Although it boasts a stellar line up – Big Little Lies‘ Nicole Kidman, Baby Driver‘s Ansel Elgort, Stranger Things‘ Finn Wolfhard, American Horror Story‘s Sarah Paulson – and revered source material (Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel), The Goldfinch has done anything but soar upon launch.

The film, which was released in the US on Friday (September 13), has bombed at the box office, taking only $2.6 million from 2,542 locations, which is a pretty sorry state of affairs in comparison to estimates which put its opening weekend near $12 million.

It means that the weighty drama has had one of the lowest launches of the year. Ouch…

Macall PolayWarner Bros.

And Jeff Goldstein, president of domestic distribution at Warner Bros, which co-financed the $40m film with Amazon, has a theory as to why it failed.

“I think the audience wasn’t interested in seeing this literary work on screen,” he said (via Variety). “There were many things that didn’t work, but the biggest was probably the marketplace. The gap between the have and the have-nots is growing even bigger.”

One other reason the film fared badly is that critics largely savaged the movie. As it stands at time of writing, it has a disappointing 25% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 41 on Metacritic.

ansel elgort goldfinch
Warner Bros.

Variety called it “laboured”, TheWrap labelled it “disjointed”, while TIME said the film is an “object lesson in what not to do in an adaptation”.

The film stars Elgort as Theo, a young man who turns to art crime after losing his mother in a tragedy. Kidman plays the woman who looks after him in New York.

The Goldfinch‘s UK release date is September 27.


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