Darren Aronofsky’s pseudo-thriller Mother! opened wide to theatres this weekend, to a mostly shocked, bored, and divided audience. The film went into the weekend Certified Fresh from Rotten Tomatoes (initially holding at 75%, as of posting sitting at 69% critic and 44% audience), with only a handful of critics who attended select Film festival pre-screenings able to get their glowing reviews of Aronofsky’s latest up in time.
This seemed to be the strategy of Paramount; go wide to recoup the budget. As it’s an art-film without much narrative (read my not-so-positive review of Mother!), it was destined to divide audiences. Their only hope in being profitable was to blow the film out with as few audience previews as possible to cast as wide a net. It’s only Friday and the backlash has already begun, ticket-goers who watched the trailer selling the film as a Thriller and receiving something much more disjointed are growing noisy. The film scored a rare F Grade from CinemaScore audiences last night.
There are only twelve films thus far to of earned the lackluster title of an F from 2004 to 2017. Including; Steven Soderbergh’s 2002 remake of Solaris starring George Clooney, spoof-comedy Disaster Movie (2008) and the horror-thrillers Darkness (2002), Wolf Creek (2005), Bug (2006), The Wicker Man (2006), The Box (2009), Silent House (2011) and The Devil Inside (2012).
Mother! is also failing to perform to Box Office predictions as well. Deadline reported at noon, the Jennifer Lawrence flick is crashing well below projections with an estimated $7.8M, currently in third. When compared to her wide releases in their first weekend (1,000-plus theaters), it’s the lowest opening for Lawrence, even lower than her 2012 horror movie The House at the End of the Street ($12.3M).