×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Box Office: Spike Lee’s ‘Oldboy’ a Thanksgiving Disaster

Update: Revenge thriller on track for dismal $2 million over Thanksgiving break

Not even Spike Lee can teach an “Oldboy” new tricks.

Lee’s reboot of director Chan-wook Park’s South Korean revenge thriller of the same name, surrounded by bad buzz, is getting clobbered at the Thanksgiving box office. Playing in merely 583 locations, “Oldboy” could earn just $2 million for the five-day weekend in what’s shaping up to be one of the worst performances of the year.

Enthusiastic fans of the original had been waiting to see how the auteur would put his stamp on the cult sensation, released in 2003, but the movie’s distributor (Film District) doesn’t appear to have plans for an expansion.

The film’s current per-screen average of over $3,000 is one of the worst counts since DreamWorks’ “The Fifth Estate” and Universal’s “R.I.P.D.”

Unlike with other Thanksgiving movies, “Oldboy’s” marketing and TV campaign has been all but invisible in recent weeks and reviews for the film haven’t exactly been kind either (its current RottenTomatoes fresh rating is a sour 43%).

When asked about the film recently in an L.A. Times interview, star Josh Brolin said: “I do have opinions but it’s better I bite my tongue.”

Popular on Variety

Lee reportedly cut an hour out of the movie for producers to the director and Brolin’s dissatisfaction. The “Do the Right Thing” filmmaker even removed his trademark “Spike Lee Joint” for an unfamiliar and more impersonal “Spike Lee Film” during the editing process, in what appears to be another sign of the filmmaker’s displeasure.

The pic was produced on a moderate $30 million budget, but Film District could be in for a significant financial loss, albeit not a tentpole-sized one, if the movie doesn’t find an audience.

The remake marks the last release for distributor Film District before the company folds into Focus Features.

Spike Lee’s last successful film at the B.O. was 2006’s “Inside Man,” which grossed $88.5 million.

More Film

  • Martin Scorsese'The Irishman' film premiere, Arrivals,

    Martin Scorsese's 'Killers of the Flower Moon' Set for Italy Release Via RAI Cinema

    Martin Scorsese’s next film, “Killers of the Flower Moon,” will be released in Italian cinemas by RAI Cinema’s 01 Distribution unit, the company said Wednesday. The period murder mystery is based on a real-life incident and will star Leonardo DiCaprio. Robert De Niro is also believed to be on board the project. Shooting is expected [...]

  • Universal Music U.K. Poaches BBC’s Alice

    Universal Music Poaches BBC’s Alice Webb to Run Eagle Rock

    Alice Webb is moving from the BBC to Eagle Rock, the Universal Music U.K.-backed producer and distributor of music programming. Webb has held several senior roles in a 15-year career at the BBC including head of its kids unit and COO of its BBC North division, overseeing the relocation of key departments from London to [...]

  • Bombshell Charlize Theron Nicole Kidman Margot

    'Once Upon a Time,' 'Bombshell,' 'Irishman' Top SAG Awards Nominations 2020

    “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” “Bombshell,” and “The Irishman” led the nominations for the 2020 Screen Actors Guild Awards, picking up four nods apiece. All three films will compete for the top prize, best ensemble, along with “Parasite” and “Jojo Rabbit.” Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is an ode to the [...]

  • SAG Awards Placeholder

    SAG Award Nominations: The Complete List

    Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations were announced Wednesday morning, with Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” and Jay Roach’s “Bombshell” dominating nods on the film front. “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” with Rachel Brosnanhan led the pack among TV shows. “Superstore” star America Ferrera and “Black Panther” actress Danai Gurira were [...]

  • Joker

    'Joker,' 'Irishman,' 'Parasite' Receive ACE Eddie Awards Nominations

    The American Cinema Editors has nominated “Ford v Ferrari,” “Joker,” “The Irishman,” “Marriage Story” and “Parasite” for its ACE Eddie top feature film drama award. “Dolemite Is My Name,” “The Farewell,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “Knives Out” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” received nominations in the feature comedy category. Nominated animated films include “Frozen 2,” [...]

  • SAG Awards Placeholder

    How to Watch the SAG Awards Nominations Live

    America Ferrera and Danai Gurira will announce the nominations for the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Wednesday at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, Calif., beginning at 7 a.m. PT. The announcement will air live on TNT, TBS and truTV, and stream on YouTube, tntdrama.com/sag-awards, truTV.com and sagawards.org. The SAG Awards nominations [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content