as critical plaudits.
But with “The Fabelmans,” his semi-autobiographical look at growing up as a film-obsessed teenager in Arizona and Northern California, Spielberg is confronting a movie business that is unrecognizable from the one in which he came of age as a director. It’s an industry that is simultaneously offering more platforms than ever before for “content,”It is also a form of art that is rapidly losing cultural significance, at least for its big-screen incarnation. Streaming services and not cinemas are the dominant force of today. Where does that leave us? “The Fabelmans”?
This $40 million-budgeted time piece was released in limited release. It earned $160,000 from four theaters. It was a huge success with the audience, who gave it an enthusiastic thumbs up. “A”CinemaScore is Universal’s studio behind the film. Universal believes CinemaScore will increase word-of mouth. And the warm reception isn’t much of a surprise. “The Fabelmans”The film was presented to a standing ovation in September at the Toronto Film Festival. It won the audience prize which is often a sign of future awards season success. It’s previously been won by the likes of “Green Book” “La La Land.” “The Fabelmans” also earned glowing reviews, some of the best of Spielberg’s career, there’s speculation that it could land him his third Oscar for directing (he’s already won for “Schindler’s List” and “Saving Private Ryan”).
Spielberg, however, is not immune from the unforgiving gravitational pull that a diminished theatrical landscape has on him. His last film, 2021’s “West Side Story,”The film was released in theaters during an influx of COVID and made a meager $76 million worldwide gross. If omicron hadn’t been on the scene, it’s unlikely that “West Side Story,”The film, which was intended for adults, would have been more successful in terms of business. Other pandemic-era films designedTo appeal to that kind of moviegoer — from “Belfast” to “Licorice Pizza”You can also see the most recent entries at “Till” “Armageddon Time” — have also failed to generate outsized ticket sales despite rave reviews.
“‘The Fabelmans’ is a Hollywood movie about moviemaking, and we know how that usually ends at the box office,”Jeff Bock is an Exhibitor Relations analyst. “It’s not great.”
But, Bock believes there’s reason to believe the film can defy the odds: “If anyone can pull it off, it’s probably Spielberg.”
“The Fabelmans”Based on the following guidelines, performed per-screen “Tár”Average per-theater cost: $40,000 “Everything Everywhere All At Once” ($50,000, per-theater average). But sterling per-screen results aren’t always predictive of box office riches. Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master,”For instance, the record for per-screen results is $147,000 per-theater. However, it only managed to make a domestic gross of $16.4 million.
“‘The Fabelmans’ performed like a lot of other prestige titles did,”Shawn Robbins, BoxOffice Pro’s chief analyst, notes this. “But those kinds of movies are still recovering. The jury is still out about whether older crowds will show up or if they’re still worried about crowds and accustomed to watching these types of films on streaming.”
Universal has a more thoughtful approach to dealing with this matter “The Fabelmans”Disney was better than Disney. “West Side Story,”It was wide open and facing down. “The Fabelmans”The theaters will only be expanded to a few more by next weekend. It will then be available in around 600 screens in all major markets by Nov. 23, just in-time for Thanksgiving.
The studio will launch the film on PVOD in mid-December. This will reduce risk and generate additional revenue streams. They believe the film will also be available on PVOD. “The Fabelmans,” with its tender-hearted examination of Spielberg’s troubled relationship with his parents, is more broadly appealing than other awards fare, like “Tár,”Its unflinching stance against sexual harassment is a strong point “The Banshees of Inisherin,”Dark comedy that features thick Irish accents. Subtitles may be required. Universal suggests that the comparison may be more fitting. “Ticket to Paradise,”A romantic comedy starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts. It was targeted at older ticket-buyers. Slowly but surely, it is hoping to end its domestic run with 75 million dollars in gross.
Even Spielberg seems to recognize, however, that the kinds of original movies he made so popular — stories that don’t necessarily originate with comic books or graphic novels — are under threat. But ever the optimist, he sees reasons to be hopeful, pointing to the success of last summer’s “Elvis.”The movie about the life and times King Rock and Roll was an unexpected success, grossing $151 million in America and $286 million worldwide.
“A lot of older people went to see that film, and that gave me hope that people were starting to come back to the movies as the pandemic becomes an endemic,” Spielberg Recently, the New York Times. “I think movies are going to come back. I really do.”
Perhaps “The Fabelmans”It is possible to be part this revival.