IFC’s latest crime drama, centered around the Charles Manson murders, struggled at the box office this weekend. “Charlie Says” opened in 39 locations nationwide with an average of $1K per theater, giving the film a $39K domestic debut. Both the film’s total and average lagged behind the other specialty box office releases this week, despite the film’s popular cast.
In comparison, Neon’s “Biggest Little Farm” opened in 5 locations for an opening domestic total of $101K. The documentary had the highest theater average at the weekend box office, bringing in $20K per location. “All is True,” with Judi Dench and Ian McKellen, brought in $46.8K across 4 locations, averaging $11.7K a theater. The weekend’s highest-grossing films were “Avengers: Endgame” and “Pokemon Detective Pikachu,” which had a $13.5K and $13.8K theater average respectively. “Charlie Says” landed in twenty-fifth place in theater averages on the domestic charts, and twenty-ninth place in overall gross.
Mary Harron directed “Charlie Says,” which featured Matt Smith, Suki Waterhouse, Hannah Murray, Sosie Bacon, Marianne Rendón, and Grace Van Dien. You might know Harron best from her work directing Christian Bale in “American Psycho,” Sarah Gadon in “Alias Grace,” or Sarah Bolger in “The Moth Diaries.”
An official selection of the Venice International Film Festival, the film focused on the Manson Family women, and not Manson directly. In the movie, the women recount the crimes and murders they committed in service of their cult leader. The film also struggled with reviews, currently sitting with a 47% on RottenTomatoes with critics.
The film’s release date might have been the first misstep, as it was one of several projects recently released focusing on serial killers. “Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes” released on Netflix shortly before “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” with Zac Effron and Lily Collins released on the same platform. We are only a year from the release of “My Friend Dahmer,” which focused on the killings of Jeffrey Dahmer, which did better in theaters despite opening against “Lady Bird.”
The recent upsurge in serial killer projects certainly didn’t help “Charlie Says” at the box office, though the film might do better once it’s available for streaming. While Matt Smith has been busy in the TV world with projects like “The Crown,” Suki Waterhouse fans will be able to see her on the big screen again in several upcoming movies. Waterhouse is appearing in Martin Owen’s “Killers Anonymous” with Gary Oldman and Jessica Alba, as well as Jamie Adams’ “Bittersweet Symphony,” and “Misbehavior” with Keeley Hawes and Keira Knightley.
The Weekend Box Office Results are updated every Sunday.
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