- Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 August 2020 16:26
- Written by Lupe R Haas
Russell Crowe's UNHINGED is the first major theatrical release to hit movie theaters in months, playing in 1,823 North American theaters. The thriller earned $4 million over the weekend, which in ordinary times would be considered a weak opening, but given the landscape - Solstice Studios is happy with the box office results. In addition to touting their successful release, the studio's official statement seems to be trying to convince movie-goers that watching films in a movie theater is safe.
Russell Crowe stars in the psychological trailer about road rage that escalates into a series of violent actions. UNHINGED received mixed reviews from both critics and the audience with some unnecessary violence turning off movie fans. Per Rotten Tomatoes, the film received a 48% rating from critics and 76% from fans.
UNHINGED will continue to open in 500 additional U.S. theaters on August 28, competing with BILL & TED: FACE THE MUSIC. UNHINGED opened in 27 international territories earlier, and earned $10 million so far.
Oddly, the official press release from Solstice Studios focused more on the movie-going experience rather than the film's success. "97% Of U.S. Moviegoers Recommend Seeing A Movie In Theaters To Their Friends, New Poll Says," reads the headline. The second line then assures that those who braved a movie theater viewing responded positively about the "enhanced safety experience in theaters." Another sentence reveals that those polled were motivated to return to theaters to "socialize and return to normal."
Other countries may have COVID-19 under control but the same can't be said for the United States. Many movie-goers are still weary of watching movies in an enclosed space, and the opening of theaters has been controversial. At a time when the health experts are encouraging social distancing and the new normal, the press release seems tone-deaf.
Read the official press release below.
97% OF U.S. MOVIEGOERS RECOMMEND SEEING A MOVIE IN THEATERS TO THEIR FRIENDS, NEW POLL SAYS
93% Rate New Enhanced Safety Experience in Theaters as Positive
PostTrak Survey Conducted by ComScore In American Theaters Open for First Time in 5 Months at First Weekend of UNHINGED
LOS ANGELES (August 24th, 2020) -- Some 97% of U.S. moviegoers recommend seeing a new movie in theaters to their friends, a new poll says. Additionally, 93% rate the new enhanced safety experience in movie theaters as positive. The PostTrack survey was conducted by Comscore in American movie theaters open for the first time in five months at the first weekend of UNHINGED, the new psychological thriller starring Academy Award winner Russell Crowe. Some 57% of the respondents stated their top motivation for going to the movie theater was a desire to socialize and return to normal.
UNHINGED opened on August 21 to a box office result of $4 million at 1,823 North American locations. The film is expected to have earned $8 million at the North American box office by Thursday and is projected to reach Solstice Studios' target of $30 million at a minimum by the time it completes its theatrical run. The number of North American locations for UNHINGED will increase by 500 to over 2300 by the second weekend on August 28, as theaters across the United States continue to open. The film has been released in 27 international territories thus far, opening #1 in 15 of them, and has earned $10 million to date. UNHINGED has been #1 for four weeks in a row in both Australia and the UK, and was #1 for 3 weeks in a row in Germany.
"The astonishingly high 97% recommendation of safety and comfort in theaters from first-weekend moviegoers is beyond great news-and confirms that movie theaters are not only back but have a promising future," said UNHINGED producer Mark Gill, who is President and CEO of Solstice Studios. "It bodes well for what we've seen in Europe and Australia on the film, which is a long run at the box office that in some countries has defied gravity and increased from week to week, or at the very least has held steady for many weeks."
Paul Dergarabedian, Sr. Media Analyst at ComScore added, "Solstice Studios, through their successful release of UNHINGED, showed not only a commitment to consumers and their desire to see a new wide release film with a major star on the big screen, but also a devotion to movie theaters who are diligently at work creating a safe and healthy environment for their loyal customers."
Solstice Studios is an independent movie company based in Los Angeles, founded in October 2018. The studio develops, fully finances, produces, sells internationally and distributes feature films in the U.S. on a wide-release basis. Solstice plans to produce 3-5 movies per year for a global audience-generally in the $20-80M budget range. It also plans to co-finance or acquire another 1-2 films per year for wide US distribution. The company has a partnership with Ingenious Media.
The Solstice team has a $5 billion production track record and is expected to grow to 65 people. The company's senior team includes President & CEO Mark Gill, Head of Production Lisa Ellzey, Co-Production Head Guy Botham, Marketing/Strategy Head Vincent Bruzzese, Acquisitions & International Head Crystal Bourbeau, Head of Physical Production Dana Belcastro, Business & Legal Affairs Head Karen Barna, Chief Financial Officer Shaun Williams and Head of US Distribution Shari Hardison.