The Goldfinch bombed during its opening weekend at the box office, earning only $2.6 million domestically. The fall movie season brings about several new titles vying for a spot in the Oscar race, with many of them screening at the major festivals that take place this time of year. There was a point in time when The Goldfinch might have been looked at as a possible contender, drawing from Pulitzer Prize winning source material. One of the reasons why Ansel Elgort signed on for the project post-Baby Driver was because he was looking to take on something prestigious in the wake of headlining Edgar Wright's heist hit.
Unfortunately, The Goldfinch was one of the losers of festival season. Premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival just days before bowing theatrically, the film was panned by critics. Debuting one week after horror smash IT Chapter Two and the same day as breakout hit Hustlers, The Goldfinch wasn't expected to make much noise at the box office. Estimates pegged The Goldfinch to earn less than $10 million in its first three days, and the actual figure was way, way low.
According to Box Office Mojo, The Goldfinch finished in eighth place this weekend with only $2.6 million domestically (it's at $3.6 million worldwide). It was definitely overshadowed by its high-profile competition, with the aforementioned IT Chapter Two ($40.7 million) and Hustlers ($33.2 million) leading the charge.
It goes without saying word-of-mouth played a significant role in The Goldfinch bombing. Currently, the film stands at just 25% on Rotten Tomatoes, a stark contrast from some of the other movies playing. Reviews pointed to director John Crowley and writer Peter Straughan's approach and handling of the complex book, which watered several elements down and tried to cram too much into a 2 1/2 hour film. Excellent cinematography from Roger Deakins can only go so far, and many were left disappointed by what The Goldfinch had to offer. On the flip side, Hustlers was praised as a fun and energetic heist drama (that's getting Oscar buzz to boot), so the choice was easy for casual moviegoers this weekend.
The Goldfinch's weak performance is the latest blunder for WB, a studio that hasn't had the best year commercially. IT Chapter Two softens the blow a bit, but WB was obviously hoping for a better showing than this. The Goldfinch will go down as a misfire, as there's virtually no way it turns a profit (even with a $45 million production budget). Luckily for WB, they have Joker on the way. That film, which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, is projected to break box office records in October, so WB is a few weeks away from having a winner.
Source: Box Office Mojo
- The Goldfinch (2019) release date: Sep 13, 2019