It takes plenty of hard work for a quirky screenwriter and director to climb out of obscurity and into the mainstream, but that is exactly what Wes Anderson is doing very successfully.
Anderson’s newest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, has just obliterated the box office record for a limited debut film, pulling together a total of $811,166 with a release on just four screens. Thus, the opening reeled in $202,792 per screen, beating the previous record holder, Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, which managed $147,262 per screen.
By the looks of it, The Grand Budapest Hotel is well on its way to becoming Anderson’s most successful film to date. His previous release, Moonrise Kingdom, remains his top-grossing creation, gathering nearly $46 million worldwide. But seeing such a strong opening weekend for The Grand Budapest Hotel and anticipating the release of the movie on more than 1,000 screens in the next few weeks, Moonrise is very likely to be dethroned.
The worldwide success of Moonrise is also giving an extra edge to The Grand, seeing as Anderson is a more recognized and mainstream figure in cinema now. Combine that with his stellar cast, and this film is going to kill at the box office. Of course, Anderson always gather a village of talented actors, but The Grand literally has everybody. Just take a look:
We have: (left-right, top row) Tom Wilkinson, Jason Schwartzman, Saoirse Ronan, Harvey Keitel, Adrien Brody, Mathieu Amalric, (second row) F. Murray Abraham, Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, Jeff Goldblum, (third row) Bill Murray, Jude Law and Willem Dafoe. Holy mother of all that is good and holy! Anderson must have just emptied out Hollywood and packed all the talent into this film.
The Grand is not just trying to entice viewers by dangling vibrant visuals and famous faces (although that would work!); it has substance too. The film currently holds a rating of 89 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, which is not Anderson’s best, but still highly respectable. The comedic accessibility of The Grand versus the esoteric cleverness of Moonrise Kingdom may be what will entice viewers the most. This film is a perfect balance of innately “Wes Anderson” elements, thirst for popular actors and a lack of overt pretense. Combined with his rising fame, this may be the movie to prove that Anderson is not just a niche director.
We’ll just have to wait and see if Anderson’s newest release can become his biggest. One thing is for sure: we will be in line for tickets as soon as they go on sale. What about you? If you’re not certain, bask in the glory of the trailer one more time:
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