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Fox Searchlight Already Folding 'Gentlemen Broncos'?

I don't want to speak too soon, but what the hell has happened to Fox Searchlight this year? It started out well enough, with Notorious becoming a surprise hit. There was also (500) Days of Summer, which will likely emerge as the studio's big awards charge at the end of the year. And we don't know what will happen with Fantastic Mr. Fox quite yet.

But check out the rest of the line-up: Miss March, bomb. Post Grad, bomb. Adam, $2 million in almost four months. Whip It, troubling returns that should have been much greater. Amelia, won't make money and it won't get any nominations, which is the reason it was made. But Gentlemen Broncos, featuring Jemaine Clement from Flight of the Conchords and directed by Napoleon Dynamite's Jared Hess, might be the biggest loser of them all. And Searchlight knows it.

The movie only made $11,000 this past weekend in two theaters, and received very bad reviews overall. As a consequence, I received the following note from the studio: "Fox Searchlight’s Gentlemen Broncos will not be opening in your market. There is no longer an opening date for this film."

Now, the markets I officially serve are Phoenix, Tucson, and Las Vegas, of which only Phoenix gets a lot of second- and third-weekend roll-outs. It could be different in other cities, but I know Phoenix is one of Searchlight's top ten markets in the US most years, so I would imagine similar moves are being set into motion in other majors around the country. And there's not a lot of wiggle room in the phrase "will not be opening."

It is expanding a little bit this weekend, but that was decided before the revenue from this past weekend came in. And if it does similar numbers in those theaters, I can't expect Searchlight would reverse this decision, made just two days after the opening weekend numbers were reported.

So it looks like it could be a total loss for the studio. That wouldn't be worth raising an eyebrow if the usually reliable Fox Searchlight hadn't misfired nearly every time out this year.

Reader Comments (6)

Fox Searchlight really messed up with Whip It and Adam. I am actually very disappointed because they should know better. They have had mega hits in the past. Although they both bombed, Whip It and Adam had really great reviews. They would probably be better of campaigning for Whip It,Adam, and 500 Days of Summer instead of Amelia.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterG

Adam was a great film,.I remember seeing the trailer before (500) Days amd immediatly drawn to the film, even made another trip out to Camelview to see it.

Really wanted to see Whip It, I think they just picked a bad week to open it. How could anyone win against zomies? Especially a zombie comedy.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterfaulty logic

Please don't forget another bomb from Fox Searchlight : MY LIFE IN RUINS.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009 | Unregistered Commentereee

Ah, see, I did forget that. That kind of makes up for the other two...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009 | Registered CommenterGet The Big Picture

fox searchlight has totally messed up on this one. broncos deserves to be seen and will be another cult success like napoleon dynamite it they would give it a chance.

Sunday, November 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjay

oh, and $11,000 in two theaters is actually pretty good. comparable to the very top movies last week.

Sunday, November 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjay

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