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Matt Damon’s No Good, Very Bad Year at the Box Office

Downsizing” may be the most appropriate title to cap off a dismal 2017 at the box office for Matt Damon.

The Alexander Payne dramedy launched quietly with $425,000 from Thursday previews at approximately 1,900 North American locations. “Downsizing” expanded to 2,668 sites on Friday and wound up sixth place with $2 million (including the preview grosses). That gives it an unimpressive $6.9 million projection for the four days.

That’s a meager taking for “Downsizing’s” $65 million budget for the film produced by Megan Ellison, Mark Johnson, Payne, and Jim Taylor. Reviews for the movie, which premiered at the Venice International Film Festival, have also been mixed, with a 52% Rotten Tomatoes score for the near-future story of a couple who agree to be shrunk to five inches so they can start a new life in an experimental community. The film also received an unimpressive C CinemaScore.

Still, the film was chosen by the National Board of Review as one of the top ten movies of 2017, and Hong Chau received nominations for best supporting actress for the Golden Globes and SAG Awards.

“Downsizing” is opening two months after Damon’s period crime comedy “Suburbicon” performed dismally in ninth place with a $2.8 million opening weekend at 2,036 North American locations. Paramount pulled the comedy, which was directed by George Clooney and carried a $25 million budget, out of theaters after three weeks.

Damon was also the most recognizable name in “The Great Wall,” the $150 million U.S.-China co-production, which wound up with just $45 million in the U.S. earlier this year. “The Great Wall,” directed by Zhang Yimou, fared better overseas, taking in about $290 million internationally, including $170 million from China last year. It did, however, generate some controversy, with critics saying Damon took on a “white savior” role in the massive production.

Damon did show his clout as a global star before 2017; last year’s “Jason Bourne” took in $415 million worldwide and 2015’s “The Martian” pulled in an impressive $630 million. He was also part of the “Ocean’s” trilogy, which grossed over $1.1 billion worldwide between 2001 and 2007.

Could 2018 prove to be a better year for the actor? He will reprise his Linus Caldwell character in the “Ocean’s 8” spinoff starring Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, and Rihanna. Here’s hoping that it’s only uphill from now.

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